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Economist (Policy Analyst)

various locations

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: various locations
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-27

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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 Agrifood Economics Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy analysis related to all five of the Organization’s strategic objectives (food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, inclusive food systems and resilient livelihoods). ESA provides evidence-based analytical support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture; and leads the production of two FAO flagship publications: The State of Food and Agriculture and The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. ESA also leads large programmes at country level on agricultural and food policy monitoring, climate smart agriculture (CSA), agribusiness and food value chains, rural poverty, and food security information and analysis in support of national policies.

Among ESA’s core tasks is the provision of support to FAO member countries on policy matters, particularly through analyses that generate evidence and evaluation of impact of policies and programmes to inform decision-making. ESA also carries out policy intelligence to analyse the implications of emerging events on the different economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. In addition, ESA is engaged in supporting governments on the prioritization of policies and investments to strengthen poverty, food security and nutrition, develop inclusive and efficient food systems, and accelerate agricultural transformation.

FAO International Consultants and Call purpose

The Organization frequently engages experts to work on short-term activities and projects as international consultants or under personal service agreements (PSA.SBS) at various levels of experience (see minimum requirement below). The assignments may involve full-time or part-time functions, with duration ranging from 1 month up to 11 months. The possibility of extension is subject to satisfactory performance and dependent on the availability of resources and the needs of the Organization. Assignments can require travel, mission and/or appointment to field locations. Individuals who meet or exceed the requirements of the Call determined through an interview process will be included in the ESA divisional roster that will be used to resource future vacancies within the technical requirements covered by the Call.

The role will be located within the Policy Support Coordination Branch in the Policy Intelligence and Support Coordination Unit (PISCU) in ESA.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall guidance of the Director, ESA, and the direct supervision of a Senior Economist, the consultant/PSA will be asked undertake policy analysis and/or carry out tasks related to the provision of food and agricultural policy support to governments. When activities are carried out in member countries, applicants will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO regional and/or sub-regional office.

Technical Focus

The incumbent will conduct economic analysis on a broad range of issues related to agricultural investment priorities in countries like Nigeria, Comoros, Madagascar, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The ideal candidate is familiar with microdata, as well as geo-spatial database related to biophysical characteristics. She/he is able to deal with large dataset, merging information from different sources, design the most suitable empirical strategies in order to respond to specific policy questions (with particular focus on the alternative identification strategies) related to agricultural productivity, household welfare and food security. She/he is able to interpret the results and communicate the findings for different purposes simplifying the message for non-technical audience and engage with experts on the methodological details of the analysis. The evidence-based support provided by the incumbent will feed into the preparation a wide range of publications (including reports, papers, and policy briefs) so excellent writing skills and a good publication record are relevant assets.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Provide technical and policy advice to ESA partner countries to analysis specific issues related to food and agricultural policies, assess policy reform opportunities and articulate policy reform options;
  • Carry out reviews of public expenditure in support of the food and agricultural sector;
  • Contribute to the development of technical products to support evidence-based policy reform processes with a focus on inputs, trade, markets, price policies and/or investment priorities in the framework of national FSN or agricultural transformation strategies
  • Conduct analytical studies on specific food and agricultural policy issues, including (i) input, market, trade and price policies that influence value chain performances, (ii) value chain and commodity market analysis, (iii) price, price stabilisation, and stock policies, (iv) policy prioritization and (v) other emerging issues
  • Contribute to the drafting of actionable and high-quality policy recommendations, technical reports and policy briefs;
  • Participate in, organize or facilitate high-level policy meetings, roundtables or other events related to food and agricultural policy reform in developing countries;
  • Support capacity development activities benefitting government counterparts and other selected national partners.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics, agricultural economics, development economics, political science, public policy, international development or any related field (for Consultants). University Degree in the above field (for PSAs);
  • At least five years of relevant experience;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs).

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in one or more developing countries preferably in Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America
  • Extent and relevance of experience in economic analysis of agricultural and food policies
  • Familiarity with providing policy advice to governments in developing countries
  • Knowledge of current political economic conditions in developing countries, and ability to analyse the policy context at country level building on political economy tools;
  • Capacity to interact with government officials on key policy issues affecting agriculture and food security
  • Experience in communicating with government officials and ability to present the key results in concise and effective manner.

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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