Senior Technical Spec. (SECAP)

International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD)

Kenya 🇰🇪

Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD’s operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise within operational teams to enhance development effectiveness, by generating and disseminating IFAD’s development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes, and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

ECG takes the lead in mainstreaming cross-cutting themes of environment and climate, nutrition, gender, youth, and indigenous peoples and all related aspects of social inclusion into IFAD’s portfolio, to strengthen the quality of IFAD’s operations and achieve improved impacts in these areas in an integrated manner. One of the pillars of this work is the preparation and implementation of the Social, Environment, and Climate Change Assessment Procedures (SECAP) for enhanced results.

Job Role

The Senior Technical Specialist works under the supervision of the Lead Regional Technical Specialist (Climate change and environment) and overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the division Director. S/He works collaboratively with respective ECG technical specialists (both Environment/Climate and Social Inclusion), PMI thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support facilitating knowledge flows and building of communities of practices.

Key Functions and Results

1.  Technical Advice: The Senior Technical Specialist will work to enhance the quality of the preparation and implementation of the Social, Environmental and Climate Change Assessment Procedures (SECAP) including opportunities to enhance project development objectives through social integration, climate change adaptation and mitigation and sustainable environmental management. This will include support to projects financed through a variety of sources including the Programme of Loans and Grants (PoLG) and a variety of supplementary Funds.  Under the supervision of the Lead Regional Technical Specialist – Environment and Climate, ECG (P5), the incumbent will:

  • Coordinate the preparation and oversight of the implementation of SECAP requirements such as, inter alia, environment and social impact assessments, climate risk and adaptation assessments and environment and social management plans or frameworks in East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA). 
  • Coordinate the Division’s safeguards team’s efforts in providing advice, building capacity, and advancing the development of safeguards policies within member countries.
  • Review projects, programmes and strategies in order to strengthen their contribution to countries’ development objectives, including those identified under multilateral and regional climate change and environment conventions in ESA and WCA.
  • Ensure high quality SECAPs though robust and comprehensive assessments, development of management plans and project activities.  The expert will both lead and provide support to others in achieving quality SECAPs.
  • Lead the enhancement of high quality climate risk, impact and adaptation assessments based on state of the art methodologies.
  • Support and supplement the development and maintenance of a roster of certified SECAP regional and international consultants, ensuring expertise across all SECAP Standards and regional needs.
  • Draft and revise Terms of References for consultants for the preparation, capacity building and implementation of SECAPs;
  • Provide technical backstopping and troubleshooting in high risk projects and countries in ESA and WCA;
  • Participate in project delivery teams in ESA and WCA, in particular where there are substantial and high levels of risks related to the SECAP;
  • Work with regional teams to strengthen the climate and environment rationale and activities in project proposals;
  • Provide technical inputs to the design, start-up and implementation of climate and environment projects supported through Supplementary funds (eg. concept notes, project design documents, preparation of TORs, data collection and analysis, review of consultant’s work

2. Knowledge Management:The Senior Technical Specialist enhances the development of viable and sustainable policy and project

Development at the country-level and supports regional thematic input through seasoned technical Knowledge sharing for his/her area of specialization. S/He will ensure country-level access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthen national technical capacity and establish new Knowledge and advisory partnerships. Accountabilities may include:

  • Coordinate the work of the Division to ensure that appropriate resources, capacity and knowledge are deployed to effectively cover the implementation of SECAP, in particular in coordination with the Division for Operational Policies and Results (OPR) SECAP team.
  • Coordinate ECG’s efforts to develop and implement the SECAP through adequate training and knowledge building on a continuous basis.
  • Identify and implement trainings for IFAD staff, consultants, project delivery teams and partner institutions as required.
  • Produce knowledge products to further develop IFAD’s technical tools and to communicate lessons learned and results from the portfolio of projects.
  • Propose enhancement of strategic documents and processes to support the preparation and implementation of the SECAP.
  • Participate in UN, MDB, regional, national and other safeguards related working groups.
  • Keep abreast and produce guidance materials to colleagues on changes to safeguards and other related policies and practices of the supplementary climate and environment funds.

3Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization: The Senior Technical Specialist establishes and maintains a network of peer contacts inside and outside IFADto keep up-to-date on activities at the country and regional levels, to support joint advocacy and for knowledge sharing to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable partner in development. Accountabilities may include:

  • Monitor, ensure, and report on IFAD’s compliance with safeguards policies of external funding sources to ensure continued access to supplementary financing. This applies specifically to the Adaptation Fund, the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund.
  • Represent IFAD in relevant regional, sub-regional and international events to showcase IFAD’s innovations and results.
  • Expand innovative partnerships with development partners to facilitate coherence with IFAD climate change and environment agenda.
  • Play an active role in resource mobilization efforts related to ECG themes.
  • Contribute to responding to member requests for information.

4. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting :The Senior Technical Specialist contributes to ensuring and capturing results from IFAD’s portfolio in order to enhance country level programmes in WCA and ESA and funding decisions based on accurate technical data. Accountabilities may include:

  • Monitor the quality of SECAP implementation projects, programmes and strategies.
  • Monitor and provide inputs to ensure the quality of SECAP studies being produced by projects during implementation.
  • Monitor and identify means to address poor implementation of SECAPs by project teams.
  • Provide support to reporting to IFAD’s Board on the quality of SECAP implementation ratings.
  • Monitor and ensure IFAD’s and Supplementary Funds’ public information, disclosure and grievance redress mechanisms are in place and requirements are met.
  • Monitor and provide input to IFAD policies and strategies to ensure accreditation requirements are maintained;
  • Participate in supervision missions to provide support to the implementation of environment and social management plans;
  • Assess the quality of project implementation and progress reports to ensure their quality and comprehensiveness;
  • Troubleshoot issues related to project progress and provide recommendations to management on measures to overcome barriers to efficient and quality implementation;
  • Perform any other related duties, as required by the supervisors or Division Directors.

5. Managerial Functions: The Senior Technical Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes: a) People Management through support to recruitment of technical specialists, coaching and mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervision and evaluation of performance of consultants and staff under her/his purview; b) Resource Management by providing strategic and technical advice for programme development, and Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring that :

(1) knowledge content related to targeting, gender equality and women’s empowerment and social inclusion is continuously updated and available through the intranet; that (2) Best practices are continuously identified, documented and made available to clients and peers through the inter-/intra-net and that (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available.

Key Performance Indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative technical expertise in the field of specialization. The impact of work by the incumbent directly affects country programmes and contributes to regional and corporate policy and strategy. The impact on the overall IFAD country and regional programmes is significant in projecting the Fund’s role/capacity as a reliable, viable partner in development. Work is intricate in that it requires consideration of a wide range of technical factors and related data. Senior Technical Specialists also select and provide oversight of external consultants, participate as experts in field missions and in the servicing of intergovernmental and expert group meetings of a technical nature.

Work at this level, is normally not reviewed for technical accuracy. Senior Technical Specialists thus exercise independence and initiative in assessing needs and advising governments when on field mission. Decisions are made on the research or analytical strategies to be followed in resolving problems of concern in the technical area. Established methods and procedures are adapted as necessary in order to achieve desired results.

Working Relationships

The work relationships of Senior Technical Specialists involve the provision of authoritative technical advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in technical project design and appraisal, supervision/implementation support and in the preparation of studies and reports. S/he serves as an expert in his/her field of specialization and works with full technical independence in the provision of technical expertise and methodological guidance at the country level, as well as regionally as required.  Contacts are with counterparts and senior officials within other United Nations organizations having related programmes and with officials of governments, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, research institutes and academia.

In servicing inter-governmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Senior Technical Specialist provides technical expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative capacity; s/he also may provide information regarding the organization’s policies, and act as the representative of the organization. Contacts are maintained to identify and evaluate emerging developments

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies :

 Level 1

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates
  • Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients (Level 1)
  • Problem solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem information and decision making ability   
  • Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively  
  • Team Work: Contributes effectively to the team   
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others  
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships  


  • Technical expertise at the country level in area of specialization.
  • Skills in the design and coordination of technical research and identification of solutions to evolving issues.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the peer level.


  • Level – Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in the field of specialization, e.g. Agriculture, Rural Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment, Economics, Social Sciences, etc.
  • Certifications :Degree must be an accredited institution listed on


  • Required English and French (4 – Excellent)
  • Desirable: Arabic or Spanish

Other Information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD’s Human Resources Policy, staff members are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development