ICT Specialist (Cloud & Infrastructure), Italy

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD HQ Rome

Role Description

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ID 9261

Location Italy

Date of issue 12/21/2022

Close Date 02/05/2023

Organizational Unit Inform. & Comm Technology Div.

Full/Part Time Full-Time

Regular/Temporary Regular

Assignment Duration 2 Years

Grade P-3

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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 Corporate Services Department (CSD), led by the Associate Vice-President, CSD, provides IFAD with the human resources, administrative services, safety and security, information technology resources and medical support services required to allow IFAD to meet its objectives of enabling rural people to overcome poverty. The work of the CSD is undertaken by three divisions (i) Human Resources Division (HRD) (ii) Administrative Services Division (ADM) and (iii) Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) and three units: (a) Front Office CSD (b) Field Support Unit and (c) Medical Services Unit. The Information & Communications Technology Division (ICT) delivers secure, reliable, and integrated technology solutions which enable delivery of business value and provide IFAD with a strategic advantage through technical innovation and agile ICT services, and by streamlining corporate processes using effective ICT solutions. It facilitates access to information, ensures reliable and secure availability of information and communication means, provides a sustainable and secure digital environment and offers standard ICT services.

ICT Specialists work under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the ICT Director and the direct supervision of an ICT Manager/Senior ICT Specialist.

Job Role

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Specialists at this level are seasoned professionals reflecting an in-depth, complete understanding of ICT systems and applications development. The applications development work is original or involves major modifications requiring the development of specifications in consultation with diverse users who have diverse needs. When tasked with supervision, they are typically supervisors of general service (GS) staff. Frequently ICT Specialists will coordinate the work of and provide technical guidance to external consultants and/or other temporary staff.

Position specific: The ICT Specialist provides DevOps technical and subject matter expertise in respect to IFAD’s system landscape, architecture and interoperability. The incumbent is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring and availability of IFAD applications, co-ordinating with Business Process Owners (BPOs), software vendors and hosting partners and the internal ICT team to resolve any issues. The incumbent is responsible for identifying new tools and processes to improve the data centre and cloud platform efficiency automating processes in line with corporate priorities.

Key Functions and Results

  • ICT BUSINESS PARTNER: ICT Specialists are credible trusted partners to the client offices served and the Division where assigned, serving as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. They participate in the development, implementation and achievement of established ICT Service Level Objectives (SLOs). The incumbents support the Fund’s ICT strategy and plans as well as model a commitment to systems integrity. ICT Specialists provide seasoned verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on the functionality of information and communication technology systems and applications as well as in the requirement for modifications or enhancements/extensions.
  • ICT MANAGEMENT: ICT Specialists are seasoned professionals accountable for development, design, implementation and management of complex, interrelated applications and/or components of major ICT systems. Representative accountabilities/key results include (a) undertaking feasibility studies, systems analysis and design for specific systems, applications and/or for components of the more complex systems of the Fund’s ICT System; (b) translating user requirements into functional and technical specifications for new applications, developing integrating existing modules, developing local enhancements, etc.; (c) configuring systems/application environments and leading the installation, maintenance, problem resolution/trouble shooting, optimization and system/applications upgrades; (d) monitoring transactions to measure the performance and continuing effectiveness of assigned systems and working with systems software personnel to resolve operational problems; (e) writing scripts to extract and transfer data from databases, ensuring security measures to protect confidentiality; (f) developing strategy for specific applications and participating in developing overall strategy for major systems including addressing interfacing and/or integration requirements; (g) developing training materials, technical and user documentation, and publicity information and training staff in information/data systems; and ensuring that all the necessary technical knowledge and procedures for area of assignment are documented, up-to-date and shared across ICT teams.
  • AGENT OF CHANGE: ICT Specialists understand and apply the principles of change management and proactively serve as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. They use a seasoned knowledge of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other information technology to develop, analyze and promote acceptance of new methods of work and automated workflows. At this level ICT Specialists manage change through consultations with ICT colleagues and outreach to client offices to build understanding of and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s information and communication technology strategy, standards, regulations and rules.
  • MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, supervised staff.

