Senior Regional Technical Specialist (Markets & Value Chains), Côte d’Ivoire

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD in Abidjan

Job Title : Senior Regional Technical Specialist (Markets & Value Chains)

ID : 8155

Location : Côte D Ivoire

Date of issue : 01/18/2023

Close Date : 02/08/2023

Organizational Unit : Sust. Prd. Mkts. & Instit.

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Regular

Assignment Duration : 2 Years

Grade : P-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 local, national and international levels for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness by generating and disseminating IFAD’s development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes, and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to help countries tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the: (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

Position specific: PMI provides technical support to IFAD Country Programs to ensure the proper application of corporate quality standards required for achieving development results and impact in key thematic areas, including sustainable food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, and agronomy), land governance and tenure, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and value chains, rural institutions, and ICT for Development (ICT4D). It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD’s projects and policy engagement.

The Senior Regional Technical Specialist (SRTS) – Markets and Value Chains works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the Lead Global Technical Specialist for Rural Finance, Markets and Value Chains, with dual reporting to the Regional Technical Leads and/or Regional Director. As an integral member of delivery teams, s/he works collaboratively with other thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CDs) and Program Officers (CPOs) and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical support and provision of programme development support with a particular focus on the West and Central Africa (WCA) region/ Asia and Pacific (APR) region.

Job Role

The Senior Technical Specialist serves as IFAD’s technical expert in his/her area of expertise. S/he supports country/regional programs by providing state-of-the-art global technical advice throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational), as well as contributes to the corporate agenda, in his/her technical area of expertise. Within his/her areas of responsibility, the Senior Technical Specialist exercises a high degree of independence in providing reliable programme delivery. The incumbent at this level performs the full complexity range of work independently, including the analysis and approval of complex and/or precedent setting cases with the aim to ensure cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support. S/he works collaboratively with the thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CD)/Heads of Multi-country Offices (MCO) and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support.

Position specific: The SRTS – Markets and Value Chains serves as IFAD’s technical expert in the area of value chain development and strengthened access to markets. The SRTS – Markets and Value Chains is a professional with strong experience in supporting small farmers’ access to markets and inclusive agricultural and food value chain development programmes in developing countries. S/he technically supports the corporate agenda and country/regional programs and other IFAD activities by providing state-of-the-art technical support throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational).

Key Functions and Results

1. SENIOR TECHNICAL ADVICE: The Senior Technical Specialist provides technically authoritative advice to improve the IFAD’s capacity to position itself as an influential global player in these domains, and to improve related national government policies and programmes, ensuring IFAD is regarded as a trusted and valued partner. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to: (a) providing IFAD staff and partners with up-to-date professional advice on policy, institutional and technical issues; (b) contributing to ensuring that IFAD senior management is regularly and adequately briefed to engage effectively in high-level fora with policy implications for rural transformation; and (c) providing senior-level technical expertise to the preparation of knowledge products aimed at advancing IFAD’s voice in the global debate on rural transformation, in close collaboration within SKD and other IFAD departments.

2. KNOWLEDGE AND ADVISORY SERVICES: The Senior Technical Specialist enhances the development of viable and sustainable policies, and supports regional and global thematic input, through authoritative technical knowledge sharing for her/his area of specialization. S/he will ensure access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthening of technical capacity, and establishment of new knowledge and advisory partnerships. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to: (i) supporting intelligence gathering and analysis of debates relevant to inclusive and sustainable rural transformation in the global debate and facilitating knowledge sharing and experiences in this area within SKD, IFAD and among other stakeholders in the global arena; (ii) supporting the coordination of relevant knowledge development and dissemination of knowledge and lessons learned with external partners and stakeholders (including regional and national institutions) through seminars, workshops and the publication of Occasional Papers, journal articles, and electronic media, as well as the development of new knowledge products and operational tools informed by learning from the field; (iii) participating in IFAD-wide thematic discussions and developing appropriate technical and operation approaches of relevance to country/divisional strategies and programmes; and (iv) planning and leading learning events to strengthen IFAD’s knowledge and capacity to engage in global debates with policy implications for rural transformation.

3. PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: The Senior Technical Specialist develops and maintains a network of strategic partnerships that can help advance IFAD’s mandate and messages around rural transformation in the global debate. S/he develops peer contacts inside and outside IFAD to keep up-to-date on activities at country and regional levels, support joint advocacy, and share knowledge to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable partner in development. Accountabilities may include: (a) building strategic partnerships with centers of excellence, complementary technical organizations, and specialized departments of other development institutions (including United Nations agencies, International Financial Institutions, bilateral cooperation agencies, non-governmental organizations, etc.); (b) strengthening IFAD’s representation and communication in policy processes, including representing IFAD at international, regional, and inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences; and (c) developing and cultivating alliances in key global policy fora to strengthen IFAD’s influence over time, with a strategic focus on specific themes.

4. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Senior Technical Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes, among others, people management through support to recruitment of technical specialists and technical leadership/capacity development, coaching and mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervisory role and evaluation of performance of professionals and general service staff under his/her purview.

