Economist (Poverty and Rural Livelihoods), Various Locations

Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Closing date: Thursday, 18 March 2021


Economist (Poverty and Rural Livelihoods)

Job Posting: 04/Mar/2021

Closure Date: 18/Mar/2021, 10:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : ESA

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition : Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level : N/A

Primary Location: Various Locations

Duration : Up to 11 months (renewable)

Post Number : N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

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 Agrifood Economics Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy analysis related to all five of the Organization’s strategic objectives (food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, inclusive food systems and resilient livelihoods). ESA provides evidence-based analytical support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture; and leads the production of two FAO flagship publications: The State of Food and Agriculture and The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. ESA also leads large programmes at country level on agricultural and food policy monitoring, climate smart agriculture (CSA), agribusiness and food value chains, rural poverty, and food security information and analysis in support of national policies.

Among ESA’s core tasks is the provision of support to FAO member countries on policy matters, particularly through analyses that generate evidence and evaluation of impact of policies and programmes to inform decision-making. ESA also carries out policy intelligence to analyse the implications of emerging events on the different economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. In addition, ESA is engaged in supporting governments on the prioritization of policies and investments to strengthen poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, develop inclusive and efficient food systems, and accelerate agricultural transformation.

FAO International Consultants and Call purpose

The Organization frequently hires experts to work on short-term activities and projects as consultants or under personal service agreements (PSA) at various levels of experience (see minimum requirements below). The assignments may involve full-time or part-time functions, with duration ranging from one to eleven months. The possibility of extension is subject to satisfactory performance and availability of resources. Assignments at the Organization may require travelling, missions and/or appointments to field locations. Individuals who meet or exceed the requirements of the Call, determined through an interview process, will be included in the ESA divisional roster that will be used to resource future vacancies within the technical requirements covered by the Call.

The role will be located within the Policy Support Coordination Branch in the Policy Intelligence and Support Coordination Unit (PISCU) in ESA.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall guidance of the Director, ESA, and the direct supervision of a Senior Economist, the consultant/PSA will be asked to undertake poverty and rural livelihoods analysis and/or carry out impact evaluations of programmes related to poverty reduction and food security in order to provide policy support to governments in the context of agri-food systems. In case of activities carried out in member countries, applicants will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation, in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO Regional and/or Subregional Office.

Technical Focus

The incumbent will conduct poverty and livelihoods analysis related to agricultural investment priorities in countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria, El Salvador, Honduras, and others. The ideal candidate is familiar with the management and analysis of microdata, as well as with impact evaluation techniques and their application in agricultural and environmental programmes. She/he is able to deal with large datasets, merging information from different sources (including spatial and weather-related data), design the most suitable empirical strategies in order to respond to specific policy questions (with particular focus on the alternative identification strategies) related to agricultural productivity, household welfare and food security. She/he is able to interpret the results and communicate the findings for different purposes, simplifying the message for non-technical audience, and engage with experts on the methodological details of the analysis. The evidence-based support provided by the incumbent will feed into the preparation of a wide range of publications (including reports, papers, and policy briefs), so excellent writing skills and a good publication record are relevant assets.

Tasks and responsibilities

Provide technical and policy advice to ESA partner countries to facilitate the analysis of specific issues related to poverty, livelihoods, and food security in the context of agricultural policies; assess policy reform opportunities and articulate policy reform options for rural poverty reduction;
Carry out impact evaluations of agricultural and natural resource management programmes, assessing their impact on livelihoods, food security and welfare related outcomes;
Design quantitative surveys and guide their implementation, including their required sampling design;
Contribute to the development of technical products to support evidence-based policy reform processes with a focus on rural poverty reduction in the framework of small-scale family farming, agricultural transformation strategies or indigenous peoples;
Conduct analytical studies on specific food and agricultural policy issues in relation to rural and/or agricultural households, small-scale producers and their transition into pathways out of poverty;
Contribute to the drafting of actionable and high-quality policy recommendations, technical reports and policy briefs;
Participate in, organize or facilitate high-level policy meetings, roundtables or other events related to food and agricultural policy reform in developing countries, with a focus on poverty reduction, small-scale producers and family farmers, and food security;
Support capacity development activities benefitting government counterparts and other selected national partners.


Minimum Requirements

University degree in economics, agricultural economics, development economics, political science, public policy, international development or in any other related field.

At least four years of relevant experience;
Tags agribusiness agricultural economics agricultural policy agricultural productivity capacity development climate smart continuous improvement economic analysis economic research economist food policy food security impact evaluation indigenous peoples knowledge sharing latin america natural resource management political economy political science poverty reduction rural livelihoods rural poverty south asia sustainable agriculture sustainable development transparency value chain

Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese and Russian (for consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs).

FAO Core Competencies

Results Focus



Building Effective Relationships

Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

Work experience in one or more developing countries preferably in Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, or Latin America;
Extent and relevance of experience in economic analysis of agricultural/rural households and agri-food policies;
Familiarity with providing policy advice to governments in developing countries;
Knowledge of current political economic conditions in developing countries, and ability to analyse the policy context at country level building on political economy tools;
Capacity to interact with government officials on key policy issues affecting agriculture and food security;
Experience in communicating with government officials and ability to present the key results in concise and effective manner.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list If you are in possession of language certificate/s from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT), please attach the certificate/s when submitting the application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


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