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  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Youth
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Social Affairs
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2019-08-06

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Technical Specialist (Youth and Social Inclusion)

Rome (Italy)

Vacancy Announcement Number 1783
Date of Issue 01/07/2019
Deadline for Applications 31/08/2019
Organizational Unit Envir. Climate Gender & Incl.
Level P-3
Duty Station ROME
Duration of Assignment permanent

Organizational context

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

Post's organizational accountability

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 tackles 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).

ECG takes the lead in mainstreaming cross-cutting themes of environment and climate, nutrition, gender, youth, and indigenous peoples and all related aspects of social inclusion into IFAD's portfolio, to strengthen the quality of IFAD’s operations and achieve improved impacts in these areas in an integrated manner. It is pursuing a new transformation agenda that seeks to integrate IFAD’s four themes (gender, youth, nutrition and environment and climate) for enhanced results. ECG contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these cross-cutting themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities. In addition, it provides guidance and support to ensure the inclusion of marginalized groups, particularly women, indigenous peoples and rural youth, into IFAD operations.

The youth team in ECG spearheads IFAD's implementation of its Rural Youth Action Plan (RYAP). It works in close collaboration with other teams in ECG, other divisions within SKD and the Programme Management Department.

The Technical Specialist is an expert and knowledge builder in her/his thematic specialization. S/He provides technical expertise and guidance at the corporate level and all stages of programme design, development, monitoring and evaluation. Work at this level is characterized by non-supervisory technical expertise in field of specialization at the country and regional levels. S/He collaborates with other Specialists to ensure the collection and dissemination of emerging developments in the youth. Knowledge management at this level directly impacts on quality enhancement of IFAD’s programmes and partnership development for rural poverty reduction. The accountabilities/key results expected are:

•  Technical Advice
•  Knowledge Management and Capacity Building
•  Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization
•  Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
•  Managerial Functions

The Technical Specialist works under the supervision of the Lead Technical Specialist (Youth) and overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the division Director. S/He works collaboratively with respective ECG technical specialists (both Environment/Climate and Social Inclusion), PMI thematic Technical Specialists, and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support facilitating knowledge flows and building of communities of practices.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. Technical Advice

The Technical Specialist (Youth and Social Inclusion) will be part of the team responsible for the day to day implementation of the RYAP. Specifically, she/he will focus on the following areas:

  • Advance thematic work on youth empowerment, entrepreneurship and employment analysis in IFAD partner countries.
  • Nurture collaboration at country and regional level to advance the youth agenda, coordinating closely internally with the regional hubs and linking with other relevant players such as key government departments, private sector actors, non-governmental and international organizations to generate and share learning about what works, and ensure that the shared knowledge contributes to increased youth sensitive country programming.
  • Contribute to knowledge/evidence based action leading to positive youth engagement in developing countries and enhance access for poor and vulnerable youth to job opportunities in agribusiness development.
  • Provide technical advice to improve the capacity of IFAD to address youth issues and support policy engagement at national level to facilitate and strengthen the engagement and empowerment of the rural youth.
  • Support youth focused country programmes and ensure IFAD is regarded as a trusted and valued partner facilitating the implementation of the rural youth agenda.
  • Provide technical advice on youth related issues as well as other cross cutting themes within the new transformation agenda that seeks to integrate IFAD’s four mainstreaming themes.

Accountabilities may include:

  • Provide support to the design, preparation, implementation and evaluation of the Fund's youth sensitive country strategies and projects.
  • Carry out analyses of the links between unemployment and rural youth issues, and propose operational solutions to tackle the root causes of the youth unemployment challenge.
  • Carry out analyses of employment problems in specific segments and activities of the agribusiness labour market, in rural areas and seek investment design options for the Fund's operations.
  • Conduct research on youth employment and youth entrepreneurship issues and contribute in multi-disciplinary technical team work.
  • Provide support to the establishment and management of the Rural Youth Council.
  • Carry out other technical tasks as required by the Lead Technical Specialist (Youth), the coordinator of the social inclusion cluster or the director of the division.


