Background

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Working with rural people, government, donors, civil society and many other partners, IFAD supports innovative and country specific solutions which increase productivity in agricultural and non-agricultural activities, and rural poor people’s access to investments, financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
The Country Programme Officer (CPO) activities should be carried out in the framework of the IFAD Latin America and the Caribbean Division (LAC) in terms of its relevance (IFAD interventions in projects and programmes should be consistent with the development strategies and priorities of the country), its effectiveness (IFAD policies and strategies, as well as its projects and programmes, contribute to national and international poverty reduction policies), and its efficiency (improve efficiency indicators in IFAD supported operations). To achieve these objectives the CPO activities should be performed taking into consideration the results based Country Programme Opportunities Strategy (COSOP), the building up of a country team, and partnership building with governments, other donors and the civil society.
The main objectives of the Country Programme Officer (CPO) would be to: (1) provide implementation support to management of IFAD-supported projects; (2) improve knowledge management of innovations that sustainably improve the livelihoods of the poor and other disadvantaged rural groups; (3) engage in policy dialogue in order to develop an enabling environment for sustainable pro-poor development; and (4) promote partnership with government institutions, private sector, civil society and other donors.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Country Programme Manager (CPM), as a member of the Country Programme Team and with the support of consultants, the CPO will be responsible for the following functions:
1. Programme development, supervision and implementation support:
  • Participate in the development of the IFAD COSOP and in the design of programmes and projects arising there from.
  • Organize, participate in and/or lead project design, supervision and follow-up missions
  • Identify constraints to project implementation, make appropriate recommendations and ensure timely follow-up of these recommendations.
  • Provide technical assistance to projects supported by IFAD including strategic orientation, capacity building for projects’ staff, support with regard to loan administration and procurement, support to the development of monitoring and evaluation systems, and development of exit strategies and institutional mechanisms for sustainability after project completion.
  • Review the Annual Work Plans and Budgets (AWPB), Progress Reports and Audit Reports of the assigned projects. Monitor all aspects of project progress and implementation, anticipate problems and take preventive measures.
  • Prepare progress reports of IFAD Country Programmee in Brazil. These reports will focus on the ongoing activities, effectiveness of projects’ implementation, achievements against agreed objectives, budget utilization, implementation issues as well as how they are being addressed, engagement with counterparts and other stakeholders, and other relevant issues.
  • Contribute to a timely and successful completion and closure of project activities.
2. Knowledge management
  • Promote horizontal collaboration and knowledge sharing among IFAD-funded projects and other projects and rural development experiences, through meetings, workshops, field visits, exchange of experiences and other activities.
  • Systematize innovations and lessons learnt from IFAD supported projects and from other projects and rural development experiences (agricultural and non-agricultural), regarding technological innovations, rural business development, capacity building, institutional development, organizations strengthening, public policies and other relevant issues. Contribute to make available the information generated through these systematizations and learning processes.
  • Organize Country Portfolio Review Workshops and interactions among IFAD supported projects and other stakeholders, aimed to promote exchange of experiences and discussions on best practices as well as challenges for rural development in the country.
  • Contribute to organizational and managerial capacity building within the projects and producers' organizations.
3. Policy development
  • Contribute to the discussion of public policies regarding the thematic areas in which IFAD experience provides comparative advantage. Provide, when it is requested, technical assistance for policy formulation by following the Government’s agenda and the interest of policy makers.
  • Facilitate policy workshops and analysis focused on the areas in which IFAD projects have comparative advantage. These workshops would contribute to feed policy making for rural development taking advantage of the innovations of the IFAD programme.
4. Partnerships
  • Promote networking and partnership building with the government, producers’ organizations, civil society, private sector and other donors.
  • Participate in partnership working groups and forums, to ensure continued coordination and cooperation of IFAD with other development partners and stakeholders.
  • Identify funding opportunities with other donors that would help to mobilize additional resources for rural poverty alleviation.
5. Any other duties assigned by the IFAD Country Programme Manager or the Latin America Regional Director

 

Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of IFAD
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office
  • In-depth knowledge on development issues
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources
  • Good knowledge of the Results Management Guide and Toolkit
  • Strong IT skills
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change

Management and Leadership

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities

 

Required Skills and Experience

Education:
  • Advanced university degree (not less than Masters) in agriculture, agricultural economy, rural development, rural sociology or a related field.
Experience:
  • Two years of relevant professional experience, demonstrating a progressive increase in responsibility and competency.
  • Minimum of two years of experience in project design and supervision.
Skills:
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and experience in discussion and negotiation on development issues in different levels.
  • Research and analytic skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office basic software packages, emails.
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent verbal and written English and Portuguese languages.
  • Knowledge of Spanish is an advantage
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