Vacancy Announcement Number1540
Date of Issue15/05/2017
Deadline for Applications14/06/2017
Organizational UnitPolicy and Techn. Advis. Div.
Duty StationROME
Duration of Assignment2 years renewable

Organizational context

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.

Post's organizational accountability

The Policy and Technical Advisory Division (PTA) aims to strengthen the quality and enhance the impact of IFAD's portfolio of country programme investments (comprising loans, grants and associated activities) in terms of technical, institutional and policy aspects. The Division supports enhancement of the quality of IFAD’s investments and partnerships by developing and applying technical expertise and knowledge to project and programme design and supervision in the context of pro-poor, community-led rural development.

IFAD has a long and well-established history of targeting poorer populations in rural areas and supporting gender equality and women's empowerment. These commitments are underpinned by the IFAD policies on targeting (2006) and gender equality and women’s empowerment (2012). Gender equality is a principle of engagement in the 2016-2025 Strategic Framework and the gender team has prepared a five-point  pathway for delivering on gender mainstreaming in the current funding cycle (IFAD10). The IFAD gender team comprises the PTA gender desk (with professional and gender service staff) and two out posted regional gender coordinators covering sub-Saharan Africa. There is a network of gender focal points covering other regional divisions as well as non-operations divisions.

Purpose of position

  • The Lead Technical Specialist – Gender,  Targeting  and Social Inclusion will be the lead responsible for coordination and implementation of the IFAD policies on targeting and gender equality and women’s empowerment, with specific attention to the five-point pathway for gender mainstreaming in IFAD10 and its ongoing evolutions within the mainstreaming of gender , climate and nutrition agendas..
  • Provide technical, policy and operational support to staff for country and regional programmes at all stages of the project cycle and during country strategy development with respect to targeting, gender equality, women’s empowerment and social inclusion.
  • Producing and delivering pro-poor and gender-related knowledge products, capacity building, policy engagement and advocacy activities.
  • Represent IFAD in global and regional fora, partnerships and other joint initiatives.
  • Supervise and manage the PTA Gender, Targeting  and Social Inclusion team, including budget oversight, and collaborate closely with the regional gender coordinators.
  • Coordinate targeting efforts between the Gender, Indigenous Peoples, and  Youth desks

Key results expected / Major functional activities

The Lead Technical Specialist (LTS) – Gender,  Targeting  and Social Inclusion will be a leading professional in her/his field. Under the overall strategic guidance of the Director, PTA, the LTS will closely cooperate with the Gender, Targeting  and Social Inclusion team, other PTA staff and relevant divisions and departments. Specifically, the position will:

  • Provide up-to-date professional advice to improve the capacity of IFAD and its partners to design, implement and monitor loans and grants that promote gender equality and social inclusion, are targeted to the poor, and empower local communities.
  • Provide institutional and operational support to staff, field missions and regional and country programmes at all stages of the programme and project cycle, including participation in design and implementation support missions and HQ-based country project management teams.
  • Develop and implement a capacity strengthening programme for staff and partners on gender and targeting in the project cycle, and gender transformative and integrated approaches.
  • Lead, internally and externally, cross-regional exchange of knowledge and documentation of field-tested approaches with potential for scaling up in the areas of gender equality, empowerment and social inclusion, and pro-poor targeting.
  • Drive the integration of issues relation to gender equality, empowerment, targeting and social inclusion into different thematic areas (including sustainable agriculture, natural resource management and climate change, rural infrastructure, rural finance, marketing and value chains, rural institutions and farmer organizations).
  • Identify, develop and lead partnerships for purposes of joint advocacy and knowledge generation and sharing, and represent IFAD at international fora in this professional domain. Partnerships include joint initiatives with the gender teams of the Rome-based agencies (FAO and WFP), UN Women and other development banks (especially the World Bank).
  • Provide strategic advice and key support to IFAD senior management regarding the implementation of, and reporting on, the targeting and gender policies - in particular the five-point pathway for gender mainstreaming in IFAD10 - and progress with the UN System-wide action plan on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment (UN-SWAP).
  • Liaise with other departments and divisions in IFAD regarding the promotion of gender equality both within operations and processes, including Programme Management Department, Strategy and Knowledge Department, Human Resources Division, Communications Division, Office of Budget and Organizational Development, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Office, Office of Audit and Oversight, Ethics Office, Independent Office of Evaluation.
  • Guide and mentor staff and foster a team environment, strengthening linkages between the PTA gender desk and the regional gender coordinators.
  • Coordinate the advice and support provided to IFAD senior management from the Gender, Indigenous People and Youth desks regarding the implementation of the Targeting strategy within IFAD;
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the development, day-to-day management, supervision and evaluation of relevant grant projects.
  • Perform other related duties as may be requested by the Director of the Division. 

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative professional expertise and technical leadership at the global, regional and national levels.  Lead Technical Specialists define, propose, revise and/or develop programmes or policies for the Fund and represent the position of IFAD in national, regional as well as global fora and conferences.  Innovation is required in the adaptation and development of approaches and  methods to evolving technical and programmatic contexts.

Work at this level is considered as substantially complex and of critical concern to the Fund.  In particular, analytical and advisory work requires in¿depth identification and consideration of a full range of factors relevant to the examination and discussion of programme problems and policies in the solution of methodological problems or in the formulation of policy proposals and project recommendations.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of Lead Technical Specialists involve the provision of authoritative technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in mission planning, technical project appraisal or the preparation of studies and reports.  S/He typically serves as the Fund’s senior technical advisor in the field of specialization and exercises wide professional latitude in contacts in his/her field(s), providing technical leadership and methodological guidance to management, national governments, development partners and other staff in the technical area of specialization.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership (Level 2)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 2)
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)


  • Authoritative technical expertise and advice at all levels in area of specialization.
  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical proposals and identification of innovative solutions to evolving issues.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the governmental and peer levels as well as to inspire more junior specialists and programme staff in the development of viable programme activities.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in Rural Sociology, Gender Studies, Rural Development, Agricultural Economics or Social Sciences with a focus on gender or social inclusion, and a strong familiarity with agriculture, food systems, food security and rural development and their relationship with gender equality, women’s empowerment and social inclusion. An advanced university degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) plus at least four additional years of relevant professional experience, over and above the minimum number of years of professional experience.


  • At least 10 years of professional work with relevant experience in international gender equality, women’s empowerment and social inclusion projects, programmes and policy, including field assignments in multiple regions.
  • Experience in the design, implementation, supervision and performance monitoring and evaluation of gender equality, women’s empowerment and social inclusion in an agricultural or rural context.
  • Demonstrated experience in working as part of a multidisciplinary team and with country governments and international development partners.
  • Familiarity with the key regional and global centres of excellence in the fields of (i) gender equality and social inclusion in the context of agriculture and rural development.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations and group interactions.
  • Good working knowledge of French or Spanish is a strong asset.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

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

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

IFAD is an equal opportunity employer - female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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