Field Operations Manager, PRANA Project

Field Operations Manager, PRANA Project

Organization: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) India

Apply By: 18 Oct 2023

Location: Mohali(Punjab)

Who We Are:


This is an exciting time at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as we are shifting our strategy for greater impact in the world, seeking to address some of the most complex challenges facing people and nature — issues such as climate change, conserving lands, waters, and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more resilient and sustainable. 

Our Mission

TNC’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Rather than viewing development – including  economic growth – and conservation as contradictory goals, TNC works to demonstrate how nature has value for people and  development and how nature can provide enormous economic benefit. TNC envisions a future where people and nature can  flourish together.

Our Vision

A world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfil our needs  and enrich our lives. 

The Conservancy Team

We achieve this through the dedicated efforts of our 3,800 diverse staff, including more than 600 scientists, all of whom  support conservation in 76 countries and all 50 United States. We are striving to develop a workforce as diverse as the places  where we work, and we have a deep commitment to diversity.

Organizational History

TNC is the largest conservation organisation in the world, working in all 50 states in the United States and more than 76  countries. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia on October 22, 1951. TNC is science based and in every place, we work, we partner with governments, businesses, and local communities. TNC is advancing its  mission by protecting and restoring rivers, landscapes and oceans for people and their development at an unprecedented  scale; it is transforming the way humanity uses the Earth’s natural resources to sustain ourselves.

What We Can Achieve Together:


TNC has been successful in securing a significant grant from the Bezos Earth Fund for the Promoting Regenerative and No burn Agriculture (PRANA) Project in India. Nature Conservancy India Solutions Pvt Ltd (NCIS) is providing techno-managerial  services for the effective management and implementation of the project. The expected outcomes for the successful delivery  of the project over four years are as follows:

• The elimination of burning on 1 million hectares of cropland

• At least 250,000 farmers adopt zero-burn cropping systems.

• At least 6 million tons of CO2-e mitigation.

• 500 billion liters of water saved from enhanced soil health and better agronomic practices. Positions role:

The PRANA Field Operations Manager is responsible for coordinating the PRANA field operations in Punjab, by supervising a  team of field staff and monitoring field activities of the project-implementing partners. They provide technical support to the  PRANA Project Director in the development of annual work plans in support of the above-mentioned project objectives and  overall conservation priorities of Punjab. They establish and maintain relationships with local stakeholders (including  government, private sector, academia, farmer associations, local NGOs and community-based organizations) and supervise  the overall project outreach to farmers and other project participants/beneficiaries. This is a 4-year funded position, with  the possibility for extension subject to funding and meeting project outcomes. The location for this position is Mohali, Punjab  with extensive travel within the state and to New Delhi.

We’re Looking for You:

Essential Functions:

∙ The PRANA Field Operations Manager oversees all aspects of the PRANA project field implementation in Punjab,  including science, stewardship, community relations, pilot implementation and scaling-up of successful crop residue  management (CRM) technologies, and implementation of strategies, through active engagement with local farmers and  other relevant stakeholders, seeking to ensure the project achieves PRANA’s objective to help transition 250,000 farmers  into no-burn practices of CRM and reducing the residue burning in Northwest India by 1 million hectares by June 2025,  within the specified timeframe and budget

∙ Responsible for coordinating PRANA field operations in Punjab, by building and supervising a team of field staff (including  Assistant Field Operations Managers) and monitoring field activities of the project implementing partners ∙ Responsible for providing technical support to PRANA Project Director in the development of annual workplans in  support of the above-mentioned project objectives and overall conservation priorities of Punjab ∙ On point for establishing and maintaining relationships with local stakeholders (including government, private sector,  academia, farmer associations, local NGOs and community-based organizations) and supervise the overall project  outreach to farmers and other project participants/beneficiaries

∙ This position ends June 30th, 2025 with the possibility for extension subject to funding and meeting project outcomes ∙ The location for this position is Punjab with extensive travel within the state, to New Delhi and/or internationally, even  during weekend or at evening. This is a local hire, and no immigration or visa support is offered with this position ∙ May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically  demanding circumstances

Roles and responsibilities:

1. Field team management 

∙ Supervise PRANA field staff (incl. six Assistant Field Ops Managers) at remote locations and be responsible for  field team engagement, alignment with PRANA strategy and implementation plans, and staff development  and retention

∙ Link Assistant Field Operations Manager to PRANA Implementation Team and other partners, escalating any  issues highlighted by Assistant Field Operations Managers to the right stakeholders on time 

∙ Provide guidance and technical, agricultural advice to Assistant Field Operations Managers for them to solve  on-ground concerns 

∙ Periodically review performance of Assistant Field Operations Managers and address their grievances

2. Supporting field implementation 

∙ Support Project Director in managing field program operations and scaling strategies through technical,  program and operational support, i.e., leading, supervising, and providing guidance to a local team and  building strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field


i. Establish and maintain optimal performance standards within budget

ii. Proactively share inputs on deliverables and plans suggested by implementation partners iii. Share inputs on design elements from the POV on applicability and effectiveness on ground, e.g.,  preferred CRM solutions on ground, potentially useful incentives for farmers and SPs/AEs, inputs on  communication material and plan, potential watch outs with the Digital Technology rollout plan, etc. iv. Ensure safety during all the field activities by pre-emptively working on a safety and contingency plan 

Address issues raised by implementation partners 

i. Be the face of TNC and PRANA for implementation partners working in Punjab

ii. Liaise with Implementation Partners and other contractors/partners for obtaining satisfactory and  timely deliverables by addressing any challenges raised by IPs themselves or highlighted by Assistant  Field Operations Managers

Facilitate cross-stakeholder interactions

i. Act as a bridge between project field implementation, PRANA implementation team managers and  other partners, along with any other relevant stakeholders

ii. Be primarily responsible for outreach and effective information flow between key stakeholders, local  communities, farmers and the PRANA team

iii. Always maintain visibility on interactions between different PRANA partners, and facilitate  interactions if any concerns are noticed on the field, e.g., issues between Digital, Comms and field  partners (for training of IPs on app, sharing of feedback, upload of farmer data collected offline to  the app, lack of availability of comms material etc.)

