Policy Officer

Dili, Timor-Leste 🇹🇱

Organizational Setting

The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner.                  

Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) is a FAO and the European Union partnership programme with the purpose of providing a policy assistance mechanism for improved food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture. FIRST is designed to strengthen the enabling environment for food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture in a number of selected priority countries. FIRST will be embedded within the FAO’s programme management and coordination structure. It will contribute directly to the food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture policy and governance related results envisioned under FAO Strategic Objectives 1 and 2.

The Policy Officer will work in close collaboration with the relevant FAO regional/Sub-regional offices, Government counterparts, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Council on Food Security, Food Sovereignty and Nutrition (KONSSANTIL), the EU Delegation in Dili, regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders in the country and/or region.

Reporting Lines

The Policy Officer (FIRST Programme) reports to the FAO Representative and receives guidance on technical issues from FIRST Manager (FAO HQ).

Technical Focus

Provides leadership, guidance and operational support for results-based policy assistance, governance, capacity development and facilitates policy dialogue around food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

Key Results

Development and implementation of coherent, integrated and effective policy assistance and governance work supporting member states at country level.

Key Functions

  • Provides technical and policy advice and/or support to the Government and relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation of their policies and programmes for improved food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture;
  • Advocates strategic partnerships, best practices, and policy dialogue in support of enhanced policies and governance for food, nutrition security and sustainable agriculture;
  • Plans, organizes and participates in capacity development plans and activities involving the provision of technical advice and assistance, and oversees the development of related materials;
  • Interacts with UN Regional and Country teams to improve cross-sectoral policies and strategies concerning food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture;
  • Analyses global and country specific requirements, organizes and leads an in-depth assessment of the policy and institutional framework of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture and identifies areas for improvements;
  • Organizes and participates  relevant meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences, advocates strategic partnerships, best practices, and increase policy dialogue and develop and negotiate effective collaboration;
  • Prepares reports to FAO, the European Union and the Government on progress achievement and issues related to FIRST implementation;
  • Designs and participates in resource mobilization activities.

Specific Functions

  • Organises, in close consultation with the Co-Chairs of the cross-sectoral Council on Food Security, Food Sovereignty and Nutrition (KONSSANTIL), an assessment of the current policy and institutional framework in support of achieving food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) in Timor-Leste, identifying strengths and areas for improvement;
  • Assists KONSSANTIL with the identification of priority interventions and resources required for the implementation of the Zero Hunger Challenge National Action Plan in Timor-Leste by line Ministries;
  • Provides technical advice to the Directorate of Food Security as Secretariat to KONSSANTIL;
  • Supports Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) with its coordination function among development partners, and assists in the identification of resources for priority actions in support of FNSSA (i.e. under Sustainable Development Goal 2), and including specific services to be provided through the FIRST programme;
  • Provides policy advice to relevant government Directorates in the development and implementation of policies that will accelerate and maximize their impact on FNSSA;
  • Conducts a critical review of the MAF planning and budgeting capacity and help establish an improved planning and budgeting system.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agricultural economics, development economics, food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture or related field,
  • Seven years of relevant experience in policy assistance, analysis, advice, and capacity development related to food and nutrition security and/or sustainable agriculture,
  • Working knowledge of English


  • 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 field positions is desirable,
  • Extent and relevance of experience in conducting and setting planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the analysis and formulation of nutrition and food security policies and programmes for sustainability
  • Extent and relevance of experience in working with inter-governmental bodies and multi-disciplinary teams,
  • Extent and relevance of experience in resource mobilization,
  • Knowledge of Tetun, Bahasa Indonesia, and/or Portuguese is desirable.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.

  • All candidates should possess computer/word processing skills.
  • Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your iRecruitment online profile (see “How to Apply”). We strongly recommend that you ensure that the information is accurate and complete including employment record, academic qualifications and language skills.
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognised in the IAU/UNESCO list.
  • Other similar positions at the same level may be filled from this vacancy notice and the endorsed candidates will be considered for the Employment Roster for a period of 2 years.
  • Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments.

Remuneration: A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, visit the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) website: http://icsc.un.org/rootindex.asp