Lead Regional Technical Lead (Environment and Climate)

International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD)

India 🇮🇳

ID: 9099

Location: India

Date of issue: 18/01/2023

Close Date: 07/02/2023

Organizational Unit: Envir. Climate Gender & Incl.

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Assignment Duration: 2 Years

Grade: P-5

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 local, national and international levels 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 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 help 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); (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

ECG is composed of two clusters: (i) Environment and Climate Change Cluster; (ii) and the Social Inclusion Cluster. ECG takes the lead in integrating cross-cutting themes of environment and climate, nutrition, gender, youth, and indigenous peoples into IFAD’s portfolio, with the aim of strengthening the quality and impact of IFAD’s operations. ECG also contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD-funded 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. Addressing environmental, biodiversity and climate change issues are inseparable from IFAD’s mission to overcome poverty.

Position specific: The Regional Technical Lead 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.

Job Role

The Lead Technical Specialist, technically supports country/regional programmes as well as the corporate agenda by providing state-of-the-art technical advice throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational) on issues related to Rural Institutions. Within her/his areas of responsibility, the Lead Technical Specialist, exercises a high degree of independence in providing reliable programme delivery. The incumbent at this level performs the full complexity range of work independently, including analysis and approval of complex and/or precedent-setting cases, with the aim of ensuring cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support.

Position specifics: The Regional Technical Lead is a leading professional in her/his field. S/He provides authoritative technical leadership for the development of country/regional programs, as well as the corporate agenda, by providing state-of-the-art technical advice and guidance throughout the programming and project cycle (strategic and operational) notably on mainstreaming environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion objectives, including improved project design and implementation, mobilization of complementary environment and climate financing, and corporate and regional policy, strategy, and programme development. The Regional Technical Lead manages a large team of technical specialists and consultants advancing work at regional, country and project levels in the fields of environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion (including gender equality and women’s empowerment, youth, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and nutrition).

S/he works closely with the respective front office teams of ECG and the Regional Division, Country Directors (CD), Heads of Multi-Country Office (MCO), NOCs, ECG technical specialists, PMI technical specialists, and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical guidance, including relative to the Social, Environmental and Climate Assessment Procedures (SECAP), and programme development support. 

Key Functions and Results

1. POLICY AND STRATEGY ADVICE AND DEVELOPMENT: The Lead Technical Specialist, provides technically authoritative advice informed by empirical evidence to improve the capacity of IFAD to position itself as an influential global player in agricultural and rural development. S/he ensures that IFAD is regarded as a trusted and valued partner of national governments and farmers’ organizations in policy dialogues and fora. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Providing IFAD staff and partners with up-to-date, evidence-based advice on relevant investment and policy interventions related to rural institution development strengthening and empowerment to promote inclusive and sustainable food system transformation, value chain development, collaboration with the private sector, and rural market creation and development, among others;

(b) Providing evidence-informed recommendations to IFAD management on IFAD’s rural development agenda using a wide range of data sources and analytical tools;

(c) Providing substantive support to IFAD senior management participation in high-level fora with policy implications for Rural Institutions and rural transformation, including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, and preparing documents and presentations;

(d) Leading the preparation of technical products (e.g. complex papers, analysis, substantive sections of reports and studies) to advance IFAD’s voice in the global debate on rural transformation, rural institution empowerment, and strengthening of their role in promoting inclusive and sustainable food system transformation, greater and better collaboration with the private sector, and rural market creation and development, among others, in close collaboration within PMD and other SKD divisions.

2. KNOWLEDGE ADVISORY LEADERSHIP: The Lead Technical Specialist, leads and contributes to the development of viable and sustainable policies, and supports regional and global thematic input through authoritative technical knowledge sharing for her/his area of specialization (Rural Institutions). S/he ensures access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthens technical capacity, and establishes new knowledge and advisory partnerships on how rural institutions should be leveraged, empowered and strengthened to promote change in the rural economies and food systems in which they operate, as well as strengthens partnerships with the private sector. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Leading processes related to intelligence gathering and analysis of debates relevant to Rural Institutions, inclusive and sustainable rural transformation in the global debate, and facilitating knowledge sharing and experiences in this area within SKD, IFAD, and other stakeholders in the global arena;

(b) Coordinating relevant knowledge development and dissemination with institutions outside IFAD, within the region concerned, and national institutions, disseminating knowledge and lessons learned with external partners and stakeholders through publication of Occasional Papers, journal articles, seminars and workshops, through electronic media, and the development of new knowledge products and operational tools that are informed by learning from the field;

(c) Participating in IFAD-wide thematic discussions and developing appropriate technical and operational approaches of relevance to country/divisional strategies and programmes;

(d) Planning and leading learning events to strengthen IFAD’s knowledge and capacity to engage in global debates with policy implications for rural transformation.

3. PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: The Lead Technical Specialist, develops and maintains a network of strategic partnerships to help advance IFAD’s mandate and messages around inclusive and sustainable rural transformation in the global debate. S/he develops peer contacts inside and outside IFAD to develop new products and services, keep up-to-date on activities at country and regional levels, support joint advocacy, and share knowledge to enhance the Fund’s profile as a highly competent and reliable partner in development. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to: 

(a) Building partnerships with farmers’ and producers’ organizations, centers of excellence, complementary technical organizations, and specialized departments of other development agencies as strategic partner;

(b) Promoting greater partnerships between farmers’ and producers’ organizations, and private sector and other value chain actors, including with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in rural systems;

(c) Strengthening IFAD’s representation and communication in policy processes (including representing IFAD at international, regional, and inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences);

(d) Generating new resources for IFAD through partnerships and outreach activities;

(e) Identifying major opportunities, as well as serving as focal point, for strategic collaboration with centers of excellence, complementary technical organizations, private sector, MSMEs, and specialized departments of other development agencies as strategic partners;

(f) Leading wider IFAD and Rome-based discussions on the development of sustainable and inclusive approaches to rural transformation as requested.

4. MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING: The Lead Technical Specialist, supports the Director, PMI in monitoring and corporate reporting activities to enhance knowledge creation, country-level programmes, and funding decisions. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Supporting the Director and Cluster technical leads in setting up systems to monitor the use of research output and knowledge products; and

(b) Advising on all aspects of the planning and reporting associated with research and impact assessments as well as donor reporting in the case of supplementary funding.

5. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Lead Technical Specialist, is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. S/he acts as global anchor in charge of the overall oversight of rural institutions expertise in IFAD. Accountabilities may include, but are not limited to:

(a) Contributing to the supervision of key divisional programme activities, including key missions and other initiatives, leading and directing a team of staff, overseeing research and impact assessment activities, planning and allocating work assignments, coaching, mentoring and evaluating staff, and participating in recruitment, selection and training of new staff and in the development of training programmes;

(b) Contributing to the personnel and financial management of the work unit, including the development and implementation of work plans and budgets.

Position specifics: 

6. MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE, ENVIRONMENT, BIODIVERSITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION IN COUNTRY PROGRAMMES: The Regional Technical Lead works closely with the Regional and Country Teams to mainstream environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion into country programmes. S/he undertakes analysis of related 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/MCOs, 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, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion components co-financed by supplementary funds (i.e. Adaptation Fund, Global Environment Fund, Green Climate Fund). 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 Project 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 Project 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. 

7. POLICY ENGAGEMENT, PARTNERSHIPS, AND RESOURCE MOBILIZATION. The Regional Technical Lead develops and maintains a network of peer contacts and partners outside IFAD to keep abreast of recent developments and trends in environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion 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/HeadsMCOs and the Lead Regional Economist, s/he supports the development of relevant technical policies and strategies related to environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion linked to the country programs in the region. S/he represents IFAD in technical policy fora of relevance to the region and develops and maintains strategic technical partnerships with relevant organizations, development partners (e.g. Rome-based Agencies), centers 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. 

8. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: The Regional Technical Lead 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 Regional Technical Leads 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. 

9. CORPORATE ACTIVITIES: Working in close collaboration with ECG front office team, Regional Division, in-house departments and divisions, and technical specialists, the Regional Technical Lead 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, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion and technical management briefs as required. 

10. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Regional Technical Lead is responsible for planning and managing the priorities and activities of a large team of technical specialists and consultants advancing work at regional, country and project levels in the fields of environment, climate, biodiversity and social inclusion. This includes, among others, a lead coordination role and participation in the division’s management team with other Cluster and Regional Leads, and working closely with the ECG Division Director and the Regional Director, to plan and oversee the execution of budgets, including of agency fees mobilized from financing sources, ensuring their effective use 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 senior and/or more junior staff and consultants, 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 staff and consultants under her/his management, and ensures capacity building as needed.

