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 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and malnutrition. 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 SIFAZ (GCP/ZAM/080/EC) project, FAO in Zambia has collaborated with the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) to implement a 7.5-year program on Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ). The project focuses on scaling up of sustainable food production and building resilience of food systems by smallholder farmers with an additional focus on climate change mitigation measures through building demonstrable synergies between research and promotion of appropriate sustainable agriculture intensification practices.
As part of the activities for the SIFAZ project, adaptive research, agribusiness, and agronomy strategies are put in place to establish economically viable, cost effective and cooperative based business models and transfer knowledge and skills on SIPs to sustainably allow smallholder farmers adoption and continued practicing of the SIPs. Specifically, the research, agribusiness, and agronomy strategies of the SIFAZ project will achieve the following:
• To facilitate organization of smallholder farmers into baby and mother farm level trails for testing socio-economic and agronomic performance of sustainable intensification practices technology packages.
• To facilitate organization of smallholder farmers into effective groups that can effectively participate in selected farming value chains for selected crops and agriculturally based enterprises.
• To facilitate smallholder farmer and community level availability and access to critical inputs for ensuring farmer practice of recommended SIP packages, reduction of yield gaps and climate change mitigation.
• To facilitate effective partnerships between smallholder farmer groups and small to medium enterprises that undertake mechanization equipment and services input and output marketing for selected crops and services by smallholder farmers.
• To facilitate smallholder farmers adoption of SIPs for sustainable intensification of crop production whilst at the same time improve and preserve the natural resource base.
Operations and Administration Specialist will work 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), CIMMYT, NGOs, private sector, 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.
The incumbent will coordinate operational support to implementation of the European Union Funded Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ) project implemented by FAO Zambia. The Officer will provide overall support to the project budget management, OPIM contract management, management of implementing partners Letters of Agreement and processing of the procurement requests and inventory management of the project.
Tasks and Responsibilities
The incumbent will in particular perform the following tasks:
• Directly acts as a focal point for all project operational matters, organizes and handles day-to-day operational activities of the SIFAZ programme at country level and takes action, in consultation with the supervisors, on problems which arise during the execution period.
• Responsible for coaching, guiding and capacity building of the project operations team on operations and administrative processes involving key aspects of project implementation. This includes adherence to cooperate systems, procedures and processes in procurement, budget management, administration.
• Facilitate the preparation of periodic financial reports and briefs for internal use and for submission to resource partners. This includes contributions to formulation of interim financial report, project budgets and work plans and financial forecasts according to FAO’s procedures and prepares all necessary financial documents for technical clearance and final approval.
• Support day to day coordination between operations and administration teams at FAO and facilitate coordination; planning and implementation of financial, procurement, travel and human resource recruitments plans and requirements of the SIFAZ project.
• Ensures the timely provision of project inputs (personnel, technical support services, sub-contracts, training, equipment, and supplies) directly by the organization or, when appropriate, through implementing partners, and by liaising with other support units at national, regional and headquarters level.
• Participates in the preparation of project work plans, monitor progress and, where necessary, identify corrective measures to overcome operational constraints.
• Support overall reviews and monitoring of project budget and lead preparation of operational requests and budget revisions as required; maintains and alerts about budget expenditures and resources; reviews project’s transaction listings with a view to identifying errors in accounting against budget lines.
• Ensures 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 monitors project budget, expenditure reports and facilitate processing of operational requests (financial, procurement, administrative) from implementing partners under the project.
• Perform any other related duties in support of project operational and administrative requirements as required.
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
• University degree in public or business administration, finance, accounting, economics, social sciences or other fields related to the FAO mandate.
• At least five (5) 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
FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Please note that all candidates should possess computer/word-processing skills and should be capable of working with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
• Extent and relevance of experience in supporting, advising, and guiding operational matters during implementation of complex, multi-stakeholder projects.
• Ability and experiences in preparation of financial reports, project budgets, work plans and financial forecasts
necessary for technical clearance and approvals by management and resource partners.
• Extent and relevance of experience supporting day to day coordination between operations and administration teams; coordination; planning and implementation of financial, procurement, travel and human resource recruitments plans.
• Extent of experience in planning, implementation, and coordination of project operations in partnership with government counterparts, private sector and other concerned implementing partners actors.
• Understanding of FAO policies and programmes is considered a strong asset.
• Familiarity with UN administrative, operational, and financial procedures is an asset.
• Excellent level of communication skills, writing skills including ability to write concise technical reports in English.
• Work experience in Zambia is considered an asset.