Policy Engagement Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Consultant
Location Rome, Italy
Application deadline 9 May 2017
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The Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy analysis related to all five of the Organization’s strategic objectives (food security, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, inclusive food systems and resilient livelihoods). ESA provides evidence-based analytical support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to food security and sustainable agriculture.

The Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in ESA seeks to establish country-owned and sustainable systems to monitor, analyse, and reform food and agricultural policies to enable more effective, efficient and inclusive policy frameworks for agricultural transformation in sixteen countries in Sub- Saharan Africa and South Asia. +

The MAFAP programme is now looking for a Policy Engagement Specialist to join the programme’s team of policy advice and advocacy specialists. This team is responsible for the formulation and implementation of engagement strategies to ensure that MAFAP’s technical analyses are used to inform policy reforms in partner countries.

Under the direct supervision of the MAFAP Advice & Advocacy Coordinator, the consultant will lead the implementation of policy engagement activities on a portfolio of countries and/or policy issues. More in particular, the incumbent will perform the following tasks:

  • Formulate and implement policy engagement strategies to promote the uptake of technical policy analyses in national policy processes and dialogues;
  • Provide day-to-day guidance to MAFAP colleagues on interaction with senior policy-makers and on policy advice strategies, including in politically complex and sensitive policy areas;
  • Contribute to the drafting of actionable and high-quality policy recommendations and policy briefs;
  • Participate in, organize or facilitate high-level policy meetings, roundtables or other events related to food and agricultural policy reform in partner countries;
  • Initiate and coordinate partnerships with non-government stakeholders, in particular with civil society organizations, donors, farmers’ organizations and the private sector, around specific policy issues;
  • Contribute to the tracking of MAFAP’s engagement activities and impact in a dedicated Policy Issues Database, and draft success stories on the programme’s contribution to policy reform.
  • Identify opportunities for outreach in media outlets in partner countries, where applicable.
  • Perform other duties as required.

For this position, regular travel to countries in Sub-Sarahan Africa is foreseen.

Candidates should meet the following requirements

Minimum Requirements:

  • Advanced university degree in international relations, political science, development studies, communications, law, economics or any related field;
  • At least five years of relevant experience in policy, advocacy or communications working with government, multilateral organizations and/or NGO/civil society organizations;
  • Excellent knowledge of English and French required.

Technical/Functional skills:

  • Hands-on experience/knowledge with policy advice or advocacy efforts on international development issues, and an affinity with the topics of agricultural development and/or food security;
  • Demonstrated experience in the conception, design and management of policy engagement strategies;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Track record in building and managing successful relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Ability to work on complex issues in politically sensitive environments;
  • Aptitude to work with flexibility and strategic thinking both individually and as part of a team effort. Selection criteria

Candidates will be assessed against the requirements listed above.

Additional Information

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

All candidates should adhere to FAO values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.

  • Contract duration: 11 months (with possibility of extension)
  • Deadline for Applications: 8 May 2017
  • Duty station: Rome, Italy