Pest and Disease Management Adviser

  • Posted on 10 July 2018

Job Description

The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Pest and Disease Management Adviser located at its regional office in Suva, Fiji.


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) on all aspects of agriculture and forestry. This includes plant protection, conservation, plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, biosecurity and trade facilitation, and sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management. This work has two objectives: improved food and nutritional security, and resilient communities. The division’s services are provided through seven technical/thematic teams: Animal Health and Production; Plant Health; Biosecurity and Trade Facilitation; Forest and Agriculture Diversification; Crop Production and Extension; Genetic Resources; and Forests and Trees.

The role – Pest and Disease Management Adviser will provide technical interventions and expert advice in relation to plant health across LRD programmes. This role will initiate and take an active part in consultative fora with key stakeholders within the Pacific Community, the region and internationally, to develop and undertake programmes that will contribute to improved plant health and integrated pest and disease management.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Resource mobilisation and planning – develop and coordinate multi-disciplinary grant proposals, in close collaboration with scientists from LRD programmes, as well as regional and international partners, related to plant health.
  • Policy and technical advice – provide policy advice and assistance to PICTs in areas related to: plant health and their relation to public health; the linkages between climate change and pest risks; and plant health technologies. Ensuring effective and timely response to crop pests and disease problems in the region through promotion of integrated pests and disease management.
  • Coordination, communication, and harmonisation – organise regional and subregional meetings and workshops, in collaboration with other LRD programmes, to improve the coordination and implementation of plant health activities in the region; establish and maintain close working relationships with other regional and international plant health organisations, universities and other training institutions for the benefit of the region.
  • Monitoring and evaluation – ensure that technical advice provided by LRD in plant health is relevant and accurate, that the research in plant health follows best practice protocols, and that research processes and results are documented, managed and disseminated to countries and development partners.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.

Key selection criteria


  • A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as agricultural science, pesticide risk management or plant health

Knowledge and experience

  • At least ten years of experience in agriculture, including pest and disease management and plant health
  • Research expertise in the areas of plant health, pest and disease management
  • Previous experience in pesticide risk management
  • Understanding of national and regional issues related to plant health and pest and disease management
  • Previous experience in fundraising, proposal preparation and project management
  • Awareness of emerging issues relating to climate change, sustainable production intensification and markets

Essential skills

  • Experience in computational and statistical tools for the management of agricultural information
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Strong negotiation and coordination skills
  • Excellent report writing, planning and organising skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Advocacy skills with initiative and ability to think laterally to identify innovative solutions

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – Three years

Remuneration – The Pest and Disease Management Adviser is a Band 11 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,942‒3,677 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 8,414–10,517 (USD 4,060–5,075; EUR 3,638–4,547). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

Application procedure

Closing Date – 2 August 2018

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening Questions:

  1. The work of this position will be intrinsically linked to promoting sustainable agriculture in the Pacific region. Please share a few examples of how pest and disease management could promote sustainable development.
  1. Pest and disease management (P&D) requires both national and regional approaches. What advice would you provide to countries carrying out both a national and regional P&D management approach interlinked with trade facilitation? What kind of tools would you recommend to save on costs in promoting P&D management?
  1. Please share your experiences with innovation in pest and disease management. How would you want to see results become part of a strong knowledge management platform in the Pacific region?
  1. A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?

More information

JD Pest and Disease Management Adviser.docx

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