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Communication for Rural Development Specialist

Multiple locations

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
  • Closing Date: 2023-09-30

IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • 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 person 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

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division (PSU) is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the identification and strengthening of transformative partnerships with nonstate actors, including parliamentarians, civil society, academia and research institutions, family farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ organizations, to facilitate delivery of FAO’s Four Betters, and field programme by fostering dialogue, developing capacities, scaling up programmes and ensuring policy support.
PSU facilitates jointly with IFAD the secretariat of the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF 2019-2028) contributing to the achievements of the SDGs.
The Division is responsible for promoting policy dialogue and to deliver support to member countries, producer organization and field projects ensuring multi-stakeholder engagement at global, regional and country level, leading the work of the Organization in the area of Communication for Rural Development (ComDev) as part of the functions of the Family Farming Engagement Parliamentary Networks and Communication for development Initiatives (PSUF).
PSU through the FAO Communication for Development Team (ComDev) assists members countries, FAO programmes, decentralized offices and partners in the design and implementation of ComDev Strategies and plans and the delivery of inclusive Rural communication services (RCS). Priority is given to improving stakeholder engagement in FAO programme delivery, enhancing the capacity of rural institutions and family farmer organization in managing communication processes, media and ICTs supporting evidence and policy dialogue establish inclusive rural communication services. Special support is also provided to the UNDFF’ Global Action Plan. In particular, assistance is provided to Outcome 4.4 Communication, ICT capacities/services improved and family farmers’ voices heard, and to FAO programme and producers’ organizations through participatory communication plans, regional and national ComDev initiatives promoting knowledge sharing, capacity development and technical assistance in ComDev, through partnerships and regional ComDev partnerships and platforms.

The Organization frequently engages experts to work on short-term activities and projects as international consultants or under personal service agreements (PSA). International consultants or PSA are engaged by the Organization to provide expertise, skills or knowledge for the performance of a specific task or piece of work, which is short term by nature. The assignment may involve full or part- time functions. The assignment can be from 1 month up to 11 months. The possibility of extension is subject to satisfactory performance and depending on the resources and needs of the Organization.

The objective of the Call is to attract suitable individuals to undertake A-level, B-level and C-level consultancies and/or PSAs in the area of Communication for Rural Development, in line with the following priorities and tasks\:

a) Support the design and implementation of ComDev Projects, strategies and components according to the FAO guidelines (eg. http\://
b) Support to the Communication for Rural Development activities undertaken by the Organization and the Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division (PSU), ensuring stakeholder engagement and improving FAO programme delivery;
c) Enhance the ComDev capacities of non-state actors, in particular family farmer, indigenous peoples and civil society organizations, as well as rural institutions, Governments, community media and networks and development programmes; and
d) Provide technical advice and promote evidence, knowledge sharing, partnership and policy dialogue to ensure inclusive rural communication services as part of agriculture, rural development and family farming policies and programmes.

Individual meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Call will be included in the Communication for Rural Development’s Partnership Division Roster. Experts who are registered in the Roster are available for consideration whenever relevant opportunities arise matching the required profiles.

Reporting Lines

The Consultants or PSAs will work under the direct supervision of the Team Leader of the FAO Communication for Development Team within the Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division (PSU), with the general guidance of the Unit Head of the Family Farming Engagement Parliamentary Networks and Communication for development Initiatives (PSUF) and in close collaboration with other concerned FAO divisions (e.g. Office of Corporate Communication, OCC), strategic objectives teams and decentralized offices.
When activities are carried out in countries, the consultants will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO regional office.

Technical Focus

Contribute to the implementation of FAO’s programme of work in Communication for Development and inclusive Rural Communication Services as applied to family farming, sustainable agrifood systems, rural development and other related areas. Special attention will be provided to the design of Communication for Development strategies and to the implementation of rural communication services through the appropriation of adequate media and ICT by family farmers and rural communities, especially women and youth.

