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IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, has been heavily investing to accelerate the sustainable production and trade of agricultural commodities produced in Asia, Africa and South America in the last 10 years. With funding from the Dutch, Swiss, Danish and Norwegian Governments, and from business partners, IDH organizes scoping, development and implementation of public private partnerships in 11 sectors such as palm oil, timber, coffee, tea, aquaculture, apparel and 16 landscapes across 12 countries. We are young, thriving, and dynamic organization to solve sustainability issues in commodity sector and sourcing areas.

IDH is a dynamic and demanding organization of about 200 staff members and consultants at the HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands and hubs in South America, Asia and Africa.

IDH Farmfit Fund, Business Support and Intelligence Center

The 500 million smallholders farmers globally often lack access to the high quality services they need to properly invest in and develop their farming systems and increase household incomes. In Africa, regional food security for the rapidly growing population crucially depends on the successful integration of smallholder production in regional value chains.  This requires companies, civil society and government to innovate together, develop business models and forge new supply chain collaborations.

IDH Farmfit Business Support drives this transformation by supporting companies and financial institutions to analyze, innovate, and scale their smallholder business models. Our goals are to identify what are the ways in which service delivery models to smallholder farmers can be made more effective, efficient, and sustainable, how these can be brought to scale, and how these can be financed. Drawing on the lessons from analyzing and supporting 100+ companies, the Farmfit Intelligence Center generates strategic insights into best practices and key success factors in smallholder inclusion. Farmfit Business Support and Intelligence Center are Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DFID. To take these smallholder business models to scale, the Farmfit Fund has been launched. This is a 100 M  dollar fund – and a 1 billion dollar guarantee – that invests in companies and banks for smallholder finance, with the objective to lift at least 3 M farmers out of poverty and make farmer finance a mainstream investment class.

Service Delivery Model (SDM) Analyst

Based in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Position overview:

As SDM Analyst, you will use your extensive experience in analysis and consulting to support our partners in analyzing and improving the performance of their Service Delivery Models (SDMs) for smallholder farmers.

Farmfit will analyze the SDMs of 100+ companies using our data-driven SDM methodology, and you will be responsible for analyzing some of these companies.  Following the lead of an SDM manager, you carry out SDM analyses of their models, and provide them with strategic advice on innovating their smallholder business. Using your outstanding quantitative skills and analytical capabilities, you build financial models showing our partners how their SDMs impact their bottom line and that of the farmers they serve.  To facilitate discussion and inform the decision and strategy making of our partners, you convert the outcomes of these models into clear visualizations of your analysis in the form of PowerPoint slides. Finally, you are responsible for managing the analysis process, ensuring delivery against agreed deadlines, planning country visits, etc.

As Farmfit is currently being set up, you also provide hands-on support to for the operational set-up, especially for establishing an Intelligence Center through which key actionable insights and a benchmarking database will be made available for the public.

You are part of a larger Farmfit team in Utrecht, consisting of the Director of Learning and Innovation, a Farmfit Manager, an SDM manager, another SDM analyst, a data manager, a data analyst, and innovation managers. You are reporting to the Farmfit Manager and will work together closely with the SDM manager in executing SDM analyses.

Core job functions are:

  1. Support in building and managing effective relationships with our partners, ensuring that the process of undertaking SDM analyses are also seen as adding value to our partners.
  2. Conduct quantitative and qualitative SDM analyses of individual companies under the lead of an SDM manager, including profit and loss projections for smallholders and companies. This will include regular travel to the field operations of individual companies.
  3. Qualitatively understand, describe and visualize the SDM and its components, both at a strategic (objectives, challenges, opportunities) and operational (operating model, design, partnerships) level.
  4. Build business models that show the profitability for companies, smallholder farmers, their interdependence, and their sensitivity to various changes (e.g., price volatility, default rates, impact of services).
  5. Drawing on the insights from your analysis, provide strategic advice to partners on the design of their SDMs and oversee implementation.
  6. Pro-actively distill high-level learning, trends and best practices from your own company engagements and those of your colleagues; and transform them into actionable insights for the Farmfit learning community.
  7. Together with the Farmfit Manager, further develop the SDM methodology and support the operational set-up of Farmfit.
  8. Support the SDM analysis process with coordination and administration.
  9. Coordinate and lead data collection, communicating effectively with IDH Farmfit partners to collect data efficiently and proactively come up with solutions when data availability or quality challenges exist.

Required Qualifications and Education

  • M.Sc. in economics, business, supply chain management, or other highly quantitative discipline;
  • 2+ years of relevant working experience (consulting experience is a plus);
  • Outstanding modelling skills and command of MS Excel;
  • Outstanding skills to visualize key insights in Powerpoint;
  • Conceptual and analytical strength;
  • Result-oriented, self-propelling and self-organized, eye for detail;
  • Excellent oral and written communications and presentation skills. Fluency in English;
  • Strong relationship management skills;
  • Ability to quickly adapt to challenging circumstances (e.g., data availability/quality issues);
  • Willingness to travel extensively (approx. 1 week per month) and ability to deliver on tight deadlines.

Additional desired Qualifications

  • Solid understanding of (financial) business models;
  • Understanding of smallholder-based agricultural value chains (from a private sector perspective);
  • Fluency in French, Spanish or Portuguese.

IDH offers a challenging position within an enthusiastic and passionate team.  As an IDH team member you can contribute to positive global change. This is a full-time position, initially for one year, with the intention to extend. We offer a competitive salary (depending on seniority and experience) and solid fringe benefits, including a good pension scheme.

For more information about IDH, please visit For questions about this position, please contact Bernd Isenberg, Farmfit Manager at:

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply (motivation letter and 2-page resume in English) by using the following hyperlink:

We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, latest by 28 February 2019. Candidates are based in the Netherlands or should have permission to work in the Netherlands.