International Specialist in Agrifood System Science, Technology, and Innovation

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FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Thursday 27 Apr 2023 at 21:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The FAO Office of Innovation (OIN) supports Members in assessing and transforming their agricultural innovation systems (AIS), including national agricultural research systems (NARS) and agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS) to meet current and future challenges in agrifood systems (AFS). The activities of OIN in this area include horizon scanning of cutting edge innovations and technologies; strategic foresights for policy advice, capacity development; institutional transformation of agricultural research, education, extension and innovation systems, organizing expert consultations, debates and dialogues on emerging issues, conducting technical studies on STI, promoting the scaling out of technologies and practices, and providing technical support for the preparation and implementation of research and innovation programmes/strategies.

Under the overall coordination of the Chief Scientist Office, and in collaboration with the Statistics Division (ESS), OIN is currently implementing the “Agricultural Science & Technology Indicators (ASTI)” project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). ASTI is a unique and critical data asset for agricultural development. The ASTI project will support a major restructuring, improvement, and transition of the ASTI dataset from IFPRI to FAO; it will align the data set and the data collection process that generates it to the FAO standards and the practice of FAOSTAT. The project will also connect the ASTI data to FAO’s new knowledge product - the Agrifood systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO). ASTI will focus on investments in agricultural research and development where there is considerable evidence that investing in agricultural research is a highly effective pathway for both reducing poverty and hunger. The specific focus of this assignment is to provide both technical and operational support to ASTI project implementation, make ASTI fit-for-purpose for ATIO and create synergies between ASTI and other initiatives. ATIO's objective is to curate existing information on the current, measurable state of Science Technology Innovation and upcoming changes, as well as their transformative potential, to inform evidence-based policy dialogue and decisions, including on investments.

Incumbents will work either in OIN, ESS or CSO supporting work related to ASTI (incl. ATIO) project implementation, data analysis, preparation of analytic documents and policy notes, supporting as well as any other tasks related to agricultural research and science, technologies, and innovation.

Reporting Lines

Depending on the specific ToRs and assignments, the potential Consultants and PSAs holders in this roster will report to the Director of Office of Innovation and the Office of the Director, Statistics Division, will work closely with the Agricultural Research Officer of the Office of Innovation and other Statisticians, respectively.

Technical Focus

The selected potential consultants and PSAs holders will perform the following three main areas of work:

• Contribute, to the restructuring of the ASTI dataset, its alignment to FAO’s practice, and the inclusion of the dataset in FAOSTAT – from both a technical and an operational standpoint. • Research and analyze the agrifood system- technologies and innovations. • Support to work related to strengthening national agricultural research systems

Tasks and responsibilities

The incumbent will:

• Contribute, to the restructuring of the ASTI dataset, its alignment to FAO’s practice, and the inclusion of the dataset in FAOSTAT – from both a technical and an operational standpoint. - Contribute to the review and assessment of the current ASTI data and indicators in relation to the demand at country, regional and global levels and develop new indicators/questionnaire, as needed - desk review analysis of the available literature on NARS, function and coordination and status of AR4D in different regions where ASTI is operating. - Contribute to the development, testing validation and administration of questionnaires to collect data from member countries and private entities. - Contribute, to set-up of networks of data contributors, data collection mechanisms for ASTI, with a view to ensure a sustainable data collection mechanism. - Contribute to ensure proper standardization and harmonization of data collection, the harmonization of questionnaires according to international standards, the management of data within the FAO Statistical Working System, and the preparation of data for publication in FAOSTAT according to the established protocol, quality checks and validation procedures. - Contribute to capacity development and backstopping missions, in the establishment of partnerships with data providers on both public and private research for the Agri-Food Systems - Carry out complementary qualitative studies/research and contributing to research analysis and development of knowledge products using country level data. - Contribute to and collaborate with OIN/ESS project staff and consultants on the setup of new indicators and data collection protocol. - Contribute to the activities related to integrating ASTI into ATIO. - Develop policy briefs and technical notes using ASTI data analysis outputs for multiple purposes and policy development and support content development and production of publications, briefs, guides, etc. - Help organizing stakeholder consultation and validation workshops (other relevant events) to validate and disseminate the developed materials on R&D. - Provide operational support to the project implementation - annual reports, activity planning, monitoring and evaluation and other administrative and programmatic issues. - Contribute to resources mobilization and fundraising mechanism for ASTI. • Research and analysis of agrifood system- technologies and innovations. This will include: - Stock-taking and horizon scanning of emerging technologies and innovations for sustainable transformation of agrifood systems. - Provide future-aware analyses and perspectives on AFS STI, through collective futures-thinking and joint foresight exercises. • Support to work related to strengthening national agricultural research systems. - Use of innovative tools and approaches. - Development of methodologies and guidelines to support institutional reform and reorientation of national research systems; - Conceptualization of M&E framework for NARS; - Develop a framework of desirable attributes/characteristics of fit-for-purpose research systems to meet current and future agrifood system challenges (e.g., co-constructing knowledge, engaging stakeholders well, establishing successful partnerships, resource mobilization, responding to the demand, etc.).


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in agriculture, natural resources or other fields related to the FAO mandate. • Minimum 1 year (category C), 5 years (category B) or 12 years (COF category A)/ 15 years (PSA category A) of experience in the fields of Agricultural Research for Development and/or national research systems, agricultural data collection management and design, analysis in term of research program development, organizational capacity development of the research systems, institutional reforms, data collection and analysis, strategic foresight, policies and performance monitoring and evaluation. • Working knowledge (level C) of English, and limited knowledge (level B) of another FAO language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish. For PSA, working knowledge of English.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Strong analytic skills and knowledge in both qualitative and quantitative data collection, harmonization, analysis, dissemination, statistical analysis; • Strong skill and experience in writing technical document, policy note and studies for variety of audience; • Experience in development and administration of survey and data collection tools for quantitative and qualitative data collection, data analysis and interpretation of the findings and reporting; • Experience in project support – including report writing, planning and administration.

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