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Country Programme Assistant


  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Islamabad
  • Grade: Administrative support - GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2023-12-04

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.

The Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five regional divisions and an Operational Policy and Results Division. 

The Country Programme Assistant (CPA) post is located in a Regional Office or in a MCO/ICO, and reports directly to the Country Director (CD)/Head of IFAD Multi-Country Office or Country director heading the office or to a Country Programme Officer (CPO) or to a Country Programme Analyst (COA).

Job Role

The incumbent is accountable for a range of administrative and programme support functions pertaining to coordination and execution of field operations. 

The incumbent works collaboratively with the Regional Programme Liaison HQ and with the colleagues in the Regional Team, and with the Country Operations Analyst as relevant, to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in administrative and programme related matters.  
Key results/major activities may include:
•    Programme/Project Support (COSOPs, design, implementation, completion)
•    Resource Management and Office Support
•    Managerial Functions 

Key Functions and Results

1. PROGRAMME/PROJECT SUPPORT: The Country Programme Assistant ensures the availability of timely, complete and accurate information and data to support the efficient and effective delivery of IFAD-supported projects, on behalf of their assigned country teams in all project phases (COSOP, Design/Implementation/Completion) for those activities in the Region  

Responsibilities may include:

•     Assistance in drafting of Terms of References preparation for missions members (COSOP, design, implementation support, completion)

•    Support the preparation of documents and their alignment to IFAD standards and procedures (e.g. for  project  design  report),  monitoring  to ensure timely  submission  to  internal  review  processes  and presentation to Governing Bodies;

•    Organize in-country meetings with internal and external project/programme stakeholders (e.g. project team meetings, negotiations, meetings with governments, country visits of senior management, learning events, etc.), including preparation and dissemination of relevant documentation and scouting for venues and related activities (e.g. maintaining data in IFAD corporate systems) ;

•    Data base input of new investment projects/grants/programmes in IFAD's Grants and Investment Projects System (GRIPS) and Operational Results Management System (ORMS) during design stage (e.g. log frame and planned milestones) as well as entering  and  updating  data  in  IFAD's  Grants  and  Investment  Projects  System  (GRIPS)  and Operational Results Management System (ORMS), and extracting of project and country strategy information as required;

•    Upload and profile required documents for records management and knowledge management purposes (e.g. in the Operations Library (ODC), on xdesk, through IFAD's electronic records management system), and share of information with project partners and other stakeholders as required.

2. OFFICE SUPPORT: The Country Programme Assistant ensures that the full range of activities pertaining to country programme administrative operations follow established regulations, rules and procedures.

Administrative responsibilities span travel, human and financial resources, and procurement.  Responsibilities may include:

•    Prepare programme related  travel  arrangements,  including  related  PeopleSoft  Financials  Enterprise  Resource Planning (ERP) transactions, for staff located in IFAD's RO/MCOs/country office(s) , including input of mission dates in corporate system, handling of visas and logistical arrangements, and supporting staff in being compliant with UNDSS recommendations on travel;

•    Logistical  assistance during recruitment processes of non-staff personnel, e.g. consultants and interns, and  related  procurement activities, including PeopleSoft input and data maintenance

•    Carry out HR and Financials ERP related transactions and initiating payment requests;

•    Support the administration and execution  of allocated programme related budgets and perform the first- level review of administrative expenditures, as required;

•    Provide office assistance, dealing with routine document administration (including managing incoming and outgoing communications and maintaining office records and filing systems) as required;

•    Provide background/supporting documentation upon request, formatting/drafting standard components of documents ensuring timely submission of appropriate documentation into IFAD’s records management system;

•    Perform other administrative activities relating to the running of the office, as required and assigned by the head of the office.

3. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Country Programme Assistant is accountable for integrity and transparency in the administration of IFAD resources. This includes providing inputs into the country office budget preparation exercises and monitoring sub-allotments issued; implementing procurement processes and assisting in contract close-out procedures; effective use of ERP functionality for improved business results; simplification of transaction and reporting processes; and improved client services, supervision of support staff, as applicable.

Key Performance Indicators

The key results have an indirect impact on the overall team efficiency in country office support and success in implementation of  regional programme operations.  Accurate data  entry and  presentation of  information enhances IFAD's position as a strong development partner. The information provided facilitates project/programme support activities and programme decision-making.

Working Relationships

The Country Programme Assistant works in close collaboration with the Regional Specialist (P3), Regional Analyst (P-2), Data Analyst (NOB) and in coordination with IFAD HQ (Regional Programme Liaison team), to exchange information in support of programme delivery as well as, administrative support. The incumbent is continually involved in enlisting the support and cooperation of administrative units.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 1:

  • Building relationships and partnerships - Builds and maintains effective working relationships
  • Communicating and negotiating - Communicates effectively; creates understanding between self and others
  • Demonstrating leadership - Personal leadership and attitude to change
  • Focusing on clients - Focuses on clients
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating - Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge & innovates
  • Managing time, resources and information - Manages own time, information and resources effectively
  • Problem-solving and decision-making - Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development - Personal influence
  • Team working - Contributes effectively to the team


  • Level – High School certificate (e.g. A level and Baccalaureate) 
  • Areas of focus - accounting, business administration, economics, finance, or related areas.


  • At least four (4) years of progressively responsible administrative and programme support experience in UN agencies, development institutions, government service and/or other relevant organizations.
  • Position-specific experience: Qualifying work experience in country programme Country programme support, support to Operations, loan/grant administration, and resources and planning. Experience with International financial institutions, development cooperation agencies, etc., would be an asset. Must be a national of, or hold a valid working permit for, the country of assignment.


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


  • Logistics management: Know-how in logistics support specific to position, such as Travel Management (including travel arrangements, visa administration, etc.), Event organization (e.g. organization of conferences, (virtual) meetings, retreats, trainings), etc.
  • Procedure adherence: Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations
  • Procurement: Know-how in the application of the procurement policies, rules and regulations applicable to IFAD HQ and/or Country Programmes/Projects, including for complex individual cases
  • Record management: Know-how in record keeping (e.g. proper handling of records and systems to preserve institutional memory, including correspondence logs, office filing and reference systems, etc.)
  • Topical expertise - Administration: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. For ethics office assistant, procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct, Discipline and Anti-harassment provisions of applicable rules and guidelines)
  • Adaptability: Adaptability and flexibility when facing new or unexpected situations, and to specific constraints and circumstances and managing complex processes
  • 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.)
  • Initiative and good judgment: High sense of proactive initiative-taking and good judgement (including on security matters)
  • Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
  • Problem solving: Strong systemic and structured thinking, ability to identify and dissect problems into components and formulate a comprehensive set of creative viable and sustainable solutions and strategies

Other Information

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

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

Applicants for National positions at General Service level must be legally authorized to live and work in the country of recruitment at the time of application. Any job offer is subject to evidence from the candidate to have obtained and be able to maintain the legal status to live and work in the country of recruitment. 

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.