Senior Programme Officer

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member nations and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization.

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supports the transformation to More efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, for Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, leaving no one behind.

The Project Support Division (PSS) coordinates FAO’s efforts towards the effective implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework and the four Betters aiming at achieving the Agenda 2030, through its projects and programmes. The Director PSS leads the organization's work in field programme oversight and monitoring; management of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP); development and implementation support of operational modalities; and Due Diligence, and risk assessment of partnership with non-state actors.

The Quality Assurance, Monitoring and TCP Unit (PSSQ) manages the corporate operational guidance on the Project Cycle, and the appraisal and operational clearance processes for global and interregional projects. The Unit contributes to the quality assurance review that enables management to approve projects and designate budget holder responsibility and manages project operational closure. The Unit monitors the adherence to corporate quality standards with a view to improving the impact and efficient delivery of projects and supports managers at all levels to address identified challenges and weaknesses. PSSQ oversees and guides the use of the TCP. Finally, the Unit is responsible for providing due diligence screenings and risk assessment reviews of engagements with non-state actors. The post is located in the PSSQ Unit in the Project Support Division (PSS), Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines

The Senior Programme Officer reports to the Director of the Project Support Division (PSS), and works in close collaboration with all relevant units and decentralized offices.

Technical Focus

Provide leadership for programmatic, operational, systems, quality assurance, compliance and oversight implementation support and development for all projects in FAO, and in support of the corporate change management processes.

Key Results

Leadership and technical expertise for the effective and efficient oversight, development and implementation of programmes and projects related approaches, products, tools and services.

Key Functions

  • Leads the development, supports implementation, and contributes to, audit/evaluation of assigned programmes/projects, including review of relevant documents and reports;
  • Monitors the FAO project portfolio and identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  • Contributes to and supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of documents for Governing Bodies, etc;
  • Leads design of and conducts training workshops and seminars; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities;
  • Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, including proposing the agenda, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations;
  • Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, and other parties for capacity development;
  • Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences, identifies and implements strategic partnerships, advocates best practices and increased dialogue, and develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements inside and outside the Organization.

Specific Functions

  • Leads strategic thinking and oversees development/revisions to the Project Cycle, TCP Guidelines and related operational manuals and handbooks to enable the Organization to make an effective shift towards a more efficient and effective project/programme-based design and management model;
  • Provides support to FAO corporate Information Systems initiatives, updates and developments on behalf of PSS Division and supports implementation and follow-up;
  • Leads and contributes to the formulation and implementation of approaches, methodologies, tools and guidelines for the adoption of a project to program approach to the management of FAO’s field programme, in close collaboration with other relevant Units/Divisions;
  • Leads project/programme development efforts in line with UN Reform/UNDS repositioning and taking into account recommendations of relevant evaluations and audits;
  • Analyzes corporate guidance and practices on results-based management, contributes to updating and formulating related guidelines and methodologies to improve programming, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of the field programme;
  • Promotes and contributes to the creation of outputs and indicators, aligned to the FAO Strategic Framework and SDG Framework, suitable for use in projects/programmes logical framework for integrated results monitoring and reporting at different levels;
  • Leads initiatives to improve results monitoring and reporting on field programme achievements in collaboration with other concerned units;
  • Oversees high level monitoring of the field programme, identifies systemic issues and constraints to its efficient and effective development and implementation, and advises on possible solutions;
  • Contributes in the development of corporate administrative policies and procedures that have impact on field programme development and implementation;
  • Leads capacity development efforts in support of staff in all locations with regard to project/programme cycle management, project/programme implementation, monitoring, and TCP through the production of guidelines and training material, and delivery of training;
  • Facilitates consultations with Regional and Country Offices, and HQ divisions and entities, on the above;
  • Leads or contributes to the preparation of documents for FAO Governing Bodies, UN Bodies and other audiences.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in international relations, development economics or other related fields
  • Ten years of relevant experience in project/programme formulation and planning, implementation and appraisal, as well as in the development of results based management/monitoring systems
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish)


  • Results Focus
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering
  • Communication
  • Partnering and Advocating
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
  • Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in programme/project management, in the management/operation of small-, medium and/or large-scale projects at country and regional levels, including in-depth knowledge of related administrative, operational and financial procedures;
  • Extent and relevance of experience and skills in project identification, programme and project design and formulation, analysis, planning and implementation;
  • Level of knowledge of results-based management methods and experience in their application, including theory of change and indicators formulation;
  • Extent of experience in monitoring and reporting systems.
  • Level of knowledge of UN development system (UNDS) Reform


Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Location: Rome (Italy)

Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level

Occupational Groups: Project and Programme Management

Closing Date: 2021-09-20

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