Agri-food Systems & Crop Diversification Senior Expert

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :20-Mar-23 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months

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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UNCDF launched a new Strategic Framework for 2022-2025 that offers an ambitious roadmap aimed at unlocking the potential of finance to accelerate SDG-positive achievements for the benefit of the most vulnerable nations.

In particular, the new UNCDF Framework highlights biodiversity finance as a severely underfunded climate mitigation solution and propose to apply UNCDF multidimensional capital mandate to mobilize further public and private, international and domestic finance in LDCs through concessional capital deployment, financial advisory and support for the establishment of financing mechanisms and systems that promotes the valuation of the LDC unique natural assets potential.

UNCDF intent to supports LDCs to create an enabling environment for nature-positive pipeline building, investments and market opportunities that create equitable and diversified economic growth. The essence of this transformation is a strategic shift from viewing nature as a resource to treating nature as an asset. This represents a very different view to natural resource investing wherein nature is commoditized for short run gain and its long run economic and nature-based value is not taken into consideration.

In order to support this strategic shift, UNCDF is consolidating its growing nature-based portfolio into a Nature Asset Team (UNCDF NAT). The team will serve to mobilize the nature-positive public and private finance needed for green & blue economic transformation supporting several pilot projects financed by the Central Africa Forest Initiative – CAFI,  the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, the Peace Building Fund – PBF and several bilateral donors.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Senior Expert will provide the following functions:

  • Contributes to the development of innovative crop and natural resource management approaches for sustainable diversifcation of cropping systems and integrated value chains development for Central Africa based on soil analysis and climate patners;
  • Provide technical leadership on-farm research and development activities related to mixed farming systems, crop diversification, and best industrial practices for transformation;
  • Develop and coordinate partnerships with public and private organizations, universities, NGOs, service providers, and private companies. Organize regular meetings with stakeholders to discuss, streamline proposed solutions;
  • Work closely with the multidisciplinary team to implement innovative agronomy and farming systems research approaches and to understand adoption processes, technology targeting, and the enabling environment to support sustainable intensification at scale;
  • Contributes to the design and implementation of a pipeline of bankable Small and Medium Agri-Food transformation Systems;
  • Leads the design of credible technical decks linked to agrifood sector and nature based investment;
  • Advises to ensure that manufacturing and industrial solutions promote gender and environemental safeguards;
  • Coordinates closely with the Nature Assets Team fund managers and entrepreneurs to design manufacturing solutions allowing for the transformation of multiple products in integrated facilities;
  • Leads the drafting of knowledge products in the areas of agrifood production and manufacturing systems;
  • Lead field assessment missions in key priority ecosystems in Central Africa.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables 

1. 1 Technical deck for 2 Agri-food systems solutions based on ecosystem assessment, soil analysis and Weather patterns (20 slides minimum) - June 2023 (20% of total payment)

2. 1 Technical deck for 2 Agri-food systems Solutions based on ecosystem assessment, soil analysis and Weather patterns (20 slides minimum) - September 2023 (20% of total payment)

3. 1 Technical deck for 2 Agri-food systems solutions based on ecosystem assessment, soil analysis and weather patterns (20 slides minimum) - November 2023 (20% of total payment)

4. Feasibility study for food transformation solutions in three ecosystems in DRC, Gabon and Burundi (60 Pages report with minimum 6 integrated crop diversification production and transformation identified and reviewed)  - March 2024 (40% of total payment)

The consultant is expected to carry out 1 Mission in DRC, 1 Mission in Gabon and 1 Mission to Burundi, cost related to field mission should be included in the financial proposal.

Institutional Arrangements

  • The consultant shall be working under the direct guidance and supervision of the Head of the GFCR Fund Secretariat & Nature Asset Team. 
  • The following documents will serve as conditions for payments (i) submission of Certificate of Payment (COP); (ii) Submission of all deliverables / progress report with the relevant supporting documentation; and (iii) review, approval, and written acceptance of each deliverable.
  • This is a deliverable-based consulting work where payments are made based on the acceptance of the outputs.
  • Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.
  • The consultant travel entitlements shall be in strict adherence to UNCDF policy and will include, in part, the following:
    • The actual cost of round-trip economy class ticket to and from the consultant’s country of residence shall be reimbursed by UNCDF and DSA will be paid at the standard UN DSA Rate based on the number of days spent in the location of the travel (i.e., one (1) field trip to DRC, one (1) to Gabon, one (1) to Burundi and any other travel as assigned by UNCDF)
    • A lump sum amount representing these costs shall be included by the consultant in the financial proposal, to allow the consultant to make arrangements for his/her own travel



  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNCDF; 
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; 
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism. 


The consultant must demonstrate strong expertise on two core technical aspects: 

  • Design engineering solutions that can be implemented in a remote Central Africa ecosystem ;
  • Ability to develop full feasibility strudy for a small and medium production plant;



  • Able to communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a concise and straightforward manner. 


  • Capable of working in a high- pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously; 
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills; 
  • Exercises the highest level of responsibility and be able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner. 


  • Works well in a team; 
  • Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks; 
  • Focuses on results for the client;  
  • Welcomes constructive feedback.

Delivery: Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services.

  • Embraces complex challenges and opportunities for getting work done
  • Ability to embrace challenges with minimal supervision
  • Works to develop organizational awareness of UNCDF’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability

UN System

In-depth and up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the UN system and the mandates of constituent agencies, including with UN corporate standards and language requirements.

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Academic Education:

  • Master University Degree in one or more of the following disciplines: agronomy, engineering, agro-industry, or other equivalent fields is required. 
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. 

Years of experience:

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant experience at the national and international level in agri-food systems, crop diversification, engineering design, agro industry solutions, required. 
  • Knowledge and experience of project design and implementation constraints and challenges in Central Africa, preferred; 
  • Experience in addressing environmental and social (gender) safeguards, required;
  • Experience in developing training solutions, required;
  • Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment, required;
  • Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel. 


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English languages is essential.  
  • Good knowledge of French is an asset.


Step I: Technical Evaluation/Desk Review (70%)

Criteria will be:

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant experience at the national and international level in agri-food systems, crop diversification, engineering design, agro industry solutions (20 points)
  • Knowledge and experience of project design and implementation constraints and challenges in Central Africa (20 points)
  • Experience in addressing environmental and social (gender) safeguards (10 points)
  • Experience in developing training solutions (10 points)
  • Strong analytical/writing skills with a particular focus on the relevant domains limited in this section (10 points)

Step II: Financial Evaluation (30%)

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% at Desk review shall be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

The following formula will be used to evaluate the financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/ Price for the proposal being evaluated x 30%

Step III: Selection/ Award Criteria

The contact shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

•     Responsive/ compliant/ acceptable; and

•     Having received the highest combined weight (technical scores) 70% + financial 30%= 100%.                                                                          

The first ranked top candidate that achieved the highest cumulative score will be recommended for award.

Recommended Presentation of Offer

Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNCDF – this needs to be encrypted or password-protected;  (see click here for document)

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, theirdurations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) most recent professional references of  previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

Financial Proposal (this also refers to the Letter of Confirmation mentioned above) that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, using the template provided by UNCDF and provided in link above. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNCDF under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNCDF. Please send the the completed and signed form to at the time of application, not later than 20 March 2023.  

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