Lead Procurement Advisor

Posted on 26 July 2018

Job Description

Lead Procurement Advisor

Vacancy Announcement Number:
Date of Issue: 25/07/2018
Deadline for Applications: 24/08/2018
Organizational Unit: OPR
Level: P-5
Duty Station: ROME
Duration of A

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.

Post’s organizational accountability

The Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five (5) regional divisions, and the Operational Policy and Results Division (OPR). Under the strategic management and policy guidance of the Director of the Operational Policy and Results Division, the Lead Procurement Advisor will work closely with the Senior Procurement Officers in the five regional divisions to provide strategic leadership and overall policy direction to IFAD’s project procurement oversight function, and ensure coherence in the application of IFAD’s project procurement standards.

The Lead Procurement Advisor, as the most senior recognized authority on operational procurement matters, is accountable for IFAD core values of integrity, transparency, value for money, competitiveness and equity. The accountabilities/key results include:

1. Strategy and Effectiveness Management
2. Quality Control and Assurance
3. Partnership Building and Policy Dialogue
4. Managerial Functions

The Lead Procurement Advisor has a direct reporting line to the Director of the Operational Policy and Results Division.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

STRATEGY AND EFFECTIVENESS MANAGEMENT: The Lead Procurement Advisor provides overall strategic direction for the development of IFAD’s project procurement oversight function, ensuring that procurement activities undertaken by Borrowers/Recipients in the context of IFAD-financed projects are conducted effectively and efficiently and are consistent with applicable corporate policies and guidelines. She/he is accountable for leading and managing medium to long-term strategies, reforms and innovations to strengthen IFAD’s project procurement oversight capacity and to support the development of national procurement capacities, giving due consideration to harmonization and alignment with internationally accepted practices for public procurement. She/he provides authoritative advice and guidance to management as well as to procurement and other operational staff on strategic and complex operational procurement issues.

QUALITY CONTROL AND ASSURANCE: The Lead Procurement Advisor strategically guides the organization, function and delivery of project procurement oversight and support services across IFAD’s portfolio, ensuring appropriate fiduciary and quality controls, and consistent application of IFAD’s project procurement standards. She/he leads the development and organization of systems and processes for consistently high-quality risk-based review of project procurement aspects throughout IFAD’s programming cycle (including country strategy development, project design and supervision, portfolio performance review). She/he is the custodian of the IFAD Project Procurement Guidelines and the Procurement Handbook and manages the production of required standard procurement documents for IFAD operational use. She/he leads the team of regional Senior Procurement Officers and provides general oversight of procurement consultants to ensure coherent interpretation and application of relevant project procurement guidelines and standards across IFAD’s project portfolio.

PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND POLICY DIALOGUE: The Lead Procurement Advisor promotes a constructive dialogue and advances partnerships on public procurement matters, including national capacity building, with Borrower/Recipient government officials, counterparts in other multilateral development banks and international organizations, and public sector management and financial management specialists. She/he attends high-level policy meetings on project procurement related matters in order to exchange best practices. She/he actively promotes procurement reform dialogue within IFAD and champions continuous improvements, working in close collaboration with Regional Division staff to professionalize the procurement function.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Lead Procurement Advisor has an overall policy direction and supervision and coordination role. She/he provides technical direction and policy guidance to the Senior Procurement Officers in the Regional Divisions. She/he leads processes for the assessment and delivery of capacity development initiatives for IFAD staff and IFAD project personnel.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

The key results have an impact on the overall effectiveness and efficiency in procurement management and success in establishment and implementation of operational strategies. As the key driving force to strategic approaches in procurement, establishment and implementation of the monitoring and control system, timely and appropriate delivery of services ensures risk management and contingency plans, as well as client satisfaction and overall timely delivery of IFAD programmes and projects.

Representation / Work relationships

COMMUNICATIONS: Within the parameters of a Lead Procurement Advisor, at this level she/he serves as the lead strategic advisor on procurement related issues to ascertain clear procurement strategies, rules and methods. A combination of authoritative expertise, with independent responsibility for assessment of IFAD’s procurement oversight function and national procurement systems, management of staff and procurement risks, and ensures the overall oversight and adherence to IFAD’s procurement policies and procedures.



  • 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


  • Lead expert in public procurement matters and management and authoritative expertise in public procurement guidance and advisory role.
  • Knowledge of internationally recognized public procurement standards and all phases of international procurement techniques and operations.
  • Extensive and relevant experience in managing and assessing critical linkages between procurement and business functions, and, ability to manage effectively within a multicultural environment, and with external counterparts.
  • Extensive experience in presenting finalized reports and other communication material clearly and concisely in English.

Highly developed diplomatic and negotiation skills to handle complex technical issues in sensitive environments with considerable business interests at stake.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in public procurement, supply chain, business administration, public administration, law, commerce, finance or a related field.


  • Ten (10) years of experience in public procurement in a multilateral development bank or international financial institution including a proven record of strategizing, managing and delivering complex public procurement programmes and record of relevant field experience. At least seven (7) years of solid experience in leading people and systems in high pressure environments as well as managing other resources (financial and material). Work in more than one geographic region as well as at Headquarters is an asset.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (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.

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.

IFAD is committed to achieving gender diversity. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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