The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) is a voluntary network and movement for change, uniquely bringing together all sectors relevant to innovation in agriculture and food. GFAR is made up of over 580 Partner networks and institutions, working together through collective advocacy and actions, to shape the future of agriculture and food and their role in achieving sustainable development. The Partners in GFAR come from all around the world and across many sectors, including farmers, consumers and civil society organizations, womens’ and youth organizations, the private sector, public national and international research systems, advisory services, education, donor bodies and three UN organizations. GFAR’s reach is achieved through these organizations and the many millions of people they involve.

GFAR mobilizes dialogue and collective actions between the many Partners who make up the Forum and who share GFAR’s common vision of making agri-food research and innovation more effective, responsive and equitable, towards achieving Sustainable Development outcomes. The GFAR Secretariat helps trigger these collective actions among GFAR Partner institutions, who are themselves the agents of change and delivery, and helps the Partners establish the strategy and programme of work of their forum, working from development demands back to required innovations. GFAR’s key areas of focus align to FAO’s Strategic Objectives and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

GFAR: i) helps inspire and enable the transformation and strengthening of agri-food research and innovation for development systems, and processes, to become more inclusive and equitable, more effective and more impactful and ii) Catalyzes changes, fostering dialogue and new forms of multi-stakeholder collaboration at different levels, through its extensive networks; South-South, North-South and between sectors.

GFAR is seeking to recruit highly experienced and motivated Agri-Food Research and Innovation System advisers, who are passionate about transforming and strengthening the international research and development architecture and building networked actions for impact towards the Sustainable Development Goals. These advisers will work within the Secretariat, to mobilize and support partner organizations of the Forum as they address specific key areas of focus of GFAR, providing the necessary support and administrative functions and representing the forum in advocacy and sharing of experiences and lessons learned.



Duty station is in Rome, Italy, at FAO Headquarters. 

International Consultant contract with duration of 11 months (subject to availability of funds)

IMPORTANT: Applications for this position must be submitted online HERE. First you must register and create a profile. 

Application Deadline: 24 July 2018, 11:59:00 PM


Reporting Lines

The adviser(s) report directly to the GFAR Executive Secretary.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Work with GFAR partners to conceptualize relevant Key Focus Areas and inspire interest and awareness in specific actions among relevant partners from all sectors and according to GFAR principles
  • Provide support to GFAR partner organizations in the generation, convening and mobilization of their multi-stakeholder collective actions, ensuring equitable and effective participation of all stakeholders and in particular empowering resource-poor farmers and rural households.
  • Provide mentoring support, as may be required, to processes establishing GFAR-enabled collective actions
  • Guide the development of the framework for learning within the Secretariat and Forum and support the process of its application to programs enabled through GFAR. 
  • Guide partners in the development and use of appropriate tools for collective monitoring, partnership building and lesson-learning from programs delivered by partners towards the attainment of SDG Agenda 2030. 
  • Develop and implement mechanisms for knowledge management and knowledge sharing for the benefits of partners and non-members of the Forum. 
  • Work within and across Key Focus Areas and  contribute to the development of corporate documents such as strategic plans, annual reports, reports to donors, the communication strategy, the partnership strategy and other documents that deliver the role and awareness of GFAR’s role and value.
  • Support resource mobilization for the Secretariat and for the collective actions enabled through GFAR, towards the implementation of SDG 2030 Agenda.

General Functions:

  • Provide support to the Executive Secretary in increasing the value, significance, scale and impact of the Forum, representing the Forum internationally as responsible officer for the e areas concerned, in advocacy and development of partnerships and initiatives
  • Ensure effective tracking and sharing of knowledge gained and lessons learned through GFAR-enabled collective actions
  • Act as Responsible Officer for leading specific key focal areas of GFAR’s work, using administrative processes of FAO and in building and maintaining relationships with GFAR partners addressing the assigned themes
  • Advocate for transformation of the agri-food research and development architecture at national, regional and international levels towards GFAR’s agreed objectives,
  • Provide support to the Executive Secretary in the day-to-day running of the secretariat and in building relationships to secure funding for GFAR-related actions, building linkage with other units of FAO as appropriate to the tasks
  • Undertake other functions as assigned by the Executive Secretary


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agriculture, agricultural economics, social sciences, development studies, management science, as appropriate for the specific profile 
  • Minimum of ten years of relevant experience, addressing several dimensions of: partnership development, capacity development, education reform and knowledge management, strengthening of innovation systems, co-innovation processes and participatory innovation and with communication and fund–raising experience, preferably with a focus on agricultural, food and innovation systems.
  • Experience in an International Organization and multi-cultural context is an advantage, as are experience with GFAR’s work and with other multi-stakeholder organizations.  
  • Relevant experience in successfully promoting collective actions between different stakeholders
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and a limited knowledge of one of the other two, or Arabic, Chinese or Russian.

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one area of work, particularly in field positions, with specific familiarity with developing countries;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in research-for-development partnership building, management and evaluation
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge of institutions and research/innovation transformation dynamics
  • Extent and relevance of experience in research-development links with particular reference to equity/rights issues and economic opportunities in rural development
  • Depth of understanding of innovation systems, of international and national research settings, particularly of the interplay of actors and of farmers’ role in innovation and dissemination of innovations
  • Demonstrated ability to work across public, private and civil sectors in the framework of agri-food research and innovation for development


To apply, visit the recruitment website HERE and complete your online profile. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.

Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile.

Vacancies will be removed from the recruitment portal at 23:59 Central European Time (CET) on the deadline for applications date. We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact: iRecruitment[at]fao[dot]org

Expiry date: Tuesday, 24 July, 2018
City: Rome
Countries: Italy
Institution: GFAR