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Senior Programme Manager (Agriculture and Rural Finance)

Yangon (Myanmar)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Yangon (Myanmar)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Banking and Finance
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-06-07

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Background Information - Myanmar

Myanmar is one of UNOPS’ leading offices in Asia, acting as fund manager for three of the largest development programmes in the country, namely the Access to Health, the Livelihood and Food Security Fund (LIFT) and the Joint Peace Fund (JPF). In addition, UNOPS is Principal Recipient for the Global Fund in Myanmar and for the Global Fund’s regional artemisinin-resistance initiative targeting drug resistant malaria in the greater Mekong sub-region. UNOPS also provides procurement, infrastructure and project management services to a wide range of organizations in the country, including the Government of Myanmar, international development partners, other UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs. UNOPS plays a critical role in ensuring that the quality of services provided to its partners meets stringent requirements of speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Background Information - Job-specific

The Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LlFT) is a multi-donor fund established in Myanmar in 2009 with the purpose of increasing the resilience and nutrition of poor people in Myanmar by focusing on interventions that increase income, food availability, utilization and stability of access to food. LIFT has received funding from 14 donors to date‘. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the Fund Manager (FM) to administer the funds and provide monitoring and oversight.  

LIFT is active in the four main agro-ecological regions of Myanmar, including the central dry zone (Dry Zone), the Ayeyarwady Delta (Delta), Rakhine and the upland areas of the country (Uplands). Read more about LIFT on 

The LIFT Fund Management Office (FMO), with over 50 national and international staff, has a substantial programme unit with teams responsible for LIFT’s work in each agro-ecological zone (see above for these zones) as well as teams for each of LIFT’s main cross-cutting themes (financial inclusion, private sector & inclusive value chains, decent work and labour mobility, social protection and civil society strengthening).  The FMO also has teams responsible for policy, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL), communications and for support services. 

The programme team is responsible for: a) designing new programme frameworks; b) identifying appropriate projects and supporting redesign where needed; c) monitoring and guiding the implementation of projects practising adaptive management and d) learning from the implementation of these projects and utilising lessons in programme design and policy dialogue. 

The position will lead the 'Agriculture and Rural Finance' programme team of the LIFT Fund Manager’s Office. The programme includes projects that focus on Agriculture, Rural Markets, Food Systems, Climate change adaptation and on Financial Inclusion. The programme also includes public-private partnerships. 

LIFT is currently implementing the 2019-2023 strategy ( with a focus on IDPs in conflict affected areas, social cohesion and inclusion, women empowerment and policy influence. 

Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the LIFT Head of Programme, in close coordination with other LIFT teams and in accordance with UNOPS policies, procedures and practices, the Programme Officer for Agriculture and Rural Finance will be responsible for the following: 

1.        Leading on technical aspects for LIFT related to Agriculture and Rural Finance

1.1. Seek synergy and collaboration, bringing together an array of projects into a more integrated and effective portfolio. 

1.2.  Sustain and enhance LIFT’s strategic partnerships that expand the outreach of financial institutions to underserved markets, with a rural and agricultural focus.

1.3. Work closely with government institutions to ensure effective policy development in the Agricultural and Rural Finance sectors. 

1.4.  Undertake or organise value chain analyses of selected products and identify major leverage points for value chain and commodity market development.

1.5.  Support partner organizations to stimulate and plan value chain development and strengthen value chains through increased national and international market access. 

1.6.  Sustain and enhance the integration of climate change adaptation into LIFT’s Agriculture and Rural Finance programmes

2.        Lead on the design and management of programmes funded by LIFT 

2.1. Explore new partnerships which can add new strategic alliances, innovation, and value for money to LIFT’s work.

2.2.  Design programme frameworks and develop calls for proposals if needed 

2.3. Lead proposal appraisal process, ensure that proposals are in compliance with Fund policy and priorities as well as in line with national frameworks where they exist, and that proposals take into account work undertaken or planned by the government and others. 

2.4. Present recommendations to the Fund Board, negotiate required changes with applicants and initiate contracting for approved project proposals.

2.5. Oversee and guide project and grant management for projects financed by LIFT, adhering to LIFT’s operational guidelines and principles. 

2.6. Undertake field visits to monitor project implementation and ensure it meets appropriate technical and institutional standards. 

2.7. Identify initiatives for adaptive management to ensure effective project implementation and compliance with Fund policy and priorities. 

2.8.  Prepare terms of reference for national and international consultants and supervise their missions as needed.

2.9.  Provide mentoring, coaching and training of national staff to foster capacity building as needed

3.    Contribute regularly to effective learning, knowledge management and policy influence on Agriculture and Rural Finance 

3.1 Regularly identify and document evidence in the form of key lessons and good practices identified in LIFT-funded projects and from LIFT FMO analysis.

3.2 Collaborate with others across the Fund Management Office in the preparation of briefing notes, reports and other knowledge products.

3.3 Build and maintain strategic linkages with a wide range of stakeholders including: government ministries, departments and agencies, ethnic service providers, development partners, private sector, civil society and other organizations. 

3.4.Work with LIFT’s Programme Officer in NayPyiTaw to engage with Parliamentarians and Parliamentary groups, including on field trips. 

3.4 Organize and participate in meetings/forums contributing to policy dialogue on relevant issues in Agriculture and Rural Finance.

4.      In close collaboration with the Fund Director and Head of Programme, represent  LIFT with its key stakeholders.

4.1.  Actively provide updates and evidence to the Fund Board in relation to national policies, strategies and programmes whenever they exist or inputs are requested, particularly on Agriculture and Rural Finance.

4.2.  Proactively lead strategic engagement with relevant government departments, EAOs and service providers, civil society, private sector and academia.

4.3.  Represent LIFT at government-led sector coordinating groups, inter-agency coordination efforts and technical working groups as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned by the Head of Programme or Fund Director.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education 

  • Master’s degree in Rural Development, Agriculture, Finance, Natural Resource Management, Business Management, Political or Social Sciences or a related field from an accredited academic institution is required. 

  • University degree in the above fields with additional two years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree. 

b. Work Experience 

  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant technical experience in managing Agriculture or Rural Finance projects is required.

  • Experience with climate smart agriculture, nutrition sensitive agriculture and/or value chain analysis and development is required.

  • Experience in working with micro-finance institutions and/or banks in innovative financing is required.

  • Demonstrated experience of effective team leadership, staff supervision and working in a matrix structure is required.

  • Ability to conduct independent research and analysis and write analytical or summative reports is preferred/an asset.

  • Demonstrated successful work in policy influence and advocacy is preferred/an asset.

  • Expertise, experience and/or understanding of conflict sensitive programming is preferred/an asset.

  • Professional experience in Southeast Asia is preferred/an asset.

  • Experience in natural resource governance and working with government systems is preferred/an asset.  

  • Experience working and coordinating multi-stakeholder processes and facilitating multi-donor dialogues is preferred/an asset.

  • Computer literacy in Google's G-Suite, the ability to use software tools to present data clearly and concisely is preferred/an asset.

 c. Language 

  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is essential. 


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement  Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration:  Ongoing ICA – 'Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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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