GFAR – the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation, is a multi-stakeholder forum concerned with the role of agri-food innovation in agriculture, food and rural development. Partners in GFAR work together, through collective advocacy and actions, to shape the future of agriculture and food and their role in achieving sustainable development in cooperation with FAO. Together we are working to make agri-food research and innovation more effective, responsive and equitable. The Forum encompasses public, private and civil actors and works in four strategic areas: As such, GFAR does not have a heavy internal structure, but relies on the Secretariat triggering voluntary actions and catalysing commitments among over 570 Partner institutions, who are themselves the agents of change and delivery. The Strategic Communication role will play a central part in using a variety of communication methods and tools to strengthen and mobilize this community of practice and to better capture and share results and outcomes, around multi-partner collective actions in four key focal areas:

  • Communities determining their own needs
  • Turning knowledge and innovation into enterprise
  • Strengthening organizational and individual capacities
  • Demonstrating impact and improving investments


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

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: 06 April 2018, 10:59:00 PM

Reporting Lines

The consultant reports directly to the GFAR Executive Secretary.

Technical Focus

Lead responsibility for developing and implementing Communications work and focus as a central pillar of operation for the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR). Specifically, to establish new communications practices and a common brand and accountability culture in collective actions, advocacy and reporting of impacts, owned and mobilized by the 550+ Partner organizations that make up GFAR and within the GFAR Secretariat. This involves leading GFAR actions in:

  • Creating wide awareness and Partners’ strong ownership and dissemination of GFAR’s ‘brand’, role, values and results
  • Mobilizing Participation in dialogue and using communication tools to foster collective actions among the self-determined Partner organizations that make up the forum.
  • Develop capacities and mechanisms within the GFAR Secretariat, Steering Committee and among the Partner organizations in GFAR, to better articulate GFARs work to the GFAR community and the wider public.
  • Using the above to drive communications that generate resourcing and support for GFARs activities among funders and GFAR Partners.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Take lead responsibility for the development, management, coordination and delivery of key messages through GFAR Secretariat, Steering Committee and Partners and directly advise on specifications and commissioning of external writing, communications or media expertise as may be required.
  • Drive, guide and directly prepare the preparation of written or video materials and webinars etc required to convey GFAR’s work and results more effectively and coherently in 2018, working as lead editor for the Secretariat, with overall responsibility for all GFAR communications and messaging.
  • Mobilize GFAR stakeholders (including the GFAR Facilitating agencies), as key communicators of GFAR collective actions and messages as the Partners that themselves comprise the global forum
  • Stakeholder analysis – analysis of information and communication needs and capacities of key audiences within and beyond GFAR’s Partners
  • Communications audit to determine the extent to which existing communication channels, mechanisms and materials are fit for purpose and aligned with taking forward GFAR’s strategic direction and learning from GFAR-facilitated actions
  • Develop a strategy and foundation for stakeholder engagement and evidence-based learning and dissemination of GFAR-catalyzed dialogues, collective actions and advocacy, which clearly specifies target audiences and coordinates key messages to guide communications. The strategy will set out a broad strategic approach, and an implementation work plan for year 1, specifying tactics, timeframes, creating awareness, agreeing responsibilities and developing accountabilities within the Secretariat, Steering Committee and key Partners.


Minimum Requirements

  • At least 8 years of relevant experience
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two, or of Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of one of the FAO Languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).
  • Advanced degree (for Consultants)/ University Degree (for PSAs) in Marketing/Media/Communications or Development/Political studies.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extensive international track record demonstrating high level communication roles and skills use in relevant practice
  • Experience and demonstrable skills in the areas of work described in the specific tasks above.

Selection Criteria

  • Track record of expertise in a leading communications role in an international context and international development setting
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out assignments with a high level of independence and perform assigned work with minimal technical guidance

Apply for this position HERE

Expiry date: Friday, 6 April, 2018
City: Rome
Countries: Italy
Institution: GFAR