Lead Planning and Organizational Development Specialist – Rome, Italy

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  • Contract
  • Rome

IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development

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 the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Office of Planning, Organizational Development and  Budgeting (POB), as a part of Corporate Services Support Group (CSSG), aims to strengthen IFAD’s planning, organizational development and budgeting function and is responsible for ensuring a strong link between planning, change and organizational development, resource allocation, results monitoring and strategy. Within the context of the IFAD Strategic Framework, POB aligns medium-term priorities to the allocation of financial and human resources. POB is responsible for implementing and tracking results-based planning, organizational development and budgeting through this process. By leading these functions, POB helps IFAD think and act strategically to enhance performance, impact and value for money. POB works closely with different teams across IFAD on initiatives focused on strengthening the organizational culture, advancing change management, and fostering a positive work environment to support IFAD’s efforts to maximize its institutional agility, resilience and adaptability.


The key processes the division manages are:

  1. Strategically focused budget consultations, and timely communication of budget envelopes;
  2. Results-based planning and budgeting and enhanced systems to enable cost tracking at the activity and output levels;
  3. Consolidation of corporate planning functions through facilitation of a strategic prioritization process with the Executive Management Committee;
  4. Flexibility for budget holders to manage staff and non-staff budgets;
  5. Management of organizational development, positions and workforce planning
  6. Strategic advice on efficient result based budgeting and support to divisions in the decentralized context

The Lead Planning and Organizational Development Specialist works under the supervision of the Division Director.

Job Role

The incumbent supports the creation of synergies, increased collaboration, and the enhancement of existing functional responsibilities relating to change delivery and organisational planning and development. Within the incumbent’s areas of responsibility, the Lead Planning and Organizational Development Specialist provides a holistic approach to medium term and annual planning that incorporates good organisational development practices which cascades from the organisation to departments and division. The incumbent at this level performs the full complexity range of work, including the analysis and approval of complex and/or precedent setting cases with the aim to ensure cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of planning and organisational development support. 

Key Functions and Results

1.STRATEGIC ADVICE AND DEVELOPMENT: The incumbent provides expertise and support in the development and implementation of short, medium and long-term organizational strategies facilitating cross-departmental collaboration to identify outcomes and outputs that align with IFAD’s priorities and the achievement of its rural development mandate. Accountabilities may include but are not limited to: (a) Providing IFAD management with up-to-date and evidence-based advice on the development and interpretation of relevant policy, institutional and technical matters; (b) Providing evidence-informed recommendations to IFAD management on developing, monitoring and implementing comprehensive work plans, in alignment with IFAD” strategic objectives, commitments and priorities, incorporating both regular and supplementary funded programmes into a single IFAD planning framework; (c) Designing and developing a 3 year organisational plan of deliverables which shall cascade from organizational to departmental to divisional and individual; (d) Taking a lead role to ensure that outcomes and outputs are seamlessly integrated with budget preparation, resource allocation and subsequent monitoring processes through close collaboration with budget officers in POB; (e) Designing and developing key performance indicators that will enable evaluation of outputs and outcomes, results and impact; (f) Ensuring achieved organisational outcomes are linked to outputs which can be costed; 

2. KNOWLEDGE ADVISORY LEADERSHIP: The incumbent enhances the development of viable and sustainable strategic policies and supports a solid and harmonised organisational planning environment through authoritative technical knowledge sharing. The incumbent will ensure access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthen technical capacity and establish new knowledge and advisory partnerships; 

3. PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: The incumbent develops and maintains a network of strategic partnerships to support a harmonised and benchmarked integration of IFAD’s corporate planning systems. Accountabilities may include, but not limited to: (a) Building partnerships with centers of excellence, complementary technical organizations and specialized departments of other development agencies as strategic partner; (b) Strengthening IFAD’s representation and communication in policy processes (including representing IFAD at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences); (c) Leading wider IFAD and Rome-based discussions on the development of sustainable and inclusive approaches to organisational planning as requested; 

4. MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING: The incumbent supports the Director in monitoring and corporate reporting activities. This includes coordinating and monitoring the annual organisational, departmental and divisional planning and reporting on their progress, including providing recommendations to management on potential mitigating actions to address perceived risks;

5. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The incumbent is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. Accountabilities may include but are not limited to: (a) Contributing to the supervision of key divisional corporate activities, overseeing relevant monitoring and evaluation 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 programs; (b) Contributing to the personnel and financial management of the work unit, including the development and implementation of work plans and budgets;

6. CORPORATE ACTIVITIES: The Lead Planning and Organisational Development Specialist provides targeted advice for the development of corporate initiatives/instruments, policies, procedures, including leading corporate task forces as required, particularly relating to their area of technical expertise, including contributing to shaping organisational planning policies, IFAD position papers and technical working groups as required.