Position specific:

  • Ensures smooth initiation, provisioning and planning of all IFAD ICT services in both monolithic applications, networking and in the transition and running towards Cloud services, including the seamless operations of all related applications and services.
  • Provides full stack development experience bridging between front and back-end development with in-depth knowledge covering the processes and technologies required for each.
  • Ensures integration and interoperability between IFAD corporate systems, in particular ensuring the availability and timely flow of documents and data between applications, leveraging and developing APIs to facilitate the process. Acts as a key point in API monitoring and management.
  • Provides technical expertise on the deployment of data/software fixes, upgrades, security patching.

Develops, together with the relevant teams, required capabilities and capacities with regard to DevOps, cloud and emerging technologies infrastructure management towards a roster of well qualified professionals in this domain over time.

Key Performance Indicators

The work of ICT Specialists is made up of different areas and includes resolving problems in integration and interface. Thus the work at this level directly impacts the processing work of systems and applications, users, and the overall services provided by the ICT Division; their technical decisions affect the internal structures of the applications assigned and indirectly impact the accomplishment of the Fund’s overall objectives, goals and functions. The key performance indicators for ICT Specialists at this level include effective design and accurate performance of assigned application development and relevance to client requirements.

Working Relationships

Internally, ICT Specialists at this level are required to explain, clarify and train users in new information and communications technology functionality and operations as well as to develop and clarify user requirements, and also take the lead as subject matter experts to ensure the appropriate level of building and running related technical services in their area of expertise. They advocate directly and indirectly both technical and non-technical users to accept limitations or modifications of applications and provide advice regarding requirements or capabilities requirements. Within the ICT Division, they are collaborating with other technical leads for the purpose of solving complex problems and persuading others to accept modifications of specifications. External contacts involve a professional exchange of information with colleagues in the information and communication technology community to collect/exchange information on emerging technology and ensure IFAD is leveraging the latest best practice in ICT. They may also negotiate with external service providers and/or vendors regarding services and new hardware/software and in the technical evaluation and selection of the same. ICT Specialists at this level are delegated authority to make commitments on routine aspects of the assignment.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 1:

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

Education:

  • Level – Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area. In lieu of an advanced university degree, a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) plus at least four (4) additional years of relevant professional experience over and above the minimum number of years of experience requirement may be considered;
  • Areas – Computer science, information technology, mathematics or other job-related field
  • Degree must be an accredited institution listed on (link)

Certifications:

Required: CCNA, MCSA, other Microsoft and Linux related system administration certifications, CSA and other Cloud management certifications (Azure, AWS), Virtual Machine and Microservices related certifications, Monitoring and scripting certifications including Splunk or similar, and Full Stack related certifications or demonstrable experience

Experience:

At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in full stack developments and running of devops or in network infrastructure and/or communications technology in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope. Position specific

  • Hands-on experience with managing Cloud and Infrastructure services in hybrid environments, both from a data-center sysadmin perspective and also from the perspective of leading cloud providers, covering install, configure, automate, and monitoring of various Cloud Services (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS)
  • Contributes to the infrastructure and Services for all on premises solutions as well as the Cloud Strategy, Op Model Transformation, Cloud Development, Cloud integration and APIs; Cloud Migration, Cloud Infrastructure & Engineering and Cloud Managed Services
  • Identifies new tools and processes to improve the cloud platform and automate processes
  • Applies innovative methodologies and approaches (including agile) to translate big picture vision to technical solutions through business process, information flow, solution and technical architecture domains
  • Manages the relationships with the Business Process Owners (BPOs), Software Vendors and Hosting Partners to ensure alignment.
  • Monitors and maintains, together with relevant teams, multiple (DevOps) environments based on client requirements

