Job Description

  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 newly established Office of Enterprise Risk Management (RMO) is a dynamic, strategic and responsive service provider, leading IFAD's second line of defense by fully supporting the management of all risks across the organization. The RMO implements, monitors, and maintains an efficient and effective Enterprise Risk Management programme, supporting IFAD's strategic vision and mandate. The RMO aims to enable better informed risk taking by using consistent risk management best practices across the organization to achieve the Fund's objectives in the long-term and deliver on its development commitments. The Office is responsible for oversight and monitoring of risk exposures and enabling clear reporting of IFAD's risk profile.

The Operational Risk Officer is a professional with sound understanding of risk management principles and operational risk practices, applicable regulations, as well as basic knowledge of IFAD’s enterprise risk management framework, structure, processes and related policies. As a team member of the Operational Risk Unit, his/her accountabilities include the following in the categories of:
  • Work Plan Execution
  • Policy Development and Advice
  • Risk Business Partner
  • Agent of Change, and
  • Managerial Functions
The above function will support a robust second line of defence at IFAD to achieve adequate risk management and contribute to the protection of IFAD’s credit rating. The position is instrumental in the new Operational Risk Unit and in contributing to innovation, risk oversight and monitoring of IFAD’s corporate and decentralised organisation and operations.

Key results expected / Major functional activities


The Operational Risk Officer contributes to the development, planning, implementation and supervision of the newly created Operational Risk Unit’s operational targets, strategies and policies to ensure sound risk management in IFAD's operations and compliance with IFAD's strategy and policies. S/He contributes substantially to implementation of the Unit’s activities and priorities, aligned to the strategic development and work plan for RMO. S/He performs tasks and lead projects within the work plans for the unit, in line with best practice and prevailing institutional, departmental and divisional strategic priorities.


The Operational Risk Officer will:
  • Contribute to the development of an Operational Risk policy, for IFAD’s operations including taxonomy and risk appetite. The policy will be used as a key framework document of operational risk management and will serve to mitigate operational risk at IFAD.
  • Contribute to the development of methodologies, procedures, practices for operational risk management and oversee their consistent implementation.
  • Assist in developing operational risk losses/incident repository, system tools/modules to implement the above, software and links in line with best practices and the use of databases that also other IFIs use.
  • Contribute to the development the Risk Register, the Reporting mechanism for incidents/losses, and link adequately the data and information to the risk dashboard
  • Oversee the operational risk incident management process to guarantee that timeliness, integrity, and quality control are maintained and constantly improved
  • Ensure appropriate review of the financial impact of operational incidents and root-causes and business impact Analysis.
  • Monitor, review, and communicate the impact to the risk profile of future initiatives, including new product assessments, changes to trading strategies, targeted risk reviews, and major business changes
  • Stay abreast of current industry standards.
  • Develop and maintain technical knowledge of systems and data to ensure optimal use of technology.

The Operational Risk Officer is a key team player and member of the Operational Risk Unit, and a credible, trusted partner to the client offices served. S/He supports the implementation of the Fund’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework, Operational Risk Policy plans. S/He commits to acting as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. The Officer provides verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on relevant operational regulations, rules and procedures, facilitating a mutual understanding of roles and fiduciary accountabilities in support of the integrity in the management of the Fund’s operational risk policy. The Officer’s focus is on building his/her knowledge base of the Fund’s governing structure, mandate, long-term business strategy, organizational dynamics and culture. Provide support on all matters concerning Operational Risk, Internal Controls and work in team with the Lead Operational Risk Officer in order to manage Unit resources effectively. In particular, the Risk Officer will
  • Work on identifying, measuring, prioritising and mitigating operational risks to ensure that all departments/divisions/ICOs operate within IFAD's ERM and Operational Risk policy and risk appetite, which include early-warning assessments of problems to safeguard IFAD's reputation and minimize losses. Design and prepare periodic reports on operational risks and methodologies.
  • Provide technical expertise in operational risk management and internal controls to support the Fund’s efforts to minimize risk exposures and protect its credit rating.
  • Provide advice to the Lead Officer and senior management on various IFAD-wide issues such as operational risk strategy, internal controls, and mitigation, operational risk mitigation measures/instruments, guidelines and models, working closely with the other Risk Units.
  • Maintain technical competency, professionalism and high ethical standards within the operational risk team and contribute to enhance the IFAD-wide risk culture.
  • Cooperate with relevant Divisions on comprehensive regular risk reports to the stakeholders highlighting key shifts, trends and migrations and other weaknesses in terms of operational risk and internal controls that should be brought to the attention of the CRO and Senior Management.
  • Support the Lead Officer in cooperating with other Divisions of the Fund in order to develop capacity building programs for different stakeholders.
  • Assist in development and implementation of training and awareness programmes as well as providing guidance and support to operational risk champions across units generating risks for IFAD.
  • Work together with other organizational line of defense (i.e. Compliance, Internal Audit, etc.) to provide support to implement second line of defence, with the review and monitoring of Key Risk Indicators (KRIs).

