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We are hiring! Join our team as a Technical Specialist (PARM)


PARM is looking for a Technical Specialist with at least 5 years of relevant international experience in Agricultural Risk Management, Rural Development, Finance, Agri-businesses, Investment in Agricultural sector - among other requirements. The position (P-3 level) is located within the PARM Secretariat, which is based in Rome and hosted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Apply by 31 August 2020!

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This vacancy announcement was originally posted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). To apply for this position, please log in to IFAD’s applications website.


Vacancy Announcement Number 1910
Date of Issue 03/08/2020
Deadline for Applications 31/08/2020
Organizational Unit Sust. Prd. Mkts. & Instit.
Level P-3
Duty Station ROME
Duration of Assignment 1 year (renewable)

Organizational context

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

*This is a one-year fixed-term 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.

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities, and 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).

PMI provides technical support to IFAD Country Programs to ensure the proper application of corporate quality standards required for achieving development results and impact in key thematic areas, including food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, agronomy), land, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and enterprises and rural institutions. It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes and facilitates their use in IFAD country programs and activities.

IFAD, through the PMI Division, hosts the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM), a G20-initiative created in 2013 with the mandate to enable the integration of a holistic Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) approach into policy planning, institutional capacities and investment in the agricultural sector. The goal of PARM is to support Least Developed Countries and Lower Middle-Income Countries in moving away from a culture of coping with disasters towards a smart management of risk, and support building resilience in the agricultural sector.

The Platform represents a unique and strategic global multi-stakeholder partnership in the area of agricultural risk management guided and supported by IFAD, the European Commission (EC), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Italian Development Cooperation (DGCS) and German cooperation (BMZ and KfW), in strategic partnership with NEPAD. It also benefits from the technical assistance of a pool of international and regional multilateral partners (World Bank Group, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), African Risk Capacity (ARC); knowledge partners (Agrinatura, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), etc.); farmers organizations (ROPPA, EAFF); and private sector (CARGILL, MUNICH RE), among others.

PARM implementation is done in phases, with phase one (PARM Horizon 1) spanning over 2013-2019. The objective of this phase was to mainstream ARM at global level and enable the integration of a holistic agricultural risk management into the policy planning and investment plans in 8 African countries from Sub-Saharan Africa. The very positive results achieved by PARM during the first phase brought to the development of PARM Horizon 2 (2019-2024).

During this time frame PARM will continue to bring evidence, facilitate knowledge transfer and build capacities on ARM at global and country level, but investing more resources in the design of ARM programs for investments, with a more structured involvement of public-private-partnerships and in direct support to meso-level players (extension services, financial intermediaries, women’s and youth’s groups, NGOs, farmers’ enterprises and organizations). Also, the KM (Knowledge Management) and Capacity Development (CD) components in this phase will be scaled up and activities intensified. Given the ambitious and demanding plan of activities expected from the PARM Horizon 2, the maintenance of a strong and efficient country strategy is crucial to ensure that PARM continues to build awareness on ARM and maintain its role as global knowledge platform in PARM Horizon 2.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1- Technical analysis

  • Provide technical advice and guidance in the development and dissemination of PARM knowledge material, ensuring their methodological rigor, mutual coherence and consistency with the holistic approach,
  • Analyze the ARM demand from clients in collaboration with donors and partners and identify policy and operational gaps.
  • Provide ARM technical guidance to the risk assessments, crosscutting analysis and studies (ARM feasibility and project design) undertaken by PARM.
  • Following PARM methodology (holistic approach to assess and manage agricultural risks), prepare and oversee the terms of reference and the work on ARM analysis and feasibility studies (for investment) in relation with clients’ demand as well as identification, definition, selection and coordination of ARM consultants and service providers. This involves the supervision of the implementation of ARM services by third party providers.
  • Ensure the interaction and alignment of the technical analysis and processes at regional and country level with the other programme managed by PARM, focused on insurance (INSURED).
  • Identify innovative areas for further studies or analysis that can open new knowledge, opportunities and collaborations for (P)ARM, and develop and supervise their implementation.

2- Programme management

  • In close collaboration with partners and donors, contribute to the development of the vision of how PARM should evolve to improve the synergies and effectiveness of the Platform, the strategic set of activities and the geographical expansion that the Platform will pursue during and after the end of the current programme.
  • Support the PARM planning, the global and regional strategies and activities and their implementation, and assure strategic coherence and operational synergies in partner engagements at international and regional levels and with the country/local processes.
  • Ensure the formulation process and timely implementation of PARM’s annual business plan, concrete objectives, programme of work and budget in direct collaboration with donors and partners.
  • Supervise and support the consultants under PARM Technical cluster in charge of the country operations and facilitate the interaction between different programme components. Ensure a collaborative environment, and coordination with the PARM KM and CD Cluster at global, regional and country level, including the technical support to the activities planned in FARM-D community of practice.