Position Specific: 1. TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP AND ADVICE TO COUNTRY PROGRAMMES: Based on a planning exercise, and working in close collaboration with the CDs and CPOs, technical experts from PMI and ECG, the SRTS – Markets and Value chains provides technical advice to selected country programmes primarily in the WCA region in the area of markets and value chains, with specific emphasis on improving the access of small farmers and other IFAD target groups (e.g. rural women, youth, indigenous peoples) to markets, supporting the development or upgrading of pro-poor and inclusive agricultural/food value chains, building stronger partnerships with private sector actors notably through the Public Private Producer Partnership (4P) model and leveraging on digital technology to promote pro-poor value chain development and improved access to markets.

Through participation in project teams and missions, s/he provides technical leadership and advice in markets and value chain development as part of rural development approaches for the preparation of project design reports and supporting documents/annexes as well as in project implementation support preparing project supervision reports with concrete guidance and actions to improve project delivery and achievement of impacts. S/he serves as a member of Project Design Teams (PDTs) as the Project Technical Lead (PTL) for selected projects that require inputs on markets and value chain development. As PTL, s/he co-leads the project design and implementation support with the CD and s/he is responsible for the technical quality of the assigned project design across all thematic areas. This includes: drafting terms of reference for technical team members (incl. consultants); selecting and providing over-sight of qualified technical consultants; facilitating technical inputs from other IFAD staff and/or others (i.e. centers of excellence, research institutions); ensuring the technical quality of the project design report; participating in and/or leading selected design missions; ensuring that comments provided through corporate quality assurance processes are adequately addressed; participating in or leading supervision and implementation support missions; organizing and/or contributing to training and/or capacity building activities of project partners as needed; and providing technical inputs to project completion reports. S/he also provides technical support in markets and value chains development for selected ongoing projects, for which she may not be a member of the PDT requiring implementation support with particular challenges linked to markets and value chain development (e.g. projects-at-risk).

S/he will provide technical support and propose new and/or effective approaches, practices and technologies that allow small-scale producers and rural communities to improve their access to markets and benefit from more inclusive and sustainable value chains. Gender equality, social inclusion and opportunities for youth will be considered as crosscutting priorities as well as the use of ICT4D solutions. Particular emphasis will be on: strengthening institutional, business and financial capacities of small farmers and their organizations to access markets, negotiate better prices and conditions with other market players, and improve their returns from market/value chain participation; making value chains more pro-poor and inclusive by analyzing and mapping value chains and addressing targeting and governance issues; supporting climate-resilient and nutrition-sensitive value chains when relevant; brokering partnerships with private sector actors (including public-private producer partnerships (4Ps) and attracting private investments in the value chain that result in win-win solutions for all parties); collaborating with other experts in PMI to identify and support the development of appropriate instruments and technologies related to markets and value chains such as value chain finance instruments, ICT4D applications, non-sovereign private sector operations; etc.; and use and apply IFAD’s pro-poor value chain development guidelines and other IFAD related technical tools and guides to support design and implementation of value chain projects.

2. POLICY ENGAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS: The SRTS – Markets and Value Chains develops and maintains a network of peer contacts and partners outside IFAD to keep abreast of recent developments and trends and facilitate brokering of partnerships. S/he will follow-up on existing and new partnership discussions with other UN agencies, research institutions, NGOs, private sector funds, etc. interested in working with IFAD in pro-poor markets and value chains development and in building 4Ps.

Working closely with CDs, CPOs, relevant Specialists, and the regional economist, s/he contributes to the development of relevant technical policies and strategies linked to pro-poor markets and value chains development. S/he also represents IFAD in technical policy fora that are of relevance in the area of technical expertise, and develops and maintains strategic technical partnerships with organizations, centers of excellence, research institutions and thematic platforms that are relevant for IFAD.

3. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: The SRTS – Markets and Value Chains. This includes systematizing and disseminating knowledge, good practices and innovations generated through loans and grants across the globe, through specific knowledge products, toolkits, guidelines and learning events. S/he maintains a global network of peer contacts and partners outside IFAD to facilitate brokering of information and knowledge exchanges. S/he also builds and/or maintains communities of practice as well as roster of qualified/certified consultants with markets and value chains expertise. S/he represents IFAD in global events on technical matters relevant to IFAD.

The SRTS – Markets and Value Chains in collaboration with CDs, CPOs and other technical staff may propose ideas for grant projects addressing gaps and needs mainly in the WCA portfolio for improved markets and value chain development. This include proposals for testing and or upscaling innovative approaches and technologies that are relevant to markets and value chains development. S/he contributes or takes the lead on developing the competitive process for selecting a grantee and develop the grant document for approval, supervise and support the implementation of the grant including reviewing and approving annual work plans and budgets, project progress reports and fund withdrawal applications. S/he contribute to the preparation of knowledge products based on the grants and organizes learning events for their disseminations.

