How to get a job with IFAD

By Elena L. Pasquini 12 August 2011

A woman works on a farm in Kenya. Photo by: CIAT / CC BY-SA

The food crisis in the Horn of Africa in 2011 illustrates the importance of finding sustainable solutions to feeding the world’s poor.

One relatively small United Nations agency is working hard to position itself as a leader in this field. The International Fund for Agricultural Development was established in 1977 in response to a series of food crises. It aims to improve access of poor rural women and men in the developing world to land and water, agricultural technologies and production services, as well as transparent and competitive markets.

Roughly half of IFAD’s resources are allocated in Africa, but the agency supports approximately 860 programs and projects in more than 100 countries. Its staff — 548 in total as of February 2013 — work in the field and at headquarters in Rome.

Competition for IFAD jobs is stiff: The agency receives 250 responses, on average, for each job ad. Devex spoke with IFAD Human Resources Officer Ama Brandford Arthur about hiring trends for entry- to senior-level positions, what skills and experiences make candidates stand out, and how to ace each step of the hiring process.

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About the author

Elena L. Pasquini@elenapasquini

Elena Pasquini covers the development work of the European Union as well as various U.N. food and agricultural agencies for Devex News. Based in Rome, she also reports on Italy's aid reforms and attends the European Development Days and other events across Europe. She has interviewed top international development officials, including European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. Elena has contributed to Italian and international magazines, newspapers and news portals since 1995.

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