Job Description

  This is a co-terminus position fully financed with supplementary fund. Contract renewal depends on the fund availability and/or duration of the project. There is no expectation of renewal or conversion into another kind of contract.

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, thematic priorities and on the technical quality of IFAD’s operations. SKD plays a critical role for operational teams, enhancing development effectiveness and generating and disseminating IFAD’s knowledge and evidence-based best practices. SKD works on strategic themes that encourage the mainstreaming of innovation and cutting-edge global expertise into IFAD investments. Support to IFAD´s country portfolios requires the tackling of complex development challenges confronting 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).

Hosted under the PMI division, the Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) is a multi-donor/stakeholder facility aimed at maximizing the development impact of migrants’ financial contributions and at enabling poor rural households to advance on the road to financial independence.

Financed through supplementary funds, the FFR mobilizes and manages these funds to deliver its plan of work in accordance with its donors and IFAD’s strategic framework. Since 2007, this US$65 million facility, with a portfolio of over 60 projects implemented in over 50 countries fosters innovations in the remittances and diaspora impact investment markets.

Through its multi-donor / stakeholder programmes and respective operations, the FFR tests, replicates and scales-up innovative and inclusive solutions and business models with private sector entities. These aim to deepen and widen the remittance market, thereby benefiting both migrants and their remittance-receiving families in rural areas. To support these objectives, the FFR also supports public sector entities in the creation of a more conducive enabling environment that favours market innovation, payment system development and expansion.

In parallel to its inclusive remittance programmes and activities, the FFR also finances and manages specific innovative finance structures, including impact investment mechanisms that bridge diaspora resources abroad into investment opportunities back home. These mechanisms aim to create durable and productive investment, spur job creation for youth, women and migrant returnees, as well as support for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) creation.

Based on the body of evidence generated by its programmes and portfolio of projects, the FFR actively engages with and influences global, regional and national policy trends. FFR work fosters consensus on the challenges, opportunities and measures for affecting rural areas in which remittances and diaspora investment could play a transformative role. In this regard, the FFR is also engaged in mainstreaming the opportunities within IFAD’s loans and grants portfolio while identifying, designing and supporting implementation of targeted initiatives with key national and international partners.

Under the strategic management of the Lead Global Technical Specialist and FFR Manager, the Portfolio Officer is a mid-level professional who is specialised in the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of development projects. S/He is directly responsible for overseeing the entire portfolio of FFR operations. The accountability/key results expected by Portfolio Officer include:
  • Operations
  • Knowledge Management
  • Corporate Monitoring and Results Reporting

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. Operations:

The Portfolio Officer supports the FFR Secretariat in the management of the operations portfolio that reflects all ongoing Contribution Agreements with FFR donors, overseeing the complete project implementation cycle from design to completion. Operational accountabilities may include: Portfolio management: The FFR portfolio is composed of a diverse set of grant-funded projects, implemented in partnership with private institutions, public authorities, think tanks, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders that influence the remittance market. The Portfolio Officer support the FFR Manager with the overall coordination and management of the ongoing portfolio, including new projects approved during the lifespan of the contract, and undertakes the following activities:
  • Oversees the implementation of ongoing activities through regular follow-ups with all project partners, including direct grant recipients and sub-recipients.
  • Provides strategic advice on actions to be taken to advance project execution
  • Monitors results achieved, through desk-based assessment of Project Reports,  other implementation documents shared, and through supervision missions;
  • Controlsfinancial execution against the agreed budget, supervising the disbursement of the financial reporting, in collaboration with FMD;
  • Coordinates with FFR Field Officers and other relevant FFR team members to ensure that all knowledge and results from projects is systematized and centralised for efficient reporting;
  • Designs and maintains updated monitoring tools aimed at tracking the progressive achievement of project outputs/outcomes.
Design of new FFR projects: The Portfolio Officer provides technical and operational support for the design of new interventions with partners, including existing grants in pipeline. Activities include:
  • Participation in design field missions, when relevant;
  • Execution of technical reviews and quality assessments to the overall grant design document: activities, outputs, outcomes, etc.;
  • Act as a liaison between project partners and the FFR Manager/Team, to ensure the design incorporates.
Linkages with IFAD Operations

  • Facilitate proper alignment between FFR operations and resources with IFAD corporate priorities and collaborates with FFR stakeholders.
  • Provide technical and analytical inputs to IFAD country strategic opportunity papers (COSOPs), project designs as well as to other policy documents related to remittances, migration and development, where relevant and requested.
  • Manage the design workflow at IFAD-level, ensuring compliance with IFAD grant regulations and procedures and seeking clearances from other divisions (FMD, LEG, PMI, GPR).
2. Knowledge Management:

The Portfolio Officer supports the gathering of technical knowledge required to develop knowledge management products on remittances and financial inclusion. Responsibilities include:
  • Use project evaluations as a source of knowledge on remittances and financial inclusion, and be systematically communicating and disseminating such knowledge to stakeholders and FFR donors;
  • Document innovation, lessons learned and digital innovations emanating from the experience of FFR projects on remittances, financial inclusion, rural finance and digital finance.
  • Draw key lessons learned from each project, and mainstreaming lessons learned from a portfolio perspective
  • Support the effectiveness of knowledge sharing activities by developing high impact knowledge products on  FFR projects;
  • Assist in formulating country diagnosis, briefs, analyses on remittance and migration.
  • Work closely with FFR Secretariat to ensure that Policy Advocacy and outreach is strongly grounded in the experience and insights of the projects that the FFR supports.
3. Corporate Monitoring and Results Reporting:

The Portfolio Officer contributes to managing the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of technical activities and components of all FFR projects. Responsibilities include:
  • Collect data directly from project partners on activities and results;
  • Analyse data gathered against the indicators and targets, providing a rigorous results measurement analysis, and proposing implementation adjustments when necessary;
  • Manage regular reporting on the Portfolio performance for FFR Secretariat and Management; Identify lessons learned and develop case studies to capture qualitative outputs of the project. Provide advice to the supervisor on improving project performance using M&E findings.
  • Contribute to IFAD PMI Departmental reports on the performance of FFR grants and other corporate reporting necessary as required;
  • Systematize performance monitoring systems across the portfolio
  • Prepare analytical findings and reports on FFR operations
  • Act as focal point for project evaluation related priorities. Support project progress reporting, project mid-term review and final evaluation.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Lead Global Technical Specialist and FFR Manager, the Portfolio Officer coordinates the day-to-day management of the FFR Grants Portfolio and its monitoring and reporting. S/he is responsible for the design of quality projects that are aligned with all IFAD guidelines and procedures, as well as donor priorities. To that end, the Portfolio officer maintains close working relationships with other IFAD Divisions, such as PMD, FMD, LEG and GPR on project proposals and implementation. The Portfolio Officer is responsible for centralising the outputs, outcomes and measurable impact of all FFR projects across different countries and regions. He/she is able to leverage the learnings from the projects in the portfolio into greater development impact, including improvement in remittances-linked financial products and services that can add value at the last mile of the remittance process. The Portfolio Officer develops a systematic monitoring framework to improve the qualitative and quantitative evidence gathered by the Project. He/she provides technical assistance to implementing agencies, particularly on monitoring, reporting and governance issues. This work is considered moderately complex and requires in-depth Technical Analysis and reporting.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of the Portfolio Officer at this level are:
  • In the context of operational delivery and policy support, maintains collaborative working relationships, both within the department, and with other relevant IFAD divisions.
  • Representation in internal and external fora in the areas of operational project implementation, procedures and compliance. This includes the FFR Grant recipient as well as other implementing partner

Competencies

Organizational

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change (Level 1)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates     (Level 1)
  • Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients (Level 1)
  • Problem Solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability (Level 1)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively (Level 1)
  • Team work: Contributes effectively to the team (Level 1)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others (Level 1)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships (Level 1)
Technical/Functional

  • Proven and strong technical expertise on remittances and financial inclusion in different regions (diaspora investment practical expertise is a great asset)
  • Deep knowledge of project cycle management, particularly with projects on remittances and/or rural finance (e.g. enabling sustainable and cost effective digital remittance solutions for the last mile, overcoming regulatory hurdles on international transfers, improving financial education of remittance families etc.)
  • Demonstrated experience in areas of corporate results planning, monitoring and evaluation, and gathering operational lessons learned on remittances and financial inclusion.
  • Experience with IFAD guidelines and systems is desirable.
  • Previous experience on Financial Management (financial reporting, financial statements, accounting systems, International Audit standards, Budget Execution, etc.) as well as financial and economic analysis.
  • High degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures;
  • Results-oriented performer: ability to deliver high-quality outputs under pressure as part of a multicultural team.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the peer level.
  • Planner and organizer: ability to set clear priorities within a boundless and often challenging agenda with tight deadlines.
  • Team worker: capacity to work in diverse, multidisciplinary team environment and to establish harmonious working relationships.
  • Model of integrity, trustworthy and confident: highest standards of personal

Minimum recruitment qualifications

Education:

Advanced university degree from an accredited institution (Masters or equivalent) in the field of specialization, e.g. International Relations, International Development, Finance, Migration Studies, Political Sciences, Economics or related field.

Experience:

At least 5 years of increasing responsibility and experience in and demonstrated understanding of, development initiatives in the field in financial inclusion, remittances and development related issues. Experience in fieldwork and international policy frameworks related to rural development is an asset.

Language requirements:

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge in French or Spanish is an asset.

Other information

In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, staff are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in 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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