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Country Director


  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Tashkent
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Organizational Setting

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.

The Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five (5) regional divisions and the Operational Policy and Results Division (OPR).

Country Directors work under the strategic management, policy guidance, and direct supervision of the relevant Division Director. They also receive first-level operational support from the Country Director/Head of IFAD Multi-Country Office (CD/Head of MCO), or assigned Country Director at a senior level.

Position Specific
The position is located in the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division (NEN) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Job Role

The Country Director is accountable for the IFAD core values of integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of the assigned portfolio. Accountabilities/key results of the Country Director include advocating for and enhancing national government programmes that improve poor rural people’s access to natural resources, agricultural technologies, financial services, markets, employment opportunities, and enterprise development.

The Country Director also promotes capacity building of key government counterparts and the rural poor in terms of the skills required for their participation in national and local policy and programming processes.

The Country Director plays an active role in engaging with the private sector and other local stakeholders.

Key Functions and Results

1. COUNTRY STRATEGY MANAGEMENT: The Country Director leads strategic positioning and country strategy development. S/he is accountable for leading and managing the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies (COSOP) for IFAD’s collaboration with governments and other national stakeholders for agricultural development and rural poverty reduction following the principle of ownership, alignment and harmonization. This entails analysis of the dynamics of agricultural development and rural poverty reduction, the development of relevant country-specific strategies, and the definition of IFAD’s value added in this context.

2. COUNTRY PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT: The Country Director manages IFAD programme and related IFAD-funded projects within the portfolio assigned by the Division Director. S/he leads the design and supervision of the projects as well as loan and grant negotiations, all in accordance with IFAD’s applicable policies. The Country Director is accountable for analysing relevant information, assisting in the periodic monitoring and evaluation of results achieved and reporting on and disseminating findings. S/he contributes effectively to the IFAD organizational change agenda, with reference to issues related to IFAD’s direct supervision and implementation support modalities.

3. INSTITUTIONAL REPRESENTATION AND PARTNERSHIP MANAGEMENT: The Country Director ensures IFAD presence at country-level. S/he contributes to catalysing effective partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction, including government and non-governmental institutions, bilateral and multilateral financing institutions, civil society organizations, research centres and the private sector. Additionally, s/he enhances IFAD’s relationships and collaboration with in-country partners focusing on synergies and coordinated strategies with multilateral/bilateral donors and civil-society organizations involved in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction. S/he represents IFAD on the UN Country Team, acting as the primary point of contact for transmitting IFAD's decisions, provides support in the coordination of operational activities for development, and contributes to all international and national/thematic groups meetings.

4. CONTRIBUTION TO POLICY LEADERSHIP: The Country Director contributes to corporate level strategy on core IFAD policy positions within the assigned portfolio, led by Division Directors. S/he maintains and promotes constructive dialogue on the development of pro-poor agricultural development and rural poverty reduction policies and in enabling the rural poor to advocate for institutional transformation. S/he regularly participates in relevant policy meetings and events of interest to IFAD’s target groups and which involve the government, donors, and civil society, including NGOs, to render the policy dialogue agenda both credible and sustainable. S/he contributes to IFAD's policy intelligence with regular updates and information exchange on relevant policy discussions and ensure proper knowledge management is in place. Policy dialogue focuses on seeking to link the realities on the ground and the voices of the poor with national policies and programmes.

5. OFFICE MANAGEMENT: The Country Director supports the relevant CD/Head of MCO in managing the utilization of allocated resources. As such, s/he supports the management of human resources, contracting goods and services, and financial management. S/he also supports budget preparation, management, and monitoring of expenditures.

The Country Director may be assigned portfolio that is highly fragile and/ or conflict-affected and this will require managing and operating in complex and challenging environments. S/he will contribute to catalysing effective partnerships with like-minded partners including with governments as well as integrating fragility and conflict sensitivity into country strategies, designs and operations. As such, S/he should be able to better address weak capacity and institutions in the design and delivery of operations; monitoring the evolving regional and country contexts and associated risks to the portfolio; dealing with government, de facto authorities, development partners and other relevant stakeholders, on a coherent strategy that fits into the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and addresses roots of the conflict and fragility.

