Policy, Economics and Institutions Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Rome, Italy


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The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department promotes policies and strategies aiming at the sustainable and responsible development of fisheries and aquaculture in inland and marine waters. For this purpose, the Department provides discussion fora, information, legal and policy frameworks, codes and guidelines, options for strategies, scientific advice, and training material, among others. The Policy, Economics and Institutions Branch (FIAP) guides and facilitates the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector through programmes and activities from global to local levels that aim at improving the institutional, social, economic, policy and management aspects of the fisheries and aquaculture sector with a particular emphasis on human well-being, food security and poverty reduction. FIAP provides advice, assistance and information to FAO members on economics and policies, strategies, plans and programmes for the management and development of fisheries and aquaculture.

FIAP has the primary responsibility within the Department for the development and uptake of international instruments such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, related instruments, the Voluntary Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries, and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests as well as elaborates additional guidelines and international plans of action in specific area. Technical assistance is provided for the development and implementation of the fisheries and aquaculture policy, management, and promotion of sustainable fisheries livelihoods through decent rural employment, social protection and enhanced resilience to climate change and other stresses and shocks. FIAP acts as the Secretariat of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), provides support to Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) and coordinates the RFB Secretariat Network, and ensures liaison and coordination with UN processes related to SDGs and other processes (NGOs/CSOs) concerned with fisheries and aquaculture.

International consultants and PSAs represent an important source of expertise for FAO, making their specialist contributions across the globe towards the achievement of the Organization’s strategic objectives. For FAO to be able to attract and employ the best possible experts in the wide range of technical areas of its mandate, a competitive selection process has been introduced. This process is intended to create a pool of candidates which can be called upon when their expertise is required, ensuring a transparent and rigorous selection process.

Reporting Lines

The Consultant/PSA will work under the overall supervision of the Branch Head of FIAP and the direct supervision of a relevant Officer of FIAP.

Technical Focus

The Consultant or PSA will work as part of a team to conduct activities, research and analysis on issues in the context of fisheries and aquaculture governance, which is applicable to fishery policy, economics and institutions in line with FAO’s Strategic Framework. Within the overall mandate of FIAP as outlined above, tasks are likely to include, in particular, the implementation of the VGGT and the SSF Guidelines, promotion of increased resilience of fishing communities, work on spatial management measures; poverty reduction and socio-economic development in fisheries-dependent communities through decent rural employment and social protection, improvement of gender issues, strengthening of fishers and fish workers organizations, technical support to international processes related to the SDGs and Aichi targets etc.

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of each selected Consultant or PSA will be defined in the Terms of Reference for the specific assignment.

In general, depending on the specific assignment, designated tasks and responsibilities will normally include a number of the following elements:

Consultants and PSA

  • Project formulation in accordance with FAO’s Strategic Framework and the FAO project cycle.
  • Coordination, implementation and administration of assigned activities in accordance with FAO rules, procedures and systems, and donor requirements.
  • Contribution to the provision of substantive technical inputs to relevant studies, publications and analyses, knowledge products and dissemination materials related to FIAP’s areas of work, including guidelines, manuals, research papers, capacity building and training materials, and related websites.
  • Collection, management and analysis of data to be used to inform and guide the Branch’s technical and policy work.
  • Any other duties related to FIAP’s areas of work.


  • Organization and participation in external events (including field missions) in support of the delivery of FIAP’s programme of work, including consultation, training, capacity building and technical assistance.
  • Organize and coordinate the FIA department flagship meetings such as the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), the technical Sub-Committees on Fisheries and other meetings, including liaison with Permanent Missions and Representatives to FAO on fisheries-related activities.
  • Collaboration with relevant UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, Regional Fishery Bodies(RFBs) and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations(RFMOs), in the areas of FIAP’s programme of work, as well as areas of mutually beneficial interest to member countries.
  • Representing FIAP at internal and external meetings, particularly those related to the development and implementation of FIAP’s activities.
  • Prepare and organize consultations and technical meetings.
  • Establish and manage relations with relevant institutions, networks and platforms that could help FAO leverage its messages and advance global dialogue on various issues related to FIAP’s programme of work, helping the Organization to promote enhanced global food security and nutrition.

Minimum Requirements

Qualification requirements for Consultants: Advanced university degree in marine policy, marine science, fisheries economics, aquaculture, public administration, law and international relations, or other fields related to food security and nutrition, policies and development studies.

Qualification requirements for PSAs: University degree in the above areas. A technical diploma plus demonstrated and relevant professional experience of at least 4 years can be accepted in lieu of a university degree.

Relevant experience in one or more areas in the field of fishery policy, fishery governance, policy analysis, program management, protocol and inter-governmental liaisons, small-scale fisheries, large-scale fisheries, socio-economic development, decent rural employment and social protection, fishery economics and institutions or related fields, preferably in FIAP’s areas of work.

For Consultants/PSA level C: one to four years of relevant experience

For Consultants/PSA level B: at least five years of relevant experience

For Consultants/PSA level A: at least fifteen years of relevant experience

Language requirements for Consultants: Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other languages of the Organization (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian).

Language requirements for PSAs: Working knowledge of English.


For Consultants/PSAs Level A:

  • Results Focus
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering
  • Communication
  • Partnering and Advocating
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
  • Strategic Thinking
  • For Consultants/PSAs Level B and C
  • 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 the field is desirable
  • Extent and relevance of field experience in a technical area of assignment
  • Extent and relevance of experience in providing policy advice at local, national, and regional levels
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge in the implementation of international instruments related to pertinent field of expertise
  • Extent and relevance of experience in project/programme formulation and implementation of projects, programmes and studies in the pertinent field of expertise
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge and understanding of the work of international organizations, regional entities and national governments
  • Ability to support resource mobilization efforts
  • Ability to organize and conduct technical meetings, conferences and workshops when applicable


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