Technical advice in the design and implementation of Communication for Rural Development projects, strategies and Rural Communication Services in connection with FAO Four Betters, the Sustainable Development Goals, the UNDFF and FAO field programmes, activities and outcomes.

Tasks and responsibilities

The general functions, tasks and responsibilities in the area of Communication for rural development will include but are not limited to the following elements\:
• Provide technical assistance for the design of ComDev strategies and components in FAO programmes and projects and support the implementation ensuring stakeholder engagement and improving FAO programme delivery according to the relevant FAO guidelines (e.g http\://
• Support FAO Strategic Programs, Regional Initiatives, CPFs, decentralized offices, family farmers and producer organizations and FAO partners in relation to ComDev plans and activities.
• Support the UN Decade of Family Farming global action plan, with special attention to Outcome 4.4, Communication, ICTI capacities/services improved and family farmer’ s voices heard, and facilitate the implementation of participatory communication plans for UNDFF.
• Support ComDev initiatives/platforms (ComDev Asia, Yenkasa Africa, Onda rual, CCComDev) and foster strategic partnerships and cooperation in this field.
• Provide advice in the design, piloting and upscaling of inclusive rural communication services (RCS), including the use of appropriate media and their appropriation by family farmers.
• Assist in identifying relevant developments in the use of media, digital technologies and ICTs in the field of family farming, sustainable agrifood systems and rural development.
• Take care of the organization of trainings, e-learnings and the preparation and sharing of case studies, methodologies and tools to enhance ComDev capacities especially of FAO offices, rural institutions, farmer organizations, indigenous peoples and development practitioners.
• Take care of outreach and knowledge sharing in relation to the activities of the FAO ComDev Team, including the publication of articles, preparation of web pages, communities of practices, webinars, and use of social media and,
• Perform other tasks as needed.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in communication and/or ICTs for development, social sciences, agricultural sciences or related field.
• At least five years of progressively responsible professional experience in Communication for Development, particularly in the agriculture, family farming and rural development sector.
• Working knowledge (level C) of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for PSA it can be required only one language level C).

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Extent and relevance of academic qualifications in areas related to Communication for Development
• Extend and relevance of experience in planning and monitoring Communication for Development strategies, activities and reviewing policy, institutional and/or legal frameworks in a wide range of cultural and development contexts as well as monitoring related systems.
• Extent and relevance of experience and technical capacity in designing and implementing Communication for Development strategies and plans to rural development, family farming, climate adaptation and resilience.
• Extent and relevance of experience in developing Communication for Development activities and establishing partnerships and networks with relevant partners in this field.
• Extent and relevant experience in providing advice, documenting and collecting evidence in the field of Rural Communication.
• Knowledge of FAO methods for communication for development or dialogue facilitation an asset.
• Knowledge of FAO’s strategies activities and methodologies in Communication for development
• Excellent analytical and conceptual skills, as well as gender sensitive and cross-cultural competency.
• Ability to operate effectively in a team, contributing positively to team operations and working relationships.
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
• Research and analytical skills, and ability to present and communicate effectively both orally and in writing
• Proven competence in the formulation and monitoring of Communication for Development strategies.
• Demonstrated ability to identify appropriate media and channels and digital technologies as applied to ComDev.

Selection Criteria

• Level, extent and relevance of experience in Communication for Rural Development in support of field projects, rural communication services, rural institutions and producer organizations.
• Knowledge of FAO Communication for Rural Development guidelines, methods and tools.
• Experience in organizing trainings, technical meetings and seminars in Communication for Development.
• Capacity to animate and support regional and national networks and facilitate participatory communication activities.
• Demonstrated experience in working in complex environments.
• Ability to manage the tight deadlines and multiple work streams.
• Depth of English language skills\: full fluency in written English in highly desirable.
• Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, particularly InDesign and Photoshop is desirable.
• Knowledge of Machine Translation Tools and Techniques, Natural Language Processing, Knowledge Management Systems, Web Usage Analysis, Information Retrieval/ Extractions Systems is desirable.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http\://
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact\:


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.