Lead Regional Technical Specialist (Rural Finance and Markets)
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 mission is to transform rural economies and food systems by making them more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable. IFAD invests in the millions of people who are most at risk of being left behind: poor, small-scale food producers, women, young people and other vulnerable groups living in rural areas.
IFAD catalyses public and private investments, helps strengthen policies and promotes innovation, in order to achieve sustainable benefits for the poor at scale and support all countries to achieve lasting, systemic change. They work with governments, the private sector, civil society and other development partners and use a range of instruments, tools and knowledge to respond to the challenges facing countries with the most critical needs.
The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD’s operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to support countries efforts to tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. This is mainly achieved 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’s investments. SKD comprises 3 divisions, namely the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).
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 food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, and agronomy), land, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and enterprises and rural institutions. It also contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities.
There are three thematic areas in the division: i) rural institutions, ii) rural finance, market and enterprises, and iii) agronomy. The Lead Regional Technical Specialist – Rural Finance and Markets is a seasoned professional serving as the lead regional expert in this area of expertise. S/he technically supports country/regional programs as well as the corporate agenda by providing state-of-the-art technical advice throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational).
The accountabilities/key results expected include:
- Technical advice to country programmes
- Policy engagement and partnerships
- Knowledge Management
- Corporate activities
- Managerial functions
The Lead Regional Technical Specialist – Rural Finance and Market, works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the Division Director, with dual reporting to the Regional Division Director to which s/he is mapped. As an integral member of delivery teams, s/he works collaboratively with the other thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CD)/Country Programme Managers (CPM), Hub Heads and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support.
- Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership
- Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change
- Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
- Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
- Problem-solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
- Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
- Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
- Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
- Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
- Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively
- Authoritative technical expertise and advice at all levels in the area of financial inclusion, rural finance and private sector financing.
- Skill in the design and coordination of technical proposals and identification of innovative solutions to evolving issues, preferably ICT-based ones.
- 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.
Education. Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in the fields of Agricultural Economics, Economics, Finance, Financial Engineering, Business, and other relevant disciplines.
Experience. Substantial progressive responsible experience in the field of rural finance, markets, financial inclusion, private sector development and financing, particularly in the formulation of technical guidance and input to development programmes and projects. Experience in international policy frameworks and ICT-based financial solutions related to global issues is an asset.
Language. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of Arabic. Knowledge of French is desirable.