Job Opportunity: Land Tenure and Rural Development Specialist | Land Portal

Organizational Setting

 The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) 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. REU 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 and monitors the level of programme implementation. 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.

International Consultants and Personal Service Providers (PSAs) represent an important source of expertise for FAO, making their specialist contributions in the achievement of the Organization’s strategic objectives and regional initiatives. For FAO to be able to attract and employ the best possible experts in a wide range of technical areas, a competitive selection process was introduced in November 2017. This process will create a roster of candidates with necessary criteria, which can be called upon when their expertise is required for activities at country, regional or global level.

This advertised position will support activities for land tenure and rural development in the REU countries under one of the three regional initiatives, namely: (RI1) Empowering smallholders and family farms for improved rural livelihoods and poverty reduction.


Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, REU, the specialist in land tenure and rural development will work under the overall supervision of the Assistant Director General of REU and the direct supervision of the Land Tenure Officer of REU. The specialist will collaborate with other FAO consultants, professionals and administrative staff in REU Office and FAO Headquarters, as well as FAO staff in country offices of the region.


Technical Focus

 The International Consultant or PSA SBS will work as part of a closely collaborating team to provide policy advice and technical assistance, including capacity-building activities that support rural development both at policy and community level, and will also support the implementation of the FAO regional land consolidation programme, support the development of agricultural land markets in the region and the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT). More specifically the International Consultant or PSA SBS will contribute in project implementation in European and Central Asian countries, formulation of projects and work plan, reporting, capacity development on land tenure and rural development policies; preparation of technical papers, preparation of guidelines and recommendations and support the implementation of regional and country level projects.


Tasks and responsibilities

 The International Consultant or PSA SBS will work closely with FAO staff to:

  • Conduct research, analysis and contribute to the normative work of the Regional Office related to rural development, land tenure, and related policy issues to support the delivery of programmes, projects, products and services in the Region on land tenure, rural development and integrated community development;
  • Provide technical guidance, support assessments, studies and initiatives and provide technical backstopping to field projects;
  • Contribute to appraisal and provide technical leadership in the capacity development of the Ministries and other relevant national/local staff related to land tenure and rural development policy in the programme countries; including preparation of training materials and information materials for discussion and awareness raising;
  • Formulate concept notes and projects related to land tenure, rural development and community development planning;
  • Participate in multi-disciplinary teams, and/or lead working groups/teams in collaboration with other departments and agencies on the development of an integrated and coherent approach to land tenure and rural development, drawing on the corporate approaches and regional delivery mechanisms such as the Regional Initiative on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for Improved Livelihood and Poverty Reduction and support the implementation at regional and country level of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security;
  • Collaborate in, provide technical backstopping to and ensure the quality / effectiveness of capacity development activities within member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials, on-line tools that support rural development, community development planning, decent rural employment and income diversification in the region, as well as responsible governance of land tenure, access to resources by vulnerable populations, youth and smallholders;
  • Review and provide updates on land tenure and rural development policy issues and advice on related activities that FAO REU could undertake in the region;
  • Promote knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations;
  • Contribute and co-organize policy seminars, capacity building workshops and networking activities;
  • Support resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate strategy;
  • Technically contribute in the implementation of the Regional Initiative “Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for improved Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction”;
  • Travel as and when required to liaise with counterparts and provide technical inputs concerning land tenure and rural development issues on seminars, capacity building workshops; and
  • Perform other related duties as and when required.
  • Collaborate with relevant UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations in the areas of REUs work programme related to rural development;
  • Represent REU at internal and external meetings, particularly those related to the work programme of the land tenure and rural development team.



 Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in (for Consultants) / University degree (only for PSA) in agriculture, rural development, land management, land administration, economics, natural resources management or related fields;
  • Relevant experience in rural development, community development, governance and access to natural resources, land consolidation, land market development and with implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT);
  • Working experience in Europe and Central Asia region;

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

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

For Consultant level A: at least twelve years of relevant experience;

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

  • Working knowledge of English and another Official FAO language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for Consultants. Working knowledge of English (for PSAs).


 FAO Core 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;
  • Good interpersonal communications skills;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in Rural Development Policy of EU and EU accession countries, as well as in community development or in other territorial approaches;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes for rural development, including community development planning and territorial approach, as well as for land tenure, including land consolidation, land market development and access to and responsible governance of natural resources;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in project / program management; and
  • Knowledge of the UN system, procedures and operational activities would be an advantage.

 Selection Criteria

  • Relevant experience in rural development policy and/or agricultural economics and community development, including with development projects;
  • Relevant experience in EU rural development policy in EU and accession countries;
  • Relevant experience with land tenure, including land consolidation, land market development and access to and responsible governance of natural resources;
  • Experience in project management;
  • Relevant experience with UN and/or other international organizations;
  • Work experience in the Europe and Central Asia region;
  • Good report and academic writing skills.


Additional selection criteria

  • Knowledge of Russian would be an asset.

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