Learning Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization

Kabul, Afghanistan

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

FAO Afghanistan is investing across all 34 provinces, in resilience reinforcing actions that focus on protecting agriculture livelihoods and local ecosystems, boosting local production of nutritious foods and cash-incomes, and safeguarding critical agriculture sectoral development gains achieved over the past couple of decades through revitalizing rural markets and economy. In 2024-2026, FAO will continue to implement emergency and longer-term, resilience-building projects and programmes in the context of the UN Strategic Framework for Afghanistan (UNSFA) and the Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan. 
The Learning Specialist will work under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative, the direct supervision of the Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer and the technical supervision of the Head of MEAL Team.
As a member of the multi-disciplinary MEAL Unit, the Learning Specialist will be responsible for leading the definition of priority learning areas/themes and developing a related strategy, process, tools and products to enhance programme quality and effectiveness. 
Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Coordinate the identification of learning priorities within FAO Afghanistan’s programme portfolio and develop a learning agenda;
  • Lead in strategically identifying potential research and analytical questions of interest from existing data and/or in programme priorities;
  • Collaborate with the MEAL unit to incorporate learning information needs within the MEAL framework, by mapping the data requirements and sources;
  • Facilitate the effective exchange of information throughout the programme to help capture learning and share project outcomes that contribute to producing programmatic knowledge;
  • Develop and implement standardised tools, templates and approaches for learning that enable programming staff and implementing partners to recognise, document and sharing learning and new knowledge. Build capacity of staff to utilise these tools and approaches;
  • Ensure there is availability of evidence and lessons learned on what works and doesn’t work and under what conditions such happens for course correction and adaptive management;
  • Document and package learning to promote its wide dissemination and use by FAO and partners to promote evidence-based good practice;
  • Create a learning inventory with a clear tagging system to enable collation and extraction of learning based on practices, themes, outcomes and other relevant features;
  • Lead FAO Afghanistan’s knowledge management and sharing initiatives to encourage and facilitate more effective sharing of program results, approaches, feedback from partners, and lessons learned throughout the organization, using this insight to contribute to shape future collaborations and initiatives;
  • Link learning initiatives with programming and technical decisions, communication strategies and resource mobilisation;
  • Perform any other related duties as required.  
Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following:
Minimum Requirements:    
  • Advanced (Master) University degree or University (Bachelor’s) degree in development studies, development economics, international development, social sciences or related field.    
  • For advanced degree at least five (5) years of professional experience in knowledge management, capacity development, learning or related area.    
  • For university degree at least seven (7) years of professional experience in knowledge management, capacity development, learning or related area. 
  • Working knowledge (level C) of English and local languages (Pashto and/or Dari).
  • National of Afghanistan. 
Technical/Functional Skills:
  • Extent and relevance of experience in knowledge sharing, lessons learning, good practice capitalization, analytical or evaluation methods and tools;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in facilitation skills for meetings and workshops, including capacity development consultative workshops;
  • Strong qualitative research skills; 
  • Strong written and oral communication and presentation skills; 
  • Experience with qualitative research software (e.g. Sensemaker®) would be an asset; 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication, reporting and presentation skills, analysis and interpretation of data, ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Previous work experience with the UN is considered a strong asset;  
  • Strong professional command of Microsoft Office, in particular Word and Excel.
  • Skilled in use of STATA (at a minimum running descriptive statistics and linear regression)