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Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Sustainable trade and development
    • Impact investing, Social venture capital
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-09

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Vacancy Announcement Number 2013
Date of Issue 08/02/2021
Deadline for Applications 10/03/2021
Organizational Unit Sust. Prd. Mkts. & Instit.
Level P-4
Duty Station ROME
Duration of Assignment 2 years renewable

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 Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD's strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD’s operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness, by generating and disseminating IFAD’s development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries to tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA); and the (iv) corporate knowledge management unit.

The Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI) provides technical support to IFAD Country Programs to ensure the proper application of corporate quality standards required for achieving development results and impact in key thematic areas, including food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, and agronomy), land, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and enterprises and rural institutions. It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities.

The Private Sector Advisory and Implementation Unit (PAI) was created to host and coordinate the existing and new initiatives aimed at leveraging additional investments for smallholder agriculture in alignment with IFAD Strategic Framework 2015-2025 and the IFAD11 Reform Agenda, as well as to act as the main coordinating unit for the implementation of IFAD Private Sector Engagement Strategy 2019-2024 (PSS). Current initiatives which are be covered by the PAI include:

  • The Agribusiness Capital Fund (ABC) Fund, a blended finance facility sponsored by IFAD, financed by several development partners, and managed by a private fund manager, Bamboo Capital Partners
  • The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN), an inclusive partnership of actors working in different parts of the global ecosystem for agricultural and related small and medium enterprises (SMEs) finance and investment.
  • The Climate & Commodity Hedging to Enable Transformation (CACHET): A program financed by IFAD that operates a hedging mechanism to protect smallholders against price volatility

These initiatives are at various stages of maturity and are among the instruments that IFAD could use to implement its PSS. The main function of PAI is to ensure cross-departmental coordination through formal mechanisms and implementation of key investment and non-investment activities into private sector non-sovereign operations (NSOs). 
The Senior Investment Officer is an expert in his/her thematic specialization. S/He
provides technical expertise and strategic guidance at the corporate level and all stages of 
design, development, monitoring and evaluation of IFAD’s private sector investments. 

The Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the Head, Private Sector Advisory and Implementation Unit (PAI). S/He works collaboratively with the thematic Technical Specialists in SKD, Country Directors and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support. The following Key Results Expected/Major Functional Activities are generic and representational; the majority, but not necessarily all, will be performed by the Senior Technical Specialist.


Key results expected / Major functional activities

1.  TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO COUNTRY PROGRAMMES

The Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) will work closely with country directors, technical specialists and Hub directors on the origination, screening, structuring and delivery of IFAD Non-Sovereign private sector operations (NSOs) which could entail both direct funding and indirect through financial intermediaries. Main accountabilities include:  

  • Work with the Programme Management Department to develop a pipeline of potential NSO investments, notably NSOs promoting job creation, women economic empowerment and those supporting mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change. 
  • Screen potential NSOs both in terms of development impact and financial soundness, structure and lead the drafting of investment proposals and support PAI Head throughout the internal review process to seek Board Approval;
  • Lead with various key divisions at IFAD to ensure efficient and effective review and development of the NSO proposals;
  • Lead relationship with private sector partners in close coordination with PAI Head, country directors and Hub directors; 
  • Lead field and due diligence missions at all stages of the project cycle, including during design, due diligence, implementation and monitoring and undertaking implementation support missions, including supervision of NSOs.

2.  SUPPORT THE DELIVERY AND REPORTING OF PAI UNIT WORK PROGRAM 

  • Assist PAI head in the delivery of the PAI Unit work plan; to build synergies and capacity to ensure close coordination and collaboration among the various teams;
  • Assist PAI head to respond in an adaptive manner to the evolving priorities and opportunities around and within IFAD and the various initiative external partners;
  • Support or lead the PAI Special Initiatives 

3.  KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

The Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) will ensure country-level access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation on Private Sector investments and establish new knowledge and partnerships.  

