Operations Specialist

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The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner.

Under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), FAO in Zambia will be partnering with the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) to implement a 4.5-year program on Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ). The project will focus on building demonstrable synergies between research and promotion of appropriate sustainable agriculture intensification practices. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to further advance FAO technical coordination with CGIARS.

Reporting Lines

The Operations Specialist works under the overall guidance of the FAO Representative in Zambia and directly reports to the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA). The incumbent will work in close collaboration with implementing partners from Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), NGOs and relevant FAO technical units in headquarters, at regional level (RAF) and sub-regional level (Sub regional Office for Southern Africa (SFS) and in close collaboration with Administrative and technical units in FAO Zambia.

Technical Focus

The incumbent will coordinate operational support to implementation to the European Union Funded Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ) project implemented by FAO Zambia.

Tasks And Responsibilities:

  • Provision of operational services to implementation of the SIFAZ program
  • Act as focal point for all project operational matters, organize and handle day-to-day operational activities of the SIFAZ programme at country level and take action, in consultation with the supervisors, on problems which arise during the execution period
  • Ensure the timely provision of project inputs (personnel, technical support services, sub-contracts, training, equipment and supplies) directly by the Organization or, when appropriate, through contractors, and by liaising with other support units at national, regional and Headquarters level
  • Participate in the preparation of project work plans, monitor progress and, where necessary, identify corrective measures to overcome operational constraints
  • Review and monitor project budget and prepare requests and revisions as required; maintain and alert about budget expenditures and resources; review project’s transaction listings with a view to identifying errors in accounting against budget lines
  • Ensure the complete and quality of data and documentation in the FAO corporate systems (GRMS, FPMIS, etc) for the SIFAZ program
  • Participate in the reviews and monitor project budget, expenditure reports and facilitate processing of operational requests (financial, procurement, administrative) from Operational Partners under the program
  • Participate in the preparation of periodic financial and narrative reports and brief for internal use and for submission to resource partners. This include contributions to formulation of project proposals according to FAO’s procedures and prepare project 
 documents for technical clearance and final approval
  • Perform any other related duties, as required.

Candidates will be assessed against the following:

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in public or business administration, finance, accounting, economics, social sciences or other fields related to the FAO mandate
  • At least Five years of relevant experience in project management/operations and support
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other official languages of the Organization (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian). In the case of PSA.SBS the requirement is the Working knowledge of only one official language.

FAO Core Competencies:

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills:

  • Extent and relevance of experience in supporting, advising and guiding the implementation of complex, multi-stakeholder projects
  • Ability to develop plans for the implementation and coordination of project operations in developing countries, in partnership with UN agencies, NGOs and other concerned actors
  • Extent and relevance of experience in programme/project formulation, analysis, planning and implementation
  • Understanding of FAO policies and programmes is considered a strong asset
  • Extent of experience in formulation, implementation and monitoring of projects
  • Familiarity with UN administrative, operational and financial procedures is an asset.

Method of Application

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