Job Description

  Duty station will be the regional IFAD office in East and Southern Africa. The location of the regional office (such as Addis Ababa and Nairobi) will be confirmed soon.

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 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.

Since 2018, IFAD/RIA has been a partner on the 50x2030 Initiative to Close the Agricultural Data Gap, a $500 million initiative to address the problem of agricultural data availability and use.  IFAD, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Bank are the three implementing agencies to execute the work under the Initiative. IFAD leads the Data Use Component and all activities under it.

The Technical Specialist works on the 50x2030 Initiative work programme under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the 50x2030 Lead Technical Specialist and the Senior Technical Specialist. As an integral member of delivery teams, s/he works collaboratively with the Senior Technical Specialist and the other thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CD)/Country Programme Managers (CPM), Hub Heads and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support.  The Data Use Component of the initiative is critical to building the capacity of participant countries to manage self-sustaining agricultural data programs.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1.STRATEGIC PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 50X2030 INITIATIVE DATA USE WORK PROGRAMME:  The Technical Specialist provides sound technical advice and assists in the coordination of activities under the Data Use Component of the 50x2030 Initiative. S/he will work with a small team to design, plan and conducts statistical methods and analysis, including data visualization, of survey data as well as data from other sources to implement the Data Use work programme. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Supporting the development of the 50x2030 Data Use component’s annual work plan and multi-year work plans and ensuring their update;
  • Contributing in the design of country-level plans for data use activities and coordinating them with the overarching Data Use component’s work plan;
  • Providing oversight and technical assistance to the implementation of data use activities in partner countries, particularly through local consultants and contractors;
  • Supporting the coordination of planning and the implementation of projects with the other Initiative partners, FAO and the World Bank; and
  • Supporting monitoring and reporting activities, including the development and refinement of outcomes, indicators, means of verification - this should be done in close collaboration with other 50x2030 implementing agencies involved in measuring impact.
2.STRATEGY AND PROJECT DESIGN:  The Technical Specialist contributes to the design of country-level pilot projects in a number of countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean to test various approaches to promoting data use in pilot countries. As pilot projects mature, s/he initiates and co-ordinates the development of appropriate methods for obtaining relevant data, ensuring the quality of collected data for accuracy, consistency and comparability in order to support the design of longer-term projects that build off of the lessons learned under the pilot projects and integrate with the Initiative’s data production activities and with other data use-related activities occurring within participant countries. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Supporting assessments of country conditions to inform project design;
  • Facilitating the development of joint program implementation plans for promoting data use with partner country and partner implementing agency staff;
  • Coordinating and contributing to the design of pilot activities to promote data use, including technical assistance, Training Programs, and workshops in partner countries;
  • Collecting and analyzing data and information about pilot project implementation to document and understand successes and failures; and
  • Supporting the coordination of the relevant knowledge development and dissemination with institutions outside of IFAD within partner countries, 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.
3.PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: The Technical Specialist seeks to cultivate and maintain partnerships with a variety of organizations to further the work under the Data Use Component of the 50x2030 Initiative. S/he establishes and maintains a network of peer contacts inside and outside IFAD to keep up-to-date on activities, to support the 50x2030 initiative and for knowledge sharing to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable partner in development. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:
  • 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;
  • Maintaining networks with partner government staff, policy makers, researchers, and civil society for enhanced knowledge exchange, including training workshops and seminars;
  • Strengthening IFAD’s representation and communication in policy processes (including representing IFAD at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences)
  • Developing and cultivating alliances in key global policy forums to strengthen IFAD's influence over time, with a strategic focus on specific themes.
4. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION: The Technical Specialist provides support in the dissemination of knowledge related to data use for decision-making within IFAD and externally. S/he promotes the communication of IFAD’s knowledge on evidence-informed decision-making generated through 50x2030 to the broader development community by developing strategies and implementing approaches to share findings. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Supporting intelligence gathering and analysis of information relevant to data use and facilitates knowledge sharing experiences within SKD, IFAD and other stakeholders in the global area;
  • Contributing to the drafting of documents that promote awareness of the Initiative, findings of data use pilot projects, and progress on project implementation.
  • 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; and
5.COORDINATION UNDER THE 50X2030 INITIATIVE: As part of a multi-partner initiative, the Technical Specialist supports the Lead Technical Specialist and the Senior Technical Specialist to coordinate the Data Use work programme with other Initiative activities implemented by the World Bank and FAO. As necessary and when the Senior Technical Specialist cannot, the Techinal Specialist collaborates and communicates with FAO and World Bank counterparts who work on related Initiative activities at a headquarters level to develop joint work plans and plan for country-level work. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Attending and representing IFAD in coordination meetings;
  • Supporting monitoring and reporting for the Initiative’s monitoring and evaluation system that tracks outputs, outcomes, and objectives under the Initiative’s results framework;
  • Providing inputs to annual, semi-annual, and ad hoc performance and financial reports; and
  • Contributing to joint publications and guidance documents for the Initiative.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of solid technical expertise and input for the area of his/her responsibility as well as in knowledge sharing with peers and counterparts.  The work goes beyond Technical Analysis and synthesis to include substantive inputs to the development of knowledge products, knowledge sharing among peers and counterparts to enhance cooperation, complementarity and synergy and monitoring and evaluation to measure and report on lessons learned and best practices. The work is considered moderately complex requiring in-depth technical analysis and reporting. Typically operating as a technical specialist in an specialized area in line with his/her responsibility, the Technical Specialist’s work may be reviewed for technical accuracy, but more typically is reviewed for achieving the established work plan goals.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of the Technical Specialist (Economist) level involve provision of technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in project planning. S/he serves as an expert in his/her field of specialization and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical expertise and methodological guidance. Contacts are with counterparts within his/her team, the broader RIA Division, in-country project staff, partner country government agency staff, and with the partner institutions working on the Initiative, namely the World Bank and FAO.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (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 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 1)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)

  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical research and identification of solutions to evolving issues.
  • Advanced knowledge of results Management Systems at International Financial Institutions or similar institutions.
  • Authoritative technical expertise in measuring and explaining institutional change, particularly in international organizations.
  • Technical expertise in analysing internal corporate data at International Financial Institutions or similar institutions..
  • Experience with systematic reviews of development interventions.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills in identifying systemic issues and derive viable, sustainable solutions.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge to a non-technical audience as well as to inspire more junior specialists and staff in the development of viable programme activities.
  • Ability to represent IFAD as a trusted and reliable partner.
  • Computer skills: thorough knowledge of statistical tools such as STATA or R, Survey/Data Collection tools, and NVivo or similar qualitative software

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in economics, agricultural and resource economics or non-economist related fields, such as public Administration, international relations, and international development, degree in PhD is an asset.

  • At least five (5) years of substantive and sustained work experience in development economics, in technical analysis of institutional change and in international policy frameworks related to global issues.
Language Requirements

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

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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