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Innovation Officer (Behavioural Science)


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • Closing Date: Closed

IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device
The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments.


• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
• FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
The Office of Innovation (OIN) is an important instrument within FAO to provide strategic direction and help drive and coordinate innovation across the work of the Organization, i.e. to consolidate and strengthen FAO's innovative spirit, including innovation of approach and cooperation models and capacity development. The Office of Innovation (OIN) identifies, strengthens and complements priority areas for collective action; ensures that FAO mainstreams innovation in its programmes; facilitates cross-collaboration between the various FAO units; and aids in forging and reinforcing transformative partnerships.

The position is located in the Office of Innovation (OIN) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Innovation Officer (Behavioural Science) reports to the Director, Office of Innovation.

Technical Focus
Comprehensive technical expertise and advice on behavioural, cultural and organizational change to support innovation for change within FAO and in agrifood systems.

Key Results
Design, implement and evaluate effective innovation programmes and projects in accordance with the FAO Innovation Vision and Mission as well as the Strategic Framework.

Key Functions
• Provides technical expertise and advice to support the planning, development and implementation of programmes, projects, products and services.
• Provides programmatic support on the development, implementation of assigned programmes/projects; identifies priorities, liaises with relevant parties.
• Performs ad hoc assignments, by planning and facilitating workshops, through interactive sessions and by assisting clients with action planning.
• Generates survey initiatives; reviews, analyses and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
• Coordinates and reviews the assessments of issues and trends for the implementation of programmes and projects and the preparation of impact assessments or equivalent studies.
• Leads the preparation of various written outputs, i.e. background papers, analyses, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications.
• Contributes to consultative and other meetings and conferences, including proposals for agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations.
• Participates and/or leads training workshops and seminars; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
• Leads and/or participates in large, complex field missions, including the provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties in organizing mission activities and drafting mission summaries.
• Provides advice on the development of policies and strategies, as well as national protocols and guidelines for projects with specific domains related to FAO's work.

Specific Functions
• Provides leadership and coordination support to the Office of Innovation (OIN) in order to deliver on FAO's Science and Innovation Strategy in general and in particular to support streamlining of innovation within and outside of the Organization.
• Coordinates OIN's services related to offering innovation experiences, innovation journeys, methods and tools aimed at enabling and supporting innovative work of the Organization and by Members.
• Provides technical expertise on opportunities for behavioural science application or other innovative tools and methodologies within FAO's work streams to contribute to the Organization's support of the UN Common Agenda, UN 2.0 and the Quintet of Change, liaising with the UN Innovation Network and the Executive Office of the Secretary General as FAO focal point on behavioural science.
• Provides technical expertise, advice, coaching and mentoring in behaviour change analysis, techniques and tools to support behaviour change related to innovation and enhancing FAO's critical added value.
• Provides strategic communication advice and communication expertise in support of OIN's initiatives, multi-sector and partner collaborations, as well as national and international knowledge fora, with a particular focus on managing and communicating risks associated with innovation.
• Monitors and advises on global trends in terms of change innovations geared toward enabling sustainable actions and best practices to alleviate challenges affecting agrifood systems and identifying strategic opportunities, with a focus on One Health but also on other areas of interest to FAO.
• Contributes to the development of innovative programmes and behaviour change initiatives in support of agrifood systems and promotes synergies with and coordination of innovation activities of other FAO technical Divisions.
• Develops, maintains and strengthens strategic partnerships with specialized UN agencies, research institutions, extension agencies, private innovation hubs and universities at the forefront of behaviour change innovation in support of FAO's mandate and priorities, connecting interested Divisions with external thought leadership and expertise to take innovation projects forward.
• Contributes to the implementation, monitoring and formulation of OIN’s Programme of Work and Budget related to empowering for innovation, according to programmes and committed work plans, results and milestones.
• Supports Divisions in the scoping and design of behavioural analyses/diagnostics and/or change efforts, providing master classes and linking FAO needs to relevant service providers.
• Provides advice to technical and non-technical Centres/Offices/Divisions as well as Decentralized Offices on innovation processes and behaviour change methodologies to support innovative approaches to inspire, enable and sustain positive change.
• Performs any other related business as required.


Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in behavioural science or behavioural economics.
• Seven years of relevant experience in technical advice and analysis on change management, strategic and risk communication including the use of behavioural change/science in areas related to the activities of FAO.
• Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate - level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

• Results Focus
• Team Work
• Communication
• Building effective relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
• Completion of professional training in change management in a UN context is considered a strong asset.
• Relevance and extent of experience in national/international setting including field locations enabling the use of behaviour change and other innovative approaches.
• Relevance and extent of experience in technical advice and analysis on behaviour change, risk communication and change management.
• Relevance and extent of experience in working with technical units and multidisciplinary teams to enable innovation and change.


FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


  • Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link\: http\://
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include\:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection
FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes\:
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.

• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http\://
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://


This vacancy is now closed.
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