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Agricultural Officer (Research for Development)


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • 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 FAO Office of Innovation (OIN) supports Members in accelerating Science and Innovation uptake and developing their capacity to unleash innovation. The activities of OIN in this area include horizon scanning of cutting edge innovations and technologies; strategic foresights for policy advice, capacity development; institutional transformation of agricultural research, education, extension and innovation systems, organizing expert consultations, debates and dialogues on emerging issues, conducting technical studies on Science Innovation and Technology (STI).

Under the overall coordination of the Chief Scientist's Office, and in collaboration with the Statistics Division (ESS), OIN is currently implementing the 'Agricultural Science - Technology Indicators (ASTI)' project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). ASTI is a unique and critical data asset for agricultural development. The ASTI project will support a major restructuring, improvement, and transition of the ASTI dataset from IFPRI to FAO; it will align the data set and the data collection process that generates it to the FAO standards and the practice of FAOSTAT.

The project will also connect the ASTI data to FAO's new knowledge product - the Agrifood systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO). ASTI will focus on investments in agricultural research and development where there is considerable evidence that investing in agricultural research is a highly effective pathway for both reducing poverty and hunger. The specific focus of this assignment is to provide both technical and operational support to ASTI project implementation, make ASTI fit-for-purpose for ATIO and create synergies between ASTI and other initiatives. ATIO's objective is to curate existing information on the current, measurable state of Science Technology Innovation and upcoming changes, as well as their transformative potential, to inform evidence-based policy dialogue and decisions, including on investments.

Incumbent will work in OIN to support the transition of the IFPRI-Agricultural Science - Technology Indicators (ASTI) programme to FAO and contribute to the development of the Agrifood Systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO) and will support work related to the new FAO-ASTI (incl. ATIO) project implementation, data analysis, preparation of analytic documents and policy notes, supporting as well as any other tasks related to agricultural research and science, technologies, and innovation.

The post is located in the Office of Innovation (OIN) at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Agricultural Officer (Research for Development) reports to the Director, OIN and works closely with the Agricultural Research Officer, OIN.

Technical Focus
• Restructuring of the existing ASTI and institutionalization of the new ASTI programme in the FAOSTATS as well as FAO-Agrifood Systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO).
• Publication and dissemination of ASTI's outputs.
• Research analysis on the agrifood system - technologies and innovations.
• Strengthening national agricultural research systems.

Key Results
Technical and policy expertise to support the planning, development and implementation of divisional programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions
• Plans and leads components of multidisciplinary teams, leads and/or participates in Organization-wide, cross-divisional committees, project teams and working groups and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
• Develops technical, analysis, assessment, monitoring and/or reporting frameworks and related methodologies, tools, systems and databases, etc. to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of programmes of work, projects, products and/or services.
• Designs and conducts research, data collection, validation, analysis and/or reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovative cross-sector approaches, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/policy/specialist/advice and expertise.
• Responds to Members’ requests for technical and/or policy assistance; provides technical advice, assistance and solutions to Decentralized Offices; provides technical backstopping to field projects.
• Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Members such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events, including preparation of related information, learning materials and on-line tools.
• Promotes international cooperation/advocates best practices, supports increased policy dialogue and provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings.
• Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
• In close coordination with Statistics Division (ESS) and the Office of the Chief Scientist, coordinates the enhancement and the transition of the ASTI programme from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to FAO with subsequent publication in ATIO and FAOSTAT, as per work plan of project MTF/GLO/1117/BMG
• Leads and coordinates the ASTI programme transition in connection with ATIO.
• Takes stock of the status of the existing ASTI dataset and assess its features to identifying areas of improvement and new indicators.
• Contributes to the review and assessment of the current ASTI data and indicators in relation to the demand at country, regional and global levels and develop new indicators/questionnaire, as needed - desk review analysis of the available literature on NARS, function and coordination and status of AR4D in different regions where ASTI is operating.
• Develops a robust integration plan for ASTI into ATIO.
• Develops an integrated resource mobilization strategy and fund-raising mechanisms for ASTI in line with ATIO to ensure sustainability beyond the initial three years of BMGF funding.
• Oversees and provides technical supervision to the participatory assessment of existing ASTI data, indicators in relation to the demand at country, regional and global levels and develop new indicators/questionnaire as needed.
• Provides technical contribution to revision and identification of new indicators for ASTI in line with ATIO and AFS transformation.
• Carries out ASTI data analysis, research, advocacy in the broader context of investment in Research and Development (R-D).
• Provides technical support to the data collection and communication with focal points at country level.
• Provides technical support to capacity development activities with relevant national and regional ASTI counterparts with a view to establishing a standard FAO data collection mechanism.
• Produces and disseminates publications on policy set up to support the national research strategies based on analytical data from the new global ASTI dataset provided by the FAO Statistical Working System and FAOSTAT.
• Creates synergies with work done by OIN/ESS in terms of making ASTI fit for purpose for ATIO and contribute from the R-D policy development and advocacy standpoint.
• Acts as main liaise on with the donor and ensure smooth implementation of the project.

Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in agriculture, natural resources or other fields related to the FAO mandate.
• Seven years of relevant experience in the fields of agricultural research, national research systems, data collection and analysis of research system, indicators, policies and performance monitoring and evaluation.
• 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
• Strong analytic skills and knowledge in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, harmonization, analysis, dissemination.
• Strong skill and experience in writing technical document, policy notes and dissemination materials variety of audience.
• Strong experience in development and administration of survey and data collection tools for quantitative and qualitative data collection, data analysis and interpretation of the findings and reporting.
• Extent experience in project support including planning, administration, budget management, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and report writing.
• Experience in resource mobilization strategies, and fund-raising mechanisms and strategic partnerships.
• Experience with FAO project implementation and operational mechanisms considered asset.
• Previous experience with the BMGF funded project is an asset.
• Extent experience in scan horizon and foresight for agrifood STI is also an asset.
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.

This vacancy is now closed.
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