Accountabilities include:

  • Lead the development of a Private Sector  Investment Manual, including description of menu of instruments, policies and procedures, due diligence guidelines, monitoring tools, ESG tools.
  • As part of the Operations Academy  and other activities, lead the development and delivery of training modules focused on developing high performing high impact PS programs;
  • Participate in IFAD-wide thematic discussions and develop appropriate technical and operations.
  • Develop approaches of relevance to the country/divisional strategies and programmes.
  • Perform other activities necessary to implement IFADs private sector engagement strategy. 

4.  PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND RESOURCE MOBILIZATION
Accountabilities include: 

  • Help mobilize co-financing for IFAD’s NSOs, through partnerships and outreach activities and develop new relationships with impact investors, foundations and corporate partners to expand resources, market and income opportunities for smallholders

5.  MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS

The Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised. He/she may also be asked to supervise work of external consultants and more junior staff. 

 


Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of seasoned technical expertise and input for programs, projects and initiatives related to private sector investments, as well as in knowledge sharing with peers and counterparts.

The work involves both technical analysis and provision of inputs to projects, programs and initiatives, knowledge sharing among peers and counterparts to enhance cooperation, complementarity and synergy and monitoring and evaluation to measure and report on lessons learned and best practices.

The work is considered complex requiring in-depth technical analysis and reporting. Typically operating as a Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) at the country or regional levels, the incumbent work will be reviewed for technical accuracy, but more typically is reviewed for achieving the established work plan.
 


Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of Senior Technical Specialist (Private Sector Investment) involve the provision of authoritative technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in private sector project design and appraisal, supervision/implementation support and in the preparation of studies and reports. S/he serves as an expert in his/her field of specialization and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical expertise and methodological guidance at the country level, as well as regionally as required.  Contacts are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations having related programmes and with officials of governments, private sector and foundations, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, impact investors.
In servicing inter-governmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Senior Technical Specialist provides  technical  expertise  and  recommendations for  policy  formulation  and  official  conclusions  in  a consultative 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.

 


Competencies

Organizational:

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • 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 1)

Technical/Functional

  • Proven technical expertise and experience in the area of private sector finance and investment, notably in assessing private sector investment opportunities and proposals, review of transactions and complex facilities and interventions using regular and blended finance, conducting due diligence, and recommending financial/investment decisions accordingly;
  • Proven expertise in deploying instruments such as lines of credit, guarantees/risk sharing facilities, equity, and other financial instruments that target the bottom of the pyramid or the missing middle market segments; particular experience with risk sharing and guarantee facilities or climate finance is an advantage;  
  • Excellent skills in the design and structuring of private sector transactions, notably in the agriculture and rural sectors, with expertise in negotiating deals and business operational partnerships with other partners and co-financiers; 
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at peer levels and operational staff in the development of viable new private sector initiatives;
  • Ability to reconcile financial and economic analysis with development, additionally and impact considerations; expertise with a demonstrated ability to formulate new approaches in respect of partnership building and resources management and building strong relationships with clients, focusing on impact and results.  
  • Strong results-oriented decision-making with the ability to translate business strategies and needs into practical solutions.
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills with the ability to develop a close and effective working relationship with client and counterparts at the appropriate levels, demonstrated by a track record of developing and sustaining effective relationships with clients and stakeholders

Minimum recruitment qualifications

Education: 
Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in finance, financial engineering, economics, accounting, business management, or related field. 

Experience:
Minimum of eight (8) years progressively relevant experience is required, with at least 3 years of international experience in structuring, screening and supervising private sector investments in developing countries in the area of agriculture, and entailing the use of equity, debt and risk mitigation measures; Experience in blended finance an climate finance operations is a strong asset.

Demonstrated ability to work with multiple teams and projects and to engage in high level discussions; 

  • Ability to provide verbal and written input and recommendations in a succinct and clear manner is required. 
  • Prior experience advising International Financial Institutions (IFIs) or development institutions in the area of private sector operations and organization efficiency would be a plus.

Language requirements:
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French is required.
Working knowledge of another IFAD language (Spanish, Arabic) is desirable.

 


Other information

In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, staff are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in 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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