Policy Adviser – IFAD

Vacancy announcement number: 1257
Date of issue: 02/06/2014
Deadline for applications: 03/08/2014
Organizational unit: Policy and Techn. Advis. Div.
Level: P-4
Duty Station: ROME

Duration of assignment: 3 years fixed term (renewable)

Organisational setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialised United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas in developing countries.  It does so by financing projects and programmes that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and by advocating at local, national and international level for policies that enable poor rural people to overcome poverty

The Programme Management Department (PMD) is responsible for the overall lending programme of the Fund, and is composed of five Regional Divisions, Environment and Climate Division (ECD) and a Policy and Technical Advisory Division (PTA).

The Policy and technical Advisory Division has two principal functions (a) learning and knowledge, and (b) quality assurance of IFAD programmes. The Policy and technical Advisory Division currently provides technical support in the fields of agronomy, livestock, water management and rural infrastructure, rural finance, the environment, gender, household food security, health and nutrition, policy and institutions, and economic and financial analysis from in-house resources.

IFAD is giving increasing emphasis to its engagement in country level policy processes. This involves IFAD working directly and indirectly, with IFAD¿s partner governments and other country level stakeholders, to influence policy priorities or the design, implementation and assessment of policies that shape the economic opportunities  for large numbers of rural people to move out of poverty.  The Policy Advisor would work to support the implementation of this corporate agenda.

Purpose of Position

Within PTA, the Policy Adviser – Agriculture and Rural Development will work with the Senior Policy Adviser and other thematic Technical Advisers in PTA, Country Program Managers and Regional Economists, to enhance the impact of IFAD country programmes, loan and grant funded projects, by promoting a focus on country-level policy engagement and directly supporting that engagement. A major part of the work will involve participation in the design of country programmes (COSOPs) and IFAD-funded investment projects, and in providing implementation support to those projects.  The incumbent will also be expected to contribute to or facilitate policy analysis in a variety of thematic areas relevant to IFAD’s operational mandate.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Policy Adviser in PTA, the incumbent will:

  • Provide up-to-date advice to Country Programme Management Teams (CPMTs) for country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) formulation and project design. This includes special attention both to the policy environment of investment projects and to the agenda and initiatives for policy development and delivery proposed within the country programme and projects.
  • Participate in implementation support missions to loan- and grant-funded projects, to provide on-demand support to the policy agenda.
  • Contribute to specific policy analysis products, including those: that are conducive to a better understanding of the policy agenda that underpins IFAD-funded projects; that focus on specific policy issues of direct and immediate relevance to project implementation; and that capture evidence from implementation and are used to help influence policy change if needed.
  • Support collaboration among PTA’s thematic units, as well as PTA’s engagement both with other IFAD divisions in PMD and the Strategy and Knowledge Management Department (SKM), both on policy issues related to agriculture, rural development, land and NR management; and on processes for policy engagement.
  • Contribute to learning and knowledge management processes, both by researching, analysing and synthesising information on approaches for strengthening IFAD’s country-level policy engagement; and by contributing to training / capacity building activities for operational staff.
  • Provide advice in the development of PTA’s grants programme, including managing processes to facilitate the uptake and sharing of knowledge within IFAD, its partners and in-country policy makers.
  • Build and strengthen strategic engagement with policy knowledge centres and partners dealing with above mentioned issues in developing countries.
  • Perform other duties as may be requested by the Senior Policy Advisor.

Education and experience

  • Master’s degree in development or agricultural economics, or other relevant field.
  • At least 8 years of successful professional experience in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, including experience working specifically on identifying and addressing policy issues associated with smallholder agriculture and rural poverty reduction.
  • Proven capacity to conduct fieldwork, to engage pro-actively in multi-stakeholders partnerships at country and international levels, to identify policy options and to influence policy processes.
  • Quality publications in the areas of responsibility.

Technical/functional competencies

  •  Leader and team worker/builder: you will possess excellent management skills, and will be able to deploy these in a multicultural setting. You will have the capacity of leading results based teams with a capacity to deliver high quality products within tight deadlines to achieve stretching objectives;
  • Planner and organiser/decision-maker: you will have excellent judgement and the ability to think strategically, assessing and responding to new challenges in rural development. You will be able to set clear priorities within a boundless and often challenging agenda with tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated competency in policy analysis, synthesis of information, verbal presentation and report writing.

Languages and other skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; including the ability to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions
  • A working knowledge of another official language of IFAD (Arabic, French or Spanish) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

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.

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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