Investment Operations Specialist (RuralInvest)

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline in 2 months: Thursday 27 Jun 2024 at 21:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting 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.

The FAO Investment Centre (CFI) provides investment and finance solutions that lead to more efficient, sustainable, inclusive and resilient agrifood systems. Working in over 120 countries, the Centre provides a full suite of investment and finance support to FAO Members. It partners with governments, international and national financing institutions, the private sector and farmers, research institutions and academia to improve the quality and quantity of agrifood investment. The Centre's four main areas of work include support to strategic investment planning and policy, public investment, private investment, and innovative finance. These are complemented by the knowledge for investment and capacity development for investment programmes that serve to share knowledge, learn and build capacities at country level. For additional information on the FAO Investment Centre, its activities, partners and the organizational structure please visit the following link.

Under the capacity development for investment area of work, RuralInvest is a methodology and toolkit designed to support field technicians in their work with entrepreneurs by allowing the systematization and development of bankable and sustainable business proposals. The toolkit comprises user-friendly software, an e-learning course, tailored face-to-face training, user manuals, and a worldwide community of users. Through a participatory and bottom-up approach, RuralInvest methodology brings together local communities, rural entrepreneurs, government field technicians, project staff, and financing institutions to identify, prepare, evaluate and finance small-and medium-size sustainable rural investment projects.

Reporting Lines

The RuralInvest Specialist will work under the overall technical supervision of one of the Service Chiefs or the Deputy Directors depending on the case in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, and the FAO Capacity Development for Investment (CD4I) team at the FAO Investment Centre.

Technical Focus

Provision of technical advice or expertise and capacity development for the identification and design of investment and finance support solutions, in collaboration with country stakeholders and cooperating partners, to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in the fields of food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resource management and agro-processing in developing countries and countries in transition.

Tasks and responsibilities

• Advise and provide technical expertise to local stakeholders, including public officials and representatives of local financial institutions in leveraging the RuralInvest methodology for the following: (i) preparation of financing mechanisms for agribusinesses, (ii) agribusiness planning and (iii) improving access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. • Prepare, and conduct RuralInvest training: prepare training materials adapted to local contexts, coordinate with the stakeholders involved, prepare exercises, facilitate sessions and report to the RuralInvest team. • Provide technical services to support entrepreneurs in business plan development, building the said business plans with the RuralInvest methodology. • Contribute, as part of CFI multidisciplinary teams working with partner international financial institutions (IFIs), to the preparation of technical documents including feasibility studies, technical annexes to funding proposals, as well as participate in the quality review and assurance processes of the respective partner IFIs. • Provide technical reviews of proposals for financing mechanisms for agri businesses, as well as of business plans and activities intended to support improved access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. • Lead, or participate in, multidisciplinary teams to assist country institutions in identification, pre-appraisal and appraisal of initiatives in the fields of financing mechanisms, business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. In particular, supporting integration of the RuralInvest methodology when relevant. • Perform other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in business management, economics, agronomy, agro-economy or related areas. • From one to fifteen years of relevant experience supporting rural entrepreneurs, business planning, business plan development and/or management of rural businesses. • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for consultants). Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian (for PSAs).

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 the design or revision of initiatives such as financing mechanisms, programmes supporting business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs; • Extent and relevance of experience in working with SMEs, productive alliances and cooperatives, small and medium scale entrepreneurs, particularly in the agrifood sector, as well as extent and relevance of experience in supporting them in the development of their business plans (experience in developing business plans with RuralInvest would be an asset); • Demonstrated ability and relevance of experience in training adults on professional topics preferably linked to agribusiness/agricultural value chains and/or finance; • Working experience in teaching and training RuralInvest, would be an asset; • Extent and relevance of experience in participating in, or leading, multidisciplinary teams for the preparation and/or implementation of investment programmes/projects focusing on topics such as financing mechanisms for agrifood sector, business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs; Extent and relevance of experience in dealing with government officials, development partners, local financial institutions and other public and private sector country level stakeholders; • Excellent drafting skills and capacity to synthesize; • Completion of RuralInvest e-learning courses within the FAO e-learning Academy, acquiring three (3) badges; • Participation in face-to-face RuralInvest training (Initial training and follow-up training) leading to certification as a RuralInvest user, would be an asset; • Relevance of experience in different geographical areas.

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