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Lead Evaluation Officer - Rome, Italy


  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2023-11-27

Organizational Setting

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.

In line with the prevailing IFAD Evaluation Policy, the IOE multi-year strategy (2022-2027) and the Evaluation Manual (2022), 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.

The Lead Evaluation Officer, works 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, 

Job Role

The Lead Evaluation Officer leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLEs), Thematic Evaluations (TEs) and Country Strategy and Programme Evaluations (CSPEs) with complex operations. Lead Evaluation Officers' accountabilities are:

  • Evaluation Management
  • CSPEs, TEs, CLEs and other Corporate-level assignments
  • Impact Evaluation and Project Performance Evaluations 
  • Knowledge Management/Evaluation Capacity Building

Key Functions and Results

  1. EVALUATION MANAGEMENT: The Lead Evaluation Officer 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:

  1. 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;
  2. Contributing to the development of evaluation methodology; and
  3. Leading, training and motivating international/national experts in the conduct of project evaluation.
  1. COUNTRY PROGRAMME EVALUATION, THEMATIC EVALUATION AND CORPORATE-LEVEL EVALUATION: The Lead Evaluation Officer leads Corporate Level Evaluations (CLE), Thematic Evaluations (TEs), as well as Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation (CSPE) activities, particularly in complex countries with many operations, ensuring independence and accountability.

Major activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Leading the entire evaluation process for CLEs, TEs and CSPEs including building teams of evaluation experts, production of the Approach Paper, organization of the evaluation mission, leading and being responsible for the country mission(s), main report writing and finalization, organization of evaluation workshops and facilitation of the agreement at completion point on the evaluation findings and recommendations among the IFAD management and concerned governments;
  2. Participating in internal peer reviews of CLEs, TEs and CSPEs;
  3. Preparing concise, reader-friendly and yet analytically rigorous evaluation reports and presenting them in-house and to the EB's Evaluation Committee;
  4. Undertaking or contributing, as requested, to Evaluation Syntheses, and
  5. Undertaking other corporate-level work such as Independent Reviews, and any new products introduced by IOE.
  1. IMPACT EVALUATION AND PROJECT PERFORMANCE EVALUATION: The Lead Evaluation Officer conducts Impact Evaluations or Project Performance Evaluations. In such case, major activities include:

For both Project Performance Evaluations and Impact Evaluations 

  • Managing the entire evaluation process (developing the Approach Paper, desk reviews, organizing the evaluation mission and liaising with IFAD's Management, Government officials and other key stakeholders); leading the main mission and preparation of the evaluation report.

For Impact Evaluations 

  • Customizing statistical methods and data collection tools to the specific project design and area context as well as identifying relevant impact domains and sampling areas. Overseeing the collection and analysis of primary impact data to establish evidence and illustrate the project's contribution to the observed results.
  1. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT/EVALUATION CAPACITY BUILDING: The Lead Evaluation Officer 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 / IFAD's policy. The incumbent uses evaluation as a source of knowledge on rural development issues to be communicated and disseminated to partners and develops customized communication products, as require. The incumbent may also be requested to lead evaluation capacity development efforts in developing countries, on a case-by-case basis.  The incumbent will be involved in peer review, quality assurance and methodological development activities.
  1. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS:  The Lead Evaluation Officer 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.  The Lead Evaluation Officer may also coordinate an internal IOE team overseeing the conduct of the related work programme, supporting and assessing team members technically and organizationally. The incumbent will participate in divisional level management meetings.

Key Performance Indicators

Working at both the corporate and country levels leading CLEs, TEs and CPEs (and project-level evaluations as required), the Lead Evaluation Officer 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 Officer 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 Officer 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.

Working Relationships

Lead Evaluation Officers 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. The incumbent also represents IOE in international evaluation related meetings and other external fora as required. Internally, the Lead Evaluation Officer, 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.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 2:

  • Building relationships and partnerships - Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Communicating and negotiating - Acquires & uses a wide range of communication styles & skills
  • Demonstrating leadership - Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Focusing on clients - Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating - Challenges, innovates & contributes to learning culture
  • Managing performance and developing staff - Manages wider teams with greater impact on others and on the organization
  • Managing time, resources and information - Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Problem-solving and decision-making - Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development - Staff in management and/or strategic leadership roles
  • Team working - Fosters a cohesive team environment


  • Level - Advanced university degree 
  • Areas - Economics, Agriculture, Rural Development, Finance, Public Policy, Social Sciences or related studies.
  • Degree must be an accredited institution listed on


  • 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; a significant part of the ten (10) year experience must be in evaluation, including country-level and strategic evaluations. Work experience should include experience in international organizations, rural development / financial institutions or government services. 
  • At least three (3) years’ experience in leading teams of specialists as well as managing related resources (human, financial and material) management in an international organization is also required. Strong knowledge of contemporary quantitative and qualitative evaluation techniques is desirable.

The following are also an asset:

  • Evaluation data collection and analysis techniques, quantitative and qualitative
  • Evaluation process: engaging with key stakeholders, scoping the evaluation and preparing evaluation methodology and writing an evaluation report


  • Required English (4 – Excellent) 
  • Desirable: French, Spanish, or Arabic (3 – Good) 


  • IFAD partners: Knowledge of IFAD's partners' functioning and mandate, such as the public sector (e.g. governments and policy, institutions and system), non-state actors (NGOs, CSOs, Foundations, etc.) and private sector actors.
  • Risk management (e.g. reputational): Identification and assessment of potential liabilities and risks in IFAD's activities, particularly vis-à-vis third parties; ability to handle risks via contingency and mitigation strategies.
  • Stakeholder management: Strong alignment capabilities and consultation skills, building on effective interactions and relationships with different stakeholders (e.g. for the co-creation of communication material with member states) and ability to build and maintain a strong network (e.g. with journalists, media outlets, etc.)
  • Basic ICT & digital fluency: High level of digital literacy and ability to quickly get familiar with new digital tools (e.g. ability to carry out EPR data entry and extraction when budgeting; monitoring security systems, uploading content to inter/intra-net websites, etc.)
  • Confidentiality & Discretion: Establishes self and division as trusted advisor to internal stakeholders by maintaining high level of discretion and confidentiality in assignments; demonstrates sound judgement when dealing with sensitive and/or confidential matters; drives good governance and is a "Culture Carrier" demonstrating IFAD institutional conscience through the work.
  • Listening: Effective and active listening to others; understanding and acting upon indirect statements.
  • Written communication: Clear, succinct and convincing written communication in the language needed for specific role; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language (e.g. for drafting of position papers, briefings, etc.)
  • Programme/Project development, management: Know-how in Programme/Project development, implementation, management.
  • Rural Development: Expertise in social and economic development of rural communities in developing countries.

Other Information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, the President can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD.

In accordance with IFAD’s provisions, all new staff members will normally be placed at the first step in the grade level for which they have been selected. For information on IFAD’s remuneration package, please visit IFAD’s compensation and benefits page on our website. Applicants are invited to use the ICSC compensation calculator to estimate the salary and benefit entitlements.  See here. 

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.

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.

Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in

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