Call for Interest: Short-Term Administrative Assistant, Rome

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD in Bamako

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Role Description

Call for Interest: Short-Term Administrative Assistant, IFAD

Organizational Setting

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.

IFAD is launching a third call for applications for placement on the roster of short-term staff in the General Service (GS) category at its Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Staff in the GS category are locally recruited and subject to local recruitment. Short-term appointments are designed to facilitate the discharge of administrative support functions of a temporary nature and may vary from a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of 36 cumulative months, which is the limit for short-term appointments within the Fund (provided that short-term appointments granted by the same Division/Unit do not exceed 18 cumulative months). Temporary General Service assignments do not carry any expectation of, or imply any right to, further extension, renewal or conversion to any other appointment. The grade level of the General Service assignments may vary from G-2 to G-4 level.

The roster will serve as the only database from which candidates will be sourced for short-term contracts. It will be replenished on a periodic basis.

Job Role

Under the supervision of a more senior Administrative Assistant or Administrative Associate or a Professional staff member, the incumbent is accountable for operational support and clerical services to assist in the smooth running of the office to which they are assigned. The accountabilities/key results expected are:

  • Operational Support
  • Secretarial Support

(These duties are generic and thus not all inclusive nor are all duties carried out by all Short-Term staff in the General Service category)

Key Functions and Results

1. OPERATIONAL SUPPORT: Short-Term staff in the General Service category support a higher graded Associate/Assistant in the provision of operational support. Accountabilities typically include Enterprise Resource Planning data entry and reporting activities as originator; maintaining correspondence logs for incoming and outgoing correspondence; distributing incoming correspondence, reports and other materials; making travel arrangements; preparing periodic reports, extracting information and preparing statistical tables on request; and maintaining the office filing and reference systems, both traditional and digital; maintaining office supplies stock.

2. OFFICE SUPPORT: Short-Term staff in the General Service category provide the full range of clerical support to the office staff. Accountabilities typically include typing and/or formatting a variety of material in draft or final form including correspondence, reports and official documents; drafting standard format correspondence; preparing briefing materials for official trips or meetings as requested; proofreading all outgoing correspondence and official documents for grammatical accuracy and formatting and assuring all attachments are included; reviewing supporting documents for processing a variety of administration actions/requests; and may make informal translations of correspondence.

3. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Short-Term staff in the General Service category are accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, and supplies.

Key Performance Indicators

Short-Term staff in the General Service category typically report to a higher-level Assistant or Associate. The work is standard and repetitive in nature; there are no specialized administrative activities that would require formal training performed on a regular and recurring basis. Key performance indicators include the complete and accurate performance of assigned, recurring activities. S/He brings any inconsistencies or discrepancies to the attention of the supervisor or responsible specialist.

Working Relationships

Short-Term staff in the General Service category typically are accountable for the exchange of routine information with counterparts within IFAD. Routine exchange of information within the Fund includes arranging travel, procurement and information technology support. Typical contacts within the division, office or department as well as external contacts consist of responding to basic inquiries.

Job Profile Requirements


  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates
  • Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients
  • Problem solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem solving and decision making ability
  • Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively
  • Team Work: Contributes effectively to the team
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively, creates understanding between self and others
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships


  • Proficiency in MS Office: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook. Proficiency in corporate electronic databases and systems would be an asset.

  • Ability to handle a large volume of work accurately under time pressure.
  • Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with visitors.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to work effectively with people of different national and cultural background.
  • Ability to work in a team environment to achieve common goals.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Secondary school education is required.


  • At least two (2) years of secretarial and/or administrative support experience; each employment record of the Personal History Form should contain a detailed description of the administrative duties performed.

Language requirements and other skills:

  • Proficiency in English language is required. Working knowledge of any other IFAD official language (Arabic, French and Spanish) would be a distinctive asset.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Eligible applicants must have the legal status to live and work in the country of recruitment, in this case, Italy or the European Union.
  • All applicants must be between 18 and 64 years old and nationals of an IFAD Member State.

Other Information

  • Candidates will be required to pass a skills check test (MS Office skills) and language exams as well as participate in interviews.
  • Candidates currently included on the short-term roster do not need to re-apply to this position.
  • Candidates eligible to be assessed for inclusion in the Roster should have no less than 1 month remaining on the allowable 36-month eligibility period.
  • 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 a response within three months of the closing date should consider their application unsuccessful.
  • Inclusion in the Roster for short-term staff in the General Service category does not represent a guarantee or commitment of employment on the part of IFAD. Recruitment depends on the availability of suitable temporary assignments.
Tags: central africa, field support, financial management, internship, management services, office administration, southern africa