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Programme Development Officer (Research, Innovation and Partnership)


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • Closing Date: Closed


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device
The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments


• 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 persons 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
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) is a voluntary network and movement for change, uniquely bringing together all sectors relevant to innovation in Agriculture and food. GFAR is made up of over 580 Partner networks and institutions, working together through collective advocacy and action, to shape the future of agriculture and food and their role in achieving sustainable development. The Partners in GFAR come from all around the world and across many sectors, including farmers, consumers and civil society organizations, women and youth organization, the private sector, public national and international research systems, advisory services, education, donor bodies and three UN Organizations. GFAR’s reach is achieved through these organizations and the many millions of people they involve.

GFAR mobilizes dialogue and collective actions between the many Partners who make up the Forum and who share GFAR’s common vision of making agri-food research and innovation more effective, responsive and equitable towards achieving Sustainable Development outcomes. The GFAR Secretariat helps trigger these collective actions among GFAR Partner institutions, who are themselves the agents of change and deliver and helps the partners establish the strategy and programme of work of their forum, working from development demands back to required innovations. GFAR’s key areas of focus align to FAO’s Strategic Objectives and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

GFAR i) helps inspire and enable the transformation and strengthening of agri-food research and innovation for development systems and processes to become more inclusive and equitable, more effective and impactful and ii) catalyzes changes, fostering dialogue and new forms of multi stakeholder collaboration at different levels, through its extensive networks, South- South, North South and between sectors.

GFAR is seeking to recruit a highly experienced and motivated Research and Innovation Advisor & Partnership Officer who is passionate about transforming and strengthening the international research and development architecture and building networked actions for impact towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The officer will work within the Secretariat to mobilize and support Partner organizations of the Forum as they address specific key areas of focus of GFAR, providing the necessary support and administrative functions and representing the Forum in advocacy and sharing of experiences and lessons learned.

The position is located in the GFAR Secretariat at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Programme Development Officer (Research, Innovation and Partnership) reports to GFAR Executive Secretary.

Technical Focus
Development of polices and strategies and facilitation of partnerships and collective actions.

Key Results
Technical and policy expertise to devise and implement GFAR Programme of Work and facilitate GFAR activities especially Collective Actions.

Key Functions
• Mobilizes dialogue and collective actions between the Partners who make up the Forum.
• Spearheads and articulates GFAR’s vision of making agrifood research and innovation more effective, responsive and equitable towards achieving Sustainable Development outcomes also through the development of policies and strategies.
• Develops and implements methodologies, tools and systems to support the planning and delivery of programmes of work, collective actions and other GFAR initiatives.
• Manages the production of reports, assessments and analyses; leads multi-disciplinary teams; participates in technical networks and cross-sector studies.
• Coordinates technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities, including learning events.
• Ensures guidance in international meetings aimed at advancing GFAR’s mission by supporting members’ and partners’ engagement.
• Liaises as appropriate with FAO’s relevant units and corporate activities (development of strategies, organization of Science and Innovation international meetings, technical events related to topics at the heart of GFAR’s mission/collective actions).

Specific Functions
• Advises the GFAR Executive Secretary in strategizing and implementing GFAR plan of action, mobilizing technical, human and financial resources, with particular reference to the transformation of research governance and the collaborative development of innovation, bringing together different stakeholders, worldviews and knowledge systems.
• Leads in methodological support and guidance to the co-creation and co-research approaches placing smallholder producers at the centre of innovation and of the pro-poor transformation of food systems.
• Contributes to the development of corporate documents (Theory of Change, Engagement Principles, Partnership Principles) that provide strategic guidance and deliver awareness of GFAR roles and values.
• Mobilizes GFAR’s members and partners to engage actively into the Forum’s activities, and provides advisory support and facilitation to processes initiating and establishing GFAR-enabled multi-stakeholder Collective Actions, ensuring complementarity between actors, equitable participation and integration of resource poor producers placed at the centre of these dynamics in accordance with GFAR Partnership Principles.
• Coordinates Collective Actions in the area of Forgotten Foods, Participatory Research and Higher Education.
• Supports GFAR members and partners to develop national, regional and global research and innovation agendas and concrete implementation plans embodied into Collective Action that respond to existing and emerging global challenges and trends for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
• Liaises content matter development with GFAR knowledge management and communication activities as appropriate.
• Coordinates the production of surveys, reviews, studies, articles, publications and the organization of presentations on topics that are related to GFAR flagship Collective Actions and to partnership building and co-innovation.
• Sustains the organization of outreach activities and production of inputs to relevant meetings (Executive Committee, Steering Committee, Members’/Partners’ Assembly).
• Participates in international conferences and field workshops presenting and facilitating GFAR Collective Actions.
• Builds further value from the relationships with FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other key stakeholders (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research – CGIAR, etc.)


Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in agriculture, economics, social sciences, development studies, international relations or related fields.
• Seven years of relevant experience, in the field of agrifood and agricultural innovation systems transformation, international research, participatory innovation development and facilitation of partnerships including countries in the Global South.
• Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate - level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

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

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one area of work, particularly in field positions, with specific familiarity with developing countries.
• Experience in organizing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work, including training, forging multistakeholder partnerships networking, learning and knowledge management.
• Experience in resource mobilization, including designing project proposals.
• Ability to lead and work effectively with a diverse team of people and organizations.
• Extent and relevance of knowledge and experience in leading partnerships/collective actions in agrifood system transformation.
• Extent and relevance of experience in developing, drafting and delivering programmes of work or projects related to agrifood system transformation.
• Ability to analyse information as the basis for technical and policy advice for GFAR members and partners and input to international meetings.
• Extent and relevance of knowledge of the linkages between different topics relevant to small-scale farmers in the Global South.
• Extent and relevance of experience with multistakeholder partnerships in agricultural research and innovation/agrifood systems.

This vacancy is now closed.
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