Key Performance Indicators

Work at this level is considered as 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 Funds organisational framework, strategic vision and policies and in the solution of methodological problems or in the formulation of policy proposals and recommendations. As a result, the specific KPIs will be determined at the start of each year. 

Working Relationships

The work relationships of the Lead Planning and Organizational Development Specialist involves the provision of authoritative technical advice on policy, strategic planning and strategy development. The incumbent typically serves as the Fund’s senior technical Specialist in the field of the specialization and exercises wide professional latitude in contacts in their field(s), providing technical leadership and methodological guidance to management and other relevant staff in the technical area of their area of expertise

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies – Level 2

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


Level – Advanced* university degree from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area.

Areas – Organizational development business administration (MBA), human resources management, finance, results-based planning and budget and related fields, etc

Degree must be an accredited institution listed on https://www.whed.net/home.php

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

Certifications: certifications in organizational development, organizational behavior, change management and related fields shall be considered an asset.


Work experience

  • At least ten (10) years of progressively relevant responsible experience in the field of organisational development and strategic planning
  • At least five (5) years of relevant experience in a multi-cultural inter- governmental organization.
  • Position-specific experience: 

    • Demonstration of technical skills in organizational planning and development and identification of innovative solutions to emerging issues.
    • Skill in the implementation and coordination of strategic planning in the context of agricultural/rural development and interventions and identification of innovative solutions to emerging issues.
    • Ability to share high level technical guidance/knowledge as well as to inspire more junior specialists in the development of viable organizational planning activities.
    • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at the senior management and peer levels as well as to inspire more junior specialists and programme staff in the development of viable resource planning activities.
    • Experience in international policy and strategic frameworks. 


  • Required English (4 – Excellent)  
  • Asset: French, Spanish and/or Arabic 
  • Position-specific requirement: Good skills both in speaking and drafting high level strategic documents. 


Job role specific 

  • 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; 
  • Evidence-based policy, Know-how in the formulation of concrete and actionable policy recommendations based on hard evidence (going beyond simple data interpretation);
  • Synthesis, Outstanding ability to synthesize and simplify complex technical information for a variety of (non-technical) audiences; 
  • 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;
  • 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.);
  • 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);
  • Adaptability, Adaptability and flexibility when facing new or unexpected situations, and to specific constraints and circumstances and managing complex processes;
  • Programme/Project development, management, Know-how in Programme/Project development, implementation, management; 
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational), Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD’s activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies (e.g. reputational).

Position specific

  • Strategy expert, possessing detailed experience and knowledge in the analysis of results-based management processes with a capacity to assess issues of risk across a range of operational scenarios
  • Confidentiality & Discretion; establishes self and division as trusted Specialist to internal stakeholders by maintaining high level of discretion and confidentiality in assignments; demonstrates sound judgement when dealing with sensitive and/or confidential matters; drives good governance and is a “Culture Carrier” demonstrating IFAD institutional conscience through their work.; 
  • Advocacy; ability to leverage IFAD knowledge and/or communication materials to maintain and promote constructive dialogue around IFAD’s vision and strategic priorities to external actors.

Other Information

Applicants should note that 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.

In accordance with IFAD’s provisions, all new staff members will normally be placed at the first step in the grade level for which they have been selected. For information on IFAD’s remuneration package, please visit IFAD’s compensation and benefits page on our website. Applicants are invited to use the ICSC compensation calculator to estimate the salary and benefit entitlements.  See here.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

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.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation in line with its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy and the Policy to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse.

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

This position is also included in the pool of positions made available to IFAD staff members in the context of the 2024 reassignment exercise. Priority will be given to internal staff in reassignment who are deemed appointable for positions at the same grade level.

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