Agricultural Officer (Innovation and digital agriculture)

Job Posting: 04/Aug/2021
Closure Date: 26/Aug/2021, 1:59:00 PM
Organizational Unit: RLC
Job Type: Staff position
Type of Requisition: Professional
Grade Level: P-4
Primary Location: Chile-Santiago
Duration: Fixed-Term: 2 years, with possibility of extension
Post Number: 2004291
CCOG Code: 1L09
• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member nations and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization.

Organizational Setting
The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the Region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO’s strategic response to regional priorities. FAO RLC also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the Region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. FAO RLC develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

The post is located in the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC) in Santiago, Chile.

Reporting Lines
The Agriculture Officer (Innovation and digital agriculture) reports to the Assistant Director-General/Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and contributes to one or more technical teams at global, regional, subregional and country levels, maintaining regular contact with the Chief Scientist and the Chief Innovation Officer at FAO headquarters, Rome for functional guidance on policy and governance related to digitalization and technological innovation in food and agriculture sectors.

Technical Focus
Policy analysis and technical and policy support to enable Members to develop, adopt and assess innovation strategies, policies and programmes, technological innovation and digitalization that help to achieve better production, better nutrition, better environment and better lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. Areas of interest include, inter alia, digital technology integration and management models to enable agricultural transformation towards more efficient, sustainable and inclusive food systems, innovation systems involving research, extension and advisory services, technology transfer, digital financial services, biotechnology, big data and information systems, institutional strengthening for innovation and digitalization, private sector investments in innovation and digitalization, and related investment and partnerships to achieve the SDGs.

Key Results
Development and implementation of coherent, adaptive, and effective digital and other innovative strategies, policies, programmes, and initiatives in support of agricultural transformation that enhances food security and nutrition and promotes more efficient, sustainable and inclusive food systems in line with SDGs and organizational objectives.

Key Functions
• Leads the strategic thinking and planning on agricultural innovation systems and digitalization of agriculture in the Regional Office and contributes to the development of innovative programmes and initiatives at country and regional levels in support of food and agriculture systems.
• Supports Members in assessment of needs of agricultural innovation systems and provides national policy support and strategy development support to enact innovative initiatives and digital solutions from the perspectives of governance, policy, technology, communication and partnerships, and capacity building.
• Plans, formulates, implements and scales up initiatives and programmes to facilitate innovation deployment and digital solutions for more efficient and sustainable farming (crops, livestock), resource use (land and water, forests, fisheries) and food systems (production, processing, trade, consumption and waste) taking into account the needs, priorities and capacities of small-scale farmers, women, youth and other marginalized communities.
• Develops, maintains and strengthens strategic partnerships with specialized UN agencies, research institutions, extension agencies, private innovation hubs, and universities at the forefront of innovation and digital solutions including digital extension and best practices in support of FAO’s mandate and priorities.
• Promotes synergies and coordination of innovation activities with FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative (HIHI) in the region; aligns regional innovation activities with the FAO Office for Innovation, the regional and national innovation hubs;
• Coordinates with and supports multidisciplinary teams in FAO’s Regional Office and headquarters to mainstream innovation approaches, digital solutions across the regional programmes and activities in the region in line with the corporate innovation ethos.
• Mobilizes resources through development of proposals, concept notes and project documents, coordinating with internal procedures and stakeholders; explores options under South-South Cooperation and HIHI by identifying appropriate partners and facilitating exchange of best practices, technologies and investment possibilities between donors, partners and recipient countries.
• Provides technical leadership and inputs for generation of knowledge products (publications, reports and policy briefs) in areas of expertise related to innovation, digital agriculture, and related policies, processes and issues

Specific Functions
• In the context of FAO’s Strategic Framework and corporate policies, develops and leads the region´s strategies and work to enhance technological innovation and digitalization in food, agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management, to achieve better nutrition, better production, better environment and better lives.
• Maintains updated knowledge on development trends, including technological innovations and digital solutions applied in food and agriculture systems.
• Coordinates intelligence gathering by keeping abreast of latest research in agricultural innovation systems, digitalization of agriculture and ICT-related norms, standards and trends and develops knowledge on human-centred designs, business and partnership models, digital ecosystem approaches and digital extension.
• Maintains a database of innovation hubs, technology centres, and digital experts for multidisciplinary partnerships.
• Maintains updated knowledge on agriculture extension systems, and communication for development.
• Leads the development of approaches and capacities to incentivize and support the mainstreaming of corporate digitalization and technological innovation priorities in FAO regional initiatives, corporate plans, projects and other cooperation initiatives, thereby enhancing FAO`s portfolio (regional initiatives and projects) related to food, agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management.
• Provides technical, policy and operational support to FAO regional initiatives, corporate planning, partnerships and cooperation initiatives with member countries and FAO partners.
• Provides technical support to FAO Representatives in the formulation and/or revision of their Country Programming Framework (CPF), and other in-country multilateral processes such as the CCA and UNSDCF, particularly in the context of the UN reform in the areas of technological innovation and digitalization.
• Promotes and supports FAO’s field programme in the region at all phases of the programme cycle and in resource mobilization, in line with national and FAO strategies and priorities.
• Organizes and contributes to technical servicing of FAO regional statutory bodies, including the regional conference and other relevant regional and sub-regional fora, technical and policy networks, and capacity development efforts.
• Mobilizes and/or maintains strategic alliances, cooperation, partnerships (including with the private sector), communities of practice, and resources and helps to build and enhance the portfolio of agri-food system programmes.
• Manages and shares knowledge and data to ensure that regional policy and programme recommendations are forward looking, aligned to FAO global strategies and other current positions, and are regularly updated with lessons and good practice from the field, paying attention to the digital social, economic and territorial divides.
• Appraises capacity development needs relating to digitalization and technological innovation in countries of the Region.
• Represents FAO in diverse fora and in the media.
• Performs other duties as required.

Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in agricultural sciences, agricultural economics, information and communication technologies for development, food science, political economy ,development economics, rural sociology, food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture (including livestock, forestry and fisheries), agricultural engineering, systems analytics or related field
• Seven years of relevant experience in policy and strategy advice and analysis relating to innovation and digital solutions applied to, or relevant to, food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development
• Working knowledge (level C) of Spanish and English

• Results Focus
• Leading, Engaging and Empowering
• Communications Skills
• Partnering and Advocating
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable;
• Extent and relevance of experience in strategic guidance, policy analysis and advice relating to the design, planning and deployment of technological innovation and digitalization in food, agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management including experience within governments and/or international organizations, and/or civil society, and/or private sector;
•Strategic understanding of complex policy processes and demonstrated capacity to promote intersectoral approaches to and good governance of technological innovation and digitalization;
• Extent and relevance of experience in leading and preparing important publications, technical and policy briefs for governments, and inputs to international and intergovernmental meetings based on the analysis and interpretation of complex information;
• Extent and relevance of experience in working with intergovernmental bodies, senior government officials, development partners including private sector, civil society and research and development organizations, multistakeholder processes and other stakeholders on policies, programmes and investments;
• Demonstrated record of accomplishment in mobilizing resources and investments;
• Working experience in developing countries is desirable as well as in Latina America and the Caribbean;
• Extent and relevance of experience in information and communication technologies and underlying digital innovation.

FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.



Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.

A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link:
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection

FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes:
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.

To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications and language skills.
Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile;
Once your profile is completed, please apply and submit your application;
Your application will be screened based on the information provided on your online profile;
Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications;
Incomplete applications will not be considered;
Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered;
We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.
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