IFAD- Senior Technical Adviser – Rural Enterprises and Markets

Vacancy announcement number 1271
Date of issue: 03/12/2014
Deadline for applications: 04/11/2014
Organizational unit: Policy and Techn. Advis. Div.
Level: P-5
Duty Station ROME

Duration of assignment

3 years fixed-term (renewable)

Organisational context

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). PTA aims to strengthen the quality of IFAD¿s portfolio of country programmes (comprising loans, grants and associated activities) as regards technological, institutional and policy aspects. The Division supports IFAD investment in developing and applying a knowledge base on pro-poor rural development. This knowledge management provides the basis for PTA¿s quality enhancement of the Fund¿s programmes and partnership development for rural poverty reduction.

Duties and responsibilities

Within PTA’s Financial Assets, Markets and Enterprises Unit (FAME), the Senior Technical Advisor, as a leading professional in his/her field works collaboratively and supports technically country/regional programs as well as the corporate agenda by (i) providing state-of-the-art technical advice throughout the project cycle (identification, conceptualization, preparation, project design and implementation). This includes support and technical back up of result-based Country Strategic Opportunity Papers, project design and Quality Enhancement (QE), project supervision and implementation support; (ii) share knowledge in an effective and systematic way within IFAD, with IFAD partners, and with the public; and (iii) ensure appropriate technical input to logical frame and other programme indicators in support of the QE process. The key accountabilities may include results in the following fields:

  • Policy and Strategy Advice and Development
  • Programme Advice and Development
  • Knowledge Management and Capacity Building
  • Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization
  • Monitoring and Reporting

Under the overall strategic and policy guidance of the Director, PTA and as a member of the FAME Unit team, the Senior Technical Adviser will closely cooperate with other PTA Units, other departments, and the major stakeholders and partners working on related enterprises, markets, and value chain development issues. In specific, the incumbent will:

  • Provide up-to-date professional advice to improve the  capacity of IFAD and its partners to design, implement and monitor programmes that promote pro-poor access to markets and the development of small-scale enterprises, both in on-farm and off-farm income generating activities, including through value chain development approaches and building public-private partnerships.
  • Participate in project design teams, provide technical assessments and recommendations, and conduct in-field review, implementation and supervision of IFAD loans and grants involving development of inclusive value chains, rural enterprises and access to markets, as well as development of public-private partnerships in the agricultural sector. In that context, the TA will
  • Participate in Country Programme Management Teams;
  • Play an active role in the IFAD Quality Enhancement process as an internal reviewer, panelist, and/or Lead Advisor, as requested;
  • Provide robust and sound thematic advice and support on value-chain development, rural enterprises and market-development-related issuesto Country Programme Managers (CPMs) and project design or supervision teams as needed;
  • Join project implementation and direct supervision mission as considered relevant.
  • Actively participate in the implementation of the FAME Unit agenda. Within the FAME Unit Performance Framework and under supervision of the STA, the Technical Adviser will revitalize knowledge management on market access and value chains, which shall facilitate
    1. developing an in-house capacity building and learning programme on value chain and market linkages, as well as tools, guidelines and advice concerning the area of expertise; and
    2. internally/externally and cross-regional exchange of knowledge, and documentation of field tested approaches with potential for up scaling in the areas of value chains, marketing, income generating activities and employment.
  • Contribute to the formulation and revision of IFAD documents or policies/ strategies and other relevant technical and operational guidelines related to the above themes.
  • Expand and deepen active partnerships with technical centers of excellence, other International Finance Institutions, donors, the UN, the Rome-Based Agencies, and practitioners in his/her professional area/domain, including  value chain financing, for the purpose of joint advocacy, knowledge generation and sharing, and represent IFAD at relevant international fora on pro-poor market and rural enterprise development.
  • Lead the preparation of IFAD reports, policies, strategies, instruments, technical or operational guidelines related to value-chain development, rural enterprises and market development, and building public-private partnerships.
  • Develop, supervise and manage innovative initiatives (through for example IFAD-financed grants or supplementary funded projects) to pilot and/or support IFAD¿s agenda in value-chain development, rural enterprises and market development, and related public-private partnerships.
  • Take the thematic leadership in further enhancing the value chain development aspects and approaches of IFAD and applying best practices.
  • Develop, supervise and manage applied research work/knowledge management work to contribute to FAME¿s knowledge management agenda (including its how-to-do notes).
  • Create partnerships for co-financing or other types of collaboration with other donors, private sector companies, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Represent FAME, PTA or IFAD in global/high-level conferences relevant to FAME¿s agenda and contribute to panels through presentations or speeches as relevant.
  • Guide and mentor junior staff (APO and other relevant Technical Advisors).
  • Perform other related duties as may be requested by the Director of the Division.

Professional requirements

Education and experience

  • Advanced university degree (master’s level) in  Business administration, economic sciences, finance,  international relations, or related area.
  • At least 10 years of professional work with relevant experience in rural market and small-scale enterprise development and value chain approaches.
  • Experience, preferably within an international financial institution, in the development, implementation, performance monitoring, and supervision of rural market and small-scale enterprise development initiatives.
  • Demonstrated experience, preferably with international financial institution, in innovative areas of market analyses, value chain and rural/local economic development.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in resource mobilization in a variety of public and private contexts.
  • Familiarity with the key regional and global centres of excellence in relevant professional areas/domains.

Technical/functional competencies

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Proactively reviews and develops strategies to address evolving organizationalobjectives.
  • 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


  • 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.

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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