Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist (East and Southern Africa Region)

International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD)
Nairobi, Kenya
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Organizational context

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 to 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 into IFAD's portfolio, to strengthen the quality of IFAD’s operations and achieve improved impacts in these areas. It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these crosscutting themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities. In addition, ECG provides guidance and support to ensure the inclusion of marginalized groups, particularly women, indigenous peoples and rural youth, into IFAD operations.

Post's organizational accountability

The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist is a leading professional in her/his field. S/He technically supports country/regional programs, as well as the corporate agenda, by providing state-of-the-art technical guidance and support throughout the programming and project cycle (strategic and operational) on mainstreaming environment and climate objectives, including improved project design and implementation, mobilization of complementary environment and climate financing, and corporate and regional policy, strategy, and programme development. The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist manages Environment and Climate Officers (NOCs) and consultants for advancing the environment and climate mainstreaming agenda at regional, country and project levels. The accountabilities and key results expected include:

  • Mainstreaming Climate and Environment in Country Programmes
  • Policy Engagement, Partnerships, and Resource Mobilization for Climate and Environment
  • Knowledge Management
  • Corporate Activities
  • Managerial Functions

The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the ECG Division Director, with dual reporting to the Regional Division Director to which s/he is mapped. S/he works closely with the respective front office teams of ECG and the Regional Division, Country Directors (CD), Country Programme Managers (CPM), NOCs, ECG technical specialists, PMI technical specialists, and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical guidance Social, Environmental and Climate Assessment Procedures (SECAP), and programme development support. The Key Results Expected/Major Functional Activities are generic and representational, the majority of which will be performed by the Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist.

Key results expected / Major functional activities


The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist works closely with the Regional and Country Teams to mainstream environment and climate into country programmes. S/he undertakes analysis of environment and climate challenges, promotes the integration of global best-practices and ensures consistent application of IFAD’s SECAP procedures in Results-based Country Strategic Opportunities Programs (COSOPs), Country Strategy Notes (CSNs), project designs and supervision/implementation support, including participation in project teams and missions. Working closely with the CD/CPMs, s/he engages with government counterparts to identify investment projects and programmes for blending environment and climate co-financing that allow countries, IFAD and development partners to meet their respective global commitments related climate and environment. S/he leads the design of environment and climate components co-financed by supplementary funds (i.e. GEF, GCF). For strategic reasons and/or if, based on a planning exercise undertaken jointly between PMD and SKD, particular need arises, s/he may serve as Technical Lead for selected project designs to ensure the overall technical quality of the project design across all related technical areas, including drafting terms of reference for technical team members, ensuring the selection and over-sight of qualified technical consultants, facilitating technical inputs from other IFAD staff and/or others (e.g. centers of excellence, research institutions), ensuring the technical quality of the project design report, leading select missions and ensuring that comments provided through corporate quality enhancement and assurance processes are adequately addressed. S/he participates in and/or leads supervision/implementation support/mid-term review missions, particularly for projects for which s/he served as Technical Lead during design or for projects with specific problems related to environment and climate, specifically ensuring the systematic implementation of recommendations from Environment and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) and/or Environment Social Management Frameworks (ESMFs). S/he will also provide technical inputs to completion reporting, while organizing and/or contributing to training and/or capacity building related to environment and climate.


The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist develops and maintains a network of peer contacts and partners outside IFAD to keep abreast of recent developments and trends in environment/climate and facilitates brokering of partnerships to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable development partner in the region to which they are mapped. Specifically, working closely with the CDs/CPMs and the Lead Regional Economist, s/he supports the development of relevant technical policies and strategies related to environment/climate linked to the country programs in the region. S/he represents IFAD in technical policy fora related to environment/climate and of relevance to the region and develops and maintains strategic technical partnerships with relevant organizations, development partners (e.g. Rome-based Agencies), centres of excellence, research institutions, private sector, and thematic platforms. S/he engages in upstream negotiations for the mobilization of environment and climate financing from UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD financial mechanisms (GEF, LDCF, SCCF, GCF, AF) and other sources, and works with ECG and OPR colleagues to report on the use of those finances.


The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist contributes to the generation and dissemination of specialized knowledge, good practices and innovations generated through loans and grants in the region. S/he engages with the Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialists from the other regions to exchange knowledge and experience, synthesize best practice, and develop common strategies and policy guidance that contribute to corporate processes. To promote cross fertilization between regions under south-south and triangular cooperation, and based on business needs, s/he may provide technical support to other regions in areas of specific expertise to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing. S/he also contributes to identify qualified technical consultants to be included in a corporate roster and liaises closely with the Lead Portfolio Advisor, Lead Regional Economist, CDs/Heads of the Hubs and/or South-South Triangular Cooperation and Knowledge Centers and other staff to substantially contribute to relevant knowledge management initiatives and products.


Working in close collaboration with ECG front office team, Regional Division, in-house departments and divisions, and technical specialists, the Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist contributes to corporate initiatives as required. In particular, s/he supports a common corporate strategic approach on resource mobilization from environmental and climate financing sources, and leads on select thematic issues of corporate priority related to environment and climate. S/he also provides substantive inputs to corporate events, global meetings on environment and climate, and technical management briefs as required.


The Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes, among others, working closely with the ECG Division Director and the Regional Director, to ensure agency fees mobilized from environment/climate financing sources (egg. ASAP, GEF) are effectively used to support country programme delivery. It also involves people management through the identification of capacity needs, support to recruitment and deployment of technical specialists for sub-regional hubs, ICOs, and PMUs where necessary, and provide technical leadership/capacity development, coaching and mentoring of new and/or more junior staff, supervision and evaluation of performance of professionals and general service staff under his/her purview. S/he coordinates the participation of and provides regular over-sight of the Environment and Climate Officers (NOCs) and consultants, and ensures capacity building as needed.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative professional expertise and technical leadership in Environment, Climate and issues at the global, regional and national levels. Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialists define, propose, revise and/or develop programmes or policies for the Fund and represent the position of IFAD in national, regional as well as global fora and conferences. Innovation is required in the adaptation and development of approaches and methods to evolving technical and programmatic contexts.

Work at this level is considered as substantially complex and of critical concern to the Fund. In particular, analytical and advisory work requires in-depth identification and consideration of a full range of factors relevant to the examination and discussion of programme problems and policies in the solution of methodological problems or in the formulation of policy proposals and project recommendations.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist involves the provision of authoritative specialized technical advice for policy, programme and strategy development, resource mobilization, and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in mission planning, technical project appraisal or the preparation of studies and reports. S/He typically serves as the Fund’s senior technical advisor in the field of specialization and exercises wide professional latitude in contacts in her/his field(s), providing technical leadership and methodological guidance to Management, CDs/CPMs, national governments representations, development partners and other country programme staff in the technical area of specialization.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively


  • Authoritative technical expertise and advice at all levels in area of specialization.
  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical proposals and identification of innovative solutions to evolving issues.
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the governmental and peer levels as well as to inspire more junior specialists and programme staff in the development of viable programme activities.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in the field of specialization, e.g. Agriculture, Rural Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment, Economics etc.


  • At least 10 years progressively responsible experience in the field of specialization, particularly in the formulation of technical guidance and input to development programmes; of which at least 3 of the 10 years of experience should be at the international level. Experience in international policy frameworks related to global issues is an asset.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and good working knowledge of French. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic or Spanish) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within 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.

IFAD is committed to achieving diversity and is seeking a balanced workforce from its Member States. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.