Programme Specialist (Strategic Planning and Partnerships)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations with more than 190 member countries. Since its inception, FAO has worked to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to global economic growth. Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. To achieve its goals, FAO cooperates with thousands of partners worldwide, from farmers’ groups to traders, from non-governmental organizations to other UN agencies, from development banks to agribusiness firms (further and more detailed information on FAO can be found on the internet site:

Through its Country Offices, or FAO Representations, FAO assists governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to address hunger and malnutrition, and provides technical support for the sustainable development of their agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors and to respond to crises.

The Planning, Programming and Partnerships Section under the Programme and Technical Unit is mandated to lead the Organizational efforts in fostering strategic partnership with key stakeholders including the Government line Ministries, the Academia, Research Institutes, Civil Society and farmers and farmer organizations. In addition, the Section is responsible for strategic planning and programme development especially with focus on the development of the strategic frameworks, corporate work planning as well as FAO’s contribution and participation in the United Nations and the Government strategic work.

The Programme Specialist (Strategic Planning and Partnerships) shall assist the section Head in coordinating the strategic work of the Country Office, fostering partnerships and contributing to the formulation of the strategic frameworks, policies and strategies as required.

Reporting Lines

The Programme Specialist (Strategic Planning and Partnerships) will be under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative in Malawi, functional supervision of the Deputy FAO Representative and the Assistant FAO Representative and, the direct supervision of the Head, Planning, Programming and Partnerships Section.

Technical Focus:

The Programme Specialist (Strategic Planning and Partnership) will assist the Section Head in coordinating strategic planning, programming and developing strategic partnerships with all key stakeholders.

Tasks and responsibilities

Specifically, the incumbent will:

  • Assist in strategic planning including formulation and reporting on the Country Programming Framework (CPF), Biennium Work Planning, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and others;
  • Assist in coordinating the formulation and finalization of programmes and projects;
  • Together with the section Head, contribute to the formulation of the UN and government frameworks, sector policies, strategies and plans as well as reporting on the frameworks as required;
  • Assist in the development and maintaining of strong strategic partnerships with key stakeholders including the government line Ministries, Development Partners and the Civil Society;
  • Contribute to Corporate planning and reporting in collaboration with other team members in the section;


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced University degree in Agricultural Economics, Policy Analysis, Development Economics or related studies;
  • Minimum of seven years of relevant experience in strategic planning, programming and partnership building;
  • Demonstrated understanding of agricultural production systems, policies, frameworks and strategies in Malawi;
  • National of Malawi.

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Very good analytical skills, ability to understand the different steps of the procurement process and foresee, anticipate challenges;
  • Very good Planning and organizing abilities;
  • Very good communication skills;
  • Very good knowledge of the Oracle Procurement Module or other ERP system with ability to guide, direct and advise colleagues on its use and applications;
  • Very good knowledge of the public procurement principles and regulations
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent command of English (written and oral comprehension) and highly developed document drafting skills;
  • Excellent computer skills (MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint) is essential;

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