Programme Specialist – Strategic Agricultural Initiatives

Location : Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :11-Jan-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA Local
Post Level :NO-C
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :12 Months


UNDP Ethiopia CO is providing financial and technical support to the Government of Ethiopia in key demand areas related to the agricultural growth and transformation. The portfolio includes advisory and technical support to meet the ambitious targets of the GTP in terms of food security, modern technologies and practices as well as modern instruments to market agricultural products. The Specialist supports the undertakings of the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), the possible establishment of agricultural economic zones, the vision refinement for the implementation of the policy on commercial farms and agroindustry and will explore the likelihood to pursue PPP to support innovative partnerships, bio farming initiatives and financial inclusiveness addressing the needs of smallholder farmers, disseminate and expand best agricultural practices, and policy reforms. UNDP will also work with ATA towards the goal of catalyzing and scaling up of positive and inclusive market intervention.

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Team Leader of the Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Unit, the Programme Specialist is responsible for policy advisory tasks and programme development, partnerships and resource mobilization in the above mentioned thematic/sectorial areas. The Programme Specialist analyzes political, social and economic trends and leads formulation, management and monitoring of innovative initiatives and partnerships of programmes within his/her portfolio.

The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the operations team, programme staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff and Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to ensure successful UNDP programme implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Major Responsibilities:
  • Spearhead in-depth and critical review of the state of agricultural policy in Ethiopia and provide advice on evidence based agricultural policies, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms needed to drive agricultural transformation agenda and rural development.
  • Conduct high level analytical researches and suggest policy initiatives critical for the increase of agricultural productivity.
  • Provision of top quality policy advices to the Government and facilitation of knowledge building and management.
  • Implementation of programme strategies.
  • Management and monitoring of the UNDP Country Office agriculture and natural resources management portfolio.
  • Creation of strategic partnerships and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy.
Key Functions/Results:

1. Ensures provision of top quality advisory services and facilitation of knowledge building and management, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Spearhead in-depth and critical review of the state of agricultural policy in Ethiopia and provide advice on evidence based agricultural policies, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms needed to drive agricultural transformation agenda and rural development.
  • Strategically engages with relevant partners so as to ensure relevance and presence of UNDP at the important decision making fora with an innovative and evidence based approach supporting transformative visions and methodologies.
  • Identification of sources of information related to agriculture, agroindustry and natural resources management and synthesis of good practices and lessons learnt directly relevant to programme implementation and policy development.
  • Support policy development and institutional strengthening in the agriculture, agroindustry and natural resources management sectors.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks, communities of practice in agriculture, agroindustry, natural resources management and related sectors.
  • Contributions to studies, surveys and trainings on agriculture, agroindustry, resources management issues for project and country office staff and other relevant stakeholders/partners.
2. Ensures implementation of programme strategies focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Thorough analysis and research of the political, social, and economic situation in the country and preparation of substantive inputs in the development of UNDP strategic documents including UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Country Programme Document (CPD), Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) and other documents.
  • Provide analytical support for the determination of the impacts of agricultural policies & institutional reforms to ensure successful implementation of the GTP agricultural action plan.
  • Develop a clear policy advocacy action plan to effectively communicate the policy directions to drive the agricultural transformation agenda.
  • Build strong policy advocacy networks for the successful implementation of agricultural and agroindustry policies through creating awareness and effectively communicating agricultural transformation agenda of the government.
  • Prepare policy briefs on agriculture and agroindustry related issues.
  • Provide policy advice, strategic guidance and advice (based on rigorous analysis) to the government in the areas of Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction and on thematic/programme areas.
  • Provide technical, capacity building and institutional support to the Government to ensure effective implementation of the agricultural transformation agenda.
  • Identification of areas for support, cooperation, and interventions within the thematic/sectorial areas assigned, particularly in strengthening existing policies, plans and programmes related to the agriculture and natural resources management sectors.
3.    Ensures effective management and monitoring of the UNDP Country Office programmes within the assigned thematic areas, focusing on quality control from formulation to implementation of the country programme, achieving the following results:
  • Effective application of results-based management tools: establishment of management targets, monitoring of results and impact leading to timely programme/projects readjustments of work plans, including budget revisions.
  • Ensure regular and quality reporting on programme/projects activities, outputs, and outcomes and facilitate reporting to donors.
  • Ensure the participation and involvement of relevant stakeholders in project activities.
  • Ensure the timelines and quality of the outputs as well as timely preparation of reports on challenges faced within the programme/projects.
  • Facilitate planned programme/projects evaluations or Tripartite Review Missions and participate in NIM project audits.
  • Review evaluation/audit reports with Government counterparts leading to corrective measures, policy recommendations(s) and required follow-up actions.
  • Design and formulate programmes/projects within the area of responsibility, translating Government and UNDP priorities into local interventions.
  • Perform functions of Manager Level 1 in Atlas (UNDP’s Financial Management System) and participate in the recruitment and procurement processes for projects.
4.    Supports creation of strategic partnership and implementation of the Country Office’s resource mobilization strategy, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Development of partnerships with UN Agencies, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector and civil society within the assigned thematic areas, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donor priorities.
  • Identify potential donors for new priority programme/projects, prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation and contribute to the overall resource mobilization efforts.
  • Assist in effective and systematic outreach to all government and non-governmental partners, advocating for UNDP’s goals and its thematic focus.


Core Competencies:
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing are the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Informed and transparent decision making
Functional Competencies:

    Advocacy/Advancing Policy-Oriented Agenda
  • Preparing information for advocacy
  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate
    Results-Based Programme Development and Management
  • Contributes into results through primary research and analysis
  • Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices
  • Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration
  • Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation
  • Analyzes country situation to identify opportunities for project development
  • Participates in the formulation of project proposals and ensures substantive rigor in the design and application of proven successful approaches and drafts proposals accordingly
    Building Strategic Partnerships
  • Maintaining a network of contacts
  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues
  • Analyzes & selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners & stakeholders
    Innovation and Marketing New Approaches
  • Enhancing processes or products
  • Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches
    Resource Mobilization
  • Providing inputs to resource mobilization strategies
  • Analyzes information/databases on potential and actual donors
  • Develops a database of project profiles. Identifies opportunities for project proposals for presentation to donors
    Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
  • Basic research and analysis
  • Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches and collect and compile data on the thematic/sector areas
    Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
  • Fundamental knowledge of own discipline
  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study & other means of learning
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments
    Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals
  • Preparing information for global advocacy
  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for advocacy for UNDP’s goals for a variety of audiences
  • Identifies and takes advantage of opportunities for advocating for UNDP’s mandate
    Client Orientation
  • Establishing effective client relationships
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master's level university degree or higher, in agriculture, agricultural economics or economics.
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience as policy advisor and/or large scale  agricultural development, agroindustry and natural resources programme management at the national and/or international level.
  • Hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.
  • Proactive capacity to engage in partnerships and resource mobilization and innovation.
  • Proven experience in multi-stakeholder coordination.
  • Proven ability to work independently or under pressure and handle multiple activities.
  • Stamina, enthusiasm and positive attitude.
  • Knowledge of UNDP and the UN system is an advantage.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web based management systems.

Language Requirements:   
  • Fluency in English, both written and oral.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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