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Digital Agriculture Specialist(s)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Design (digital, product, graphics or visual design)
  • Closing Date: 2019-09-17

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IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device


FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization


Organizational Setting

The Information Technology Division (CIO) is responsible for all IT activities within the Organization. CIO performs on behalf of the Organization the following critical roles\: defining FAO IT policies and providing strategic advice on IT architecture and standards, governance, policy and operational matters while monitoring organizational compliance; defining the mechanisms for managing FAO’s information and data; protecting FAO’s information assets and ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability; ensuring provision of IT services that are core for the Organization’s global operations and supporting the information and business processes; coordinating organization-wide IT activities in order to reduce duplication and fragmentation and to increase integration of information data, systems and platforms, mobilizing IT resources from across the Organization.

Reporting Lines

Under the supervision of the Information Technology Officer, the incumbent will execute activities in close collaboration with regional and local office officers. The incumbent will work at FAO Headquarters in Rome.

Technical Focus

Digital Innovation unit is responsible for lead, promote and coordinate digital innovation in FAO. The Unit focuses on Digital Agriculture Transformation to contribute to the achievement of SDGs. Digital products and services for smallholder farmers and rural development must be developed with the full consideration of local context through a sustainable business models.

The Unit setts priorities on rural households, youth, women and self-employed entrepreneurs in agricultural sector, working to overcome barriers of adoption and promoting digital inclusion that unlock new market opportunities and deliver significant socio-economic benefits that transform their lives, to accelerate poverty alleviation, job creation, and food security. This approach considers a worldwide coverage in terms of global services.

Tasks and responsibilities

The incumbent will be responsible for promote digital innovation in FAO, leading and executing digital innovation initiatives, liaising with other FAO units to identify and review innovation initiatives, and promoting innovative use of digital technologies in the Organization in conjunction with external Partners. The incumbent will execute activities within the team to improve the capacity to innovate, not only from the point of view of digital technologies, but also including the elements of sustainable business models, especially the development of the Digital Agriculture Strategy Guide, Digital Agriculture and Food intelligence report and Digital Agriculture Maturity Assessment Tool.

The incumbent will perform the following duties, specifically\:

1. Digital Agriculture Specialist

  • Develop a methodology for needs assessment to understand countries’ and stakeholders needs on digital agriculture;
  • Design action plan for digital agriculture transformation and business model development in beneficiary countries;
  • Develop a Digital Agriculture Strategy toolkits and validate in beneficiary countries;
  • Develop indicators to measure readiness at country level to which one country is mature enough in the process of digital agriculture transformation, and
  • Develop report on digital agriculture and food in the world
  • Measuring the needs and capabilities of youth agripreneurs / hackers
  • Performs other duties as required.

2. Digital Agriculture Capacity Specialist

  • Develop global Digital Capacity Strategy in agriculture and rural development;
  • Develop digital capacity methodologies for needs assessment; replicate, scale-up and accelerate digital innovation at country level based on experiences from other digital projects with good adaptation to local contexts;
  • Develop effective digital capacity at country level (policy formulation, strategic planning) with multi-stakeholders;
  • Establish, oversee and continuously improve the digital capacity process and capabilities in conjunction with the partners (internal and external ones);
  • Analyze digital innovation ecosystem and its different layers in the ecosystem and how to integrate them into agri-food sector, especially how to cultivate a healthy digital innovation ecosystem through capacity building
  • Develop and coordinate curriculum, model and toolkit areas of digital skills, entrepreneurial skills, financial skills, leadership skills, business toolkit and digital learning.
  • Coordinate and organize challenges/hackathons and digital innovation workshops
  • Design programmes of innovation lab/accelerator/escalator
  • Design and establish innovation lab/accelerator/escalator
  • Project management, including project design and planning, implementation, monitoring;
Performs other duties as required.
Minimum Requirements
  • Advanced university degree in (for Consultants) / University degree (only for PSA) Business Administration, Economics, Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Social Sciences, International Policy, or related field, with solid background/understanding of the digital agricultural, digital capabilities and rural development sectors
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant experience in international governance (preferably with FAO or other UN organizations), project management, and areas including budgeting and planning, policy analysis, fund raising and administrative issues;
  • Experience in inter-institutional coordination, negotiation, policy analysis and provision of evidence-based policy advice related to digital agricultural products and services and digital technologies;
  • Experience in non-formal and formal education programmes and methodology development (for applicants under point 2 is preferable);
  • Work experience in more than one location and area of work, particularly in resource-constrained settings, is essential
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Demonstrated openness to change and to approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in within tech4dev (technology for development);
  • Experience in developing digital assessment methodologies on needs, skills, products and services;
  • Skills on educational programmes for digital capabilities;
  • Experience on policy formulation and strategy implementation is a strong asset;
  • Experience in working for UN entities;
  • Familiarity with international liaising and partnerships with government, private sector and academia;
  • Knowledge of internal management systems of FAO is a strong asset;
  • Experience in Digital Agriculture and innovation is an asset.
  • Strong capacity in policy analysis and research skills
  • Rich experiences and deep understanding of coordinating International governance institutions in terms of scopes, operation and structure, etc.;
Selection Criteria
  • Ability to work independently, in a high pressure work environment and with urgent deadlines
  • Ability to assimilate and analyze information efficiently and effectively
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural team environment with a strong focus on results
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English
  • Initiative and drive to meet deliverables on time and within budget
  • High level logical and methodical organizational skills
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects
  • Ability to design and lead sprint programmes
  • Ability to develop needs assessment methodologies and toolkits for capacity development


Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


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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