3- Partners’ engagement and knowledge dissemination

  • Continue mainstreaming ARM and facilitate the dialogue with policy makers, national and international stakeholders active on ARM in regions, countries affected by pandemic and macro-level risks potentially disrupting agricultural sector.
  • Represent PARM in relevant regional/country policy forums and make evidence-based contributions to related ARM debates in light of IFAD’s and other experiences.
  • Contribute to mainstream ARM concepts and make visible PARM work at IFAD and with the Rome Based Agencies (i.e. FAO, WFP, Bioversity, etc). This also implies the participation and organization of technical meetings related to ARM and ad hoc missions in support to the design of COSOP (Country Strategic Opportunities Programme) and projects funded by IFAD.
  • Support external projects (from IFAD and other organizations) requesting PARM assistance to design and implement ARM components at regional, country and local level;
  • Support clients and stakeholders in identifying and mobilizing additional resources to fund ARM services and investment in ARM policies, tools and operations.
  • Provide support on all operations with core clients of PARM, which consist of institutional beneficiaries in developing countries. In Africa, these activities will be conducted in cooperation with governments of LDCs, LMICs, interested Regional Economic Communities/African Union (RECs/AU) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Under the overall guidance of the Director PMI, the Technical Specialist will report to the PARM Lead Technical Specialist and assume the duties and responsibilities described below:

  • Technical analysis
  • Programme management
  • Partners’ engagement and knowledge dissemination

Any other duties as and when required by the Steering Committee and Advisory Committee that are in line with this position and are aimed at achieving PARM’s objectives and goal.

Representation / Work relationships

The Technical Specialist will manage the PARM Technical Cluster, the new created structure composed by different experts in charge of providing technical advice to the overall PARM programme. He/she will coordinate the regional and country activities providing technical guidance, assuring quality and timely delivery of specialized consulting contracts, and overseeing the overall technical facilitation and assistance to the client countries, interacting with various stakeholders, such as national government officials, consultants, donors, etc. At country level s/he will be responsible for the following activities and processes: (a) stock-taking of risk assessments, and risk diagnostic studies in agriculture and rural development (at sector, supply chain, and/or regional level), (b) identification of country specific ARM strategies and tools accessible to policy makers/stakeholders and ARM practitioners, (c) identification, definition, selection and coordination of studies on ARM specific strategies, tools and thematic areas, (d) participation on training and dissemination  of information to and between ARM practitioners, investors and the farming community and other local stakeholders.

He/she will be directly involved in the facilitation of knowledge and experience exchanges with clients and stakeholders at regional and global levels, including the FARMD community of practice S/he will provide technical and management support to KM and capacity development components of the programme.
At regional and country level, the Technical Specialist will also ensure the regular dialogue and search for synergies among its donors (PARM Steering Committee) and key partners (particularly the members of the PARM Advisory Committee). S/he will deliver on time and quality the current PARM regional and country programme of work.



  • 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)


  • Results-oriented performer: ability to deliver high-quality outputs under pressure as part of a multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Negotiator and Communicator: works effectively with others to meet mutual goals, negotiates to align parties, builds networks, listens and communicates effectively to engage others.
  • Strategic thinker, planner and organizer: ability to set clear priorities within a boundless and often challenging agenda with tight deadlines.
  • Team leader/worker: capacity to foster and coordinate teamwork; and establish harmonious working relationships in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • Model of integrity, trustworthy and confident: highest standards of personal integrity, trustworthiness, discretion and maturity.
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft packages and electronic communication.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s equivalent, PhD) in Economics, Agricultural Economics, Agri-business, Finance, International Development and/or related fields.


  • At least 5 years of relevant international experience in the field of specialization (Agricultural Risk Management, Rural Development, Finance, Agri-businesses, Investment in Agricultural sector).
  • At least 5 years of experience in donors programme technical coordination/facilitation in the agricultural sector in developing countries, in particular in African continent.
  • At least 5 years of experience in making technical analysis (agricultural development, supply chains productivity, feasibility studies for investments) related to ARM and agricultural sector in general.
  • Significant experience in managing programme and/or carry out technical analysis in fragile contexts, particularly in African continent.
  • Demonstrated knowledge/familiarity of ARM methodologies and capacity to evaluate studies, analysis, technical reports through an integrated approach.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with agricultural stakeholders at different levels, and multi-disciplinary and multi cultural teams, achieving results.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in resource mobilization in different public and private contexts.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French; including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations and group interactions.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within 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.

*The vacancy announcement was reopened to broaden the pool of applications. Candidates who have applied previously do not need to re-apply.*