Programme Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization

Kabul, Afghanistan

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 2023, FAO will contribute to the humanitarian components of the UN Strategic Framework 2023-2025 through four priority actions: (i) Safeguarding Wheat Seed Security, (ii) Enhancing Local Production of Nutritious Food, (iii) Livestock Protection and Dairy Sector Support, and (iv) Restoring Irrigation Structures to Boost Cash Incomes.  FAO will also contribute towards resilience building activities and longer-term transformational processes as part of the implementation of the UN Strategic Framework 2023-2025.

FAO Afghanistan has recently started a new four-year project, titled ‘Strengthening Rural Livelihoods and Food Security Program in Afghanistan’, supported by the USAID. This project will be implemented in over eight provinces of Afghanistan through four components and has the following four outcomes. Outcome 1: Increased production and processing of nutritious food through adoption of environmentally sustainable practices by smallholders; Outcome 2: Improved economic resilience of smallholders to shocks through enhanced rural diversification of agriculture-based livelihoods and income generation activities; Outcome 3: Enhanced enabling environment especially on enhancing the availability of quality seeds and other inputs at national level and making the same available at sub-national levels along with other extension services to smallholders; Outcome 4: Increased availability of information, learning, and analysis on food cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage and overall security and resilience building of smallholders.

Reporting Lines

The Programme Specialist will work under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative in Afghanistan, and the direct supervision of the Head of the Emergency and Resilience Programme Team.

Technical Focus 

The Programme Specialist leads the technical team of the project in close cooperation with the stakeholders and other national and international staff; the incumbent will be responsible for the timely and effective implementation of the Project especially to ensure the technical quality and timely delivery of the Project’s activities.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Support the Emergency Response and Resilience Team of FAO Afghanistan in its programming efforts by contributing in proposal formulation, undertaking high-level analytics to inform programming priorities, and presentations to enhance programming efforts, especially on rural livelihoods, food nutrition security and resilience building in Afghanistan;
  • Participate in the review of context analysis, needs and disaster assessments, supports interagency processes and programme formulation initiatives; 
  • Provide technical inputs to develop policies and strategies as well as guidelines for Rural Livelihoods and Food Security with the specific domains related to FAO’s work;
  • Support the implementation, especially of Components 2 and 3, of the USAID-supported rural livelihoods and food security project/s in Afghanistan in the project area in a timely and professional manner; 
  • Support the coordination and reporting of the project progress to the project donor on a regular manner as per the project document by preparing project reports and documentation, including Quarterly Project Implementation Reports, semi-annual Progress Reports, technical reports and the Terminal Report as required by the resource partner;
  • Support in the formulation of the Strengthening Rural Livelihoods and Food Security Program in Afghanistan project implementation manual;
  • Support the detailed scoping out / design of the activities towards Natural Resource Management (NRM), Nature-based Solutions in Agriculture Sector (Ag-NbS), Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES), and afforestation/rangeland restoration;•    Support the capacity building of implementing partners on NRM, Ag-NbS, PES, and such topics;
  • Ensure the contribution of the project to FAO Afghanistan’s overall programming towards food security, nutrition and resilience building in environmentally sustainable ways of vulnerable smallholder households in Afghanistan; 
  • Provide overall programme support; 
  • Supports the emergency response work of FAO in Afghanistan; 
  • Performs other duties as required.

Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following

Minimum Requirements

  • University (Bachelor’s) degree in agriculture/development economics, rural development, food security, sustainable agriculture (including livestock, forestry and fisheries), natural resource management, social science or closely related fields;
  • A minimum of one year of relevant work experience in supporting projects/programmes, conducting research, reviewing policy/framework documents, and/or drafting technical guidance related to food security/NRM/resilience building/rural livelihoods/agriculture/forestry/climate/land and water;
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian) for Consultants. For PSA working knowledge of English. 

Technical/Functional Skills 

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
  • Relevant experience in technical cooperation / research related activities, policy advice and analysis relating to food security/NRM/ resilience building/rural livelihoods/agriculture/forestry/climate/land and water;  
  • Previous experience with the UN is an advantage;
  • Ability to establish effective working relations with persons of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in developing various strategic programming/technical documents and liaising with relevant stakeholders;
  • Excellent organizational skills.