CD/Head of Multi Country Office
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.
A Multi-country Office (MCO) is an ICO that serves several countries, including those Offices led by Country Programme Officers (CPO-led), and has at least two Country Directors. It is established for programmatic and/or efficiency reasons (e.g. travel connections).
The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office (CD/Head of MCO) works under the strategic management and policy guidance and direct supervision of the Divisional Director. S/he supervises some junior staff and non-staff, and as appropriate, coordinates the work of all staff and non-staff based in the MCO, including functions related to thematic areas.
The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office is responsible for management of an assigned portfolio of IFAD engagements in countries under his/her reponsibility including partnership development, policy dialogue, and country programmes. S/he serves as Head of the Multi-country Office and has a significant role in sub-regional policy engagement and partnerships. The incumbent is accountable for the overall coordination of the portfolio in countries covered from this MCO by other Country Directors and leading and managing staff under his/her supervision within the office and countries covered. S/he will role model IFAD’s core values of integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of the assigned portfolio.
The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office’s key results also include advocating for and enhancement of national government programmes that improve the access of poor rural people to natural resources; agricultural technologies; financial services; markets; employment opportunities and enterprise development. The CD/Head of MCO additionally plays a leading role in relevant national policy dialogues and UN and donor forums including promoting capacity building of key government counterparts and of the rural poor in terms of the skills required for their participation in national and local policy and programming processes.
Implementation of the IFAD12 Business model: (i) crowd in transformational development finance; (ii) support the development of transformational country programs; (iii) ensure proximity and adaptability to member states; and (iv) deliver as One IFAD – strong, inclusive and engaged teams. This will also include developing new strategies for engagement with potential new member states.
Diversification of the use of IFAD lending and non-lending instruments across the MCO and specific country portfolio’s including regional lending operations, non-sovereign operations and enhancing collaboration with private sector operators in line with the Private Sector Strategy, reimbursable technical assistance, results based lending, bonds and grants.
Delivery of quality business services to all 7 country programmes and portfolio (or as may be amended from time to time) and ensure adherence to corporate procedures and standards including results reporting through ORMS and prescribed systems, compliance with SECAP safeguards, fiduciary standards, Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE), Independent Office of Investigation (AUO) and Ethics Office compliant requirements.
Key Functions and Results
1. COUNTRY STRATEGY MANAGEMENT: The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office leads/manages country strategy development for countries within his/her assigned portfolio of work, and provides strategic advice to other Country Directors in the MCO, as appropriate. S/he is accountable for leading and managing the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies (COSOP) across the assigned portfolio of IFAD collaboration with governments and other national stakeholders, including private sector, 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; development of relevant country-specific strategies; and the definition of IFAD’s value added in this context.
2. COUNTRY PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT: The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office manages IFAD programme and related IFAD-funded projects within the portfolio assigned by the Division Director. In particular, s/he leads the development and expansion of country programme, the design and supervision of investment projects as well as loan and grant negotiations, all in accordance with IFAD’s applicable policies. In special circumstances in which high seniority representation and experience is required, the CD/Head of MCO supports other Country Directors in their engagements with governments. The CD/Head of MCO is accountable for analysing relevant information, leading the periodic monitoring and evaluation of results achieved and reporting on and dissemination of 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/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office serves as a designated IFAD representative in all countries within the assigned portfolio. S/he also serves as the highest representative for sub-regional engagement in dedicated multilateral meetings and events, as appropriate. Under the supervision of the Division Director, s/he catalyses effective partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction, including government and nongovernmental institutions, bilateral and multilateral financing institutions, civil society organisations, research centres and the private sector. Additionally, s/he enhances IFAD’s relationship 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 Teams in all countries within her/his assigned portfolio, playing a central role at the country-level in actualizing the coordination of operational activities for development, and contributes to all international and national meetings/thematic groups meetings. The CD/Head of MCO provides coordination and administrative support to Country Directors managing portfolios assigned to one of the areas covered by the respective Multi-country Office.
4. CONTRIBUTION TO POLICY LEADERSHIP: The Country Director/Head of an IFAD Multi-country Office contributes to corporate level strategy on core IFAD policy positions within the assigned portfolio, led by Division Directors. S/he leads sub-regional policy engagement across all portfolios associated with the countries under the MCO, and 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. He/she contributes to IFAD's policy intelligence with regular updates and information exchange on relevant policy discussions and ensure proper knowledge management 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/Head of MCO has delegated authority to manage the MCO office, including the direct utilization of resources allocated to the MCO. As such, s/he is accountable for the administrative management of human resources, contracting goods and services, certifying payments within established threshold and financial management.
- Advocacy and visibility for IFAD programmes in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia sub-region.
- Mobilize and crowd in sustainable development finance from public and private co-financers, green finance, philanthropic, international and domestic sources through forging strategic partnerships.
- Lead Sub-regionalstrategic policy formulationfor Turkey, Balkans and Central Asia in coordination with the respective Country Directors, particularly on rural transformation pathways around green water and energy, climate vulnerability, nature positive and biodiversity policies as well as gender , nutrition and youth priorities.
