Senior Programme Officer

Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
18th October, 2021

Job Description


  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supports the transformation to More efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, for Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, leaving no one behind.
  • The Hand-in-Hand (HiH) Initiative is a flagship initiative of  FAO  to bring together major partners, including donors, international financial institutions, private sector entities of all types, civil society and non-governmental organizations, renowned research institutions and UN agencies, funds and programmes to support accelerated, scaled-up action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Initiative targets the poorest  people in the poorest countries and in countries with large poor populations, as well as in countries in food crisis. Its  specific focus is to work with FAO Member Nations to provide data and analysis to identify territories in which inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems transformation has the potential to eradicate poverty, address all forms of malnutrition, and reduce inequality within and among nations. Hand-in-Hand partners agree to work with the Member Nations for a period of 6-8 years to support an ambitious science- and evidence-based programme of actions, and partnerships and investments, to unlock identified local and international market opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth. To date, 41 countries have requested support under the Initiative and several additional countries are qualified to participate as beneficiaries.
  • The responsibility for global coordination of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative has been placed under the overall leadership of the Chief Economist  and the day-to-day supervision lies with  the Senior Coordinator, Governance and Policy, in the Governance Unit  in the Office of the Chief Economist. 

Reporting Lines

  • The Senior Programme Officer reports to the Chief Economist under the guidance of the Senior Coordinator.

Technical Focus

  • Provides leadership, guidance and operational management to Hand-in-Hand country task teams for results-based technical and policy assistance, governance and investment support, and for strategic management of diverse partners, and facilitates policy dialogue around poverty eradication, food security, nutrition and inclusive market-oriented development of sustainable agri-food systems.

Key Results

  • Leadership and technical expertise for the planning, development and implementation of programmes of work, projects, related-products, and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Objectives.

Key Functions

  •  Leads the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects; directs review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed, and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  •  Coordinates programmes and reviews the assessments of issues and trends for the implementation of programmes and projects and the preparation of impact evaluation or equivalent studies;
  •  Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, and inputs to publications;
  •  Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings and conferences, which also  includes proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, and preparing  documents and presentations;
  •  Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshopsand seminars, and makes presentations on assigned topics/activities;
  •  Leads field missions, which includes  provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties;
  •  Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences, identifies and implements strategic partnerships, advocates best practices and increased dialogue, and develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements with international and national stakeholders.

Specific Functions

  • Provides leadership and guidance to the country teams at the decentralized offices for successful implementation of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative;
  • Leads and participates in the technical work of the Initiative, and in facilitating policy dialogue at global and country levels within and between participating countries and their development partners;
  • Supervises guidance to Member Nations and national institutions on identifying investment needs and mobilizing investment for country-level work, where appropriate;
  • Oversees the development and implementation of the HiH dashboard to enhance coordination and ensure timely and coordinated assessment of  programme delivery and results;
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with senior officials from national governments, development partners, regional organizations, the private sector and other partner institutions;
  • Establishes networks and seeks collaboration with other initiatives and activities within and outside FAO and especially with private sector partners for increased, measured impact on the ground;
  • Develops and implements resource mobilization strategy to support and expand the activities of the programme, particularly in relation to building and institutionalizing capacity within countries;
  • Manages the information flow and documentation to support accelerated, consistent implementation and review of the HiH-supported programmes in all HiH countries;
  • Ensures regular, timely and concise reporting on programme objectives and key results, providing regular updates to senior management on progress towards the milestones in HiH countries and recommendations for focused action to ensure operational effectiveness;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics, agricultural economics, development economics, political science, management and business administration or a related field
  • Ten years of relevant experience in policy advice and analysis relating to sustainable development of food and agriculture systems and rural development, and monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish)

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential
  • Extent and relevance of experience in programme/project management, in the management/operation of small-, medium and/or large-scale projects at country and regional levels, including in-depth knowledge of related administrative, operational and financial procedures
  • Extent and relevance of experience and skills in project identification, programme and project formulation, analysis, planning and implementation
  • Extent and  relevance of experience in project/programme planning and appraisal, as well as in the development of results based  management/monitoring systems.


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