Senior Policy Officer (Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Location
    Rome, Italy
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 24

Position description

Reporting Lines

The Senior Policy Officer works under the strategic coordination of, and reports to, the ESP Director on specific issues related to Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment.

Technical Focus

Deep knowledge of rural and territorial development, rural livelihoods, institutional development, coordination and institutional arrangements for poverty reduction, community-based development, sustainable agriculture and food security, rural service provision issues, strategies for economic inclusion in the rural sector, and agribusiness and value chain development in a developing country context. In depth grasp of economic and social issues, conceptual thinking and ability to analyse complex information to substantiate strategic conclusions and arguments.

Key Results

Leadership and technical policy expertise for the planning, development and implementation of Departmental/Division Programmes of work, projects, products, services in accordance with Departmental and FAO Strategic Objectives.

Key Functions

  • Plans, manages, or leads highly specialized or multi-disciplinary teams, leads, coordinates, and/or participates on Organization-wide, cross-Departmental committees, project teams, and working groups, and/or provides technical leadership/secretariat services on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies;
  • Analyzes global and country specific requirements and relevant technical issues to provide critical input into the FAO Strategic Objectives, Programme of Work, work plans and the supporting budgets and/or resourcing strategies;
  • Implements and monitors programmes of work involving the development of the approach, evidence based strategies, and related tools, methodologies and the supporting system/database, monitoring and reporting frameworks;
  • Conducts, designs and oversees research and analysis activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovation, technical reports, publications and/or on-going programme development as well as the provision of technical and/or policy advisory services;
  • Provides technical and policy advice to Member countries and technical support to decentralized offices in the development and implementation of their programmes;
  • Leads and/or collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning, on-line tools;
  • Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences, identifies and implements strategic partnerships, advocates best practices and increased policy dialogue and develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements with international and national stakeholders;
  • Leads and/or participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Leads and provides strategic direction to the team on Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment of ESP in line with the Strategic Objectives of FAO;
  • Provides a vision, strategy, leadership and coherent approach on institution building for rural development;
  • Economic inclusion and poverty reduction (including at subnational levels), strengthening rural institutions (including governmental institutions and relationships with other stakeholders) and access to rural services and finance, drawing on international and corporate good practices, frameworks and knowledge;
  • Promotes and supports partnerships and resource mobilization initiatives, conceptualizing and developing proposals for funding opportunities on areas of relevance to the RISE Team's mandate;
  • Provides policy and technical advice to FAO member countries and international partners in the fields of territorial development; rural development; institution building and coordination (including at subnational levels); rural institutions, services and empowerment; and agribusiness finance;
  • Coordinates and manages the work of the team members and provides strategic guidance for planning and implementation of the different areas of work covered by the team;
  • Organizes and/or represents FAO in international events and multilateral processes on the relevant topics, and maintains networks and partnerships with key government, UN, civil society and other development partners to promote FAO mandate and achieve or enhance results.

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in Rural Development, Economics, Agricultural or Agribusiness Finance, Institutional Economics, Development Economics or related field in agriculture or social sciences;
  • Ten years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: policy advice, development and implementation of rural development programmes in developing countries, institution building at both national and local level, agricultural and/or agribusiness finance, including relevant working experience in developing countries;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.


  • Results Focus;
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering Others;
  • Communication;
  • Partnering and Advocating;
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement;
  • Strategic Thinking.

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
  • Extent and relevance of understanding, experience and knowledge of rural development, rural livelihoods, territorial development, community-based development, institution building, sustainable agriculture and food security, development of agricultural and rural financial instruments and services and risk management mechanisms;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in planning, policy support and implementation of programmes related to the topics listed in the second bullet above, in line with the mandate of FAO;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects related to the areas listed in the second bullet above;
  • Extent and relevance of experience of high-level policy advice on related issues;
  • Experience in organizing high-level international meetings, seminars and training courses in related areas.

Application instructions

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