Technical Product Management Consultant


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Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
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Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
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Focus of the Role

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is looking to hire an exceptional Technical Product Management Consultant to lead early-stage technical strategy and design on a Farmer Management and Information System (FMIS) to be deployed in Rwanda.

This work is part of TBI’s wider push to make a positive difference to the lives of people through highly impactful, technology-enabled development solutions. The role would start immediately and be based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Candidates should have previously worked on successful complex and highly technical product rollouts for either government or a notable private / public sector organisation, with a background in Agtech, ideally in the region.

The successful candidate will work with a growing team focused on ‘technology for transformation’ in Rwanda while also working closely with TBI’s Tech for Development central team. the incumbent will engage with Government of Rwanda and a variety of private and public sector stakeholders, to drive delivery of a highly impactful product, advising and supporting strategy, efficient development, and product adoption.

This is a six-month term-limited contract; follow-on work is subject to the availability of funds.

Key Responsibilities

The key responsibilities are as follows:

  • Work with TBI Rwanda’s AgTech Advisor and Government of Rwanda to develop a robust, secure and scalable farmer-facing agricultural data and information system plus stakeholder insights platform to interface with wider ag-system actors (government, agribusinesses, banks, donors, NGOs, etc.)
  • Complete an in-depth evaluation and assessment of gaps and opportunities (including from a technical perspective) of Government of Rwanda’s existing Agtech initiatives and plans
  • Lead a detailed technical design phase for the FMIS with specific consideration of the small holder farmer as the target beneficially group
  • Develop technical designs, delivery budgets, timelines and project plans
  • Engage with a diverse set of stakeholders from TBI, Government of Rwanda, technology providers and other sector relevant delivery partners
  • Lead the technical direction of the project, while understanding and quantifying Government of Rwanda system desires and how it will benefit the targeted farmers; helping to deliver their vision from a technical and data point of view
  • Work closely with and quality assuring the work of technical teams to facilitate timely and relevant product delivery designed for users and to deliver on outcome targets
  • Regularly inform both TBI country-level and central colleagues of progress through reporting and engagement sessions and proactively escalating issues for further support as needed
  • Support the definition and reporting of success metrics to help evaluate the efficiency and impact of implemented solutions


The Technical Product Management Consultant will lead the technical aspects of strategy, design and delivery of an FMIS and sector insights platform that will have a positive impact on smallholder farmers and wider agricultural stakeholders, while informing the Government of Rwanda and leading sector stakeholders.

Activities will include:

  1. Existing technology evaluation of MINAGRI systems
  • Help TBI to better understand MINAGRI’s current Data Warehouse system and see what can be reused in FMIS development
  • In-depth technical survey of the current Data Warehouse that is in development
  • Baseline data being collected
  • SWOT analysis of current infrastructure
  • Wider Ag facing GoR system evaluation
  • What data consolidation would be valuable within the FMIS?
  • What data is currently being collected and how can TBI help improve on it?

        2. Support users / stakeholder mapping

  • Attend design workshops, led by TBI Rwanda’s AgTech Advisor, with the TBI Rwanda T4D team
  • Develop detailed understanding of user needs, wants and challenges for GoR, SHFs, Digital Farmer Promoters and Private / Public sector system users

        3. Design research: OTS vs Custom technology build

  • Begin developing a scope for a suitable FMIS solution, including functionality and UX/UI needs
  • OTS vs Custom Design feasibility study
    • What further technical or product innovation is required to fill gaps in what can be delivered by technical service providers?
    • What products and services would be suitable?
    • What products and services have been delivered domestically / regionally?

         4. FMIS technical design

  • Develop a requirements document (combination of user stories, user journeys, wire-frames and low fidelity mock-ups)
  • Based on the requirements, evaluate and recommend an approach (customised ‘off the shelf’ vs custom built or hybrid offerings). Consider cost / complexity / skillsets needed for adapting existing vs building a new system vs semi-bespoke route
  • Develop a detailed cost analysis
  • Present solution to TBI / GoR for inputs and decision making ​

        5. Shortlist, advise on and support onboarding of Tech Solution Provider (TSP) 

  •  Once approach has been concluded on design, develop a shortlist of suitable TSPs
  • Support TBI and GoR in the hiring and onboarding of a TSP. Including:
  • Support with evaluating proposals
  • Developing a ToR

Person Specification

We are looking for a candidate:

  • With experience in delivering a wide range of technologically complex and impactful digital solutions on the continent
  • With experience in East Africa’s Agtech sector, and specifically farmer information systems being a plus
  • With a minimum of 5 years’ technical product delivery experience including exposure to a range of technical areas, for example: system architecture, data architecture, middleware/APIs, systems integration, applications, etc.
  • With the ability to extract, analyse, and present complex datasets in ways that tell a concise and understandable storey about solution performance and the case for future improvements
  • Experience or familiarity with advanced Agridata analytics, for example, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive and/or cognitive analysis of weather, climate, agronomic, farm and farmer data preferred
  • With the ability to work under pressure, and to coordinate with teams and multi-disciplinary advisors
  • With strong communication skills
  • Who can work flexibly and be adaptable, open to changing approaches in response to changing situations on the ground
  • With understanding of Rwanda’s technology policy and regulatory landscape, and the discretion and judgment needed to navigate a complex environment
  • Fluency in English required


About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people  

We do this within two connected divisions: 

 Government Advisory 

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas: 

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics; 
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and 
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world. 

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are: 

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork 
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity 
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.