Sustainable Development Experts

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
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 Setting

The FAO Office of Evaluation (OED) is starting the evaluation of FAO’s contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 2, i.e. end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2 evaluation). This strategic evaluation intends to provide the Organization with sound and relevant evidence to better strategize its work in support of SDG2 targets at global, regional and country levels.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall guidance of the OED Director, the consultants will report to the Senior Evaluation Officer.

Technical Focus

The overall objective of the SDG2 evaluation is to assess the extent to which FAO is adopting a coherent, transformative and collaborative approach in support of SDG2. This would include:

  • Assessing FAO’s past and present work on SDG2-related areas to find i) good practices that could be expanded; ii) areas for improvement; and iii) potential gaps that need to be filled.
  • Assessing FAO’s efforts to transform in the context of the SDGs and UN reforms.
  • Assessing FAO’s strategic positioning in support of SDG2.
  • Exploring potential areas for collaboration in order to forge inclusive and innovative partnerships in support of SDG2, including with private sector and civil society actors. 

The evaluation will rely on multiple sources for data collection and mixed-methods for analysis, validation and triangulation of evidence against the evaluation questions. This would include: a) review of documents produced by FAO and partners; b) synthesis of evidence from prior evaluations on SDG2-related areas; c) semi-structured interviews with FAO staff and external stakeholders; d) survey with FAO staff and external stakeholders; e) in-depth country case studies; and f) workshops for data analysis and validation.

Profiles sought

OED is seeking to recruit external experts to strengthen the evaluation team, with specialties in the following broad domains:

  • Social development and gender
  • Sustainable development and environment
  • Food and nutrition security
  • Agribusiness, food systems and food trade
  • Agricultural research, extension, innovation in agriculture

Tasks and responsibilities

The consultants selected will undertake the following tasks:

  • Review key documentation and scientific literature related to SDG2 and the Post-2015 Development Agenda;
  • Develop the methodological approach further, based on the evaluation Terms of Reference;
  • Develop evaluation tools, including questionnaires, check-lists and interview protocols;
  • Lead data collection and analysis in their respective areas of expertise;
  • Author parts of the report in their respective areas of expertise; and
  • Support the Evaluation Manager in finalizing the evaluation report.

Phase I: The five consultants are expected to start reviewing key documentation in September 2019. They will convene in Rome for 2.5 weeks between October and November 2019 to i) review the evaluation Terms of Reference; ii) develop the evaluation tools; iii) conduct interviews with FAO staff and staff from other Rome-Based Agencies; iv) analyse data; and v) identify preliminary findings and conclusions. Complementary data collection and analysis, as well as report writing, will take place between November 2019 and January 2020.

Phase II: Preparation and conduction of country case studies, to which the five consultants are expected to take part, is scheduled between March and May 2020. Complementary data collection, data analysis and report writing will take place between June and July 2020.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in one or several of the required specialties: 1) anthropology / sociology / gender in development; 2) sustainable agriculture / environment management; 3) food and nutrition security; 4) agribusiness / food systems / food trade; 5) agricultural research / extension / innovation in agriculture
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.
  • At least 10 years of relevant international experience including with non-UN organizations (e.g. private sector, government, civil society and/or academia).  in the area of sustainable development, in particular, but not limited to; research, evaluation, strategic thinking/planning and/or market research

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Substantial understanding of the 2030 Agenda and of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Significant experience in SDG2-related areas such as food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture, inclusive food systems and trade, agro-biodiversity, research and extension.
  • Proven ability for holistic thinking, capacity to balance specialized expertise with generalist skills, and an understanding of trade-offs and synergies between equity, sustainability and economic development.
  • Previous experience in conducting or participating in thematic and strategic evaluations.
  • Experience in integrating gender, human rights and environmental sustainability into their work. 
  • Effective communication and team working skills, i.e. active listening, ability to speak and write in a clear and concise manner, reliability in meeting commitments. 
  • Creativity and innovation.