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Organizational context


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.


Post's organizational accountability


The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD's strategic direction and thematic priorities and enhances the technical quality of IFAD's operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness by generating and disseminating IFAD's development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA). 


RIA plays a key role in generating rigorous evidence and insights to support decision-making, to contribute to more effective projects and to strengthen IFAD's capacity to influence dialogue on rural development globally by systematically assessing the impact of IFAD investments and through research analyzing the context in which IFAD operates. Working with partners inside IFAD and externally, RIA conducts research on relevant themes, such as agricultural and rural transformation, economic mobility and social inclusion, environment and resilience. It also supports innovative agricultural research topics through the Agriculture Research for Development (AR4D) financing window. 


The Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) is an expert and knowledge builder in her/his thematic specialization. He/She provides technical expertise and guidance on generating and using new ideas to enrich the knowledge base that supports the Fund's policy agenda. With corporate, rather than country or regional specific focus, he/she provides substantive contribution to understanding future trends in rural development strengthening IFAD's strategic planning perspective and pro-actively fostering innovative and effective solutions to rural poverty within country programmes, IFAD policy, member governments, the academic community, and public opinion in the international development community. Contact are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations and with officials of governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, research institutes and academia. Work at this level is characterized by technical leadership in field of specialization in collaboration with professional and support staff of a unit or by the provision of authoritative technical advice.  
The accountabilities/key results expected are:


  • Research & Knowledge and Advisory Services
  • Impact Assessment 
  • Senior Technical Advice Policy and Strategy Advice and Development
  • Partnership Building and Outreach Activities
  • Monitoring, and Reporting
  • Managerial Functions   

The Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the direct supervision of the Director RIA and/or under the general supervision of the Lead Technical Specialist (Economist). He/She works collaboratively with SKD technical specialists (both in PMI and ECG) to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support facilitating knowledge flows and building of communities of practices. The following Key Results Expected/Major Functional Activities are generic and representational; the majority, but not necessarily all, will be performed by the Senior Technical Specialist. 


Key results expected / Major functional activities


1. Research & Knowledge and Advisory Services: The Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) focuses on IFAD's research agenda, contributing substantially to the annual work programme regarding research and reports on trends in rural transformation in developing countries and the effectiveness of rural development interventions to identify potential implications for IFAD's work. He/She enhances the development of viable and sustainable policies and supports regional and global thematic input through authoritative technical knowledge sharing for his/her area of specialization. He/She will ensure access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthen technical capacity and establish new knowledge and advisory partnerships. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Contributing in the design and quality assurance of research produced by RIA;
  • Maintaining networks with researchers, policy makers and civil society for enhanced knowledge exchange, including training workshops and seminars;
  • Supporting intelligence gathering and analysis of debates relevant to rural transformation in the global debate and facilitates knowledge sharing experiences within SKD, IFAD and other stakeholders in the global area and generating through activities such as analytical studies and regional grants with colleagues in the country programme as well as the division; may manage selected Cooperation and Technical Assistance Grants in support of the same; 
  • \\Supporting the coordination of the relevant knowledge development and dissemination with institutions outside of IFAD within the region concerned and national Institutions disseminating knowledge and lessons learned with outside partners and stakeholders through publication of Occasional Papers, journal articles, seminars and workshops, through electronic media and the development of new knowledge products and operational tools that are informed by learning from the field; and
  • Participating in IFAD-wide thematic discussions and developing appropriate technical and operation approaches of relevance to the country/divisional strategies and programmes.
  • Planning and leading learning events to strengthen IFAD's knowledge and capacity to engage in global debates with policy implications for rural transformation.
  • Representing RIA at forums on related topics and present research contributions. 


2. Impact Assessment: The Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) provides policy advice on agricultural economics and impact assessment issues, as they emerge from the analytical work; designs, plans and prepares conferences, workshops, seminars, and other forms of the dissemination of the agricultural economics analysis, related poverty analysis and, supporting the impact assessment agenda, reporting on trends in rural transformation in developing countries and the effectiveness of rural development interventions to identify potential implications for IFAD's work. 
Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating with Lead Technical Specialist (Economist)  support the Impact Assessment Agenda, including standardization of methodologies, ensuring the recruitment and assignment of research analysts, ensuring quality standards, liaising with field programmes, and disseminating of impact assessment reports;
  • Ensuring the periodic updating of the Impact assessment plan, including the development and refinement of outcomes, indicators, means of verification - this should be done in close collaboration with other experts in and beyond the UN involved in measuring impact; 
  • Representing RIA at forums on related topics and present impacts methodologies.


