Human Resource Manager

Spark MicroGrants

Spark MicroGrants

Kampala, Uganda
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2024


Spark MicroGrants believes in a world where everyone lives with dignity and determines their own positive future. Spark has pioneered a community-driven development model in East Africa, and works with NGO and Government partners to scale adoption and impacts for rural communities - on their own terms. Our model combines facilitated community meetings with a small, discretionary grant to catalyse local action and institution building. Read more about our Approach, Impact and Values on our website.


The foundation of our approach is the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP) where communities are led through regular facilitated meetings to organize, conceptualize, and implement local development projects, supported by a microgrant to fund it. Our currency is quality, which is evidenced in our impacts. Spark supports the implementation of the FCAP in rural communities to improve local livelihoods, enhance social cohesion, and improve citizen engagement. Our community-based development model aims to catalyse social and economic transitions in the context of development opportunities present in each country we work in.

Spark is active in 500+ villages in 6 countries, benefiting over 230,000 lives. In the next three years, we seek to accelerate the growth of this approach, through i) establishing a global Community of Practice with partners based on cutting-edge facilitation and training design, ii) establishing a national scale program in Rwanda - our flagship program - in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, and iii) expanding programs in Malawi, Uganda, and Ghana.

Improving local livelihoods is a core objective of the FCAP’s theory of change. FCAP villages most commonly select livelihoods-related community projects to be financed by the provided microgrant, ranging from small livestock rearing, to loaning associations, and microenterprises. Historically, most projects were livestock rearing; under the current Rwanda program, 77% of village-selected projects are pig, sheep, goat, dairy cow or bull rearing activities. Through these investments, we expect to see impacts on household consumption, assets, and savings, which are evaluated through regular internal and external evaluations.

In the current model, Spark trains community-based facilitators (CBFs) who guide villages through weekly meetings including village resource mapping and goal setting, identification of potential pathways toward their goal, and feasibility and environmental/social risk assessments. Each village is also engaged to create or strengthen an existing savings group, where pooled resources can be used to fund other prioritized pathways. Technical support is provided by Technical Advisors with expertise relevant to villages’ selected project and local government officials that play a varied role in supporting villages throughout the project selection and implementation process.

As Spark scales up its programming in our countries of operation, we are interested in strengthening our existing tools and approaches for assessing local economic ecosystems, establishing/strengthening village-level savings groups, empowering villages with actionable information on livelihood opportunities and risks to support their project identification and supporting villages’ access to markets. To support these goals, Spark is seeking to hire a consultant with expertise in economic development/livelihoods and community development to work closely with Spark’s country teams. Spark staff bring strong expertise in community facilitation and our operating contexts that we are looking to combine with international experience and best practices in community-driven development and livelihoods programming.


The primary objectives of this consultancy are:

  1. To assess and enhance Spark's existing risk assessment process for community projects.
  2. To advise on and develop tools for market-based research to support community development initiatives.
  3. To design interventions to strengthen Spark's livelihood and savings programs in alignment with international best practices for local economic and community-driven development.
  4. To provide ad hoc technical support and guidance to Spark's program teams in implementing livelihood interventions effectively.


The consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Assess the FCAP's existing risk assessment approach for microgrant-funded community projects in Rwanda and Malawi, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, and develop concrete recommendations for FCAP modification.
  • Advise on and develop tools and methodologies for conducting market-based research in communities and surrounding areas, focusing on identifying viable livelihood opportunities and market linkages. The end users may be both Spark/NGO partner staff for use during design and preparation and community members during FCAP implementation.
    • This will include supporting community groups’/Spark’s engagement with local government authorities and relevant stakeholders to build on existing market or value-chain analysis and priorities for the area.
  • Design interventions and strategies to strengthen Spark's livelihood programs, integrating international best practices for local economic development and community-driven development. This may include developing strategies and action plans to leverage existing market linkages and enhance value chains to support community planning and economic development initiatives. The expected outputs would be a tool(s) or methodology that could ideally be utilized for a wide range of livestock rearing and microenterprise activities.
  • Develop recommendations and strategies for enhancing Spark’s approach to village-level savings groups and suggesting improvements to existing training materials and methodologies.
  • Collaborate closely with relevant Spark teams in Rwanda and Malawi, as well as the Design team, to ensure alignment with organizational goals and objectives.
  • Provide training and capacity-building support to Spark staff and community stakeholders on relevant topics related to local economic development, community-driven development, and livelihoods enhancement.


The consultant will deliver the following outputs:

  • Assessment report on Spark's existing i) risk assessment process for community projects, ii) market research and linkages, and iii) approach to village-level savings groups, including recommendations for improvement. The report will be based on a desk review of the FCAP curriculum and tools, interviews with key program and design team members, and international best practices on local economic development and CDD.
  • Updated tools and methodologies for i) risk assessments, ii) market research/linkages and value-chain enhancement, and iii) village-level savings groups, based on assessment report and consultations with Spark team members on priority areas.
  • Brief design document identifying other strategies for strengthening Spark's livelihood programs, building on Spark’s existing reports, learning initiatives and research outputs.
  • Training materials and sessions conducted for Spark staff and partners on updated tools and methodologies.


Qualifications, experience & skills:

  • Advanced degree in economics, business administration, international development, or a related field.
  • Extensive experience (at least 5 years) working in the field of local economic development, community-driven development, and livelihoods enhancement, preferably in Rwanda, Malawi, or similar contexts.
  • Proven expertise in designing approaches, tools and interventions for community project risk assessments, village-level savings groups, and community market linkages.
  • Demonstrated experience working with local government officials on similar issues would be preferred.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to develop practical and innovative solutions to complex challenges.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders.


Job Location: RemoteStart Date: March 2024

Duration: Six months, with possible extension. Anticipated to be part-time.

Application Closing Date: TBC

How to apply: Please follow the link:


Spark Microgrants provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals. Employment decisions at Spark are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Spark does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by the law. Spark will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in undue hardship to daily operations.