Position Title: Bethlehem Handicraft Platform Manager
Location: Bethlehem District (Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour)
Type of contract: National Position
Starting date: 1st of May 2017
Expected duration: 12 months with possibility of extension
Application deadline: 24th of March 2017
The Italian NGO VIS (“Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo”) has worked in Palestine since 1986 and, alongside the local Salesian community, it is mainly involved in education for the benefit of young Palestinians. The commitment of VIS aims at providing consistent development tools that can help building the basis for the future sustainability of the Palestinian State and of the communities.
VIS works particularly in the sectors of education and vocational training in order to educate, teach and sustain children and youths socially at risk; to guarantee skills development, vocational training and job insertion; to promote the development of local communities, through capacity building, training of trainers, sustaining women’s initiatives, promotion of income generating activities and youth enterprises and to improve access to new technologies.
VIS is implementing a three-year project called “Youth in Palestine – New Opportunities of Integration and Employment for young Palestinian boys and girls” over the period 2016-2018 – under funding by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other Local Italian Entities and international Donors. Within this project, central attention is paid to the handicraft sector and to those organizations working to foster the economic and social inclusion of vulnerable categories (e.g. people with disabilities, women, disadvantaged artisans) by simultaneously preserving the local artisanal tradition.
Therefore, the “Youth in Palestine” project aims at promoting the relaunch of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform, to enhance its role and effectiveness as collective organization able to favor higher quality in handicraft production, stronger management capacities, wider market access and enhanced synergies for its members.
The Bethlehem Handicraft Platform was founded in 2013 in the framework of a broader development project called “Enhancement of the handicraft sector and strengthening the synergies between the actors in the Bethlehem area for the creation of a handicraft district”, led by the VIS in collaboration with the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). In the original idea, the Platform was conceived to be “a forum that represents the wider handicraft sectors in Bethlehem”, in order to “keep the traditions alive and to protect Bethlehem patrimony” by giving members “the chance to not stopping the production of handmade handicrafts”, “allow parts of Bethlehem to reach far-away places” and fostering the “spreading in Europe of the traditional Palestinian handicraft, made by expert artisans using only local raw materials” (Bethlehem Handicraft Platform, 2013).
Still today members face difficulties in sales due to the unfair competition by low quality imported products as main shared issue. But, thanks to the high commitment by member organizations’ managers and staff, on the lessons learnt by the past experience and on the support provided by VIS in the framework of the current project, it is clear there is a relevant space of manoeuvre for the Platform to relaunch its role to effectively support member organizations in improving the economic sustainability of
their handicraft production, some of them with the additional high social value concerning the inclusion of vulnerable people.
Vision and mission of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform
A local inclusive society where vulnerable people are socially and economically involved in the production of high quality and marketable traditional Palestinian handicrafts, in order to increase their level of income and improve their quality of life.
The Bethlehem Handicraft Platform strives to raise the capacities and market access of member organizations with a high social value in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala in order to support the economic sustainability of their traditional handicraft production.
Main traditional handicraft products created by the Platform’s:
- olive wood,
- olive oil soap
Role Summary & Responsibilities of the Manager of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform:
The Manager of the Bethlehem Handicraft Platform will be in charge of implementing the strategic and action plan of the Platform contained within the report drafted by ARCO (Action Research for Co-development) of PIN S.c.r.l., which outlines the main results and findings of the field mission conducted in November 2016.
In general the candidate will be responsible for the strengthening of the Platform sales through the raise in the number of orders, locally and internationally through the continuous promotion of the Platform products, its Vision and Mission and the work of its members.
- S/he will be responsible of local and distance sales, through the identification and appointment of one or more trade agents for the Platform to operate abroad.
- S/he will achieve marketing and sales operational objectives by providing marketing and sales information and recommendations to strategic plans and reviews to the Platform Board preparing and completing action plans; implementing production, productivity, quality, and customer-service standards; resolving problems; identifying trends; determining system improvements; implementing change.
- S/he will accomplish marketing and sales objectives by planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating advertising, merchandising, and trade promotion programs; developing field sales action plans.
- S/he will identify marketing opportunities by identifying consumer needs and providing solutions that meet those needs; defining market, competitor's share, and competitor's strengths and weaknesses; forecasting projected business; establishing targeted market share.
- S /he will improve product marketability and profitability by researching, identifying, and capitalizing on market opportunities; improving product packaging; coordinating new product development.
- S/he will sustain rapport with members by making periodic visits; exploring specific needs; anticipating new opportunities.
- S/he will provide information by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing data and trends.
- Furthermore, s/he will be responsible for developing and implementing these strategic actions plan:
- Re-design of the Platform logo
- Relaunch of the Platform Facebook page
- Making of a promotional video
- Creation of an extra label / sticker to be added to all members’ products
- Creation of a new catalogue for the Platform
- Design of a new Platform website
- Design of a new Platform brochure / leaflet
- S/he will actively participate to coordination meetings, clusters and strategic activities in accordance with the Board of The Platform.
- S/he will protect organization's value by keeping information confidential.
- S/he will coordinate Platform’s vocational training opportunities.
- S/he works in partnership and support current trade agents/ volunteers/ interns involved in direct delivery of the social business projects.
- S/he will lead in finding ways to bring in customers through marketing, potential local events, partnering with local agencies.
Required Qualifications and Experiences:
Education and Qualifications Skills:
- BA degree in business / Marketing or other related fields from a certified college.
- Relevant previous experience of at least 2 years in a related field is a plus.
- Demonstrable experience with major business software programs and online social media business experience also required.
- Demonstrated skill and experience with the development and marketing of handicraft products.
- Familiarity with private and/or government funding sources also preferred.
- Good relations with small grant and donor institutions are preferred.
- Driving license is a plus;
- Authorization to access Israel is a plus.
- Must be Arabic and English fluent speaker.
Further Personal/working Skills:
- The manager will be a Palestinian national to ensure a complete knowledge of the local society.
- Strong interpersonal, communication and networking skills.
- Strong leadership qualities including influencing, negotiation and coaching.
- Ability to set goals and objectives and time lines.
- Ability to submit reports.
- Ability to use own initiative.
- Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others.
- Strong self-discipline and ability to work independently on her/his own, granting the achievement of results.
- Strong computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook
- Should be able to interact with people from different contexts, collaborating proficiently with all of them.
- Should be able to work accurately on data collecting, gathering and analysis.
- Ability to work individually or within group.
- Excellent analytical and financial skills.
- Ability to work under stress.
- High level of commitment.
Applications should include:
- Cover letter- in English
- CV/Resume- in English
- Any professional references from the last employers (VIS and Salesians of Don Bosco reserve the right to verify the references reported).
Applications should be submitted to the attention of Father Dany El Hayek