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FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline 25 days ago: Monday 29 Apr 2024 at 21:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Agrifood Economics and Policy Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy analysis to support the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. ESA provides evidence-based support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to monitoring and analysing food and agricultural policies, agribusiness and value chain development, rural transformation and poverty, food security and nutrition information and analysis, resilience, bioeconomy, and climate-smart agriculture. The division also leads the production of two FAO flagship publications: The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) and The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI).

The post is located at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, in the sustainable markets, agribusiness and rural transformations (SMART) team within ESA. The focus of the SMART team is on the economic analysis of the actors and their functions in agrifood systems, examining how factors such as market demand and supply, prices, government policies, digital innovations, vulnerability and capacity of actors, and environmental factors affect processes of inclusion, resilience, risk, sustainability, and transformation of Agrifood value chains.

Reporting Lines

The Economist reports to the Senior Economist (SMART), ESA, under the overall supervision of the Director, ESA. He/she will also be reporting, through ESA Management, to technical cooperation units as well as donors funding the programme.

Technical Focus

The Economist will specialize in integrating risk analysis, econometric modelling and the study of agrifood value chains. This intricate role calls for a robust, comprehensive understanding of the agrifood sector, augmented by strong quantitative and analytical abilities to propel innovative economic research, policy formulation, and strategic planning. In developing countries, the incumbent will be tasked with complex economic situations, applying state-of-the-art econometric techniques and models, leveraging on different data sources (surveys, remote-sensing, big data, and machine-learning derived) to illuminate trends, risks, and opportunities present within the agrifood sector. This complex task involves a deep exploration of agrifood value chains, which in developing regions often pose unique challenges due to various economic, social, and environmental factors.

Tasks and responsibilities

Using econometrics and modelling tools, the Economist will examine aspects related to risk, resilience, food security, and rural poverty in developing countries' agrifood systems. This role aims to shape policies enhancing the agrifood system resilience, boosting food security, and alleviating rural and urban poverty.

• Economic Research and Analysis: Conducting research and analysis on economic issues, trends, and policies. Utilizing quantitative research methods to gather and interpret data. • Model Development and Data Analysis: Creating robust economic models to better understand current economic patterns and dynamics. Utilizing statistical software for comprehensive data analysis and interpretation, thereby unveiling significant economic indicators and relationships. Model Development and Data Analysis: Developing economic models to predict future economic trends. Using statistical software for data analysis and interpretation.

• Policy Analysis and Development: Assessing existing agrifood policies and providing valuable contributions towards suggesting enhancements, grounded in sound economic theories and evidence-based research findings.

• Advisory: Providing advice and recommendations to policymakers, businesses, and other stakeholders based on research findings.• Risk and Uncertainty Analysis: In the context of the SMART team, assessing the risks and uncertainties faced by agrifood systems in developing countries, such as natural disasters, price and market crises and policy fluctuations. Conducting economic analysis to understand the potential impacts and develop strategies to manage and mitigate these risks.

• Food Security Analysis: Assessing the factors influencing food security in FAO member countries, including access to nutritious and affordable food, agricultural productivity, value chain efficiency, and policy frameworks. Conducting economic analysis to inform policies and interventions that enhance food security and reduce hunger and malnutrition. • Value Chain Development in Developing Countries: Analysing value chains in developing countries to identify opportunities for upgrading, diversification, and inclusion of smallholder farmers and marginalized actors. Developing economic models and strategies to enhance value chain efficiency, market access, and income generation for actors along the value chain.

• Investment prioritization in selected territories: Employ quantitative analysis to aid in discerning and selecting the most strategic and impactful investment opportunities within specified territories.

These expanded functions emphasize the importance of addressing risks and uncertainties, building resilience, tackling rural poverty, and improving food security within the context of developing countries. The SMART team plays a crucial role in conducting economic analysis, providing evidence-based insights, and developing policies and interventions to address these challenges and promote sustainable and inclusive agrifood systems in these regions.


Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in economics, econometrics, agricultural economics, development economics, or a related field. • One year of relevant experience in economic quantitative analysis of agrifood system, including experience with advanced econometric models, management of large datasets, research on food security and rural poverty, resilience and vulnerability, and practical application in policy formulation and strategic investment prioritization within the agrifood sector, particularly in developing countries. • Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Extent and relevance of experience in applied research in the field of risk and agrifood systems, including experience in preparation of papers and/or reports for publication. • Extent and relevance of experience in economic and policy analysis of issues in agrifood systems and food security at a national, regional and/or global scale. • Extent and relevance of experience in conducting quantitative economic analysis, economic modelling, and applying econometric techniques in one or more of the relevant subject areas above. • Quality of both oral and written communication in English, including the ability to write clearly and concisely for publications. • Demonstrated ability to manage, analyze, and present quantitative information clearly and effectively. • Capacity to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams with minimal supervision and to plan workflows so as to meet tight deadlines.

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