Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

International Farmer Field School Expert

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

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 and nationality People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply 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

FAO is well-known for its Farmer Field School (FFS) extension approach as an effective Capacity Building approach for farmers that can be well adapted to sub-sectors such as crops, livestock and fisheries. FFS is a platform for farmer education and empowerment; FFS strengthens knowledge for holistic agro-ecosystem management, improves decision-making skills and facilitates group collaboration and action. FFS has been recognized as a dynamic and promising approach by several countries for interacting with farmers and managing complex systems and FAO leads the way in advocating for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). It is also a means to a diversified group of beneficiaries that includes not only men but women and youth as well.

Moreover, projects build on the FFS approach of group and individual learning, capacity building, experimentation and critical discussion help small-scale producers increase production and higher incomes through: i) technological adaptation; ii) co-creation of good agricultural practices; iii) improved post-harvest techniques and practices; iii) better processing; and iv) enhanced market leverage.

The current EU funded project entitled: “Support to agricultural livelihoods of rural and peri-urban returnees and communities in Ninevah Governorate, Iraq” will implement the FFS approach and is expected to make a significant contribution to the sustainable food and agricultural livelihood security in rural and peri-urban areas in the governorate.

Reporting Lines

Under overall supervision of FAO Representative for Iraq, Senior Regional Agricultural Officer of FAO-RNE and project manager of OSRO/IRQ/902/EC, the international FFS Expert will work in close collaboration with project team in FAO Iraq and national consultants hired by FAO Iraq.

Technical Focus

The main task of the FFS specialist is to develop a FFS curriculum, train and supervise and FFS activities of the project and review the technical work of the implementers (i.e. MoA extension workers). The work is expected to cover several missions, while others, such as Curriculum Development can be done from home-base.

Tasks and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Representative of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Iraq, and the overall technical guidance of the FAO Lead Technical Officer LTO at RNE, the direct supervision of the Project manager and in close collaboration with the project international crop and livestock specialists, the FFS Specialist will be responsible for the development of FFS training curriculum and for the training of FFS trainers from the Department of Agriculture (through ToT) and overseeing the implementation of the FFS approach in the field that includes training of community facilitators, the formation of FFS groups and the actual hands-on training conducted in the field. He/she will work closely with counterparts in the Ministry of Agriculture at national and governorate level. He/she will ensure a good implementation of the activities in line with project work plan and approved budget.

More specifically, the FFS consultant will carry out the following tasks:
  • Consult main stakeholders and prepare an inception report that includes a workplan and M&E strategy;
  • Access, organize and develop new material for a FFS curriculum with inputs from crops and livestock experts (already much work has been done in support of the livestock component);
  • Develop a FFS curriculum for the project. Include themes such as productivity improvement, Sustainable Land Management SLM, commercialization, value chain approach, gender approach and/or other relevant issues into the FFS curriculum;
  • Develop with FAO colleagues and Department of Agriculture (DoA) counterparts a plan for the roll out of the FFS support. Consider already ongoing activities.
  • Prepare and organize Training of Trainers (ToT) for extension officers on establishment and running of FFSs;
  • Support Trainers of Trainers to build capacity of community FFS facilitators
  • Oversee the implementation and supervision of FFS in the project targeted areas and focus on monitoring progress and documentation by these groups as evidence;
  • Make sure that all training materials will be available during the schools session and coordinate for information that can be accessible through mobile phones;
  • Prepare technical progress reports on FFS and demonstration plots activities, including Most-Significant-Change stories;
  • Prepare monthly, and six monthly report according to FAO format and support project manager report to the donor;
  • Perform other related duties as required;

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in a field related to agronomy and horticulture sciences, rural development, food sciences, and other related areas;
  • Ten years of proven experience in Agricultural Development with at least five years expertise in crop production and FFS curriculum preparation, technical and financial follow up and evaluation.
  • Working knowledge of Arabic and English.
FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills

  • Ability to work under pressure and adapt to an evolving and complex humanitarian context and within multidisciplinary and different cultural background teams;
  • Minimum of five years demonstrated experience and capacity in training facilitators on FFS
  • Good reporting skills
  • Excellent organizational and communication capacity.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
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