Economist (Policy Analysis)

Organisation
The Food and Agriculture Organization
Locations

Rome, Italy

Application Deadline

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.

Organizational Setting

The Agrifood Economics and Policy Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy analysis and provides evidence-based support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to monitoring and analysing food and agricultural policies, agribusiness and value chain development, rural transformation and poverty, food security and nutrition information and analysis, resilience, bioeconomy and climate-smart agriculture. The Division also leads the production of two FAO flagship publications: the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) and the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI).
This post is located in the Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) Team of ESA at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. The MAFAP programme seeks to establish country-owned and sustainable systems to monitor, analyse and reform food and agricultural policies to enable more effective, efficient and inclusive policy frameworks in 14+ developing and emerging economies. MAFAP works with government institutions, research organizations and other partners to create sustainable policy monitoring systems and carry out a consistent set of policy and public expenditure analyses across a wide range of agricultural value chains. MAFAP analyses are used to inform targeted food and agricultural policy reforms that will result in a more conducive environment for the transformation towards more sustainable agriculture and food systems. As such, MAFAP supports FAO's strategic objectives, in particular the one that enables inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems and helping eliminate poverty, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

Reporting Lines

The Economist (Policy Analysis) reports to the Senior Economist/Project Manager of the Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme, under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director, ESA.

Technical Focus

The Economist (Policy Analysis) will support the implementation of the two core components of the MAFAP programme in selected countries; namely: policy monitoring and policy impact analysis. Through in-depth engagement with government counterparts and other national and international actors, she/he will support: the production and update of policy monitoring indicators; analyses of emerging policy issues; and adoption and implementation of policy reforms supported by the rigorous economic analysis and recommendations provided by the MAFAP programme.

Key Results

Research and analysis of information, data and statistics, and the maintenance and updating of related tools, methodologies, and/or databases to support the delivery of programme products, projects, publications and services.

Key Functions

  • Researches and analyses (agricultural, economic, trade, market, social, environmental, nutrition/food composition and/or gender related) data, statistics and information to provide technical, statistical and/or policy related information and analysis to support the delivery of economic and social development programmes work, products, projects, publications and services.
  • Produces a variety of technical reports and input for technical documents, publications and/or web pages.
  • Provides technical, statistical, and/or analytical services on various studies, projects and/or assessments and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
  • Participates in the development of improved/updated technical, statistical and/or analytical tools, methodologies, systems, databases and/or key social/economic/environmental/nutritional and/or early warning indicators, etc.
  • Participates in multidisciplinary teams, collaborates with other divisions/offices/centres and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices.
  • Collaborates in capacity development activities involving the planning and organizing of training workshops, seminars, and major meetings and the preparation of related information, materials, on-line tools and information kits.
  • Promotes knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations.
  • Participates in resource mobilization activities.

Specific Functions

  • Provides technical and policy advice to MAFAP partner countries related to agricultural and food policy trends, reform options and impact on development outcomes, such as poverty, food security and nutrition.
  • Contributes to the production, update and enhancement of policy monitoring indicators, analysis and methodologies, related to the measurement and analysis of price incentives and public expenditure in support of food and agriculture.
  • Contributes to the development of technical products, using rigorous economic analysis, on key food and agricultural policy topics, with a focus on agricultural, input, trade, markets and price policies, and prepares related policy recommendations, generally for specific government partners.
  • Contributes to policy engagement representing the MAFAP Team to promote the uptake of technical policy analyses in national policy processes and dialogues and the adoption of policy reforms driven by these analyses.
  • Undertakes capacity development activities on MAFAP methodologies to the benefit of government counterparts, other relevant national partners, as well as FAO staff.
  • Maintains close collaboration and coordination with other FAO units, FAO Representations as well as relevant national and international institutions.
  • Contributes to forging partnerships around specific policy issues with development partners involved in policy monitoring and analysis, as well as with non-government stakeholders at country level, in particular with civil society organizations, farmers' organizations and the private sector.
  • Contributes to the preparation of high-level policy meetings, roundtables or other events related to food and agricultural policy monitoring and reform in developing countries.
  • Provides support to the policy support work of ESA in the framework of corporate initiatives.
  • Supervises the work of consultants within the MAFAP Team

CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics, agricultural economics, development studies, international relations or a related field.
  • Five years of relevant experience in policy and quantitative analysis of food and agricultural issues.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of one of the other FAO languages (, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in conducting macro and/or micro econometric analyses on topics related to the food and agricultural sector, such as trade, input subsidies, market policies and public expenditures.
  • Familiarity with relevant ex-ante economy-wide modelling techniques, preferably Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models, and their potential contribution, data requirement and limitations in evaluating food and agricultural policies and their impact on development outcomes such as poverty, food security and nutrition.
  • Extent and relevance of experience with policy advice on international development issues and affinity with the topics of agrifood systems transformation, poverty, food security and/or nutrition, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia.
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge of the most important initiatives to analyse agricultural public expenditures in developing countries and experience in conducting such analyses.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse complex policy issues and supervise the work of technical experts.
  • Good programming skills in specialized software such as GAMS, Python, R or other.
  • Demonstrated experience in drafting technical reports and papers in English.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of French is considered a strong asset.

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