Key Performance Indicators

Assignments require the provision of authoritative professional expertise and technical leadership at global, regional and national levels on rural institutions issues. Lead Global Technical Specialists define, propose, revise and/or develop programmes or policies for the Fund, as well as represent the position of IFAD in national, regional and 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 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.

Position specific: Position specific: Assignments require the provision of authoritative professional expertise and technical leadership in Environment, Climate, Biodiversity and Social Inclusion issues at the global, regional and national levels. 

Working Relationships

The work relationships of Lead Technical Specialists involves the provision of authoritative 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, Regional Directors/CDs/Heads MCO, national governments, development partners and other country programme staff in the technical area of specialization.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 2:

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


  • Level – Advanced university degree from an accredited institution listed on https://www.whed.net/home.php in a technically relevant area*
  • Areas – Agriculture, Rural Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment, Climate Change, Economics etc.

(*) Note:  For internal candidates, this requirement will be assessed in line with the provisions set forth in IFAD’s Human Resources Implementing Procedures.


  • At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of specialization, particularly in the formulation of technical guidance and input to development programmes
  • Three (3) years in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope.
  • Position-specific experience: In-depth technical expertise, demonstrated by substantive work experience, and solid understanding of environment, natural resource management, climate change and social inclusion issues. Proven experience in leading complex project design and implementation.  Experience in policy engagement and negotiation at the national and global level on environment, natural resource management and rural development is an asset. Experience in environmental impact assessments, social safeguards and/or climate vulnerability assessments is an advantage. Access to a network of technical and professional resources and expertise which can be brought to bear to improve portfolio programming is desirable. Project management and resource mobilization experience relevant to the Adaptation Fund, Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund or similar Trust Fund is an asset.


  • Required English (4 – Excellent) 
  • Desirable: French, Spanish, or Arabic (3 – Good) 


  • Knowledge strategy & management: Extensive expertise in knowledge management & dissemination strategies
  • Evidence-based policy: Know-how in the formulation of concrete and actionable policy recommendations based on hard evidence (going beyond simple data interpretation)
  • Advocacy: Know-how in advocacy, to maintain and promote constructive dialogue around IFADÂżs vision to external actors
  • IFAD governance & mandate: In depth knowledge of IFAD`s governance structure, mandate, strategic priorities and technical work
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD’s activities, particularly vis-Ă -vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies
  • Stakeholder management: Strong alignment capabilities and consultation skills, building on effective interactions and relationships with different stakeholders (e.g. for the co-creation of communication material with member states) and ability to build and maintain a strong network (e.g. with journalists, media outlets, etc.)
  • Strategy implementation: Ability to lead and manage the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies for IFAD / for respective divisions
  • Resources management: Know-how in the management of human, financial and material management of IFAD resources
  • Adaptability: Adaptability and flexibility when facing new or unexpected situations, and to specific constraints and circumstances and managing complex processes
  • Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
  • Leadership: Group thought leader, sought out by others and providing mentorship and effective guidance to others; Ability to build trust, inside and outside the organization by acting as a role model for IFAD’s core values and competencies, and to provide a clear sense of direction, mentorship and effective guidance to the team, strategizing the IFAD’s goals, giving the vision, empowering the team and ensuring a positive environment for all.
  • Synthesis: Outstanding ability to synthesize and simplify complex technical information for a variety of (non-technical) audiences
  • Verbal communication: Clear, succinct and convincing verbal communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language
  • Written communication: Clear, succinct and convincing written communication in the language needed for specific role; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language (e.g. for drafting of position papers, briefings, etc.)
  • Programme/Project development, management: Know-how in Programme/Project development, implementation, management
  • Social & Environmental Safeguards: Know-how in Social & Environmental complianc as specified in the IFAD’s Social, Environmental and Climate Assessment Procedures (SECAP)
  • Cross-cutting themes – Environment & climate change: Expertise specific to the environment and climate change cross-cutting theme (e.g. climate and environmental policy, biodiversity, agroecology)

Other Information

IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD’s Human Resources Policy, the President 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.

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Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in @ifad.org.

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.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development