Key Performance Indicators

The Country Director provides technical and managerial leadership to the substantive development and execution of the assigned country programme(s), including providing:

•    day-to-day managerial direction to Programme Analysts and Officers (up to P-3 level), Country Programme Officers (CPOs), Country Programme Assistants (CPAs) and Administrative Assistants (AAs);

•    effective country presence and representation with government counterparts and other programme collaborators; and

•    the ability to anticipate and manage potential risks to programme success.

Position Specific
 Assigned areas may include sub-regional clusters of countries either politically sensitive, high profile or highly complex countries as identified in the country classification matrix. The Country Director facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experiences with other country teams in the office and within NEN.
The Country Director joins the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) of assigned portfolios, contribute to relevant Result Groups and ensures consistency of the programme of work with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework priorities (UNSDCF).

Working Relationships

COMMUNICATIONS: The Country Director serves as the IFAD spokesperson in the country concerned and, in carrying out this role and when required, draws on the advice and expertise of IFAD’s Communications  Division (COM). The Country Director holds regular consultations with IFAD counterparts - line ministries and governmental bodies at all administrative levels, donors, civil society organizations - to enhance the effectiveness and impact of IFAD operations. The Country Director also seeks to improve coordination among IFAD, the government and key development partners with a view primarily to ensuring synergy and a common approach to emerging agricultural development and rural poverty reduction strategies, policies and investment programmes. S/he serves as IFAD’s liaison with project authorities and helps address administrative and programme-related substantive issues, such as targeting and identifying needs for technical backstopping. The Country Director proactively works with project management to ensure compliance with IFAD policies and overall orientation towards the achievement of results and impact. As a senior expert on country programme formulation and delivery, the effectiveness of the Country Director as an advocate and trusted counterpart substantially affects IFAD’s image as a reliable and creative partner. 

The Country Director originates and manages new country-level projects or programmes in the assigned portfolio. Going beyond established procedures or models, their substantive contributions reflect new approaches that materially expand the range of services or programmes delivered at the country level. Programme design and development activities reflect authoritative technical capacity in performing the Head of Country Programme role. 

Externally, the impact on the overall IFAD programme is significant in projecting the organization’s role/capacity as a reliable partner with a qualitative edge at the national level.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 2:

  • Building relationships and partnerships - Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Communicating and negotiating - Acquires & uses a wide range of communication styles & skills
  • Demonstrating leadership - Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Focusing on clients - Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating - Challenges, innovates & contributes to learning culture
  • Managing performance and developing staff - Manages wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization
  • Managing time, resources and information - Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Problem-solving and decision-making - Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development - Staff in management and/or strategic leadership roles
  • Team working - Fosters a cohesive team environment


Education includes Advanced university degree from an accredited institution listed on in rural development, agriculture, rural finance, development policy or related field is required (*):
(*) Note:  For internal candidates, this requirement will be assessed in line with the provisions set forth in IFAD’s Human Resources Implementing Procedures. 


  • At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in rural development, agriculture, rural finance, development policy or other job related fields, with a preference for economics.
  • Two (2) years in an international organizations, rural development/financial institutions or government services providing support on a global scope.
  • Experience may include project design, development, implementation and evaluation preferably in area of implementation and supervision of rural development programmes.


  • English (4 - Excellent)
  • Working knowledge of another IFAD Language would be an asset


  • IFAD governance & mandate: In depth knowledge of IFAD`s governance structure, mandate, strategic priorities and technical work
  • IFAD partners: Knowledge of IFAD's partners' functioning and mandate , such as the public sector (e.g. governments and policy, institutions and system), non-state actors (NGOs, CSOs, Foundations, etc.) and private sector actors
  • Performance management: Know-how in managing performance, learning management, establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD's activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies
  • Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
  • Evidence-based policy: Know-how in the formulation of concrete and actionable policy recommendations based on hard evidence (going beyond simple data interpretation)
  • Loans & grants: Know-how in designing loan and grant operations and managing loan and grant preparation process
  • Policy dialogue: Know-how in the representation of IFAD as a trusted and strategic partner, advocating and promoting IFAD's mandate and vision; effective consultations with IFAD counterparts - like ministries and governmental bodies at all administrative levels, donors, civil society
  • Topical expertise - Programme Mgmt for Agricultural Development: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. For ethics office assistant, procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct, Discipline and Anti-harassment provisions of applicable rules and guidelines)
  • Project/Programme mgmt (incl. coordination, design, development): Know-how in Project design and evaluation

Other Information

IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, the President 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.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation. 

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