Senior Programme Officer, Rome, Italy

Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Country: Italy

City: Rome

Office: FAO Rome

Closing date: Monday, 20 September 2021


Senior Programme Officer

Job Posting: 30/Aug/2021

Closure Date: 20/Sep/2021, 9:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : PSS

Job Type: Staff position

Type of Requisition : Professional

Grade Level : P-5

Primary Location: Italy-Rome

Duration : Fixed term: 1 year with the possibility of extension

Post Number : 2008625

CCOG Code : 1A02

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 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supports the transformation to More efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, for Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, leaving no one behind. The Project Support Division (PSS) coordinates FAO’s efforts towards the effective implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework and the four Betters aiming at achieving the Agenda 2030, through its projects and programmes. The Director PSS leads the organization’s work in field programme oversight and monitoring; management of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP); development and implementation support of operational modalities; and Due Diligence, and risk assessment of partnership with non-state actors. The Quality Assurance, Monitoring and TCP Unit (PSSQ) manages the corporate operational guidance on the Project Cycle, and the appraisal and operational clearance processes for global and interregional projects. The Unit contributes to the quality assurance review that enables management to approve projects and designate budget holder responsibility and manages project operational closure. The Unit monitors the adherence to corporate quality standards with a view to improving the impact and efficient delivery of projects and supports managers at all levels to address identified challenges and weaknesses. PSSQ oversees and guides the use of the TCP. Finally, the Unit is responsible for providing due diligence screenings and risk assessment reviews of engagements with non-state actors. The post is located in the PSSQ Unit in the Project Support Division (PSS), Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines The Senior Programme Officer reports to the Director of the Project Support Division (PSS), and works in close collaboration with all relevant units and decentralized offices.

Technical Focus Provide leadership for programmatic, operational, systems, quality assurance, compliance and oversight implementation support and development for all projects in FAO, and in support of the corporate change management processes.

Key Results Leadership and technical expertise for the effective and efficient oversight, development and implementation of programmes and projects related approaches, products, tools and services.

Key Functions

Leads the development, supports implementation, and contributes to, audit/evaluation of assigned programmes/projects, including review of relevant documents and reports;
Monitors the FAO project portfolio and identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
Contributes to and supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of documents for Governing Bodies, etc;
Leads design of and conducts training workshops and seminars; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities;
Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, including proposing the agenda, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations;
Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, and other parties for capacity development;
Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences, identifies and implements strategic partnerships, advocates best practices and increased dialogue, and develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements inside and outside the Organization.

Specific Functions

Leads strategic thinking and oversees development/revisions to the Project Cycle, TCP Guidelines and related operational manuals and handbooks to enable the Organization to make an effective shift towards a more efficient and effective project/programme-based design and management model;
Provides support to FAO corporate Information Systems initiatives, updates and developments on behalf of PSS Division and supports implementation and follow-up;
Leads and contributes to the formulation and implementation of approaches, methodologies, tools and guidelines for the adoption of a project to program approach to the management of FAO’s field programme, in close collaboration with other relevant Units/Divisions;
Leads project/programme development efforts in line with UN Reform/UNDS repositioning and taking into account recommendations of relevant evaluations and audits;
Analyzes corporate guidance and practices on results-based management, contributes to updating and formulating related guidelines and methodologies to improve programming, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of the field programme;
Promotes and contributes to the creation of outputs and indicators, aligned to the FAO Strategic Framework and SDG Framework, suitable for use in projects/programmes logical framework for integrated results monitoring and reporting at different levels;
Leads initiatives to improve results monitoring and reporting on field programme achievements in collaboration with other concerned units;
Oversees high level monitoring of the field programme, identifies systemic issues and constraints to its efficient and effective development and implementation, and advises on possible solutions;
Contributes in the development of corporate administrative policies and procedures that have impact on field programme development and implementation;
Leads capacity development efforts in support of staff in all locations with regard to project/programme cycle management, project/programme implementation, monitoring, and TCP through the production of guidelines and training material, and delivery of training;
Facilitates consultations with Regional and Country Offices, and HQ divisions and entities, on the above;
Leads or contributes to the preparation of documents for FAO Governing Bodies, UN Bodies and other audiences.

Performs other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

Advanced university degree in international relations, development economics or other related fields

Ten years of relevant experience in project/programme formulation and planning, implementation and appraisal, as well as in the development of results based management/monitoring systems

Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish)


Results Focus

Leading, Engaging and Empowering


Partnering and Advocating

Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills

Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
Extent and relevance of experience in programme/project management, in the management/operation of small-, medium and/or large-scale projects at country and regional levels, including in-depth knowledge of related administrative, operational and financial procedures;
Extent and relevance of experience and skills in project identification, programme and project design and formulation, analysis, planning and implementation;
Level of knowledge of results-based management methods and experience in their application, including theory of change and indicators formulation;
Extent of experience in monitoring and reporting systems.

Level of knowledge of UN development system (UNDS) Reform

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: allowances/salary.htm 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.

Link to the organization’s job offer: