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Advisory Services Officer

Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Grade: SB-4 (SC8/SC9), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-28

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Background

The European Union Support to Agriculture Competitiveness and Rural Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EU4Agri) is a 4-year project (2020-2023) primarily funded by the European Union (EU) under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Worth EUR 20 million, the project is implemented jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Czech Development Agency (CzDA).
 

In line with the Strategic Plan for Rural Development of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018-2021) – Framework Document, the project objective is to increase the competitiveness of agricultural production and rural jobs and services. In this context, the project will focus on raising investments in the agri-food sector and increasing the knowledge and skill levels of agricultural producers and other participants in the value chain through the expanded provision of advisory services, as well as on improving economic opportunities in rural areas. The project will also enhance the policy environment through a coherent and complementary set of activities, including strengthening of institutional capacities and services, as well as improvements in policy and regulatory frameworks.

Accordingly, the project expected results are as follows:

  • Higher levels of production of safe and quality food based on introduced innovative practices, while preserving the natural resources and the countryside, are sustained; and
  • Policy actions are implemented in EU aligned manner, based on sector services and systems improved.

The advisory and extension services play an essential role in improving know-how, technical capacity and promoting innovative practices across the sector, which coupled with carefully investment support measures will contribute to improved competitiveness and productivity, market development, and ultimately income levels. To that end, under the first result, the project will dedicate efforts to strengthen the advisory and extension services across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) with emphasis on ensuring both wider availability to farm holdings and agri-food processing plants, as well as the calibration and tailoring of services provided. Under the second result, the project will conduct demand scan of extension services by the users and assessment of supply of such services by non-state advisory service providers. It will set the ground for further customized support to both extension service users and the overall advisory service system.

Furthermore, support measures will be tailored to address building advisory capacity, emphasizing the importance of training, reinforcing advisory/extension structures and ensuring broader provision of support to agri-food stakeholder. Support measure will target non-state or private advisory and extension service providers ensuring complementarity with public advisory system. The following three support measures are envisaged:

  • i) Support for agricultural extension delivery and linking science/research to farming;
  • ii) Support to advisory service providers for identification of funding opportunities and preparation of project proposals and business plans for agri-food operators; and
  • iii) Support to innovations and ICT in agriculture.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager, the Advisory Service Officer will perform the following main functions, with due respect to the UNDP rules and regulations and the UNDP internal control framework:

  1. Coordination of advisory and extension service support within the project framework;
  2. Provision of expert advice and technical assistance (TA) to Grant Investment Package (GIP) applicants and recipients;
  3. Coordination of activities with support to public advisory services provided by CzDA;
  4. Effective mainstreaming of gender equality and knowledge management.

1. Coordination of advisory and extension service support within the project framework:

  • Coordinates the activity of demand scan of extension service users and assessment of supply by non-state advisory services to be conducted by external service provider;
  • Continuously analyses and monitors environment of the advisory and extension services in the country;
  • Keeps abreast of relevant trends, practices and experiences related to advisory and extension services in the region and the EU;
  • Conceptualizes and designs GIP support measures targeting the private advisory and extension services in close cooperation with institutional partners and the EU4Agri project team;
  • Actively engages with institutional partners and other stakeholders in the sector to ensure their active participation in project activities, transfer and anchoring of good practices towards capacity building of advisory service providers;
  • Support the implementation and monitoring of support measures by selected private advisory and extension service providers in line with proposed implementation plans, methodologies, outreach and make sure that performance targets set out in signed contracts will be met;
  • Stays abreast of relevant international and local initiatives related to the agri-food and rural development sector, ensuring cooperation and synergies, which would add value and maximize the project results;
  • Contributes to the overall project planning, monitoring and reporting;

2. Provision of expert advice and technical assistance (TA) to Grant Investment Package (GIP) applicants and recipients:

  • Provides advice and guidance to the project team and institutional partners related to planning and design of support measures and provision of capacity building to advisory and extension service system in BIH;
  • Provides guidance and technical assistance to the GIP applicants and recipients;
  • Coordinates training workshops and meetings to GIP applicants and recipients among the private advisory service providers;
  • On demand basis support engagement of appropriate experts/consultants to address identified knowledge gaps among advisory, extension services providers and institutional partners;
  • Supervises the work of experts/consultants and ensure the delivery of high-quality training and technical assistance to the advisory and extension service providers and involved institutional partners; 
  • Promotes the lessons learnt of support measures and capacity building plan to support advisory/extension services system among the institutional partners and other stakeholders.

3. Coordination of activities with support to public advisory services provided by CzDA:

  • Designs, in synergy with the support under Result 1, technical assistance to help the evolution of advisory service provision, ensuring a complementary and coordinated approach by public and private sector entities in close cooperation with the CzDA;
  • Supports the design and implementation of capacity building plan to support advisory and extension services system (including public and private advisory and extension service provider) across the country in close cooperation with the CzDA and the institutional partners.

4. Effective mainstreaming of gender equality and knowledge management:

  • Supports the Project Manager in ensuring gender mainstreaming throughout the project activities, work plans, budgets, reports, research, analyses, and, where specifically relevant, analyze it in detail ;
  • Ensures gender equality is mainstreamed throughout the project support to the agri-food and rural development sector;
  • Ensures sharing of lessons learned, best practices and latest trends relevant to the project work;
  • Supports exchange of ideas within the team as well as with other relevant initiatives.

Competencies

Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda / Level 1.2: Preparing information for advocacy:

  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate.

Results-Based Programme Development and Management / Level 1.2: Contributes into results through primary research and analysis:

  • Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work;
  • Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration;
  • Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation;
  • Analyzes country situation to identify opportunities for project development;
  • Participates in the formulation of project proposals and ensures substantive rigor in the design and application of proven successful approaches and drafts proposals accordingly;
  • Ability to develop, articulate, and achieve clear goals that are consistent with expected project activities and its output;
  • Ability to foresee risks and develop mitigation strategies.

Building Strategic Partnerships / Level 1.2:  Maintaining a network of contacts:
 

  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues;
  • Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders.

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches / Level 1.2: Enhancing processes or products:

  • Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing / Level 1.2: Basic research and analysis:

  • Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Acknowledges others’ skill sets and expertise, encourages and facilitates the sharing of that knowledge and creates learning opportunities for others.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise / Level 1.2: Fundamental knowledge of own discipline:
 

  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position;
  • Significant experience working in the area of inclusive economic development;
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning;
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.

Client Orientation / Level 1.2: Establishing effective client relationships:

  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion;
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines;
  • Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-takin;
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks effectively without compromising quality;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating teamwork;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team;
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to convey complex concepts and recommendations, both orally and in writing, in a clear and persuasive style tailored to match different audiences;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each employee;
  • Deals openly, honestly and transparently with issues, resources and people;
  • Informed and transparent decision making.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: 

  • Advanced university degree in agronomy, development studies, agricultural, economics or other related areas.
  • BA with additional two years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of MA;

Experience:

  • At least 3 years (5 years with BA) of relevant experience in the field of advisory services or extension service in agri-food and rural development sector;
  • At least 3 years (5 years with BA) of relevant experience in provision of technical assistance and trainings with the focus on advisory services or extension service in agri-food and rural development;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of agri-food sector and rural development needs and processes in BIH, as well as within the context of the EU integrations;
  • Familiarity with key public documents, strategies and trends related to the overall development agenda of BIH.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and the official languages of BIH, with excellent drafting and presentation skills;

Other:

  • Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft Office applications) and ability to use information technologies as a tool and resource. 

Disclaimer

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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