3. Senior Technical Advice: The Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) provides technically authoritative advice to improve the capacity of IFAD to position itself as an influential global player in these domains, and to improve related national government policies and programmes and ensure
IFAD is regarded as a trusted and valued partner. 

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Accountabilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing IFAD staff and partners with up-to-date professional advice on policy, institutional and technical issues.
  • Contributing to ensure that IFAD senior management is regularly and adequately briefed to engage effectively in high level fora with policy implications for rural transformation.
  • Providing senior level technical expertise to the preparation of knowledge products aiming to advance IFAD's voice in the global debate on rural transformation, in close collaboration within SKD and IFAD. 


4. Partnership Building and Outreach Activities: Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) develops and maintains a network of strategic partnerships that can help advance IFAD's mandate and messages around rural transformation in the global debate. S/he develops peer contacts inside and outside IFAD to keep up-to-date on activities at the country and regional levels, to support joint advocacy and for knowledge sharing to enhance the Fund's profile as a highly competent and viable partner in development. Accountabilities may include:

  • Building partnerships with centers of excellence, complementary technical organizations and specialized departments of other development institutions (including United Nations agencies,International Financial Institutions, bilateral cooperation agencies, non governmental organizations, and others) as strategic partners;
  • Strengthening IFAD's representation and communication in policy processes (including representing IFAD at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and
  • Developing and cultivating alliances in key global policy forums to strengthen IFAD's influence over time, with a strategic focus on specific themes.


5. Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting: The Senior Technical Specialist supports the Director/Lead Technical Specialists in knowledge management and other monitoring and reporting activities to enhance country level programme and funding decisions. 


6. Managerial Functions: The Senior Technical Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. Accountabilities may include but are not limited to: 

  • People Management through support to recruitment of technical specialists, coaching and
    mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervision and evaluation of performance of consultants and staff under his/her purview. 
  • Resource Management by providing strategic and technical advice for programme development, and Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring that (1) knowledge
    content within specialty/thematic area is continuously updated and available through the intranet; that  (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and made available to clients and peers through the inter-/intra-net and that (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available. 


Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators


Assignments require the provision of authoritative technical expertise in the field of specialization which is significant in projecting the Fund's role/capacity as a reliable, viable partner in development. Work is intricate in that it requires consideration of a wide range of technical factors and related data. Senior Technical Specialist (SKD) also monitors and guides the work of external consultants and representing IFAD in relevant international policy for their area of direct responsibility to pursue the objectives of the annual work plan and IFAD overall objectives.  


Work at this level normally is not reviewed for technical accuracy. Senior Technical Specialist (Economist) thus exercises independence and initiative. Decisions are made on the research or analytical strategies to be followed in resolving problems of concern in the technical area. 


Representation / Work relationships


The work relationships of Senior Technical Specialist involve the provision of authoritative technical advice. S/He serves as a senior expert in his/her field of specialization and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical leadership as required. Contacts are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations and with officials of governments, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, research institutes and academia. 
In servicing intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Senior Technical Specialist provides technical expertise and recommendations for policy debates and official conclusions in a consultative and advisory capacity; s/he also may act as the representative of the organization in relevant international policy fora for which s/he has direct responsibility. S/he holds regular consultations with stakeholders/partners that can help advance IFAD's messages around rural transformation in the global debate. 






  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)




  • Authoritative technical expertise in economic development particularly in areas related to inclusive and sustainable rural transformation.
  • Authoritative technical expertise in econometric analysis of observational and experimental/non-experimental microeconomic data.
  • Strong analytical skills in order to identify systematic issues, both programmatic and operational and develop viable solutions. Analytical skills are also essential for identifying opportunities to promote new strategies and initiatives with regional divisions, partner agencies and national government partnerships.
  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical proposals and identification of innovative solutions to evolving issues.
  • Capacity to communicate fluently, particularly on technical matters, with different stakeholders/partners in the international policy fora and to build networks.
  • Writes clearly, succinctly and convincingly.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the governmental and peer levels as well as to inspire other specialists and programme staff in the development of viable programme activities. 
  • Knowledge of global frameworks, stakeholder networks and multisectoral platforms at all levels.
  • Computer skills: thorough knowledge of statistical tools such as STATA or R, Survey/Data Collection tools. 


Minimum recruitment qualifications



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Data pubblicazione Pubblicato il: 27/01/2021.