Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Agricultural Officer (Innovation and Digital Agriculture)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

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  • 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 member nations and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply for this position • FAO 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.

• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization.

Organizational Setting

The Regional Office for Asia and The Pacific (RAP) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, Agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO's strategic response to regional priorities. RAP also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. RAP develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Secretariat for Pacific Community (SPC).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates regional partnerships, and supports Capacity Development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

The post is located in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Reporting Lines

The Agricultural Officer (Innovation and digital agriculture) reports to the Senior Policy Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in close consultation and collaboration with the Office for Innovation at FAO headquarters in Rome for functional guidance on matters relating to innovation and digitalization of agriculture for food security and Agricultural Development.

Technical Focus

Support to development of innovation strategies, policies and programmes, including digital technology integration and management models to enable agricultural transformation towards more efficient, sustainable and inclusive Food Systems.

Key Results

Development and implementation of coherent, adaptive, and effective digital and other innovative strategies, policies, programmes, and initiatives in support of agricultural transformation that enhances food security and nutrition and promotes more efficient, sustainable and inclusive food systems in line with SDGs and organizational objectives.

Key functions:

• Leads the strategic thinking and planning on agricultural innovation systems and digitalization of agriculture in the Regional Office and contributes to the development of innovative programmes and initiatives at country and regional levels in support of food and Agriculture Systems.

• Supports Members in assessment of needs of agricultural innovation systems and provides national policy support and strategy development support to enact innovative initiatives and digital solutions from the perspectives of governance, policy, technology, communication and partnerships, and Capacity Building.

• Plans, formulates, implements and scales up initiatives and programmes to facilitate innovation deployment and digital solutions for more efficient and sustainable farming (crops, livestock), resource use (land and water, forests, fisheries) and food systems (production, processing, trade, consumption and waste) taking into account the needs, priorities and capacities of small-scale farmers, women, youth and other marginalized communities.

• Develops, maintains and strengthens strategic partnerships with specialized UN agencies, research institutions, extension agencies, private innovation hubs, and universities at the forefront of innovation and digital solutions including digital extension and best practices in support of FAO’s mandate and priorities.

• Promotes synergies and coordination of innovation activities with FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative (HIHI) in the region; aligns regional innovation activities with the FAO Office for Innovation, the regional and national innovation hubs; maintains the i–hub in RAP and connects the i-Labs in country offices.

• Coordinates with and supports multidisciplinary teams in FAO’s Regional Office and headquarters to mainstream innovation approaches, digital solutions across the regional programmes and activities in the region in line with the corporate innovation ethos.

• Mobilizes resources through development of proposals, concept notes and project documents, coordinating with internal procedures and stakeholders; explores options under South-South Cooperation and HIHI by identifying appropriate partners and facilitating exchange of best practices, technologies and investment possibilities between donors, partners and recipient countries.

• Provides technical leadership and inputs for generation of knowledge products (publications, reports and policy briefs) in areas of expertise related to innovation, digital agriculture, and related policies, processes and issues.

Specific Functions

• Maintains updated knowledge on development trends, including technological innovations and digital solutions applied in food and agriculture systems.

• Coordinates intelligence gathering by keeping abreast of latest research in agricultural innovation systems, digitalization of agriculture and ICT-related norms, standards and trends and develops knowledge on human-centred designs, business and partnership models, digital ecosystem approaches and digital extension.

• Maintains a database of innovation hubs, technology centres, and digital experts for multidisciplinary partnerships.

• Maintains updated knowledge on agriculture technology extension systems, and communication for development.

• Performs other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in agricultural sciences, Agricultural Economics, information and communication technologies for development, food science, political economy ,development economics, rural sociology, food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture (including livestock, forestry and fisheries), agricultural engineering, systems analytics or related field • Seven years of relevant experience in policy and strategy advice and Analysis relating to innovation and digital solutions applied to, or relevant to, food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development • Working knowledge of English and one of the other FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) Competencies

• Results Focus • Leading, Engaging and Empowering • Communications Skills • Partnering and Advocating • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement Technical/Functional Skills

• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable • Extent and relevance of experience in strategic guidance and policy advice in areas related to designing, planning and deployment of agricultural innovation systems and digital solutions within the food and agriculture sectors, food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and rural development • Working experience in developing countries is desirable • Extent and relevance of experience in working with intergovernmental bodies and multidisciplinary teams • Extent and relevance of experience in information and communication technologies and underlying digital innovation
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