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various locations

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: various locations
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2022-02-02

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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, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

The Statistics Division (ESS) develops and advocates for the implementation of methodologies and standards for data collection, validation, processing and analysis of food and agriculture statistics. In these statistical domains, it also plays a vital role in the compilation, processing and dissemination of internationally comparable data, and provides essential capacity building support to member countries. In addition, the Division disseminates many publications, working papers and statistical yearbooks, which cover agricultural and food security relevant statistics (including prices, production, trade and agri-environmental statistical data). The Statistics Division is involved in the management of a number of large scale projects (50x2030, Global Strategy, FIES) aimed at improving statistical methodologies and establish best practices for the collection, collation, processing, dissemination and use of data relevant to food security, agriculture and rural areas.

The Office of the Chief Statistician (OCS) is mandated to strengthen the coordination of FAO statistical activities and to oversee the implementation of FAO’s responsibilities in global SDG reporting. Within these general functions, OCS provides guidance to the FAO technical divisions (including the Statistics Division) in charge of data acquisition, compilation and dissemination, with the aim of ensuring quality and consistency of statistical practices at corporate level. OCS plays a quality assurance role in the development of methods and standards for food and agriculture statistics and in the provision of technical assistance and capacity development to member countries. The Office also steer and facilitate FAO statistical governance, both externally and internally.

Reporting Lines

Consultants and PSA subscribers will work under the immediate supervision of one or more Team Leaders of ESS or OCS , and the general oversight of the Director and the Deputy Director of ESS or the Chief Statistician. They may be called upon to collaborate with other FAO Divisions and teams.

Technical Focus

Consultants and PSA subscribers will work in one or more of the following statistical domains:

  • Sustainable Development Goals monitoring and indicators;
  • Food balance sheets and Supply Utilization Accounts (agricultural production, trade, stocks, and other utilization statistics)
  • Crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry statistics;
  • Implementation of agricultural surveys and censuses;
  • Postharvest losses, food losses and food waste statistics;
  • Food security and nutrition statistics;
  • Prices, costs of production, investment and public expenditure statistics;
  • National Accounts Statistics and System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) on crop, livestock, fishing and forestry sub-sector including capital formation;
  • Agro-environmental statistics including Fertilizers, Pesticides and Land Use;
  • Climate change relevant statistics and indicators, including GHG emissions;
  • Poverty and rural poverty statistics, rural livelihoods statistics;
  • Agricultural and rural labour and decent work statistics, social protection statistics;
  • Territorial statistics, including rural and rural livelihoods statistics;
  • Statistics on resilience, damage and losses from hazardous events;
  • Geo-spatial statistical applications; Land cover/land use statistics and crop mapping/area estimates;
  • Use of data science and non-conventional data sources for the production of food and agriculture statisics;
  • Corporate statistical planning and corporate statistical policies;
  • Dissemination of agricultural statistics, including micro-data dissemination and open data policies
  • Quality assurance of statistical processes and products;
  • International Definitions, Classifications and statistical standards;
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of corporate results frameworks.

Tasks and responsibilities

In one or more of the above-mentioned statistical domains, Consultants and PSA subscribers will contribute to and/or take responsibility for one or more of the following tasks:

  • methodological development (for data processing, analysis, disaggregation, imputation of missing data, validation, nowcasting and quality control)
  • sampling design
  • data collection, processing, analysis, validation and dissemination at national and sub-national level
  • analysis and validation of trade flow data (quantity & value), by reporter and partner
  • processing of micro-data and computation of indicators from household surveys and farm surveys
  • advanced use of statistical software languages, including programming, particularly of R, Stata and Python applications
  • technologies for data collection (CAPI, Remote Sensing, Crowdsourcing, Web scraping)
  • Technologies and AI methods for text mining
  • questionnaire design
  • analysis of data with item-response-theory
  • metadata development
  • design, preparation and management of statistical projects
  • statistical capacity development, including needs assessments, design and implementation of statistical training and technical assistance activities
  • statistical policy advocacy, communication and implementation
  • strategic planning in agricultural and rural statistics
  • use of administrative data in agricultural and rural statistics
  • archiving, communication and dissemination of statistical products

They will perform other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in statistics, economics, social sciences, environmental sciences, or a related and relevant field.
  • At least 1 year of relevant experience in the above-mentioned statistical areas of work and / or fields of application.
  • For PSAs: Working knowledge of one of the FAO languages.
  • For Consultants: Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent and length of knowledge and experience in performing the above-mentioned tasks and responsibilities in relevant statistical fields
  • Strong command of statistical methods including: data presentation, analysis and descriptive statistics; main continuous and discrete random variables (binomial, normal, standard normal, log-normal) and their properties; probability distributions; conditional probability, probabilities of intersections of events, Bayes' theorem; correlation and rank correlation; sampling and sample size: simple, stratified, and multistage random sampling; Inference, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and significance; linear regression (single and multiple) comparison of population means and variances, ANOVA; Chi-square and goodness of fit tests; nonlinear models: maximum likelihood estimation; elements of survey and questionnaire design
  • Ability to draft quickly, clearly and concisely and to communicate effectively in English
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervision
  • Previous working experience with FAO and its partners in the above-mentioned statistical domains and tasks
  • Experience in the provision of technical assistance to countries and/or professional experience in national statistical services

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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