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Lead Regional Economist

Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)

  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Economics
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-02-02

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Vacancy Announcement Number 1980
Date of Issue 12/01/2021
Deadline for Applications 02/02/2021
Organizational Unit West & Central Africa Div.
Level P-5
Duty Station ABIDJAN
Duration of Assignment 2 years

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 Lead Regional Economist is an economic policy and strategy leader as well as a knowledge builder in his/her region. Through crosscutting work, both in a range of economic sub-specializations and across countries in the region and/or the organization, s/he acts as a focal point for the generation and use of economic knowledge and innovations within IFAD as well as with a range of external stakeholders. S/He contributes to the delivery of IFAD services to the rural populations of his/her region by:

  1. Providing timely, authoritative and analytical outputs and solutions to staff to enhance the quality, relevance and effectiveness of the division’s work and instruments (Country Strategic Opportunities Programmes, investments projects, grants, policy engagement, knowledge management).
  2. Developing and implementing strategies approaches and internal quality standard processes to better integrate the different types of operations, to enable IFAD to enhance its value addition, its scale of operations and its impact on poverty reduction in the region.

The Lead Regional Economist works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance and oversight of the Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department (PMD), and the direct supervision of the divisional Director. As a member of the division's management team, the Lead Regional economist promotes integrity, transparency and equity in the management of IFAD resources.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. LEADS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PORTFOLIO QUALITY PROCESS:  Working with the Divisional Director, Hub and Country Directors and the Lead Portfolio Advisor, s/he contributes to raising the quality of key divisional outputs [including designs for new investment projects, new and innovative tools and instruments, Country Strategic Opportunities Papers (COSOP) and Country Strategy Notes (CSN), Project Completion Reports (PCR) and project impact assessments], so that they meet IFAD quality standards. In this context, key areas of focus of the Lead Regional Economist’s will be: (a) to lead the review Economic and Financial Analysis (EFA) of projects at design, mid-term and completion and provide authoritative recommendations, as required; and (b) as a core team member in the formulation of country strategies.

2. SUPPORTS SUBSTANTIVELY IN STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PROGRAMME OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES: In close collaboration with the Lead Portfolio Advisor, supports the Divisional Director in strategic planning and programme oversight activities; resource allocation analysis, divisional portfolio reviews and country assessments (including preparation of country economic briefs and review of country profiles). 

3. PROVIDES AUTHORITATIVE ADVICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON POLICY ENGAGEMENT AT COUNTRY AND REGIONAL LEVEL: S/he provides recommendations to country teams on frameworks and opportunities for country-specific policy engagement and assists them to exploit these as required. Working with the Divisional Director, Hub Directors and Country Directors, s/he will also provide authoritative advice in policy engagement at regional level to ensure that livelihoods of rural populations are at the forefront of the policy agenda.

4. SUPPORTS REGIONAL/GLOBAL GRANTS PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: Working with the Division Director and the Hub Directors, s/he provides authoritative advice on the design of divisional annual grant work plans and contributes to the management of the grant portfolio, including by creating and managing processes to facilitate the uptake of lessons learned and sharing these experience with IFAD, its partners and policy makers.

5. LEADS REGIONAL LEVEL ANALYTICAL AND ADVISORY WORK: S/he develops and maintains an overview of regional trends by identifying and analysing cross-cutting issues and results to generate inputs for strategic/programmatic documents and agenda at the divisional and corporate levels. This would include country economic and other briefs, presentations, speeches and communications materials, including for IFAD Senior Management and Divisional Directors.

6. SUPPORTS KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND SOUTH-SOUTH STRATEGIES AT DIVISIONAL LEVEL: Working with the Heads of the SSTC/Knowledge Hubs, Sub-regional and Country Directors and the Lead Portfolio Advisor, s/he provides strategic advice at country and regional level on knowledge generation and dissemination and on the implementation of South-South strategies. In this context, s/he also participates in relevant corporate working groups, as required. S/he also acts as a focal point for bringing together divisional responses to IOE evaluations.

7. PROVIDES AUTHORITATIVE ADVICE ON STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS: Working with the Divisional Director, Hub Directors, Country Directors and the Lead Portfolio Advisor, s/he identifies, proposes and/or strengthens regional-level strategic partnerships with bilateral and multilateral donors; think-tanks; research institutions; and regional bodies, to better leverage IFAD resources.

8. COLLABORATES WITH LEAD REGIONAL ECONOMISTS OF OTHER REGIONAL DIVISIONS: S/he works with Lead Regional Economists of other regional divisions, including through the Economists' Network, to promote lesson sharing across divisions and provide timely advice and information on corporate priorities and strategic issues.

9. UNDERTAKES MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: This includes: (a) People Management, through supervisory role, as required, and support to recruitment of staff and consultants; (b) Resource Management, by providing strategic and technical advice on programme development, (c) Analytical Work, by steering the analytical work, studies etc. that should inform, shape and improve the quality of the divisional programme of work and ensure that policy engagement is evidence-driven; and (d) Quality management, by working with SKD to propose concrete solutions to boost or maintain quality of IFAD operations under design and at entry.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative economic and strategic expertise and technical leadership  at the regional level. Lead Regional Economists define, propose and develop complex new programmes or policies for the Fund and represent the position of their region in intergovernmental and inter-organizational economic fora. Innovation is required in the adaptation and development of research methods to evolving technical and programmatic contexts.

Work at this level is considered as substantially complex and of critical concern to the Fund. In particular, analytical and advisory work requires in-depth identification and consideration of a full range of factors relevant to the examination and discussion of programme problems and policies in the solution of methodological problems or in the formulation of economic policy proposals and project recommendations. Ensuring that policy and project decisions and advice are based on accurate economic analysis and an adequate range of programme considerations is critical for the success of projects and engagement with policy-makers or national governments, and for ensuring the credibility of the Fund and the intended beneficiaries of projects or policies.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of Lead Regional Economists involve the provision of authoritative economic advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in mission planning, project appraisal or the preparation of studies and reports. S/He typically serves as the Fund’s senior regional economic expert and exercises wide professional latitude in contacts in his/her field(s), providing economic leadership and methodological guidance to management, national governments, development partners and other. In servicing intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Lead Regional Economist provides expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative and advisory capacity; s/he also may 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: Strategic leadership (Level 2)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 2)
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 2)


  • Analytical skills: strong analytical and numerical capacities and experience in quantitative and qualitative analytical methods as well as the capacity to lead specific analytical work.
  • Leader and team worker/builder: excellent management skills, and ability to thrive in a multicultural setting. Demonstrated capacity leading results based teams to deliver high quality products within tight deadlines to achieve stretching objectives; Ability to lead and manage organizational change.
  • Planner and organiser/decision-maker: excellent judgement and the ability to think strategically, assessing and responding to new challenges in rural development. Ability to set clear priorities within a boundless and often challenging agenda with tight deadlines.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills: including the ability to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions. Ability to deliver analytical and policy messages clearly and convincingly; ability to communicate with rural development practitioners from the international to the grassroots level.
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft packages and electronic communication.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in economics, development economics, agricultural economics  or any related field.


  • At least  ten (10) years progressively responsible experience in the field of economics with International Financial Institutions, international NGOs, rural development/financial institutions, foundations or government services.

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.

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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