Senior Regional Technical Specialist - Agronomy

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 20 July 2018

Job Description

Senior Regional Technical Specialist - Agronomy

Vacancy Announcement Number: 1652
Date of Issue: 09/07/2018
Deadline for Applications: 20/08/2018
Organizational Unit: Sust. Prd. Mkts. & Instit.
Level: P-4
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Duration of Assignment: 2 years

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD’s operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness, by generating and disseminating IFAD’s development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes, and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

PMI provides technical support to IFAD Country Programs to ensure the proper application of corporate quality standards required for achieving development results and impact in key thematic areas, including food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, and agronomy), land, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and enterprises and rural institutions. It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities.

Within the thematic areas there are three that are in broad demand across Regional Divisions, namely: i) rural institutions, ii) rural finance, market and enterprises, and iii) agronomy. The Senior Regional Technical Specialist is a professional in one of these three themes. S/he technically supports country/regional programs as well as the corporate agenda by providing state-of-the-art technical support throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational). The accountabilities/key results expected include:

  • Technical Advice to Country Programmes
  • Policy Engagement and Partnerships
  • Knowledge Management
  • Corporate Activities
  • Managerial Functions

The Senior Regional Technical Specialist works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the Lead Global Technical Advisor, with dual reporting to the Regional Director of the Regional Division to which s/he is mapped. As an integral member of delivery teams, s/he works collaboratively with the thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CD)/Country Programme Managers (CPM) and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical support and provision of programme development support. The following Key Results Expected/Major Functional Activities are generic and representational; the majority of which will be performed by the Senior Regional Technical Specialist.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. TECHNICAL ADVICE TO COUNTRY PROGRAMMES: Based on a planning exercise undertaken jointly between PMD and SKD, and working in close collaboration with the CDs/CPMs, the Senior Regional Technical Specialist provides technical advice to selected country programmes across the region to which s/he is mapped. S/he provides technical advice in her/his area of technical expertise for the preparation of selected Results-based Country Strategic Opportunities Programmes (COSOP) and Country Strategy Notes (CSN). S/he serves as Technical Lead for select project designs in the Region, ensuring the overall technical quality of the assigned project design across all technical areas, including drafting terms of reference for technical team members, selecting and providing over-sight of qualified technical consultants, facilitating technical inputs from other IFAD staff and/or others (e.g. centers of excellence, research institutions), ensuring the technical quality of the project design report, leading selected missions, and ensuring that comments provided through corporate quality enhancement and assurance processes are adequately addressed. On the basis of her/his thematic expertise and skills, s/he also provides and/or coordinates targeted technical support and peer review to other select project designs in the respective Region. S/he also provides technical support in her/his thematic area for selected ongoing projects in the Region, with priority given to projects for which s/he was the Technical Lead during design and/or projects requiring implementation support (e.g. projects-at-risk), including participation in or leading supervision, implementation support missions, as well as organizing and/or contributing to training and/or capacity building activities. S/he also provides technical inputs to selected project completion reports.

2. POLICY ENGAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS: The Senior Regional Technical Specialist develops and maintains a network of peer contacts and partners outside IFAD to keep abreast of recent developments and trends and facilitate brokering of partnerships to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable development partner in the region to which the Specialist is mapped. Specifically, on the basis of her/his thematic expertise and skills and working closely with the CDs/CPMs, the Lead Global Technical Advisor at headquarters, the Lead Regional Economist and the Technical Advisors on policy engagement in the AVP/PMD Front Office, s/he supports the development of relevant technical policies and strategies linked to the country programs in the region. S/he also represents IFAD in technical policy fora that are of relevance for the region and the respective area of technical expertise, and develops and maintains strategic technical partnerships with organizations, centres of excellence, research institutions and thematic platforms that are relevant for the region.

3. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: The Senior Regional Technical Specialist contributes to the generation and dissemination of knowledge, good practices and innovations in his/her thematic area generated through loans and grants in the region. Based on business needs, s/he may be requested to provide technical support to other regions in areas of particular expertise to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing. S/he contributes to identify qualified technical consultants to be included in a corporate roster. S/he liaises closely with the Lead Global Technical Advisor at headquarters, as well as the CDs/Heads of Hubs and/or South South Technical Cooperation and Knowledge Centers, and the other Senior Regional Technical Specialists on relevant knowledge management initiatives and products, including contributing to communities of practice.

4. CORPORATE ACTIVITIES. Working in close collaboration with the Lead Global Technical Advisor at IFAD headquarters, the Senior Regional Technical Specialist contributes to corporate initiatives of relevance for the region and the respective area of technical expertise as required, including contributing to shaping operational policies, IFAD position papers and technical working groups as required.

5. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Senior Regional Technical Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes, among others, people management through support to recruitment of technical specialists and technical leadership/capacity development, coaching and mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervisory role and evaluation of performance of professionals and general service staff under his/her purview.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative technical expertise in the field of specialization. The impact of work by the incumbent directly affects country programmes and contributes to regional and corporate policy and strategy. The impact on the overall IFAD country and regional programmes is significant in projecting the Fund’s role/capacity as a reliable, viable partner in development. Work is intricate in that it requires consideration of a wide range of technical factors and related data. Senior Regional Technical Specialists also select and provide oversight of external consultants, participate as experts in field missions and in the servicing of intergovernmental and expert group meetings of a technical nature.

Work at this level normally is not reviewed for technical accuracy. Senior Regional Technical Specialists thus exercise independence and initiative in assessing needs and advising governments when on field mission. Decisions are made on the research or analytical strategies to be followed in resolving problems of concern in the technical area. Established methods and procedures are adapted as necessary in order to achieve desired results.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of Senior Regional Technical Specialists involve the provision of authoritative technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in technical project design and appraisal, supervision/implementation support and in the preparation of studies and reports. S/he serves as an expert in his/her field of specialization and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical expertise and methodological guidance at the country level, as well as regionally as required. Contacts are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations having related programmes and with officials of governments, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, research institutes and academia.

In servicing inter-governmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Senior Regional Technical Specialist provides technical expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative capacity; s/he also may provide information regarding the organization’s policies, and act as the representative of the organization. Contacts are maintained to identify and evaluate emerging developments.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence
  • 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


  • Authoritative technical expertise at the country and regional level in area of specialization
  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical research and identification of innovative solutions to emerging issues.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the governmental and peer levels as well as to inspire more junior specialists and programme staff in the development of viable programme activities.
Minimum recruitment qualifications


Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in in the field of specialization, e.g. Agriculture, Rural Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment, Economics etc.


At least 8 years progressively responsible experience in, and demonstrated understanding of, development initiatives in the field of specialization of which at least 2 of the 8 years of experience should be at the international level. Experience in international policy frameworks related to global environment, natural resource management and rural development 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 diversity and is seeking a balanced workforce from its Member States. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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