Lead Evaluation Officer

Rome | Rome

Organizational context

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.

Post's organizational accountability

In line with IFAD’s Evaluation Policy, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) reports directly to the IFAD Executive Board (EB). The Evaluation Policy established that the evaluation function at IFAD will operate in line with internationally accepted principles for the evaluation of development assistance. Foremost among these are Independence, Accountability, Partnership and Learning. The IFAD Evaluation Policy also states that the IOE Director will ensure that IOE is staffed by independent-minded, experienced evaluators.

Under the overall supervision and strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director, IOE, as well as the day to day supervision of IOE’s Deputy Director, the Lead Evaluation Specialist leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLE) and Country Programme Evaluations (CPE) with a large number of complex operations. Lead Evaluation Specialists’ accountabilities/key results are:

· Evaluation Management

· Country Programme Evaluation and Corporate-level Evaluation

· Impact Evaluation

· Project Evaluation

· Knowledge Management/Evaluation Capacity Building

· Managerial Functions

Key results expected / Major functional activities


The Lead Evaluation Specialist substantively contributes to IOE evaluation management activities with a view to ensuring adherence to IOE evaluation policy, quality standards and evaluation manual. Major activities include but are not limited to:

a. Substantively contributing to the preparation of IOE’s Annual Work Programme, the conduct of internal peer reviews and the periodical review of IFAD’s evaluation methodology and processes;

b. Contributing to the development of evaluation methodology; and

c. Leading, training and motivating international/national experts in the conduct of project evaluation.


The Lead Evaluation Specialist leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLE) as well as Country Programme Evaluation (CPE) activities, particularly in complex countries with a large number of operations, ensuring independence and accountability. Major activities include but are not limited to:

a. Managing the entire evaluation process for CLEs and CPEs including building teams of evaluation experts, production of the Approach Paper, organization of the evaluation mission, leading and being responsible for the main report, organization of in-country workshops and facilitation of the agreement at completion point on the evaluation findings and recommendations among the IFAD management and concerned governments;

b. Participating in internal peer reviews of Corporate-level and Country Programme Evaluations;

c. Preparing concise, reader-friendly and yet analytically rigorous evaluation reports and presenting them in-house and to the EB’s Evaluation Committee; and

d. Undertaking or contributing, as requested, to Evaluation Syntheses.


The Lead Evaluation Specialist enhances IFAD’s accountability and knowledge of results at the project level by designing and conducting impact evaluations as well as preparing the final evaluation report. Assessment and documentation of results and impact are done with reference to both qualitative and quantitative information. Major activities include but are not limited to:

a. Customizing methods and data collection tools to the specific project design and area context as well as identifying relevant impact domains and sampling areas;

b. Overseeing the collection and analysis of primary impact data to establish evidence and illustrate the project’s contribution/successes;

c. Leading the main mission and preparation of the final impact evaluation report; and

d. Making recommendations for the design/re-design and implementation of on-going and future operations in the country.


The Lead Evaluation Officer enhances IFAD's success in advocating for the amelioration of rural food security and nutrition and the enabling of poor rural men and women to overcome their poverty through the conduct of Project Completion Report Validations (PCRVs) and Project Performance Evaluations (PPEs). Activities include but are not limited to:

a. Managing the entire evaluation process including developing the Approach Paper, desk reviews, and organizing the evaluation mission (the latter for PPEs only);

b. Liaising with country programme managers (CPMs) and other concerned stakeholders, leading or contributing to the fieldwork and guiding and managing consultants including assessing their performance; and

c. Organizing in-country workshops/meetings, as required and leading the preparation of the PCRVs and PPEs reports.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT/EVALUATION CAPACITY BUILDING: The Lead Evaluation Specialist participates as requested in project development teams and policy fora to ensure that lessons learned from IFAD’s experience are incorporated in the proposed project / programme design and IFAD’s policy and strategy. S/He uses evaluation as a source of knowledge on rural development issues that must be systematically communicated and disseminated to partners and develops customized communication products, as required, to be posted on IOE’s home page. Lead evaluation capacity development efforts in developing countries, on a case-by-case basis.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Lead Evaluation Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes accountability for human resources, both staff and national/international experts, financial and material resources and related processes including contracting as required.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Working at both the corporate and country levels leading both CLEs and CPEs, the Lead Evaluation Specialist provides technical and managerial leadership to the substantive development and execution of the assigned programme(s), including providing (i) managerial direction to international evaluation experts, evaluation specialists (P-4 and P-3 level) and evaluation assistants and (ii) effective representation with government counterparts and other programme collaborators. Assigned areas include sub-regional clusters of countries or politically sensitive, high profile or highly complex countries. Externally the impact of the Lead Evaluation Specialist extends beyond the scope of evaluations to enhance the continuity of IFAD’s global image as an effective deliverer of sustainable and technically sound pro-poor rural development programmes and projects. The incumbent impacts organizational relationships at an institutional level.

The Lead Evaluation Specialist substantively and directly contributes to IOE’s main objective of producing: (i) quality evaluation of the performance and impact of IFAD supported projects and programmes, IFAD’s own performance as well as that of its partners; and (ii) learning effects and recommendations through evaluation work that lead to the promotion of innovations and its scaling up and the improved performance of IFAD’s policies and its strategies.

Representation / Work relationships

Lead Evaluation Specialists provide authoritative advice on evaluation methodology and processes at the corporate as well as the country level. Combination of credible authoritative capacity with independent responsibility for originating specific evaluation initiatives creates opportunities for maintaining and expanding new client relationships. As a representative of the Division, s/he leverages the impact of IFAD supported rural poverty reduction programmes by building effective partnerships and reaching consensus on programme initiatives internally as well as with other stakeholders in rural poverty reduction. S/He also represents IOE in international evaluation related meetings and other external fora as required. Internally, s/he advocates for the institutional understanding of evaluation as both an accountability and a learning process that must be conducted with an independent perspective and yet in close partnership with all partners involved.

Evaluation partners consist, inter alia, of HQ managers and counterparts in IFAD’s Programme Management Department (PMD), project field staff, government and non-government agencies in IFAD’s borrowing countries as well as other national and international development actors in rural development in these countries. The incumbent is expected to act as the credible voice of evaluation and assume leadership in maintaining and widening partnership over time. In this capacity, the incumbent interacts with other colleagues in IOE’s team and elsewhere in IFAD and is supported with enabling instruments and resources to ensure exercising of a high degree of independence in support of a reliable delivery capacity.



· Strategic thinking and organizational development: Strategic leadership (Level 2)

· Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)

· Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 2)

· Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)

· Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)

· Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)

· Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)

· Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)

· Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)

· Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)


· Authoritative expert in programme development and management as well as knowledge of contemporary quantitative and qualitative impact evaluation techniques and practices, preferably in the evaluation of agriculture and rural development interventions.

· Specific expertise in rural project management and market development.

· Field experience related to agricultural and rural development.

· Excellent knowledge of policy oriented, programme based pro-poor approaches, and loan and grant preparation.

· Rigorous analytical and conceptual thinking.

· Capacity to communicate fluently with different counterparts (civil society, government authorities, local communities, project staff) to align parties and build networks. Ability to represent IFAD as a trusted and reliable partner.

· Communication skills: writes clearly, succinctly and convincingly listens and communicates effectively to engage others.

· Computer skills: full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common Internet applications

Minimum recruitment qualifications


· Advanced university degree in Economics, Agriculture, Rural Development, Finance, Public Policy, Social Sciences or related studies.


· At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible international experience in the implementation and supervision of rural development programmes including project design, development, implementation and evaluation; at least five-year experience must be in evaluation.

· Work experience should include experience in international organizations, rural development / financial institutions or government services. At least 2-year experience in leading teams of specialists as well as managing related resources (human, financial and material) management in an international organization is also required.

· Excellent analytical skills. Experience in defining appropriate evaluation, in the identification of data generation strategies and their application in a rural development context.

Language requirements:

· Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.
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.
Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: IFAD - The International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome | Rome
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2016-11-08

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