Technical Specialist (Economist), Kenya

  • Contractor
  • Anywhere

International Fund for Agricultural Development (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.

* This is a two-year fixed-term co-terminus position fully financed with supplementary funds. Contract renewal depends on the fund availability and/or duration of the project. There is no guarantee of renewal or conversion into another kind of contract The African Agricultural Transformation Initiative (AATI) has been created by four founding partners, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, McKinsey & Company, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. AATI aims to foster inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformations across the African continent.

Over five years (2021-2026), the AATI will seek to establish new (and strengthen existing) national agencies designed to support delivery of agricultural transformation policies and programmes, with the support of a central AATI unit to be housed at the IFAD offices in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition to the central unit, the AATI is expected to include a steering committee and an advisory board that will provide support and guidance. The central unit will be led by an Executive Director.

The Administrative Assistant position will work under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, AATI and in close collaboration with the rest of the AATI Secretariat and with the PMD Front Office administrators as well as with relevant colleagues in IFAD country programmes where these agencies are located.

Job Role

The Administrative Assistant is accountable for communications, operational and secretarial support services to enhance the smooth running of the team and its workflow and management of information.

Key Functions and Results

1. COMMUNICATIONS & WORKFLOW: Facilitates the communications and workflow of the organizational unit to enhance the efficiency and timeliness of operations and outputs. 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 team; maintaining the supervisor’s calendar; 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 in areas of HR, procurement and budget. Accountabilities typically include more advanced 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.

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.

5. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, and supplies.

Position specific:

  • Providing assistance in drafting Terms of References for mission (design, implementation support, completion) and in preparing missions for AATI staff members and contracts/missions for consultants;
  • Organize in-countries meetings and workshops with internal and external project/programme stakeholders, including preparation and dissemination of relevant documentation;
  • Uploading required documents for records management and knowledge management purposes on xdesk, through IFAD’s electronic records management system, and sharing of information with partners and other stakeholders as required.
  • Preparing AATI programmes related travel arrangements as required.
  • Providing logistical assistance during recruitment processes of non-staff personnel, e.g. consultants and interns, and related procurement activities, including PeopleSoft input and data maintenance.
  • Supporting the administration and execution of allocated programme related budgets;
  • Provide background/supporting documentation upon request, formatting/drafting standard components of documents ensuring timely submission of appropriate documentation into IFAD’s records management system;
  • Perform other administrative activities relating to the running of the office, as required and assigned by the head of the office.

Key Performance Indicators

The Administrative Assistants at this level typically report to a senior professional staff member or to a team leader; therefore the scope of key results is limited to the organizational unit. The Administrative Assistant provides support in the application of established rules and procedures as well as in typical, non-specialized support work. The work is standard in nature; there are no specialized administrative activities that would re quire formal training performed on a regular and recurring basis. Key performance indicators include the timely and accurate performance of assigned activities.

Working Relationships

Administrative Assistants at this level typically are 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:

  • 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 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


  • Level – High school certificate (e.g. A level and Baccalaureate)
  • Areas of focus – accounting, business administration, economics, finance, or related areas.


  • At least three (3) years of progressively responsible experience in secretarial and administrative support.
  • Position-specific experience: Qualifying work experience in supporting office administration, communication and information management, resource planning and output monitoring. Experience with International financial institutions, development cooperation agencies, etc., would be an asset.


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


  • Conferences management: Know-how in conference management, including optimal utilization of human and physical resources
  • Procedure adherence: Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations
  • Record management: Know-how in record keeping (e.g. proper handling of records and systems to preserve institutional memory, including correspondence logs, office filing and reference systems, etc.)
  • Topical expertise – Administration: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. For ethics office assistant, procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct, Discipline and Anti-harassment provisions of applicable rules and guidelines)
  • Time management: Adherence to deadlines under time constraints and pressure (e.g. to deliver governing body documents on time); ability to coordinate and manage complex workflows and in-house and external teams
  • Basic ICT & digital fluency: High level of digital literacy and ability to quickly get familiar with new digital tools (e.g. ability to carry out EPR data entry and extraction when budgeting; monitoring security systems, uploading content to inter/intra-net websites, etc.)
  • 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)

Other Information

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.

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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.