The Operational Risk Officer understands and contributes in applying the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and positive change. S/He has a general knowledge of results based management, enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and information technology. At this level, the Operational Risk Officer contributes to change, working with the manager in consulting inter-organizational and internal risk management colleagues, IFAD senior management and outreaching client offices to build understanding of risk management practices, and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s risk management standards, regulations and rules. He/ She might supervise the work of junior unit’s staff to ensure the achievement of divisional objectives.


The Operational Risk Officer is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised. This includes People Management through supporting the Lead Operational Risk Officer with technical leadership/capacity development initiatives and awareness campaigns.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Risk Officers at this level work in an independent and rigorous risk management function and are accountable, under the Lead Officer supervision, for producing various reports to stakeholders and others interested in the activities of the Fund. S/He contributes to achieve RMO work plan goals and objectives through the preparation of new and/or modified versions of existing policies, practices and techniques. Based on a thorough knowledge of finance and risk principles, concepts and systems, the Risk Officer independently performs the full range of tasks assigned. The supervisor may be consulted in the analysis of complex and/or precedent setting cases to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules and to document such decisions. The work typically requires the identification of the need for changes to risk policies, as well as the authoritative interpretation and application of risk policies, rules and regulations to a broad range of complex casework. The Officer's responsibilities also include supporting the supervisor in key decision-making initiatives (e.g. developing policies, designing training programmes, etc.).

The key performance indicators for Operational Risk Officers at this level include both technical and behavioural results. Accurate performance of assigned finance/risk operations, technical quality in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs and customer service approach to problem resolution.

Representation / Work relationships

Internally, Operational Risk Officers are the Fund's technical experts. Contacts extend throughout the organization and include Country Office staff, internal audit officers and evaluation officers. Risk Officers are required to explain, clarify and implement financial plans and decisions taken or procedural changes planned to ensure accuracy, completeness and integrity of financial data and reporting.  S/He may need to be performed in collaboration and coordination with other organizational units to ensure the effective implementation of risk management rules and procedures.

External work relationships, if and when required by the Lead Officer, Supporting the Lead Officer, s/he may need to be in direct contact with external auditors and counterparts in other IFI and UN organizations, which normally requires a potential exchange of information with externa. They are also delegated authority to make commitments on routine aspects of the assignment.


  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 1)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 1)
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 1)
  • Problem Solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 1)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 1)
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 1).
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 1).
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 1).
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1).
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of international financial institutions' operational risk management methodologies, and working experience in risk analytics and modelling.
  • Strong conceptual, analytical and problem-solving skills. Expert knowledge in Excel and spreadsheet solutions.
  • Knowledge of operational risk practices and processes including risk assessment and risk monitoring. Familiarity with valuation concepts.
  • Familiarity with Operational Risk Management basic and advanced measurement approaches is desirable.
  • Ability to foster teamwork by being a good team player and have strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines and manage priorities efficiently.
  • Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions and make conclusions and recommendations.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university Degree or its equivalent in Business Administration, Finance, Risk Management, Banking and other relevant areas. The advanced university Degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) in the above-mentioned subjects plus at least four additional years of relevant professional experience, over and above the minimum number of years of experience outlined below.
  • Professional qualification in FRM, IRM, CFA, CIA, CFE or equivalent is mandatory.

  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience, including work in international IFIs or financial services industry particularly in operational risk and internal control.
  • Knowledge and basic experience in project/programme management, using best practice project management methodology
Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (French, Spanish or Arabic) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

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