Position: Whole Planet Foundation – Independent Contractor
Job Title: Program Manager – Asia/Pacific
Location: Major city in South East/South Asia
To apply: Please complete the virtual HireVue interview here: Start the HireVue Interview
Deadline to apply: April 15th
Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) is a US 501c3 private foundation established by Whole Foods Market (WFM) in 2005. WPF was born from the WFM core value, Caring About Our Communities and Our Environment, an idea of shared fate with WFM’s global communities. The mission of WPF is to provide financial support to Microfinance Institutions (MFI) to alleviate poverty through expansion of microcredit services in communities that supply Whole Foods Market with product. Partner MFIs deliver financial services that are tailored to the realities of the people living in poverty while maintaining efficient operations in a financially sustainable manner.
• Visit www.wholeplanetfoundation.org
• WPF was created and is funded by Whole Foods Market with the mission of supporting microcredit in the around the world where WFM sources products
• WPF first microfinance projects were launched in 2005 in partnership with Dr. Yunus and Grameen Trust
• WPF fundraises to provide exclusively no cost capital to best practice MFIs around the world, specifically those targeting entry-level clients and the very poor, helping these institutions to expand their reach.
• In addition to MFI’s – WPF also supports social enterprises serving low-income communities with a financing product as well as the Ultra Poor Graduation methodology.
• WPF currently supports microfinance projects in 80 countries globally with 16 active countries in Asia.
In 2022, WPF is hiring a Contractor to increase its management capacity mainly for the Asia/Pacific region and also to support the Africa/Middle East regions. The contractor will facilitate monitoring and evaluation of existing programs, increase capacity for capturing outreach/media materials representing existing projects and to support the implementation of the general regional strategic plan for expansion of the mission. Additionally, the successful candidate will be assisting the Global Program team with improved monitoring of advances, changes and challenges in the micro-credit and social enterprise sectors as part of the Foundation’s global learning efforts.
It is imperative that this person have significant experience working in rural Asia (or Africa) with an understanding of the reality facing the poor – particularly in relation to rural business and economic systems. Knowledge of microfinance and an ability to independently represent the Foundation in project countries will be important.
The ability to speak French, Spanish, Arabic or Hindi fluently is a plus.
The successful candidate must have a passion for supporting local development through micro-credit and other social enterprises that enable the poor to start and grow their own businesses on a large scale, creating new and increased sources of income locally to support their needs and the needs of their dependents. This requires significant experience assessing and understanding this sector, evaluating the financial viability of partners the Foundation works with and monitoring the effectiveness of the Foundation’s partners in offering pro-poor social finance and enterprise support services.
As well, extensive regional travel around 50% will be required in order to visit all active partners annually, as security and logistics permit. This will typically be independent self-led travel to conduct due diligence with local microfinance organizations the Foundation has provided loan capital to or considering partnering with.
This is not a Whole Foods Market position. This person will be hired as an independent contractor and responsible for settling in the region, obtaining all work permits, paying taxes, and any other aspect of working abroad.
Although this position will be hired as an Independent Contractor, this position will need to be filled as long as WPF continues to operate in this project area.
1. Assist Whole Planet Foundation to carry out a rigorous and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program of current funded projects across Asia/Pacific and Africa/MENA regions, including both remote reviews of project progress and annual site evaluations.
2. Build and maintain relationships with Foundation microfinance partners in the region, keeping the management team informed of project progress.
3. Tell the story of Microfinance Institutions (MFI), clients, and the realities of poverty through various mediums including photography, blogs and documentation of individual microcredit clients.
Job Activities and Responsibilities:
1. Project Management (60%)-
a. M&E: Manage funding, reporting, and monitoring requirements for a portfolio of currently funded projects across the Asia/Pacific & West Africa/MENA regions. This will include remote review of partners’ financial statements, tracking of quarterly outreach metrics as well as annual on-site visits to partners. In some case resulting in substantive recommendations and feedback to partners and the Foundation management team.
b. Ongoing relationship management: Develop strong relationships with partners, including onboarding, finalizing project agreements, monitoring repayments and adjustments.
c. Desk due diligence: Research local market conditions and potential MFIs/social enterprises that may qualify as a WPF partner through remote research, as needed.
d. Develop project proposals for WPF Management approval, as needed
2. Global Learning Support (10%)- Improve processes for collecting and disseminating to the Program Team vital information on advances, changes and challenges facing the global financial inclusion and social enterprise sectors, particularly in WPF active countries, through desk research, networking and engagement with field implementation partners. Help leverage WPF field visits generally with this research and information.
3. Outreach and Media (15%)- Coordinate and carry out the strategy for outreach, media and guided site visits by Whole Planet Foundation representatives and stakeholders for the project portfolio.
4. Project Logistics (15%)- The position will require independent management of all living, travel and communication logistics required to carry out the job. Travel to countries where the Foundation has partners will often require advance logistical planning for the successful execution of site visits and evaluations
1. Work location is based out of a regional flight hub, like Dhaka or Ho Chi Minh City but the Foundation is flexible to a preferred base station, as the post requires extensive travel throughout Asia and the Pacific.
2. Most of the work will be carried out independently at home or on assignment in project countries. Meetings will often be conducted via skype or other remote means. However, in-person meet-ups with management will be organized throughout the year.
3. Position involves exposure to conditions found in the developing-world and requires complete immunization as recommended by the CDC.
4. Additional job demands include a wide range of adaptability to move between extreme poverty and professional environments
Other Requirements – Education / specific degree / special skills:
1. Min. bachelor’s degree in international development, business, economics or related studies.
2. Fully fluent in English.
3. At least 2 years of progressively responsible work experience in a relevant position, including minimum 2 years of experience working in a grassroots/community-based position in the field.
4. Experience with business systems and rural economies in developing countries, with a proven interest in microfinance.
5. Experience with producing basic media content for a wide audience, including social media, high quality photo/video, etc.
6. Understanding of financial statements and basic accounting
7. Strong analytical skills to assess potential MFI partners
8. Ability to interview MFI clients in the field
9. Strong writing skills.
10. Self-learner and independent worker
1. Language skills such as Spanish/French/Hindi/Arabic.
2. Experience with grassroots financial services, impact investment and social enterprise development.
3. Experience managing a regional portfolio.
Using the link below, interested candidates can upload their resume and initiate the remote interview as the first step in the application process.
Please complete the virtual HireVue interview here: Start the HireVue Interview
Deadline to apply: April 15th
A diverse and inclusive workplace is important to Whole Planet Foundation. We welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives.