GEF Project Design Specialists

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


Job Posting: 14/Mar/2023
Closure Date: 05/Apr/2023, 12:59:00 AM
Organizational Unit: OCBDD
Job Type: Non-staff opportunities
Type of Requisition: Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level: N/A
Primary Location: Various Locations-Various Locations
Duration: Up to 11 months
Post Number: N/A
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

FAO is a lead implementing partner agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the financial mechanism for five multilateral environment agreements:  the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. In July 2022, the GEF entered its 8th 4-year cycle of programming (GEF-8), known as GEF-8. 
FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, bringing unique technical knowledge, information and capacity to bear on one of the world’s great challenges: feeding the world’s people while conserving the environment. Unsustainable agrifood systems are a key driver of environmental degradation; sustainable agrifood systems are the solution.  This simple dichotomy explains why countries are increasingly choosing FAO as the GEF Agency of choice to tackle these pressing issues at the nexus between agrifood systems and the environment. 

The GEF-8 Programming Directions include five focal areas (Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Degradation, International Waters and Chemicals and Waste). The GEF-8 programme also includes 11 new integrated programs, including food systems, ecosystem restoration, green and blue islands and clean and healthy oceans. The GEF manages three Trust Funds: the GEF Trust Fund, the Least Development Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).  FAO provides high quality support to countries to access resources from these three Trust Funds, assisting countries with project identification, development and implementation.

FAO has been an implementing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2006. The FAO-GEF portfolio – currently comprised of over 250 projects worth over USD 1.2 billion in GEF grant investments and more than USD 7 billion in cofinancing. FAO’s GEF portfolio encompasses the range of investment priorities across all three GEF-managed Trust Funds and all five of GEF’s focal areas.  
The Office of Climate and Biodiversity (OCB) hosts the FAO-GEF Coordination Unit (OCB-GEF), which serves as the liaison unit in FAO with the GEF.  OCB-GEF works closely with colleagues from across FAO’s technical divisions and regional and sub-regional offices in a FAO-GEF community to support countries. GEF project design specialists successfully interviewed, approved, and assigned to this roster will work with this FAO-GEF community worldwide to assist countries. 

FAO International Consultants and Call purpose

The purpose of this call is to provide the FAO-GEF community with a list of qualified candidates to support and/or lead GEF project formulation, monitoring and evaluation and/or planning processes. The assignment may be home based with required travel for field missions.

Reporting Lines

The GEF Project Design Specialist will work under the overall technical supervision of the Senior GEF Coordinator of OCB-GEF and the direct supervision of a GEF Regional Lead or the lead GEF Technical Officer, in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, and in close collaboration with the national GEF Executing Agency.

Technical Focus 

Identification, design, implementation support and monitoring of FAO-GEF projects and programmes and those of other
environmental financing mechanisms. It includes strategic and policy work, with a focus on the nexus between global
environmental challenges and sustainable agriculture, including climate change and resilience, land, water, fisheries,
forestry, biological diversity and other environmental services.

Specific functions

•    Provide technical expertise or advice and project design guidance to project proponents in the identification, development
and implementation of natural resource/environmental project proposals that address country priorities and further FAO and GEF strategic objectives, programme priorities and operational policies and procedures.
•    Participate in, and/or leads, multidisciplinary teams to assist governments and Decentralized Offices in the identification
and formulation of natural resource and environmental management projects for financing by the GEF Trust Fund, Least
Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) or other environmental funds.
•    Ensure quality control of the GEF project concepts and full project proposals in line with GEF eligibility criteria and
alignment with GEF-8 Programming Directions.
•    Coordinate and as required take a lead role in preparing project proposals.
•    Participate in, and/or leads, the design and delivery of capacity development activities to FAO technical staff in
headquarters and Decentralized Offices on the strategies, priorities and procedures, trends and issues related to GEF,
adaptation and other environmental funds.
•    Contribute to and/or advise on strategic and programmatic concepts for consideration under GEF-8
•    Contribute to, and/or advise on FAO GEF implementation support including, conducting mid-term reviews of projects.
•    As required, supports the management of the FAO-GEF portfolio, monitors and supervises implementation of assigned
projects, and ensures quality control at all stages of the FAO and GEF project cycles
•    Perform other related duties as required


Minimum Requirements

•    University degree in natural resources management, environment, or natural resource economics, or in a field directly related to one or more of the following areas: biodiversity, climate change, energy, sustainable land, forest or water management.
–    For Consultants/PSA level C: one to five years of relevant experience in one of the technical areas listed above
–    For Consultants/PSA level B: at least five years of relevant experience in one of the technical areas listed above
–    For Consultants/PSA level A: at least twelve of relevant experience in one of the technical areas listed above
–    For PSA level A: at least 15 years of relevant experience in one of the technical areas listed above
•    Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish). For PSA, working knowledge of English.

FAO Core Competencies

•    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 preparation of projects and programmatic approaches (particularly GEF projects
and programmes) and in results-based monitoring and supervision of multidisciplinary projects
•    Extent and relevance of experience with and knowledge of the procedures of GEF and other environmental funds
•    Extent and relevance of experience in one or more of the GEF focal thematic areas (biodiversity, climate change,
international waters, land degradation, sustainable forest management, sound chemicals management/persistent organic
pollutants) that in turn is relevant to FAO’s priorities and comparative advantages
•    Demonstrated analytical and conceptual skills with proven ability to write project documents and papers and ability to
analyse and integrate diverse information from various sources
•    Extent and relevance of experience in providing technical expertise or advice to project proponents at national, subregional
and regional levels with regard to project development, results-based management, monitoring and evaluation
planning, and monitoring for project impact
•    Demonstrated capacity to write technical reports in English

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


  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
•  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact:






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development