1200px FAO logo.svg Digital Agriculture and Innovation Specialist(s)

Digital Agriculture and Innovation Specialist(s)

  • Full Time
  • Rome, Latium, Italy
  • TBD USD / Year
  • FAO profile

  • Job applications may no longer being accepted for this opportunity.


Organizational Setting

The Office of Innovation (OIN) was established as an important new unit within the FAO organizational structure to provide strategic direction and help drive and coordinate innovation across the work of the Organization, and to consolidate and strengthen FAO’s innovative spirit, including innovation of approach and cooperation models and capacity development. The Office will identify, strengthen, and complement priority areas for programmatic action; ensure that FAO mainstreams innovation in its programmes; facilitate collaboration among the relevant FAO units; and assist in forging and reinforcing transformative partnerships. The Digital Agriculture unit of OIN develops normative products: digital strategies, road maps and tools, strengthen digital skills and build capacities to merge digital divide and promotes digital innovation hubs at country level through projects.

Reporting Lines

Under the direct supervision of the Agriculture Extension Officer in the Office of Innovation (OIN), and the day-to-day supervision of the Lead for Digital Agriculture within the Digital Agriculture Unit of OIN, the incumbent will support various digital agriculture and digital innovation programmes in the OIN and support the leverage of agrifood systems by digital agriculture and innovation.

Technical Focus

Contribute to digital agriculture and innovation projects, support digital inclusion and agri-tech sprint programme initiatives, develop digital agriculture and innovation knowledge products and tools, and collaborate on digital agriculture and digital innovation within FAO and other UN agencies.

The Office of Innovation runs several programmatic areas of focus in the following areas where the incumbent might be assigned:

  • Digital Agriculture and Innovation Capacity Development
  • Supporting National Digital Agriculture Strategies and Polices
  • Global Network of Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs
  • Digital Innovation and Partnerships within UN to support various stakeholders

Tasks And Responsibilities

The incumbent will work in the Office of Innovation, which has an overall responsibility for leadership in innovation in FAO programmes and projects and supporting innovatively the FAO’s Innovation Programme. The incumbent will work within the Office of Innovation or other units and countries where the OIN leads in providing support to FAO, FAO Members, extension workers, farmers, and other stakeholders.

More Specifically, The Incumbent Will Provide Support For

  • Identify, accelerate and scale-up innovative and digital solutions and business models in countries.
  • Support to regional and country-level digital innovation initiatives on digital inclusion;
  • Support specific OIN projects to build, promote and provide capacity development for strategies, policies, tools and deployment of digital agriculture technologies products for the Organization;
  • Develop and promote participatory and inclusive formulation of national digital agriculture strategies, roadmaps and policies;
  • Collect and analyse data on digital transformation status and trends, policies and strategies, challenges for rural and urban areas, understanding different forms of digital divide, as well as assist in monitoring indicators on digital agriculture transformation and other information in support of programme of work;
  • Develop local digital capacities that empower decision-makers, advisors/extensionists and smallholders (e.g. in digital literacy, skills and tech competences);
  • Plan, organize and conduct digital innovation needs assessment and digital innovation capacity development trainings/workshops (online and offline), acting as workshop/training facilitator and trainer;
  • Support global, regional and country-level digital initiatives, including assistance in assessments of gaps, opportunities and scale-up digital agriculture solutions in support of FAO’s priorities;
  • Pilot and scale up successful digital innovations (including cutting-edge technologies) and facilitate local digital innovation processes (experimenting);
  • Increase availability, awareness and uptake of solutions and knowledge (e.g. next decade’s top-100 agri-tech innovations);
  • Plan, organize and run agri-tech sprint programmes activities such as innovation challenges, farmhack, bootcamps, etc.;
  • Liaise with technical divisions and decentralized offices regarding innovation for digital agriculture issues and opportunities, promoting the reuse of known solutions and the take-up of new innovative solutions;
  • Support formulation and coordinate implementation of the LoA or PO by service providers as established in project documents;
  • Lead or support the ideation, set-up and running of events (workshops, conferences, forums, dialogues, etc.) to foster knowledge sharing and networking among experts and practitioners in the digital agriculture and innovation fora.
  • Contribute to the establishment of partnerships with academia, civil society, and private sector to support joint initiatives related to digital agriculture and innovation.
  • Contribute to activities under the WSIS Action Line 7, and MoUs with other UN agencies such as ITU and UNIDO;
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Global Network of Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs and to identify and share knowledge, good practices and lessons learned in digital agriculture and innovation.
  • Provide inputs to documents, proposals, materials, speeches, presentations, and assistance on matters related to the digital agriculture and innovation.
  • Develop draft slides or draft speech text for presentations by senior FAO management related to the digital innovation domain.
  • Perform other duties as required


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree (for Consultants) / University degree (only for PSAs), in agriculture (economics, agribusiness, digital agriculture, innovation systems), development studies, social science, innovation, computer science and engineering or related studies or any other relevant degree.
  • Working knowledge (Level C) of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge (Level B) of one of the other two of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian. For PSAs it can be required working knowledge only one language.
  • Working Experience:
  • For Consultants: 1+ years of relevant professional working experience in similar environment
  • For PSAs: 1+ years of relevant professional working experience in similar environment

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
  • Awareness of the global, regional and country-level digital initiatives.
  • Familiarity with the ecosystem surrounding digital agriculture and the capabilities and services required by FAO
  • Extent and relevance of experience in conducting digital agricultural sector analysis and/or supporting the planning, design, implementation of digital agricultural projects, setting digital innovation standards and digital ecosystem frameworks
  • Extent and relevance of experience in facilitation of sprint programmes such as hackathons, incubators and/or accelerators
  • Extent and relevance of experience working with agri-tech start-ups and scaling digital innovation
  • Demonstrated organization, research, presentation and writing skills.
  • Excellent organizational, time management and planning skills with demonstrated capacity to work in a fast-pace, high pressure environment

Call For Expressions Of Interest – Vacancy Announcement

Job Posting


Closure Date

03/Feb/2024, 5:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit

OIN – Office of Innovation

Job Type

Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition

Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level


Primary Location



11 months

Post Number


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

To apply for this job please visit jobs.fao.org.

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