Digital Agriculture Specialist

Vacancy for the Post: Digital Agriculture Specialist

Company Name: FAO

Job description: Organizational Setting

The Information Technology Division (CIO) is responsible for all IT activities within the Organization. CIO performs on behalf of the Organization the following critical roles: defining FAO IT policies and providing strategic advice on IT architecture and standards, governance, policy and operational matters while monitoring organizational compliance; defining the mechanisms for managing FAO’s information and data; protecting FAO’s information assets and ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability; ensuring provision of IT services that are core for the Organization’s global operations and supporting the information and business processes; coordinating organization-wide and its partnership-wide IT activities in order to reduce duplication and fragmentation and to increase integration of information data, systems and platforms, mobilizing IT resources from across the Organization.

The Digital Innovation Unit is responsible for leading digital solutions and processes in FAO in addition to address innovative approaches and partnerships related to ICTs for development and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially with the appropriate GOB partners. The Digital activities and Digital Agriculture Strategy in Bangladesh will support the overall CIO’s achieving these goals and synergies with other work streams.

Reporting Lines

Under the managerial oversight of the FAO Representative in Bangladesh and the supervision of the Deputy FAO Representative, the incumbent will execute activities to scaleup the FAO Digital Services Portfolio in Bangladesh through establishing Digital Villages and providing support in the implementation of national e-Agriculture Strategy in close collaboration with Ministry of ICT and Ministry of Agriculture, and relevant government ministries/institutions. The incumbent will provide regular technical updates to Senior IT Officer (CIO), Senior Economist (RAP) and Digital Agriculture Specialist (RAP), as well as regularly interact with Technical Units in RAP and HQ (i.e., agriculture, environment, climate change, etc.) and obtain required technical clearances from relevant technical team(s).

Technical Focus

The work is part of a broader initiative that leverages the knowledge of FAO and its strategic partners in the digital world, promoting digital inclusion for smallholders and family farmers, tackling the digital divide, rural poverty, and malnutrition. Through adoption of GOB developed mobile applications, information, transactional and advisory services are deployed directly in the field, aiming to change the way rural households do business, manage their assets and access essential information for their daily needs and opportunities. It contributes directly to the reducing poverty, ending hunger, and family farming. The activities are closely linked to the Digital Village initiative and a multi-sector Agricultural Transformation Plan.

The e-Agriculture Strategy guide and toolkit, jointly prepared by FAORAP and ITU, has been produced to assist countries in Asia Pacific region both in developing or revitalizing their national e-agriculture strategy to mainstream ICTs in agriculture and develop an ecosystem to foster innovation in a systematic way. In 2018, CIO has presented and approved a proposal to the FAO Capex Board named “Developing the Global e-Agriculture Strategy”, which, among other activities, aims at developing capacity of e-Agriculture Strategy following a business model approach. Local Government agencies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of ICTs, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, and the broad spectrum of stakeholders (NGOs, young entrepreneurs, private sector, Ag tech Start-ups, etc.) represent the key actors to coordinate to implement of Digital Bangladesh Strategy and FAO’s e-Agriculture Strategy for Bangladesh. Many of these actors have been identified by the HIH Initiative program of Bangladesh in pursuance of a Lidar DEM database for agricultural crop zoning among many of its utilizations in the various other ministries.

Tasks and responsibilities

The incumbent will be primarily responsible for following two projects:

  • Digital Village Initiative: Manage the implementation of country project work-plan, identify risks, and issues, including: monitoring progress against the work-plan and communicate updates to the project team and Regional Office; identify and track the projects’ risks; identify and escalate issues that could affect the projects outcomes, timeline or budget to the Regional Office.
  • Online Marketplace platform: Identify and recruitment of national key technical consultants: android developers, front-end developer, software engineers, IT product designer, etc. to develop concept and model for upscaling existing iFarmer application or if this platform is not compatible, suggest viable alternatives. Conduct 3 focus group meetings/telephone interviews to identify existing individual practices of the agri-food systems (separately with suppliers and traders). Develop understanding of the users of the app and their contexts through focus group discussions (representing potential clients) to understand the nature of the transactions on the ground and how to transfer these transactions online. Prepare skeleton of contents, prepare IT code and coordinate IT works with CIO.
  • Conduct assessment on the country digital agriculture environment and capacity by performing a wide range of analyses (country context, stakeholders mapping, capacity assessment, existing solutions, providers and initiatives, the policy, institutional and legislative framework). Use the recent HIH materials in the assessment.
  • Identify demand areas for digital value-added services for inclusive and sustainable agriculture growth, reduce poverty and to achieve food and nutrition security. Identify and assess the local user information and knowledge needs and capacities with the appropriate GOB and PP partner support or leadership empowerment with relation to weather and climate information, crop calendars, market prices, nutrition, fisheries, and livestock.
  • Support the institutional stakeholders in drafting the national Agricultural Transformation Plan, providing written content and comments, and ensuring that a national vision for Digital Bangladesh, as well as an Action Plan and M&E framework are part of the Agriculture Transformation Plan, promoting a sustainable and inclusive approach to the growth in Agriculture and ICTs.
  • Establish local partners contact database, nurture and support partnerships, coordinate and work closely with national and local stakeholders (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of ICTs, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Bangladesh Computer Council, Department of Agricultural Marketing, NGOs, farming associations, private sector, Ag Tech start-ups, etc.), supporting the establishment and coordination the national working group. Many of these groups have been identified in the HIH materials/reports.
  • Based on the need assessment and findings of all the assessments, coordinate and support the broad spectrum of stakeholders to feed the applications of the Digital Services Portfolio with accurate and timely advisory services
  • Plan, organize and conduct at least three e-Agriculture capacity development workshops with the appropriate GOB and PP partner support or leadership empowerment (targeting FAO Bangladesh team and key government stakeholders), acting as workshop facilitator and trainer; draft workshop reports
  • Plan and organize with the appropriate GOB and PP partner support or leadership empowerment at least two Human centred design workshops for the validation and adaptation of the agricultural digital services.
  • Engage with local stakeholders to support the Digital Services Portfolio dissemination and uptake. More specifically, provide technical support to following four initiatives below:
  • HIH Project Investment Plan: Help coordinate the HIH consortium on procuring a DEM Lidar database with the already identified GOB partners, USGS, and FAO HQ experts and Private sector partners.
  • KAMARI or ‘FARM’ phone app with BARC: support and help facilitate the BARC Crop Zoning website and mobile phone app.
  • Performs any other related tasks as assigned.

CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING

Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in computer science or related field, ;
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in digital app development.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian. Working knowledge of English for PSA.SBS.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Knowledge of software design and programming principles
  • A working knowledge of programming languages
  • Good mathematical and problem-solving skills

Expected salary:

Location: Dhaka

Job date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 23:44:26 GMT

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