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Investment Operations Specialist (RuralInvest)

Multiple locations

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Banking and Finance
    • Impact investing, Social venture capital
  • Closing Date: Closed


IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • 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 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 FAO Investment Centre (CFI) provides investment and finance solutions that lead to more efficient, sustainable, inclusive and resilient agrifood systems. Working in over 120 countries, the Centre provides a full suite of investment and finance support to FAO Members. It partners with governments, international and national financing institutions, the private sector and farmers, research institutions and academia to improve the quality and quantity of agrifood investment. The Centre's four main areas of work include support to strategic investment planning and policy, public investment, private investment, and innovative finance. These are complemented by the knowledge for investment and capacity development for investment programmes that serve to share knowledge, learn and build capacities at country level. For additional information on the FAO Investment Centre, its activities, partners and the organizational structure please visit the following link.

Under the capacity development for investment area of work, RuralInvest is a methodology and toolkit designed to support field technicians in their work with entrepreneurs by allowing the systematization and development of bankable and sustainable business proposals. The toolkit comprises user-friendly software, an e-learning course, tailored face-to-face training, user manuals, and a worldwide community of users. Through a participatory and bottom-up approach, RuralInvest methodology brings together local communities, rural entrepreneurs, government field technicians, project staff, and financing institutions to identify, prepare, evaluate and finance small-and medium-size sustainable rural investment projects.

Reporting Lines

The RuralInvest Specialist will work under the overall technical supervision of one of the Service Chiefs or the Deputy Directors depending on the case in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, and the FAO Capacity Development for Investment (CD4I) team at the FAO Investment Centre.

Technical Focus

Provision of technical advice or expertise and capacity development for the identification and design of investment and finance support solutions, in collaboration with country stakeholders and cooperating partners, to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in the fields of food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resource management and agro-processing in developing countries and countries in transition.

Tasks and responsibilities

• Advise and provide technical expertise to local stakeholders, including public officials and representatives of local financial institutions in leveraging the RuralInvest methodology for the following\: (i) preparation of financing mechanisms for agribusinesses, (ii) agribusiness planning and (iii) improving access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.
• Prepare, and conduct RuralInvest training\: prepare training materials adapted to local contexts, coordinate with the stakeholders involved, prepare exercises, facilitate sessions and report to the RuralInvest team.
• Provide technical services to support entrepreneurs in business plan development, building the said business plans with the RuralInvest methodology.
• Contribute, as part of CFI multidisciplinary teams working with partner international financial institutions (IFIs), to the preparation of technical documents including feasibility studies, technical annexes to funding proposals, as well as participate in the quality review and assurance processes of the respective partner IFIs.
• Provide technical reviews of proposals for financing mechanisms for agri businesses, as well as of business plans and activities intended to support improved access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.
• Lead, or participate in, multidisciplinary teams to assist country institutions in identification, pre-appraisal and appraisal of initiatives in the fields of financing mechanisms, business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. In particular, supporting integration of the RuralInvest methodology when relevant.
• Perform other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in business management, economics, agronomy, agro-economy or related areas.
• From one to fifteen years of relevant experience supporting rural entrepreneurs, business planning, business plan development and/or management of rural businesses.
• Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for consultants). Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian (for PSAs).

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Extent and relevance of experience in supporting the design or revision of initiatives such as financing mechanisms, programmes supporting business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs;
• Extent and relevance of experience in working with SMEs, productive alliances and cooperatives, small and medium scale entrepreneurs, particularly in the agrifood sector, as well as extent and relevance of experience in supporting them in the development of their business plans (experience in developing business plans with RuralInvest would be an asset);
• Demonstrated ability and relevance of experience in training adults on professional topics preferably linked to agribusiness/agricultural value chains and/or finance;
• Working experience in teaching and training RuralInvest, would be an asset;
• Extent and relevance of experience in participating in, or leading, multidisciplinary teams for the preparation and/or implementation of investment programmes/projects focusing on topics such as financing mechanisms for agrifood sector, business planning and access to finance for rural enterprises including small and medium-scale entrepreneurs; Extent and relevance of experience in dealing with government officials, development partners, local financial institutions and other public and private sector country level stakeholders;
• Excellent drafting skills and capacity to synthesize;
• Completion of RuralInvest e-learning courses within the FAO e-learning Academy, acquiring three (3) badges;
• Participation in face-to-face RuralInvest training (Initial training and follow-up training) leading to certification as a RuralInvest user, would be an asset;
• Relevance of experience in different geographical areas.

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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