International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Posted Job
about 2 years ago

Country Programme Officer

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 Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five regional divisions, and an Operational Policy and Results Division.
  • The Country Programme Officer (CPO) post is located in a stand-alone IFAD Country Office (ICO) or an IFAD Sub-regional Hub/South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) and Knowledge Centre (KC).
  • In a stand-alone ICO, the incumbent works under the overall policy and management guidance and direct supervision of the Head of the Office (a Country Director or Country Programme Manager).
  • S/He may supervise a Country Programme Assistant and collaborates closely with other IFAD staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in programme related matters.
  • The Country Programme Officer is responsible for established programme/project coordination.

The CPO’s accountabilities/key results are:

  • Country Office Support
  • Country Programme Support
  • Partnership Building
  • Policy Development/Knowledge Management
  • Managerial Functions

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. Country Office Support:

  • In stand-alone IFAD Country Offices led by CPOs or CD/CPMs, the Country Programme Officer is accountable for day-to-day office administration and reporting in support of the CD/CPM. S/he has accountability for financial and material resources and related processes including managing contracts for services.
  • S/He collaborates closely with the Country Operations Analyst in the IFAD Sub-regional Hub and provides inputs to budget preparation and monitors expenditures, manages contract completion and certifies payments as required.
  • In an IFAD Sub-Regional Hub or SSTC and KC, the Country Programme Officer supports day-to-day office administration and reporting as required.

2. Country Programme Support:

  • The Country Programme Officer enhances the technical quality of IFAD country activities through programme (RB-COSOP) and project (grants and loans) design, supervision, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and completion activities.
  • S/He also provides substantive contributions toward the development of advice and technical guidance in support of sustainable government strategies, policies and programmes in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction.
  • The Country Programme Officer is further accountable for capacity building activities including identifying, analyzing, documenting, harmonizing and disseminating both national and local issues as well as conditions and best practices and lessons learned among partner development agencies.
  • Capacity building activities will include coordinating meetings, workshops and seminars with project management teams, government, partners and other stakeholders.

5. Partnership Building:

  • As a key country team member, the Country Programme Officer enhances relationships and collaborations with in-country counterparts through the identification of synergies and proposing coordinated strategies with multilateral/bilateral donors and civil-society organizations involved in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction.
  • S/He establishes and maintains counterpart contacts to promote programme and project collaboration and harmonization as well as identifies financing opportunities with other donors.

6. Policy Development/Knowledge Management:

  • As a key country team member, the Country Programme Officer participates in relevant policy meetings and events of interest to IFAD’s target groups and which involve the government, donors, and civil society, including NGOs, in order to develop an enabling environment for sustainable, pro-poor development.
  • The Country Programme Officer provides programme/project continuity in the country as well as substantive national cultural, political and economic or other development knowledge.
  • From this perspective his/her participation in policy dialogue pertains to analyses of evidenced based recommendations from projects, analyzing their viability, making proposals and sharing the findings.
  • This national perspective serves to enhance the linkage between the realities on the ground and the voices of the poor with the policies and programmes of the government as well as to ensure that regional programmes benefit from local initiatives that may be replicated.
  • Over and above the aforementioned, in IFAD-Sub regional Hubs or SSTC and KC, the Country Programme Officer significantly contributes to strengthening the enabling environment for policy dialogue on programme priorities of the relevant IFAD team.
  • S/He maintains close contacts with other Country Programme Officers in the region for networking and knowledge exchange purposes.

8 Managerial Functions:

  • The Country Programme Officer is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources.
  • Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators
  • Demonstrated technical expertise and credibility in country portfolio management creates the foundation for IFAD’s capacity and reputation for programme delivery and enhances its recognition as a reliable development partner.
  • The Country Programme Officer maintains the standards for IFAD’s competence in development at the field level. Substantive support in the development of country strategy, project design, partnership building and policy development provides the foundation for enhancing sustainable government strategies and policies to improve the livelihoods of the poor and other disadvantaged groups.

Representation / Work relationships

  • In the context of programme development and delivery, the Country Programme Officer ensures the exchange of information, advocates for programme and policy enhancements and ensures consistency and reliability in the provision of development assistance to the government.
  • In collaborations with other members of the UN country team, bi-lateral development agencies, NGOs and country programme counterparts s/he establishes and maintains relationships and projects the image of IFAD as a credible/reliable partner striving for harmonization of development activities.



Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence

Demonstrating Leadership:

  • Personal leadership and attitude to change

Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates

Focusing on clients:

  • Focuses on clients
  • Problem solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem solving and decision making ability

Managing time, resources and information:

  • Manages own time, information and resources effectively

Team Work:

  • Contributes effectively to the team
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively
  • Technical/Functional
  • Thorough knowledge of and proven experience in results based agriculture rural development projects
  • Thorough understanding of national development strategies and programmes, government structure and partner development initiatives
  • Good knowledge of pro-poor policy approaches
  • Strong analytical skills in order to identify systemic issues, both programmatic and operational, and develop viable solutions.
  • Analytical skills are also essential for identifying opportunities to promote new strategies and initiatives with HQ, partner agencies and national government counterparts.
  • Communicate effectively with different counterparts (civil society, government authorities, local communities, project staff). Listens effectively to engage others.
  • Writes clearly, succinctly and convincingly in English.
  • Computer skills: thorough knowledge of PeopleSoft ERP as well as full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common Internet applications.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in rural development, agriculture, economics, rural finance, development policy or other job related fields.
  • In the absence of an advanced degree and additional two (2) years of professional experience is required.


  • Five (5) years’ progressively responsible professional experience in programme design, supervision and loan/grant administration with International financial institutions, development cooperation agencies, etc.

Language requirements:

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

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 committed to achieving gender diversity.
  • Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • *This position is only open to nationals of Zambia

How to apply

Send your qualifications to the link below:

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