- Establishment of a work culture that fosters and demonstrates IFAD core values Respect, Integrity, Fairness, Professionalism and Focus on Results as a basis for high performing teams
- Supervision of MCO staff and ensuring the delivery of business services to 7 IFAD portfolios.
- Oversight and supervision of Eastern Europe and Central Asia portfolio assigned to the Istanbul MCO, specifically Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
- Promote the use of varied finance instruments, particularly Climate Finance from GEF and Adaptation Fund to mobilise essential supplementary financing.
Key Performance Indicators
The Country Directors/Heads of the IFAD Multi-country Office deliver technical and managerial leadership to the substantive development and execution of the assigned portfolio, including (i) providing guidance in programme delivery and being accountable for the performance of portfolio in the MCO; (ii) providing day-to-day managerial direction to Country Directors assigned to one of the areas covered by the respective Multi-country Office and other senior staff (up to P-4 level), Programme Officers (up to P-3 level), Multi-country Office Country Programme Officers and Assistants; (iii) effective representation with government counterparts and other programme collaborators; (iv) effective engagement with and providing high quality inputs to partners at various levels, including governments, national stakeholders, CSO, donors, UN/IFIs, and private sector; and (v) ability to anticipate and manage potential risks to the success of programmes. Externally the impact of the Country Director/Head of a Multi-country Office extends beyond country engagements to affect the image of IFAD across the countries covered by the Multi-country Office as an effective partner for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals in rural areas.
Assigned areas may include sub-regional clusters of countries or politically sensitive, high profile or highly complex countries as identified in the country classification matrix.
The Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office 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). S/he holds regular consultations with IFAD counterparts — line ministries and governmental bodies at all administrative levels, donors, civil society — to enhance the effectiveness and impact of IFAD operations. The Country Director/Head of an IFAD Multi-country Office 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 in addressing administrative and programme-related substantive issues, such as targeting and identifying needs for technical backstopping. The Country Director/Head of an IFAD Multi-country Office proactively works with project management to ensure compliance with IFAD policies and overall orientation towards the achievement of results and impact. As the senior expert on country programme formulation and delivery, the Country Director/Head of an IFAD Multi-country Office’s effectiveness as an advocate and trusted counterpart substantially affects IFAD’s image as a reliable and creative partner.
Extending beyond the parameters of the portfolio assigned to the Country Director/Head of the IFAD Multi-country Office, and as representative of the Division, the Country Director/Head of an IFAD Multi-country Office leverages the impact of IFAD supported agricultural development and rural poverty reduction programmes. S/he has the authority to establish programme agreements for assigned activities within the established strategic direction of the countries assigned. S/he contributes to resolving politically sensitive and/or highly complex issues with governments and partner institutions.
Working relationships with peers across IFAD is encouraged, such as the Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD), Financial Management Division (FMD), and Global Partnership and Resource Mobiilization (GPR), Treasury Services (TRE), Communications (COM) as well as Corporate Services Department (CSD) for provision of security, IT and HRD support.
Job Profile Requirements
- 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 https://whed.net/home.php in rural development, agriculture, economics, rural finance, development policy or development finance, social inclusion related themes, climate and environment, natural resources management, private sector developmentor 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 ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional experience in rural development, agriculture, economics, rural finance, development policy or other job-related fields.
- Four (4) years in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope.
- Position-specific experience: Working in international organizations, rural development/financial institutions or government services, preferably in area of implementation and supervision of rural development programmes. Experience may include project design, development, implementation and evaluation. At least 2 years (of the total 10) experience in resource (human, financial and material) management in an international organization is an asset. Evidence of substantive experience of having led and managed staff.
- Background in environment, agriculture, development finance and economics will have an added advantage.
- Experience with an array of development finance instruments will be an advantage, such as sovereign results based lending (RBLs); non-sovereign lending instruments (impact investment, credit guarantees, and equity) and non-lending instruments like reimbursable technical assistance (RTA’s).
- Exposure to Lending and non-lending instruments – sovereign lending operations and grants as well as analytical work is a pre-requisite for the position, regional lending operations, reimbursable technical assistance, non-sovereign operations are an advantage
- Experience of the context, development finance needs and rural transformation pathways for Eurasia will be an advantage
- Required English (4 – Excellent)
- Desirable: French or Arabic
- Position-specific requirement: Working knowledge of Russian or Turkic Languages is an added advantage.
- 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
- Stakeholder management: Strong alignment capabilities and consultation skills, building on effective interactions and relationships with different stakeholders (e.g. for the co-creation of communication material with member states) and ability to build and maintain a strong network (e.g. with journalists, media outlets, etc.)
- Strategy implementation: Ability to lead and manage the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies for IFAD / for respective divisions
- Planning: Know-how in the planning of human, financial and material management of IFAD resources
- Leadership: Group thought leader, sought out by others and providing mentorship and effective guidance to others; Ability to build trust, inside and outside the organization by acting as a role model for IFAD's core values and competencies, and to provide a clear sense of direction, mentorship and effective guidance to the team, strategizing the IFAD's goals, giving the vision, empowering the team and ensuring a positive environment for all.
- Political acumen: Ability to conduct sound political analysis and understand complex environments, providing options and advice
- Strategic mindset: Proactive, ongoing identification of strategic opportunities, potential synergies and partnerships
- 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)
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.
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