Key Performance Indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative technical expertise in the field of specialization. The impact of work by the incumbent directly affects the overall country programme and contributes to regional and corporate policy and strategy. Senior Technical Specialists design and contribute to the delivery of a country programme. The impact on the overall IFAD country and regional programmes is significant in projecting the Fund’s role/capacity as a reliable, viable partner in development. Work is intricate in that it requires consideration of a wide range of technical factors and related data, and national policies relevant for the economic policy concerns of the international organization. Senior Technical Specialists also monitor and guide the work of external consultants and participate as experts in field missions and intergovernmental and expert group meetings of a technical nature.

Work at this level normally is not reviewed for technical accuracy. Senior Technical Specialists thus exercise independence and initiative in assessing needs and advising governments when on field mission. Decisions are made on the research or analytical strategies to be followed in resolving problems of concern in the technical area. Established methods and procedures are adapted as necessary in order to achieve desired results.

Position specific: SRTSs- Markets and Value Chains thus exercise independence and initiative in assessing needs and advising governments when on field mission. Decisions are made on the research or analytical strategies to be followed in resolving problems of concern in the technical area. Established methods and procedures are adapted as necessary in order to achieve desired results.

Working Relationships

The work relationships of the Senior Technical Specialist involve providing technical advice, and negotiating and resolving problems that arise in technical project design and appraisal, supervision/implementation support and in preparing studies and reports. S/he serves as an expert in rural infrastructure and renewable energy and works with full technical independence in providing technical expertise and methodological guidance at the country level, as well as regionally, as required. Contacts are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations having related programmes, and with officials of governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, research institutes and academia. At intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Senior Technical Specialist (Research) provides technical expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative and specialist capacity; s/he may also provide information regarding the organization’s policies, and act as the representative of the organization, maintaining contacts to identify and evaluate emerging developments.

Position specific: The work relationships of SRTSs- Markets and Value Chains involve the provision of authoritative technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in technical project design and appraisal, supervision/implementation support and in the preparation of studies and reports. S/he serves as an expert in the field of markets and value chains and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical expertise and methodological guidance at the country level, as well as regionally as required.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 2:

  • Building relationships and partnerships – Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Communicating and negotiating – Acquires & uses a wide range of communication styles & skills
  • Demonstrating leadership – Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Focusing on clients – Contributes to a clientfocused culture
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating – Challenges, innovates&contributes to learning culture
  • Managing performance and developing staff – Manages wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization
  • Managing time, resources and information – Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Problem-solving and decision-making – Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development – Staff in management and/or strategic leadership roles
  • Team working – Fosters a cohesive team environment

Education:

  • Level – Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area listed on (link) in a job related field (*)
  • Areas – Agriculture/rural development; economics (agricultural/natural resource/environmental economics, behavioural economics, development economics, trade, etc.); finance, business management, marketing or commerce, agricultural engineering, and other agriculture specializations

(*) Note: For internal candidates, this requirement will be assessed in line with the provisions set forth in the IFAD’s Human Resources Implementing Procedures.

Experience:

  • At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in and demonstrated understanding of, development investment projects and interventions in the field of markets and value chains development, of which at least 3 of the 8 years of experience should be at the international level.

  • Proven exprience in the design and coordination of pro-poor value chain development projects leveraging on innovative solutions to emerging issues, including the use of digital/ICT solutions, working with the private sector and developing value chain financing instruments/initiatives and other forms of collaborations with the private sector.
  • Two (2) years in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope.
  • Field experience in fragility-affected countries would be an asset.

Languages:

  • Required: English (4 – Excellent), French (4 – Excellent)
  • Desirable: Arabic and/or Spanish (3 – Good)

Skills:

  • Adaptability: Adaptability and flexibility when facing new or unexpected situations, and to specific constraints and circumstances and managing complex processes
  • Corporate approach: Ability to bring in corporate vision and priorities into one’s area of work (e.g. budgeting going beyond simple budgetary considerations, taking into account strategic priorities)
  • 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)
  • Synthesis: Outstanding ability to synthesize and simplify complex technical information for a variety of (non-technical) audiences
  • Verbal communication: Clear, succinct and convincing verbal communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language
  • Written communication: Clear, succinct and convincing written communication in the language needed for specific role; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language (e.g. for drafting of position papers, briefings, etc.)
  • Evidence-based policy: Know-how in the formulation of concrete and actionable policy recommendations based on hard evidence (going beyond simple data interpretation)

Position specific:

  • Markets & Value Chains: Relevant topical expertise in market thematic area of work (e.g. financial services, rural markets and enterprises, rural institutions and the full agriculture value chain (including actors in food processing)
  • Private Sector Investment: Expertise in assessing private sector investment proposals, review of transactions and complex facilities and interventions using regular and blended finance, conducting due diligence, and recommending financial/investment decisions accordingly; Proven expertise in deploying financial instruments
  • Business acumen, private sector knowledge: Outstanding ability to synthesize and simplify complex technical information for a variety of (non-technical) audiences
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD’s activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies

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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