  • Hands-on experience with DevOps/Automation tools and familiarity with large-scale ICT architectures and automated deployment techniques in virtual environments; experience in continuous integration and development tools and CI/CD pipelines such as Jenkins; JIRA; Nexus; GitHub Actions; Maven; Gradle; Ansible; Terraform; Packer;
  • Ability to function at a high level in system/network administration and security management roles.
  • Excellent sys-admin skills, including VMWare and container management / deployment (such as Kubernetes and Docker) in Linux and Windows environment, with experience in latest and emerging technologies and trends
  • Essential knowledge of networking protocols, networking architectures and security principles, including IP networking, VPNs, DNS, load balancing and firewalling, demonstrated by relevant certifications where applicable.
  • Given that most of the Infrastructure is administered and changed through systems automation, it is important that the incumbent has a solid understanding of systems automation and is ready to apply changes to the infrastructure by changing the automation code and configuration and re-running the automations against a live environment. In addition the incumbent must have knowledge of CI/CD to manage integration and deployment pipelines for applications.
  • Experience with Security and monitoring, including but not limited to Active Directory, Splunk, Nagios, Hardening and Pentest tools

Languages:

  • Required English (4 – Excellent)
  • Desirable: French, Spanish, and/or Arabic

Skills:

  • Budgeting, resource management: Know-how in budget administration and accounting, resource allocation and planning at divisional level
  • Procurement: Know-how in the application of procurement policies, rules and regulations applicable to IFAD HQ and/or Country Programmes/Projects, including for complex individual cases
  • Financial data integrity and financial systems: know-how in systems interface control, core banking system management, data mining and analytics
  • Analytical skills: Outstanding ability to analyse and synthesize qualitative and/or quantitative information from a variety of sources and filter out key insights and recommendations
  • Data management: Data collection, cleaning, transformation and consolidation; data-base architecture & development; data presentation
  • Strategy implementation: Ability to lead and manage the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies for IFAD / for respective divisions
  • Agile ICT services: Use various agile methods, such as daily stand-ups, sprints and hackathons, to generate end products early on
  • 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
  • Cyber security: Expertise specific to cyber security principles, tools, systems and applications
  • Data analysis/architecture: Know-how in the analysis and interpretation of data needs and sources taking into account operational context, using systems and models to disseminate ensuring integrity, availability to meet reporting and business analytics needs
  • Data systems & tools: Expertise in the design, development, deployment, maintenance and management of Data Warehouse, data visualization, data analysis, data mining and reporting tools
  • DevOps: Expertise in continuous integration, configuration management, deployment automation, infrastructure orchestration and monitoring and analytics
  • Emerging technologies: Expertise to evaluate and identify business and technical opportunities in emerging technologies including methodologies, tools, systems and applications (including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Robotics, GIS Analytics, etc.)
  • Network and Infrastructure Administration: Expertise in the provisioning, configuration, management, tuning and performance monitoring of the IFAD network and the infrastructure of the IFAD data centre
  • Project/Programme management: Identification of key priorities, ability to structure work to meet deadlines and adjustment of workplan/resource allocation when needed for Programme management: overall management of portfolio of work (including PMO interaction) with expertise to identify dependencies or bottlenecks between projects, managing changes and risks
  • System and Database Administration: Expertise in the provisioning, configuration, management, tuning and performance monitoring of systems and databases
  • User experience: Strong focus in the delivery of a positive and intuitive user experience, building on proactive clarification of user needs and requirements
  • User technology enablement and support: Advanced configuration and endpoint management, digital mobile communication, seam IT monitoring and backup, incident response and endpoint management
  • Planning: Know-how in the planning of human, financial and material management of IFAD resources
  • Change management: Role modelling, anticipation of key risks & conflicts and formulation of contingency plans/solutions, action-oriented
  • Client orientation: Strong critical thinking combined with communication skills to liaise between the business and technologies to understand business problems and needs, document requirements and identify solutions
  • Leadership: Group leader, sought out by others for providing mentorship and effective guidance to others; Ability to build trust, inside and outside the organization by acting as a role model for IFAD’s core values and competencies, and to provide a clear sense of direction, mentorship and effective guidance to the team, strategizing IFAD’s goals, providing vision, empowering the team and ensuring a positive environment for all.

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 @ifad.org.

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.

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