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Senior Knowledge, Learning and Impact Advisor, Food Systems (Home-Based) 75% part-time — IPSA 12

Home Based - May require travel

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Remote | Home Based - May require travel
  • Grade: Senior level - IPSA-12, International Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Closing Date: Closed


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP has developed its new Strategy for Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) to focus its vision and enhance its support to transform FACS. FACS are fundamental to the sustainable development of the 170 countries UNDP supports.  FACS are often the largest contributor to their economies; food and nutrition is fundamental for citizen health, and FACS have a key role to play in achieving the SDGs.  Yet, FACS are in crisis and need to be radically transformed to become sustainable. UNDP, building on its experience, has for the first time consolidated its FACS support and vision into this Strategy.

UNDP´s Vision for FACS 2030 is, through partnerships, to transform food and agricultural commodity systems into resilient; equitable; healthy, inclusive; environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable systems. Working on FACS will contribute to not only recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, by creating sustainable and resilient livelihoods for many along the FAC supply chains, but also to preventing further zoonoses from emerging in the future. This will require a change in the current paradigm of agricultural production focusing on maximizing productivity to a new paradigm based on diversified agroecological systems which work simultaneously on achieving economic, environmental, social, and health outcomes, with smallholders as a key part of the solution in their role as the engine of economic development.

A FACS practice has been established within UNDP´s Nature, Climate and Energy team, which is tasked to support UNDP Country Offices with FACS related challenges in a way that is aligned with UNDP´s FACS strategy. 

A UNDP´s FACS team supports the implementation of UNDP´s FACS strategy. Its global targets, objectives, and delivery strategies are based on inclusive and sustainable growth and development – combining governments and markets in agriculture through public-private partnerships and democratic dialogue processes. The FACS team leads several global initiatives, including supporting the World Bank with the implementation of the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program (IP), financed under GEF-7. The Programme is designed to promote sustainable integrated landscapes and efficient food value chains at scale. The FOLUR IP aims to encourage transformation to more environmentally sustainable production practices and more resilient landscapes. The FOLUR IP has two main elements – a Global Knowledge to Action Platform and 27 Country Projects (CPs) - designed to tackle the dual challenges of achieving a global food system built on sustainable land use practices and productive, resilient landscapes, using both top-down and bottom-up strategies. The FACS team’s support to FOLUR is focused on the global platform with the objective of contributing to transformational shifts in the use of environmentally sustainable practices and policies for priority global value chains.    

The FACS team also works in close collaboration with various governments notably the Government of Sweden and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO).

To support project implementation across its portfolio, the FACS team notably runs a community of practice (FACS Community). The FACS Community is an impartial space for its registered members to share experiences, collaborate digitally, learn, and develop capacities on essential practices that are required to change systems through collaborative action and increase the effectiveness and impact of sustainability efforts in Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems.

To provide guidance and technical advice on inter-agency cooperation, project implementation, and team stewardship and lead on organizational learning, knowledge management, and project governance strengthening of various initiatives part of its portfolio, the FACS team is recruiting a Senior Knowledge, Learning and Impact Advisor.

Duties and Responsibilities
The Senior Knowledge, Learning and Impact Advisor will carry out the following duties:

Strategic guidance on portfolio development, organizational learning, management, and cooperation

  • Serve on the Stewardship Team (ST) to provide advice and guidance on strategy, integrated offer, team organizational effectiveness, new partnerships, and initiatives development.
  • Nurture cooperation and develop new partnerships with targeted donors and organizations around learning.
  • Support portfolio development and proposal writing on learning.
  • Co-develop a FACS team learning system that identifies, codifies, and ensures the uptake of important lessons learned related to methodologies, tools, and global interventions by the team.

Project implementation and technical advice on knowledge management and collaborative learning

  • Lead or support the implementation of UNDP FACS’s contractual commitments on specific deliverables related to knowledge management, capacity development, south-south dialogues and lessons learning.
  • Lead the continuous strengthening of the FACS Community in terms of scope, audience, services offered, membership size, and visibility.
  • Lead and supervise a team of consultants on knowledge management and community of practice to implement project activities.

Strengthen UNDP’s policy impact on agri-food systems

  • Develop a new set of projects focused on interventions based on strengthened food governance from lessons on governance impact across the portfolio.
  • Support country deep dives to strengthen the governance of food and agricultural commodities production, through unpacking what it takes to increase leverage for sustainable policy reforms by UNDP.

Country project support

  • Provide technical and strategic advice on communications to strengthen project implementation and impact of communications activities by country teams.

Institutional Arrangement
The Senior Knowledge, Learning and Impact Advisor will be supervised by the Global Head, Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems, and will be home-based.
Note: this is a 75% part-time position.


Core Competencies

  • ACHIEVE RESULTS - LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact.
  • THINK INNOVATEVELY - LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems.
  • LEARN CONTINUOUSLY - LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.
  • ADAPT WITH AGILITY - LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands.
  • ACT WITH DETERMINATION - LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.
  • ENGAGE AND PARTNER - LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.
  • ENABLE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION - LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-Functional Competencies

    • STRATEGIC THINKING: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks, and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions. • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.
    • SYSTEM THINKING: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgment to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact other parts of the system.
    • KNOWLEDGE GENERATION: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need.
    • KNOWLEDGE FACILITATION: Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally.
    • PARTNERSHIPS MANAGEMENT: Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.

Technical Competencies

    • NATURE CLIMATE AND ENERGY: Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in environment/development/sustainability, or any other related fields (with 10 years of relevant experience) or Bachelor's Degree in related areas (with 12 years of relevant experience).


  • 10 years' relevant experience (with a Master´s Degree) or 12 years’ relevant experience (with a Bachelor´s Degree) in senior positions working on sustainable development.
  • Experience in designing and managing knowledge management programmes and learning networks required.
  • Experience working on Food and Agricultural Commodities Systems required.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in strategy development, complex multi-country/ global programmes, and senior management roles is an advantage
  • Experience in developing proposals for learning will be an asset
  • Working experience in an international organization will be an advantage
  • Knowledge of UNDP policies and procedures will be an asset.
  • Working experience with GEF-funded projects will be an advantage
  • Knowledge of other UN languages will be an asset.

Required Languages:

  • Excellent oral and written English required.


Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity
UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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This vacancy is now closed.
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