Market Systems Advisor – Agriculture and Climate

POSITION TITLE: Market Systems Advisor – Agriculture and Climate

POSITION LOCATION: Hybrid/Remote (ideally in a country in which WUSC has an office)

REPORTS TO: Director, Technical Services

CONTRACT TERM: Full time, indeterminate

SALARY LEVEL: PRO 3 – Salary scale of the country of hiring


LANGUAGES: Fluency in both English and French is required


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization focusing on three programmatic areas: Economic Opportunities, Education, and Empowerment. Our vision is a better world for all young people. It is a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world in which all young people, especially women and refugees, are empowered to secure a good quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

WUSC currently works in over 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $50 million. We have 90 people in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Mastercard Foundation. Globally, we partner with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that work with us to achieve our mission.

WUSC’s Economic Opportunities Portfolio

Currently, WUSC’s Economic Opportunities (EO) portfolio includes nine multi-million dollar initiatives and several smaller projects throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. WUSC takes a Market Systems Development (MSD) approach within these programs, with sectoral focus on labour market integration, agriculture, climate change and social finance. WUSC’s economic opportunities initiatives are funded primarily by Global Affairs Canada and the Mastercard Foundation. As an organization that is strongly committed to youth, gender equality, and issues of forced displacement, WUSC’s economic opportunities portfolio reflects these priorities.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Working on a hybrid or remote arrangement out of an office where WUSC has a presence, the Market Systems Advisor will play a strategic role to grow WUSC’s Economic Opportunities portfolio, contributing to corporate, policy influence, and strategic objectives related to EO while applying a Market Systems lens. The Market Systems Advisor will also be a core member of the WUSC Programs Team, working in a matrix environment as a technical resource for integrating market systems best practices into WUSC’s portfolio of programs. This position will join a team of 8 global Technical Advisors, and will work closely with a second Market Systems Advisor specializing in labour markets and skills for employment. This specific position will focus on market systems in agriculture, natural resources and climate adaptation and will also contribute to WUSC’s expertise in climate finance and biodiversity finance. The Market Systems Advisor will also develop tools, resources and conduct training and coaching to staff and partners to support cross-project learning and the overall technical rigor of WUSC’s EO portfolio.

Market Systems Advice & Coaching to WUSC Programs and Projects – 50%

  • Provide high-quality technical assistance to diverse teams across the organization, including program delivery teams;
  • Support program staff in integrating evidence-based best practices in market systems development in the context of agriculture, natural resource management and climate adaptation into project planning and management approaches (including results based management tools) and propose strategies to increase project/program impact on outcomes;
  • Develop strategies for engaging private sector actors, including lead value chain firms and investors;
  • Facilitate the use of data and learning from existing economic opportunities programs to promote evidence-based learning, reflection and decision making within programs/ projects;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in existing practices at WUSC, and support the development of improved systems, processes, and tools;
  • Work with program managers and MERL Advisors to ensure that results measurement and knowledge management systems are established to ensure that relevant economic opportunities and systems change results are captured and reported to relevant stakeholders;
  • Work with GESI Advisors to ensure that EO initiatives applying systems development principles that centre gender equality and inclusion;
  • Create market systems development resources (including training) and tools (ie. tipsheets) to assist staff in implementing evidence-based economic opportunities interventions; and
  • Undertake limited project management responsibilities on smaller initiatives, such as coordination between finance and programs counterparts; development of reports and planning documents; and review of contracts.

Market Systems Advisory Support to new Programs – 25%

  • Work with the Program Development unit to ensure the integration of evidence-based best practices in market systems developments into new program design;
  • Review and/or develop content for proposals that reflects WUSC’s experience in its economic opportunities portfolio;
  • Recommend financial and human resources necessary to execute high quality economic opportunities programming;
  • Support new project inception planning, particularly the development of the program/ project-specific advice for high quality market systems interventions; and
  • Support project teams in the recruitment and capacity building of project managers and technical staff on economic issues.

Promote Internal & External Learning on Market Systems Development – 25%

  • Participate in critical working groups and networks and ensure that WUSC is delivering on key strategic objectives with and through these groups and networks;
  • Support WUSC’s work in social finance and impact investment through participating in relevant committees and working groups;
  • Facilitate organizational learning opportunities, including training, seminars, webinars, tipsheets, etc;
  • Co-lead the development of the organizational annual Economic Opportunities Thematic Area Workplan and ensure the execution of this plan;
  • Liaise regularly with technical counterparts to share best practices, tools, and organizational approaches to economic opportunities quality;
  • Represent WUSC at a variety of public forums (conferences, events, working groups, etc) and share results, lessons learned, and knowledge from WUSC’s economic opportunities programs to position WUSC as a key actor;
  • Participate in WUSC’s communications work by drafting communications materials, providing data, information and other material for use with WUSC’s Canadian and International constituency for communications strategies and fundraising activities.


  • MA/MSc/MBA or equivalent in agriculture, natural resource management, business, economics, international development, or related fields;
  • A minimum of 7 years of active work experience in agricultural market systems, climate adaptation, and economic development; experience in an international development context is required;
  • Knowledge of Market Systems Development approaches to program design, implementation and performance measurement.
  • Experience working with investors; specific expertise and/or experience in innovative finance and social finance; understanding of carbon and biodiversity markets highly desirable.


  • Strong analytical, research, and writing skills;
  • Proven ability to work productively and build consensus with a variety of stakeholders (in-country teams, local partners, local government bodies);
  • Flexibility with competing demands and ability to prioritize;
  • Ability to travel extensively, approximately 20-30% of time;
  • Effective interpersonal and influencing skills, including the ability to build relationships, network, communicate and represent at a senior level are essential;
  • Flexibility, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple priorities;
  • Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in policy design and implementation;
  • Passion and commitment to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, gender equality, refugee inclusion and youth empowerment;
  • Share in WUSC’s commitment and approach to advance gender equality and social inclusion for all young people;
  • Ability to contribute to WUSC’s organizational culture that respects differences, including sex, age, ability, refugee or migration status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and other identity factors.

Languages: Fluency, oral and written in French and English


Join Us. Our work is important, cutting-edge, and rewarding. We encourage curiosity, innovation, and flexibility.

WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference in the lives of youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, economic opportunities and empowerment.

WUSC currently has offices in Canada (headquarters), the Caribbean (Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Dominica), Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

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