Seed Security Assessment Specialist

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  • Contract
  • Rome

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


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  • 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

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) enables the transition to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable plant production and protection through optimization and minimization. This approach requires the integration and harmonization of all appropriate crop production policies and practices in order to increase production in a sustainable manner so as to eradicate hunger while preserving the natural resources and environment for future use.

FAO is committed to supporting Member Countries and partners in preparing for, and responding to, disasters and crises that threaten agriculture, food security and nutrition. FAO’s work in emergencies, which is led by the Organization’s Office of Emergency and Resilience (OER), focuses on reducing people’s vulnerability to hazards, including animal and plant diseases, before, during and after disasters through good emergency management practices, including risk assessment, risk reduction, emergency preparedness and response, and rehabilitation.

The position is located at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, in the Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources (NSPGD) Team, one of the six teams in NSP. NSPGD provides technical support, guidance and advice to countries to enhance seed security\: male and female farmers’ timely access to sufficient quantities of affordable quality seeds and planting materials of the most suitable crop varieties. Seed Security Assessments (SSAs) are undertaken in countries affected by natural disasters and protracted crises to guide short-term emergency seed responses as well as longer-term activities to support seed security and resilient seed systems. The Seed Security Assessment Specialist will contribute to FAO’s work in this area.

Reporting Lines

The consultant reports to the Agricultural Officer (Seed Security), NSPGD.

Technical Focus

Seed security assessments, including the planning for interventions; data collection, analyses and inferences; communication of results; and the provision of recommendations, to inform anticipatory actions, emergency responses, and seed sector development activities.

Tasks and responsibilities

The incumbent will be responsible for the following tasks\:

• Lead the implementation of SSAs in FAO Member Countries, including through the\:
o provision of oversight for the planning of assessments and engaging local, national and international stakeholders in their designs and implementation;
o leading of field teams in-country to conduct SSA, engage with stakeholders, analyze data and develop reports;
o dissemination of SSA results to national and international stakeholders; and
o work with national stakeholders following an assessment to facilitate the interpretation of findings; and the implementation of recommendations.
• Contribute to the development of SSA-informed, quality project proposals for seed security interventions, especially under emergency situations;
• Contribute to the development of training materials for, and in the organization and delivery of, training courses on relevant themes, including SSA, for critical stakeholders;


Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in agronomy, impact evaluation or related fields.
• A minimum of 5 years relevant work experience (Category B) in agricultural/rural development or in humanitarian assistance in agriculture.
• Working knowledge of English (level C) and limited knowledge (level B) of French and/or Arabic.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Work experience with an international humanitarian or development organization;
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions, is desirable;
• Extent and relevance of experience in humanitarian needs assessments, particularly with seed systems assessments;
• Experience in the design of technical interventions related to seeds in emergency and resilience-building contexts, and familiarity with seed sector development strategies for fragile and vulnerable populations;
• Familiarity with input trade fairs, cash and voucher assistance, support to the development of national seed production and quality certification;
• Data analysis, particularly from mixed methods assessments;
• Good communication and facilitation skills;
• Ability to deliver outputs by agreed deadlines, sometimes at very short notice;
• Familiarity with the humanitarian architecture and the areas of mandate of FAO is desirable.

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 http\://
  • 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 create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://


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