The Technical Specialist (Youth and Social Inclusion) enhances the development of viable and sustainable policy and project development at the country-level through seasoned technical knowledge sharing for his/her area of specialization. S/He will ensure country-level access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthen national technical capacity, and establish new knowledge and advisory partnerships. S/he captures and uses more systematically IFAD’s field experience to better link impact evaluation to corporate and regional M&E work and integrate impact assessments, M&E and good practice findings into corporate learning opportunities to allow for cross-regional learning. Accountabilities may include:

  • Collect, document and report good practices;
  • Develop and disseminate knowledge products, operational tools and guidelines;
  • Assist in impact assessments of selected projects;
  • Contribute to the development and management of network(s) of Social Inclusion focal points from IFAD-funded projects and practitioners at regional level, and contributing to IFAD global KM processes in coordination with the social inclusion team;
  • Facilitate and provide technical support on social inclusion and youth-sensitivity capacity development and training, through an integrated approach, to support project staff, national partners, and service providers.

3. Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization

The Technical Specialist develops and maintains a network of peer contacts inside and outside IFAD to keep up-to-date on activities at the country and regional levels, to support joint advocacy and for knowledge sharing to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable partner in development and mainstreaming cross-cutting themes into IFAD country programmes and operations. Accountabilities may include:

  • Build partnerships with complementary technical organizations, UN, NGOs, the private sector and specialized departments of other bilateral and multilateral development agencies as potential operational and strategic partners at global, regional and country levels.
  • Strengthen IFAD’s representation and communication in policy and technical dialogue/processes and strategy issues (including representing IFAD at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars, conferences etc.).
  • Support mobilisation of additional new resources for IFAD, through concept notes writing, partnerships and outreach activities.

4. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

The Technical Specialist supports the Director/Lead Technical Specialists in knowledge management and other monitoring and reporting activities to enhance country level programme and funding decisions.

5. Managerial Functions

The Technical Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes people Management through coaching and mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervision and evaluation of performance of consultants and staff under his/her purview.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of technical expertise in the field of specialization. The impact of work by the incumbent directly affects the overall country programme and contributes to regional and corporate policy and strategy.  Technical Specialists design and contribute to the delivery of a country programme.  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. National policies relevant for the economic policy concerns of the international organization. Technical Specialists also monitor and guide the work of external consultants and participate as experts in field missions and in the servicing of intergovernmental and expert group meetings of a technical nature.

Technical Specialists 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 the Technical Specialists involve the provision of technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in mission planning, technical project design and appraisal 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 within other United Nations organizations having related programmes and with officials of governments, non-governmental and internationall organizations, research institutes, private sector and academia.

In servicing intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Technical Specialist provides technical expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative and advisory capacity; s/he may also 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


  • Strong knowledge of the issues around youth empowerment and related challenges in developing countries, skills development, access to assets,  job creation, labour market trends, private sector related constraints in job creation for youth.
  •  Ability to design and synthesize strategies for project development and support technical review and supervision of project implementation.
  • Experience in youth entrepreneurship and business development and ability to build partnerships with a broad range of partners and deliver results required by client governments.
  • Strong analytical skills in order to identify systemic issues, both programmatic and operational and develop viable solutions.
  • Analytical skills are also essential for identifying opportunities to promote new strategies and initiatives with regional divisions, partner agencies and national government partnerships.
  • Communicate effectively with different counterparts (civil society, governments, multilaterals, private sector actors, local communities, and project staff).
  • Listens effectively to engage others.
  • Writes well, clearly, succinctly and convincingly in English.
  • Computer skills: thorough knowledge of PeopleSoft ERP as well as full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common internet application.
  • bility to manage multiple, simultaneous and shifting demands/ priorities under tight deadlines and coordinate the work of others.

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, Social sciences, Political science  or related relevant area. An advanced university degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) plus at least four additional years of relevant professional experience, over and above the minimum number of years of experience.


  • At least 5 years progressively responsible experience in, and demonstrated understanding of, development initiatives in the field of specialization of which at least 2 of the 5 years of experience should be   at the international level. Experience in international, regional and national policy frameworks related to business development and/or agribusiness is an asset.
  • Experience in the field of IFAD’s other social inclusion themes (gender, nutrition and indigenous peoples) 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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.

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