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Project Specialist - Agriculture

Sri Lanka

  • Organization: UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • Location: Sri Lanka
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2024-06-21


Mission and objectives

As the development arm of the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the leading organization working to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and cli-mate change, as well as the technical lead in the UN System's socio-economic response to COVID-19. Working with a broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, UNDP helps nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. UNDP’s mandate is to end poverty, build democratic governance, rule of law, and inclusive institutions. We advocate for change, and connect countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Since 1967, UNDP has worked in close partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) for over five decades, providing strategic support in crisis prevention and recovery, governance, poverty reduction, environment, and sustainable development. UNDP together with the GoSL work towards a sustainable Sri Lanka, building up institutional, legal and individual capacities to respond to the effects of climate change and natural and man-made disasters.


The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ("Sri Lanka") had achieved steady economic growth since the end of the internal conflict (1983-2009), but a combination of factors, including excessive borrowing, fiscal deterioration, and significant tax cuts, caused the country to default on its external debt in 2022 due to insufficient foreign reserves. The rural economy, dependent on natural resources, has been battling increasing climate externalities for years, and has recently been subject to consecutive crises, starting with COVID19, ill-conceived government policies, the war in Ukraine increasing import prices, particularly fuel and, agricultural & production inputs, followed by the economic crisis. An example of the drastic transformation of agriculture and food industry triggered by an economic crisis is the introduction of structural adjustment policies during the Asian currency crisis in the 1990s and the accompanying shift in agricultural promotion policies and farmer support measures in various countries. For example, in Indonesia, subsidies for farmers, especially for rice, and irrigation investment were curbed in order to restore fiscal soundness after the crisis, and the emphasis was shifted to the promotion of export crops, which were considered more cost-effective. In the years that followed, the government's role is said to have shifted to creating an environment conducive to agricultural investment. The Sri Lankan government, which is aiming to emerge from the economic crisis, also urgently needs to consider measures to increase agricultural output in rural areas, where economic conditions are becoming increasingly severe due to the current surge in energy and other prices and the country's economic and debt crises. Since previous efforts have mainly focused on the producer/supplier side, it is necessary to identify demand in overseas/domestic markets and analyze the value chain from the consumer side, not only from producers, but also from the collection, wholesale, transportation, related manufacturing and retail industries, as well as from consumers, in order to identify impediments to improving agricultural production value, and to identify the most important factors to improve the agricultural production value. The value chain is not only from the producer's side, but also from the consumer's side, from collection, wholesale, transportation, and related manufacturing to retailers, and from the consumer's side. Interventions that ease the impacts on smallholder farmers, especially women and youth in rural farming communities, enhance cultivation engagement and productivity, and support food security, and ultimately ensure human security and resilience. UNDP Sri Lanka has been implementing a programme that advances crisis-relief and the revival of the rural agricultural economy, while also setting conditions for enhanced resilience in the long-run. This includes, among other projects, two Japan Supplementary Budget funded projects (Strengthening Smallholder Farmers and Micro/Home-Based Agriculture industries for Enhanced Food & Livelihood Security Project & Enhancing Food and Energy Security through the promotion of Green Technologies & Renewable Energy for wider uptake among Vulnerable Smallholder Farmers in Sri Lanka Project). Building on these interventions, the CO seeks to enhance its programming in the agriculture sector, focusing on livelihood resilience and sectoral transformation.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of Team Lead – CET, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: · Support the implementation of projects that reflect the strategies of the Government of Japan and JICA at the field level. · Promote linkages between agricultural sector projects implemented by JICA and those implemented by UNDP to maximize the development impact. · Facilitate resource mobilization and pipeline development initiatives, in alignment with both UNDP’s and JICA’s development priorities. · Support project monitoring activities, including but not limited to, monitoring project pro-gress against the results framework, compiling periodic progress data, and data collec-tion at the field-level and results reporting. · Support communication needs of the projects, including but not limited to, preparing visibility and knowledge management products (articles, case studies & etc), and other material (Briefing Notes, Talking Points, & etc). · Facilitate information sharing between JICA Sri Lanka office and UNDP Sri Lanka of-fice in the agricultural sector. · Prepare periodic reports on various analyses and evaluations of projects. Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to: · Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day); · Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country; · Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities; · Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publica-tions/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.; · Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers; · Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.