Senior Project Officer


Organizational Setting

Through its Country Offices or Representations, FAO provides policy advices, technical assistances and investment supports to its member governments in ending hunger, addressing malnutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development. The activities of the FAO Country Offices include advocating and formulation of relevant strategies and policies; introduction and dissemination of suitable approaches and technologies; design and implementation of country-tailored field programmes and projects; and liaison with government departments, UN Country Team, donor agencies and other development partners on subject matters related to FAO mandate areas.

The FAO Representation in Malawi is developing and implementing field programmes and projects based on the FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF) in Malawi. The total number and portfolio of the programmes and projects largely increased in recent years, mainly focus on sector capacity development on nutrition sensitive food security through Farmer Field School (FFS) approach, but also cover the areas of sustainable land management, climate smart agriculture and resilience building. Management and further development of the country portfolio requires deployment of a Senior Programme Officer to lead relevant operation, coordination and facilitation affairs.

Reporting Lines

The Senior Project Officer reports to the FAO Representative in Malawi.

Technical Focus

Acts as the Head of the Operation and Coordination Unit of the Country Office, comprising Sections in Procurement, Operations, Project Coordination, and Monitoring and Evaluation; Provide leadership, guidance and operational support to the overall investment portfolio of the country office. Provide guidance and coordination in project implementation, coordination and reporting, focusing on investment projects in food and nutrition security, sustainable natural resources management and resilience building; supports to capacity development and agriculture extension through farmer field school among other approaches; supervision and guidance to sections responsible for procurement, project operation, coordination, monitoring – evaluation and information management; contribution to donor coordination and outreaching to stakeholders and partners. Coordinate and cooperate with relevant divisions, groups and officers at FAO Headquarters, the Regional Office for Africa and the Subregional Office for Southern Africa.

Key Results

Leadership and technical expertise for the planning, development and implementation of projects, related-products, and services.

Key Functions

  • Leads the development, implementation and evaluation on technical issues of assigned programmes/projects; directs review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  • Coordinates programmes and reviews the assessments of issues and trends for the implementation of programmes and projects and the preparation of impact evaluation or equivalent studies;
  • Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications;
  • Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations;
  • Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, makes presentations on assigned topics/activities;
  • Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties;
  • Provides advice to develop policies and strategies as well as national protocols and guide lines for projects with specific domains related to FAO’s work.

Specific Functions

  • Oversees and guides the development and execution of work plans for the different Sections under the Operations and Coordination Unit;
  • Liaises with program teams of donor agencies in the country to ensure that awareness on FAO’s technical comparative advantage is maintained;
  • Develops effective working relationships with relevant government departments and non-governmental partners, with a view to contributing to coherent implementation of the FAO investment portfolio in Malawi;
  • Leads FAO’s ongoing strategic efforts in strengthening the agricultural extension delivery services and acts as the lead specialist in the country office responsible for mainstreaming transformative capacity development and agriculture extension approaches like the Farmer Field School to enhance food and nutrition security, natural resources management and resilience building;
  • Coordinates the identification, development, mainstreaming into the country portfolio and implementation of FAO regional initiatives and programmes on crosscutting issues such as nutrition sensitive agriculture, sustainable development and climate change, drawing on relevant corporate approaches and frameworks in liaison with relevant units, Headquarters, Regional office for Africa, and Subregional Office for Southern Africa;
  • Advises and provides quality assurance on all cooperate communication related to the FAO portfolio in Malawi being disseminated to different audiences.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in political sciences, business administration, agricultural economics, development economics, rural sociology, food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture (including livestock, forestry and fisheries), or a related field;
  • Ten years of relevant experience in technical cooperation’s related activities, and analysis relating to food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes;
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


  • Results Focus
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering
  • Communication
  • Partnering and Advocating
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
  • Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in developing and implementing donor aid programmes and projects in developing countries;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in designing and implementing Farmer Field School programmes and projects in Southern African countries;
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in leading multidisciplinary teams, supervision, coordination and management;
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in managing relations and outreach with donors and other partners;
  • Capacity to develop vision, strategies, programmes and to mobilize resources for implementation.

Apply Online Here

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