Technical Advisor, Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: United States of America
Organization: International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 15 Feb 2021

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to crises-affected fleeing from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC is implementing high-impact, evidence-based, and cost-effective programs and uses its learning and experience to shape policy and practice. A key role in achieving these goals is played by the seven technical units (TUs) – Economic Recovery and Development (ERD), Education, Gender Equality, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, and Research Evaluation and Learning. The TU’s three central objectives are:

  1. Guide program design and implementation based on best available evidence and best practices
  2. Build technical capacity of staff to implement, measure and improve programs
  3. Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence

For the ERD TU these objectives translate internally into supporting dynamic and innovative economic and livelihoods program implementation in emergency and recovery settings and that aligns with the IRC’s standards for climate-adaptation, nutrition and gender-sensitivity and inclusiveness. The IRC’s ERD programs implemented in over 30 countries range from humanitarian aid delivery through cash and voucher transfers and food security promotion, to climate-smart agro-pastoral production and value chain development, and from enterprise development and employment promotion to resilience strengthening. The TU’s technical assistance to this wide variety of programs ensures quality and use of evidence-based best practices, promotes innovation, and drives data-based management. Externally, they translate into growing and strengthening the ERD TU’s role as a leader in developing and promoting market-based responses to emergencies, women’s economic empowerment and climate and context-adapted resilience building.

Job Overview/Summary: The Technical Advisor (TA) for Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods will take a lead role supporting a number of IRC countries on designing and implementing evidence-based economic emergency and recovery programs to improve food security and nutrition as well as agro-pastoral income and assets growth outcomes to high quality standards. IRC’s ERD programs are very diverse and may include but are not limited to cash and voucher assistance (CVA), training and agro-tech support to increase agro-pastoral productivity and climate adaptation, market linkage building and business skills training, value chain development, natural resource management and disaster risk reduction/early warning systems as well as M&E and research. The main focus of this position is the capacity building and technical assistance to climate-smart agriculture and agri-business programs, as well as local food system strengthening both for TU colleagues and country-programs. Meanwhile, the TA is equally expected to be able to support standard programming in cash and voucher assistance and enterprise development and employment (EDE) promotion. Moreover, we expect all TAs to be well versed in gender-sensitive programming and be able to support gender transformative approaches. To this end, the TA will work closely with TU team members from the rural livelihoods, cash transfer and EDE teams as well as staff from the health, protection and governance technical units. The successful candidate will work in a range of focal countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The country portfolio is subject to change if and when necessary.

The position requires a dynamic, self-motivating, driven and open-minded personality with experience in working remotely with a broad range of people from very different cultural backgrounds. The remote nature of this position with both the TU team and countries teams that are being supported means that TAs need to be excellent in pro-active communication and relationship building.



· Assist in the design, quality implementation and M&E of economic emergency and recovery programs across all of ERD TU’s OEF outcomes to on average 6-8 countries and in accordance with our Technical Assistance model, with a particular focus on rural livelihoods, agriculture and food systems

· Provide expert advice to and build capacity of TU colleagues and country staff on emergency food security response, climate-smart agro-pastoral and rural livelihoods programming, and food system strengthening, with a strong component of promoting gender equality, local partnership and inclusion

· Responsibilities include:

· regular communication with country staff through phone and email;

· remote support and regular field visits to monitor quality of programs, deliver technical support and trainings to field staff, provide resources, and recommend ways to strengthen programs as well as document and share learning

· support recruitment of key field positions (management/coordination level and consultants) assist with developing job descriptions, conduct technical interviews and provide feedback.


· Research, adapt and write evidence-based best practice guides, manuals and other technical and training resources based on needs and strategic use to improve and innovate agriculture and rural livelihoods programs with a particular focus on remote delivery through the use of learning technology;

· Collaborate with other technical units to promote integrated programming, avoid redundancy and integrate gender equality, inclusion, context adaptability, client responsiveness, partnership and ICT

· Identify and lead growth and improvement opportunities for IRC’s economic development program using agricultural program and research/evidence expertise

· Participate in ERD TU strategic planning, special projects, meetings, communications material development, intra-net content development.


· support countries and TU in pursuing emergency and long-term business development opportunities for agriculture and rural livelihoods, including

· donor and partner mapping as well as relationship building with a focus on local partners and private sector partnerships

· program design and narrative review for standard proposals

· program design, and technical proposal development lead of large RFAs, RFPs, IQCs

· M&E framework review and/or development promoting mobile monitoring, standard indicator use and data-use for management

· contribute grow the TU’s business especially in areas of long-term resilience building and value chain development, local, regional and international private and research partnerships to ensure country’s strategic pre-positioning, innovation, program growth and IRC’s thought leadership;


· Engage in priority networks, working groups, panels and external fora on agriculture and rural livelihoods issues

· Regularly provide briefings on agriculture and rural livelihoods programs, emerging issues and political developments to a range of audiences, including IRC, donors, the media, UN agencies, inter-agency networks, and new recruits.

· Respond to requests for information about ERD programs from IRC colleagues from various departments and field programs;

The TA will undertake other special projects and tasks as needed within the realm of his/her expertise and within the TU’s function.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor for Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods

Other Internal and/or external contacts: Close coordinate and collaborate with members from the ERD TU team and other TUs


Education: Master’s degree in farm business management, agriculture or livestock, food security and systems, environmental science or related disciplines. A bachelor’s degree with 4 or more years of field and research experience may substitute

Work Experience:

· Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in international emergency and development field posts, related private sector entities and/or research entities

· Demonstrated success in managing large evidenced-based economic emergency and development programs, including staff and budget management, preferably in conflict or disaster affected environments

· Proven technical expertise in one or more of the following areas: (i) agro- pastoral and rural development, (ii) livestock production and management, (iii) food security & systems iv) agro-industry or post-harvest activities, (v) agro-pastoral business development, (vi) Research (vii) agri-technologies and innovations, (viii) Rural and Agricultural Finance;

· Demonstrated commitment to a Do No Harm approach, gender quality and inclusion

· Demonstrated success in large business development for economic programs and familiarity with key donors and their funding streams

· Experience in research and private sector partnership is an asset

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Language: Demonstrated excellence in writing and editing in English and working proficiency in French highly desirable.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, as appropriate to accommodate for different time zones
  • Ability to travel 30% – 40% of the time to country programs, including countries of higher levels of insecurity
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to listen to, interact with, and communicate clearly with people from diverse nationalities and backgrounds, as well as with senior level internal and external stakeholders; with a high degree of professionalism and pro-activity
  • Solid organizational skills: the ability to work independently and productively in a fast-paced environment and under remote team and management structures
  • Proficiency with windows-based software, including internet, Microsoft Office Suite, knowledge management tools, remote training and engagement tools, and familiarity with mobile monitoring tools

Please apply here for this position.

Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances

Equal Opportunity Employer: IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law

How to apply:

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