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Senior Policy Officer (Agricultural Systems, Land and Water)

Santiago (Chile)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Santiago (Chile)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Legal - Broad
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Political Affairs
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-28

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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

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 member countries and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply for this position
FAO does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
• 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 Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (FAO RLC) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with divisions and offices at Headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO's strategic response to regional priorities. FAO RLC also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. RLC develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, provides strategic technical support and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

The post is located in the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC) in Santiago, Chile.

Reporting Lines

The Senior Policy Officer (Agricultural Systems, Land and Water) reports to the regional programme leader and maintains regular contact with Land and Water Division (NSL) at FAO headquarters in Rome for technical guidance on matters related to international processes, standards and partnerships related to land and water resources policies, management and development, inter alia, the environmental conventions on desertification and degradation (UNCCD), wetlands (RAMSAR), the Global Framework on Water Scarcity (WASAG), the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, amongst others. The officer has regional responsibilities and coordinates regularly with other Land and Water officers in the region and beyond, as well as with other regional initiatives and clusters, to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of regional priorities in response to country demands.

Technical Focus

Policies, governance and institutional mechanisms for sustainable management of land, soils and water resources, contributing to the countries’ achievement of related targets under SDGs 1, 2, 6, 12, 13 and 15. More specifically, the senior policy officer will focus her/his work on (i) supporting policies and institutional improvements (including in governance systems) affecting land, soils and water resources, including technical, socio-economic and political aspects of such transformations; (ii) developing and guiding the use of innovative and integrative approaches to land, soils and water management, including in its relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation (e.g. soil recarbonization), biodiversity conservation, landscape and ecosystem restoration, land and water tenure arrangements, as well as on digital solutions for sustainable agriculture; (iii) supporting the design and implementation of FAO initiatives (normative work, policy dialogue and assistance, field projects) in areas related to the sustainable management of land, soils and water resources in the region, building synergies across agricultural, socio-economic and environmental processes.

Key Results

Development and implementation of coherent, integrated and effective policy assistance and governance work supporting member states at regional and country level: i) in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework and its delivery mechanisms, and ii) in response to new policy assistance requests.

Key Functions

• Manages or leads highly specialized or multi-disciplinary teams, and provides technical leadership in high-level policy analysis missions or projects, policy networks and/or international policy setting bodies
• Leads the work carried out by technical or policy officers from HQ or out-posted staff in the Decentralized Offices in relation to policy and governance work under FAO’s strategic framework
• Advocates strategic partnerships, best practices, and policy dialogue in support of enhanced policies and governance for food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and food systems
• Interacts with UN Regional and Country teams to improve cross-sectoral policies and strategies concerning agriculture, food, and nutrition security and sustainable development
• Analyzes regional and country-level issues to provide input into the identification of country and regional priorities and requirements
• Designs, implements and monitors regional and sub-regional policy work programmes and the supporting budgets and/or resourcing strategies
• Plans, organizes and participates in capacity development activities involving the provision of technical advice and assistance, and oversees the development of related materials, on-line tools and information kits.
• Represents the Organization at international/inter-governmental meetings and conferences

Specific Functions

• Contributes, from the perspective of land, soils and water management, to the regional strategic planning and programme development and implementation, based on country demands, ensuring provision of support, learning and reporting on innovative approaches and results.
• Through Regional Initiatives, UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCF) and Country Programming Frameworks, liaises with national, sub regional and regional public, private and academic institutions, networks, country offices and UN agencies to support improved governance and strategic actions for the design, implementation and evaluation of national land, soil and water policies, programmes, institutions and investments that contribute at a large scale to the SDGs’ targets related to food, the environment and climate change.
• Leads the preparation of state-of-the-art analyses, assessments, databases, knowledge products and tools, managing and sharing knowledge and data to ensure that policies and programmes are forward looking, aligned to the FAO global strategies and other current positions, are regularly updated with lessons and good practice from the field and are adopted by stakeholders within and between countries.
• Mobilizes, maintains and expands strategic alliances, cooperation, partnerships (including with the private sector), communities of practice and resources to catalyse policy change, digital innovation, and build and enhance the portfolio of Green Climate Fund, Global Environmental Facility, Climate Adaptation Fund, and other environmental and land and water related programmes in the region, to support the implementation of land, soils and water policies, programmes and investments that contribute at a large scale to the achievement of SDG targets, in particular under SDG 1, 2, 6, 12, 13 and 15.
• Contributes to and/or serves as secretariat to regional and sub-regional policy bodies and technical networks (e.g. Soil Partnership for Latin America and the Caribbean (ASLAC), One UN Initiatives), organizes and participates in sub-regional and regional workshops, seminars, conferences and meetings, builds capacities and awareness of FAO instruments/guidelines, innovative technologies and approaches, extension and training delivery
• Represents FAO in diverse fora and in the media.

Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in agricultural science, land or water policy, natural resource economics, agricultural engineering, soil science, natural resources management, environment, hydrology or related field.
• Ten years of relevant experience in developing policies, programmes, institutions and investments related to land, soil and water resources management, development and use and agricultural and terrestrial ecosystem management and restoration.
• Working knowledge (C level) of English and Spanish.


• Results Focus
• Leading, Engaging and Empowering
• Communication
• Partnering and Advocating
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
• Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills

• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions, is essential..
• Extent and relevance of experience in developing, supporting and/or evaluating complex national land, soil and water policies, programmes, institutions and investments towards national and international commitments including experience with diverse terrestrial and hydrological ecosystems, strategies to promote sustainable land, soil and water management and restoration, natural resources/ecosystem conservation, monitoring and assessment, geospatial analysis, land planning, and irrigation development, technological innovations and digital solutions is an asset.
• Demonstrated capacity to analyse complex landscape and ecosystem interactions from social, economic and environmental perspectives and to identify strategic entry points for promoting intersectorial approaches and investments to achieve sustainable management systems.
• Relevance and extent of experience in policy analysis and advice relating to food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture, and rural development
• Extent and relevance of experience in dealing, establishing and maintaining partnerships with senior government officials, development partners, intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other stakeholders to design, plan and implement relevant policies, programmes and projects, taking into account gender and indigenous peoples issues.
• Demonstrated track record of successfully mobilizing resources and investments and formulating programmes from and/or working with major multilateral and bilateral funding sources and environmental resource partners and donors.
• Extent and relevance of experience in organizing, working with and managing complex international interdisciplinary and multisectorial teams, meetings, seminars and capacity development courses using innovative technologies, approaches, and extension methods, including digital tools
• Knowledge of relevant international instruments, policies and targets, including those related to UN climate and environmental commitments.
• Limited knowledge (Level B) of French and a high level of computer literacy are assets.
• Prior experience in Latin America and the Caribbean is an asset.

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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