Country Administrative Assistant, Panama

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD in Panama City

Job Title : Country Administrative Assistant – Panama

ID : 7841

Location : Panama

Date of issue : 02/03/2023

Close Date : 06/11/2023

Organizational Unit : Latin America & Caribbean Div.

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Regular

Assignment Duration : 2 Years

Grade : G-4

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.

The Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five regional divisions and an Operational Policy and Results Division.

The Country Administrative Assistant position is located in an IFAD Regional Office or IFAD Multi-country Office (MCO) and reports directly to the the relevant Offcer or Country Director (CD) / Head of MCO heading the office.

The position is located in Latin America and Carribean (LAC) Division which is responsible for the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Job Role

The Country Administrative Assistant is accountable for routine office communications, operational and secretarial support services to contribute to a smooth implementation of the regional plan and to ensure efficient workflow and effective management of information.

Key Functions and Results

1. COMMUNICATIONS & WORKFLOW: Facilitates the communications and workflow of the Office and between the Office and HQ, to enhance the efficiency and timeliness of outputs in meeting corporate targets. Accountabilities typically include managing incoming and outgoing correspondence, e-mails and telephone calls; researching background documentation; communicating routine and some non-routine information pertaining to the work of the office; establishing/maintaining the office filing and reference systems, both traditional and digital; and ensuring the inter/intra-net websites are up to date and accurate.

2. OPERATIONAL SUPPORT: Facilitates the work of the team to ensure integrity in the use of resources and adherence to established rules and procedures. Accountabilities typically include ERP data entry and reporting activities as originator; applying internal procedures and tracking systems for correspondence and documents; verifying work is completed in accordance with IFAD standards and within established deadlines; monitoring work progress and priority cases; organizing meetings and workshops; organizing official travel; administering staff attendance and leave; and identifying and extracting information from various sources and preparing briefing notes. Responsibilities may include:

  • Provide support for the organization of in-country meetings with internal and external project/programme stakeholders (e.g. project team meetings, negotiations, meetings with governments, country visits of senior management, learning events, etc.), including preparation and dissemination of relevant documentation and scouting for venues and related activities;
  • Uploading and profiling required documents for records management and knowledge management purposes (e.g. in the Operations Library, on xdesk, through IFAD’s electronic records management system), and sharing of information with project partners.
  • Participating in select missions (for administrative support and support organization of events, such as workshops, seminars etc, as required.
  • The Country Administrative Assistant may also act as a back-up for the Country Programme Assistant during absence on leave or in instances of peak workload.

3. OFFICE SUPPORT: Ensures the full range of office support to the supervisor. Accountabilities typically include preparing briefing materials for official trips or meetings; drafting responses to written inquiries on routine and non-routine questions; coordinating responses to sensitive or complex inquiries; following up on established deadlines and ensuring timely submissions by staff of reports, correspondence and other documents; reviewing all outgoing correspondence and official documents for style, factual and grammatical accuracy as well as conformance with established guidelines and procedures; preparing correspondence for the supervisor’s signature; and may make informal translations of correspondence. Responsibilities may include:

  • Prepare the travel arrangements, including related ERP transactions, for staff located in IFAD’s country office including input of mission dates in corporate system, handling of visas and logistical arrangements, and supporting staff in compliance with UNDSS recommendations on travel;
  • Support the recruitment of non-staff hired by the Office, including processing of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) related transactions and initiating payment requests;
  • Support office asset administration (including maintenance of IFAD office furnishings and equipment, inventory control and vehicle/fleet management in liaison with the Country Operational Analyst);
  • Provide background/supporting documentation upon request, formatting/drafting standard components of documents, maintaining office records and filing systems ensuring timely submission of appropriate documentation into IFAD’s records management system.

4. ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS: Is accountable for integrity, transparency, equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD equipment and supplies, and in the administration of IFAD resources. This includes providing inputs into the country office budget preparation exercises and monitoring sub-allotments issued; implementing procurement processes and assisting in contract close-out procedures; effective use of ERP functionality for improved business results; simplification of transaction and reporting processes; and improved client services.

Key Performance Indicators

The scope of key results of the Country Administrative Assistants is typically limited to office activities. S/He provides support in the application of established rules and procedures as well as in typical, non-specialized support work, including administrative support in the implementation of project/programme activities and IFAD’s offices. The work is mostly standard in nature; there are few para specialized administrative activities that could require formal training performed on a regular and recurring basis. Key performance indicators include the timely and accurate performance of assigned activities.

Working Relationships

The Country Administrative Assistant based in IFAD Regional Offices or Multi-Country Offices works in close collaboration with the full array of the staff located in the assigned office including technical staff from the Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD), financial staff from the Financial Operations Department (FOD), SSTC and partnerships staff from the External Relations and Governance Department (ERG) in addition to those staff programme staff in PMD, including the Country Programme Assistant based in her/his office and is mainly accountable for the exchange of routine and less frequently non-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 inquiries.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies – Level 1

  • 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


  • High school diploma

Work experience:

  • At least three (3) years of secretarial and/or clerical experience.
  • One (1) year of programme experience is desirable.


  • Required English (4 – Excellent)
  • Position-specific requirement: Spanish (4 – Excellent)
  • Desirable: French or Arabic (3 – Good)

Skills: Job role specific

  • Topical expertise – Administration, Expertise relevant to the specific role ;
  • Logistics management, Know-how in logistics support specific to position, such as Travel Management (including travel arrangements, visa administration, etc.), Event organization (e.g. organization of conferences, (virtual) meetings, retreats, trainings), etc. ;
  • Procurement, Know-how in the application of the procurement policies, rules and regulations applicable to IFAD HQ and/or Country Programmes/Projects, including for complex individual cases ;
  • Record management;
  • Initiative and good judgment, High sense of proactive initiative-taking and good judgement (including on security matters);
  • Interpersonal skills, Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants);,
  • Procedure adherence, Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations;
  • Problem solving, Strong systemic and structured thinking, ability to identify and dissect problems into components and formulate a comprehensive set of creative viable and sustainable solutions and strategies,
  • Adaptability;
  • Basic ICT & digital fluency, Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. in-depth, computer information systems, including micro-computer operating systems software, hardware and applications software and other office technology equipment), end-user computing configuration management

Other Information

IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD’s Human Resources Policy, the President can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.

Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in

Applicants for National positions at General Service level must be legally authorized to live and work in the country of recruitment at the time of application. Any job offer is subject to evidence from the candidate to have obtained and be able to maintain the legal status to live and work in the country of recruitment.

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