3. Monitoring effectiveness and changes

∙ Regularly seek and review relevant field data from Assistant Field Operations Managers and IPs to monitor  field implementation by partners as per KPIs (e.g., progress on local activities, grievances, local organizations  associated with PRANA, coordination issues among partners, performance of field resources) 

∙ Analyze and report changes in conditions regarding agricultural practices, use of CRM machinery, new  technologies being deployed, ex-situ programs being implemented, and other changes that may affect the  project

4. External stakeholder management

∙ In coordination with the Policy and Partnership Manager, facilitate and build partnerships and relationships  across various stakeholder groups in Punjab, including local government agencies, other conservation  organizations, foundations, farmer associations, community-based organizations and other local stakeholders  – be the face of PRANA and TNC

∙ Negotiate complex and innovative collaborations and agreements with local government agencies and other  local stakeholders 

∙ Scope and identify new partnerships and potential additional projects related to the overall no burn of crop  residue and other PRANA project strategies

∙ Lead one-on-one interactions with local stakeholders like PAU, PAMETI and District Administration to  highlight progress, discuss key bottlenecks, to get external advice and implementation support on a monthly  basis 

∙ Provide support for policy advocacy (share ground inputs for development of policy briefs/impact reports,  share ground feedback during meetings with Govt. bodies)

∙ Depending on need, may provide inputs on requests for proposals for grants and contracts

5. Knowledge Management 

∙ Maintain database of the work, including any information, reports, databases, contacts, letters collected at  local level by Assistant Field Operations Managers and IPs

6. Interaction with other PRANA managers, e.g., 

∙ Provide input to the MEL Manager to ensure quality control and monitor the field implementation of key  activities by different partners as per key performance indicators

∙ Involve PRANA Policy and Partnership Manager for policy guidance and support 

∙ Involve PRANA implementation team members, e.g., Behavior Change expert and Agronomist, for support  with farmer/SP outreach and capacity building activities, as and when request is raised by partners ∙ Work closely with the Project Director, the Policy and Partnerships Manager, and the MEL Manager in  identifying and resolving technical, policy and programmatic issues and to create enabling conditions for the  project success

∙ Support PRANA implementation team in ground rollout of efforts, e.g., support Policy and Partnership  Manager in rollout of information on Govt. schemes for farmers by sharing inputs on relevant Schemes for  farmers and ensuring IPs convey this information to farmers or provide relevant details to PRANA  Communications Specialist for media interactions

7. PRANA Governance

∙ Responsible for producing periodic operational and project performance reports against the annual  workplans, including overall progress made explaining significant variances against expected results, detailed  necessary adjustments needed

Drive process for PMU Meetings 

i. Pre-meeting support: Lead collation of inputs from all meeting participants, review data and inputs  for insights and add additional color to the update using own ground knowledge

Facilitation of meetings: Guide meeting discussion, bringing inputs from own experience, follow up with  relevant stakeholders on next steps aligned during the meeting and connect relevant stakeholders to ensure  actions

What You’ll Bring:

Minimum Qualifications

∙ Master’s degree in a science-related field (e.g., agronomy/agro ecology, environmental sciences, soil science) with  7 years of experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and  experience.

∙ Demonstrated understanding of principles and practices of sustainable agriculture, including soil health, climate  mitigation, climate adaptation, nutrient management.

∙ Experience of conducting applied research and analysis.

∙ Excellent team player with experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams, using interpersonal skills to build  strong relationships with conservation teams, internal scientists, corporations, academics, and policy makers. ∙ Excellent communication skills – written and spoken and graphical.

∙ Fluency in English, Hindi and command on verbal and written Punjabi is a must

Desired Qualifications 

∙ PhD degree in agriculture, crop science, soil science, natural resource management or related discipline with  experience in systems-related research with 7-10 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent  combination of education and experience.

∙ Knowledge and experience of developing systems for monitoring, reporting, verification and evaluation of impact  of agricultural systems on climate, soil health, and environment.

∙ Knowledge of and experience related to the production, storage, processing, and commercialization of rice, wheat,  and other key crops in Punjab.

∙ Field experience including direct interaction and/or partnering with farmers.

∙ Expertise in spatial analysis/remote sensing as well as applied statistics/data science.

∙ Development of agricultural practices guidelines and materials.

∙ Record of peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.

∙ Demonstrated capabilities in project or program management, including ensuring collaboration and coordination  of project activities among partners and reporting project results.

∙ Strong analytical skills.

∙ Experience in working with a wide range of stakeholders and interest to work in interdisciplinary teams. ∙ Expertise in management and analytics of big data related to climate services information, including the use of  climate forecast information.

∙ A high level of competency in the design and implementation of field-based experiments.

∙ Experience in training others.

∙ Ability to meet deadlines and work successfully in a fast-paced organization.

What We Bring:

Nature Conservancy India Solutions Private Limited (NCIS) is a private limited company incorporated under the Companies  Act 2013, having it registered office in India in New Delhi. India. It is a wholly owned Indian subsidiary of The Nature  Conservancy. The company currently provides technical consultancy, monitoring & evaluation and other related services in  the domain of conservation and environment to its various clients within and outside India.

We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we  employ!

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job. 

How to apply

To apply for job ID 53382 submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/  by 11:59 PM IST 18-October-2023 . 

Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org .

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