Director, Strategic Planning Division – IFAD

Vacancy announcement number: 1276
Date of issue: 05/20/2014
Deadline for applications: 06/20/2014
Organizational unit: Strategic Planning Division
Level: D-1
Duty Station: ROME
Duration of assignment: 3-year fixed term (subject to renewal)


1. Organizational context

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.  IFAD’s headquarters is in Rome, Italy, but has offices in 40 countries and finances programmes and projects in more than 90 countries.

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD), led by the Associate Vice-President (AVP), provides IFAD analytical leadership capacity, enabling the Fund to effectively participate in, and contribute to, the international policy dialogue on agricultural and rural development (in particular, on smallholder agricultural development), helping ensure that IFAD¿s policies, programmes and projects are informed by state-of-the art thinking on these issues.

2. Purpose of the position

Under the overall guidance and supervision the Associate Vice-President and Chief Development Strategist, Strategy and Knowledge Department, the Director SPD will lead, manage and motivate a team of managers/senior specialists and is responsible for managing and supervising the delivery of SPD¿s  programme of work within an allocated budget.

As a member of the IFAD Management Team (IMT), the Director is responsible for managing the Strategic Planning Division. The main focus is a strategic leadership and management of programmes, people and resources. The accountabilities/key results include:

  • Vision & Strategy
  • Policy Development & Advice
  • Programme Management
  • Management of Resources
  • Representation

Within IFAD, the Director SPD provides authoritative advice to senior management on SPD’s vision, strategic planning, policy, and divisional programme and operational management. S/he is accountable for collaboration and coordination within the Fund to ensure appropriate consultation, cross-functional synergy and coordination of programme planning and activities.Externally the Director SPD develops and maintains strategic partnerships and collaborative relationships with counterparts spanning a broad range of institutions including borrowers, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, UN agencies, funds and programmes, IFIs, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions for the purpose of programme co-operation, knowledge sharing, policy dialogue and/or resource mobilization.

3. Duties and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Associate Vice-President and Chief Development Strategist, Strategy and Knowledge Department (AVP SKD), the Director, SPD is responsible for:

  1. Managing the SPD to:
    • Strengthening IFAD’s capacity to deliver its replenishment consultation based output and impact obligations through organizing the process of producing three-year scope medium-term plans (MTP) involving development and efficiency targets; key outputs to achieve targets; and an accountability matrix for performance. The MTP will include medium-term workforce and budget plans aligned with requirements for impact achievement and the activity plan.
    • Support departments and divisions in producing annual plans anchored in achievement of medium-term objectives.
    • Elaborate performance measures and measuring systems to provide real-time information on impact and plan achievement.
    • Report to Executive Management Committee (EMC) and Operations Management Committee (OMC)  on a quarterly basis on corporate performance against objectives and indicators.
    • Report to the Executive Board annually on corporate performance against objectives and indicators.
    • Produce annual policy-related reports on objectives and performance for use in advocacy and communication for IFAD.
    • Implement non-financial risk assessments and report to OMC and EMC.
    • Ensure feed-back from field and operational experience to enrich IFAD plans and strategies.
    • Participate in the development of high-level internal policies and strategies.
    • Participate in key events and processes offering insights into emerging areas of strategic importance for IFAD, report on the same to OMC and EMC,  and take the lead in forming task teams to consider implications and responses.
    • Ensure the on-going development of staff skills and awareness of key development issues through production of refereed articles and publications.
  2. In conjunction with the AVP SKD, developing and monitoring the SKD activity plan.

Communicating on all planning, performance, risks and strategic issues to OMC and EMC as well as to Governing Bodies as required.

  1. Representing IFAD in selected global and regional policy processes as requested by the AVP SKD, and participating in the SKD team for strategizing and harmonizing IFAD’s high level engagement in global and regional policy process affecting smallholder farmers and rural transformation. Fostering stronger United Nations Rome-based agencies (RBAs) collaboration or participating in joint consultation both locally in Rome and internationally.
  2. Supporting the Programme Management Department / Policy and Technical Advisory Division and other division in the documentation of rigorously analysed project and programme results and outcomes and in their publication and dissemination as quality information or approaches to sustainable and inclusive rural development.
  3. Ensuring IFAD’s participation in multilateral and inter-governmental processes for the development and harmonization of managing for development results (MfDR systems).

Participating and/or leading in-house coordination mechanisms as requested by the AVP SKD.

4. Minimum Recruitment Qualifications

  • Education:

Advanced university degree (or Masters’ equivalent) from an accredited institution in economics, international development, business administration, management or a technically relevant area.

  • Experience:

At least twelve (12) years of progressively responsible professional experience in a technically related area in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope. Progressively responsible supervisory / team leader experience is required.

  • Language requirements:

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 wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization

Technical / functional competencies

  • Recognized management skills in a multicultural setting, combined with ability to achieve results through motivating people and influencing partners.
  • Results-oriented decision-making ability with an aptitude to address operational challenges and for developing practical solutions.
  • Innovator with risk management ability and a proven track record as a successful agent of change.
  • Rigorous analytical and conceptual thinking.
  • High sense of integrity, trust and confidence.
  • Champion of IFAD’s values: respect for the individual, integrity, professionalism and focus on results.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations.
  • Strong diplomatic and communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships with clients and counterparts at the appropriate levels,
  • Ability to represent IFAD in international fora.


5. 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 desired, 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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