Senior Evaluation Specialist – IFAD

Job Description

Senior Evaluation Specialist (1 position)

Vacancy announcement number: 125

Date of issue: 12/24/2013

Deadline for applications: 01/31/2014

Organizational unit: Office of Evaluation

Level: P-5

Duty Statiion: Rome

Duration of Assignment: 2 years fixed-term

Organizational Context

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an International Financial Institution and a specialized United Nations Agency whose mission is enabling poor rural people to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes, and strengthen their resilience. To achieve these goals. IFAD develops and finances programs and projects aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and incomes and reducing rural poverty. IFAD’s headquarters is in Rome, Italy, but has offices in 40 countries and finances programs and projects in more than 90 countries.

Divisional Context

In line with IFAD’s Evaluation Policy, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) reports directly to the IFAD Executive Board (EB). The Evaluation Policy established that the evaluation function at IFAD will operate in line with internationally accepted principles for the evaluation of development assistance. Foremost among these are Independence, Accountability, Partnership and Learning. The IFAD Evaluation Policy also states that the IOE Director will ensure that IOE is staffed by independent-minded, experienced evaluators.
Purpose of the Position

Under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director IOE, and the day to day supervision of IOE’s Deputy Director, the Senior Evaluation Specialist leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLE) and Country Programme Evaluations (CPE) with a large number of complex operations. The Senior Evaluation Specialist’s accountabilities/key results are:

  • Evaluation Management
  • Corporate-level Evaluation and Country Programme Evaluation
  • Impact Evaluation

Knowledge Management/Evaluation Capacity Building

Duties and Responsibilities

EVALUATION MANAGEMENT: the Senior Evaluation Specialist substantively contributes to IOE evaluation management activities with a view to ensuring adherence to  IFAD’s Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Manual.  Major activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Contributing to the preparation of IOE’s Annual Work Programme and the conduct of internal peer reviews;
  2. Contributing to the development of evaluation methodology and processes; and
  3. Leading, training and motivating international/national experts in the conduct of  evaluation work.

CORPORATE-LEVEL EVALUATION AND COUNTRY PROGRAMME EVALUATION : the Senior Evaluation Specialist leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLE) as well as Country Programme Evaluations(CPE), particularly in complex countries with a large number of operations, ensuring independence and accountability. Major activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Managing the entire evaluation process for CLEs and CPEs including building teams of evaluation experts, production of the Approach Paper, organization of the evaluation mission, leading and being responsible for the main report, organization of in-country workshops and facilitation of the Agreement at Completion Point on the evaluation findings and recommendations among the IFAD management and concerned governments;
  2. Participating in internal peer reviews of CLEs and CPEs; and
  3. Preparing concise, reader-friendly and yet analytically rigorous evaluation reports and presenting them in-house and to the  Evaluation Committee and the Board, as required.

IMPACT EVALUATION: the Senior Evaluation Specialist enhances IFAD’s accountability and knowledge of results at the project level by designing and conducting impact evaluations as well as preparing the final evaluation report. Assessment and documentation of results and impact are done based on both qualitative and quantitative analysis.  Major activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Customizing methods and data collection tools to the specific project design and area context as well as identifying relevant impact domains and sampling areas;
  2. Overseeing the collection and analysis of primary  data to establish evidence trails to determine the project’s contribution/successes;
  3. Leading the main mission and preparation of the final impact evaluation report.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT/EVALUATION CAPACITY BUILDING: the Senior Evaluation Specialist will prepare evaluation synthesis reports. In addition, s/he participates in project development teams and policy fora to ensure that lessons learned from IFAD’s experience are incorporated in the proposed project / programme design and IFAD’s policy and strategy.S/he uses evaluation as a source of knowledge on rural development issues that must be systematically communicated and disseminated to partners and develops customized communication products, as required, to be posted on IOE’s section of the IFAD website.  Lead evaluation capacity development efforts in developing countries, on a case-by-case basis, and in line with demand from member states.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS:  the Senior Evaluation Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes accountability for human resources, both staff and national/international experts, financial and material resources and related processes including contracting as required.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Education and Experience:

  • Advanced university degree in Economics, Agriculture, Rural Development, Finance, Management,  Public Policy, Social Sciences or related studies.
  • At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible international experience in the implementation and supervision of rural development programmes including project design, development, implementation and evaluation; a significant part of the 10 year experience must be in evaluation. Work experience should include experience in multilateral or bilateral aid organisations, rural development / financial institutions or government services.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Organizational Competencies

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally

Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively Technical/ Functional Competencies

  • Authoritative expert in programme development and management as well as knowledge of contemporary quantitative and qualitative impact evaluation techniques and practices, preferably in the evaluation of agriculture and rural development interventions.
  • Specific expertise in rural project management and market development.
  • Field experience related to agricultural and rural development.
  • Excellent knowledge of policy oriented, programme based pro-poor approaches, and loan and grant preparation.
  • Capacity to communicate fluently with different counterparts (civil society, government authorities, local communities, project staff) to align parties and build networks. Ability to represent IFAD as a trusted and reliable partner.
  • Communication skills: writes clearly, succinctly and convincingly listens and communicates effectively to engage others.

Computer skills: full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common Internet applications.

Other Information
Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. IOE is independent from IFAD Management and reports directly to the Fund’s Executive Board. IOE staff will be considered IFAD staff and as such will adhere to IFAD staff rules and procedures.

IFAD is committed to achieving diversity and is seeking a balanced workforce from IFAD’s Member States. Women are, in particular, encouraged to apply.

IFAD reserves the right to appoint a candidate at the appropriate grade commensurate with experience and knowledge.

Interested candidates are requested to apply by completing IFAD’s Personal History Form (PHF) in English. A separate CV may be attached if you so desire, only as a supplement and NOT a substitute to the PHF. The application should be made through the online system only. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY the instructions in ‘How to Apply’ before you start.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

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