Senior ICT Specialist (Operations Systems), Rome, Italy At International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Job Title : Senior ICT Specialist (Operations Systems) – Rome, Italy

ID : 15002

Location : ROME

Date of issue : 09/04/2023

Close Date : (Midnight, Rome Time) 10/08/2023

Organizational Unit : Inform. & Comm Technology Div.

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Regular

Assignment Duration : 2 Years

Grade : P-4

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 Corporate Services Department (CSD), led by the Associate Vice-President, CSD, provides IFAD with the human resources, administrative services, safety and security, information technology resources and medical support services required to allow IFAD to meet its objectives of enabling rural people overcome poverty. The work of the CSD is undertaken by three divisions (i) Human Resources Division (HRD) (ii) Administrative Services Division (ADM) and (iii) Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) and two units: (a) Field Support Unit and (b) Medical Services Unit. The Information & Communications Technology Division (ICT) delivers secure, reliable, and integrated technology solutions which enable delivery of business value and provide IFAD with a strategic advantage through technical innovation and agile ICT services, and by streamlining corporate processes using effective ICT solutions. It facilitates access to information, ensures reliable and secure availability of information and communication means, provides and develops business applications and solutions, provides a sustainable and secure digital environment as well as offering standard ICT services.

The incumbent works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director, Information and Communications Technology Division (ICT) and under the direct supervision of a Team Lead, ICT.

Job Role

Senior Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Specialists are senior specialists assigned leadership and management responsibilities for technology design, development and maintenance. This work involves outreach and alignment with business users and coordination with other ICT specialists. The role of ICT Senior ICT Specialist is a key role within ICT. The incumbent is required to understand technical requirements and develop in-depth knowledge of IFAD processes, systems and infrastructure. They are typically accountable for the establishment and management of unit work plans and supervision of a team of ICT Specialists, Associates and/or Assistants.

Position specific: The Senior ICT Specialist (Operations Systems): 1. Manages ICT projects: leads on the management of ICT projects in cooperation with IFAD divisions to deliver requirements in line with timeline and quality expectations and within the given budget. 2. Manages and directs work in specific technology areas, including Oracle, Liferay, Ruby on Rails, SharePoint Online, overseeing support and development of new projects, planning for upgrades or other improvement projects and their accompanying investments, managing resources and contracting the required skills and tools; 3. Identifies new solutions or approaches for solving business needs: including integration technologies, automation solutions, open source and low/no code options; Leads on the follow up of matching needs with commensurate technology solutions, to resource and plan, obtain buy-in from ICT and business leaders to develop and implement working solutions. 4. Investigates new and emerging technology solutions available on the market and explore their potential to meet IFAD challenges or add value to IFAD operations. 5. Provides leadership on questions of technology within ICT, in particular in terms of existing platforms, emerging solutions and services, trends in the industry and within the UN/IFI network and how technology can best be leveraged for IFAD to deliver on its goal and support its strategic differentiation. 6. Supports the Information Technology Governance Committee (ITGC) process, including liaising with customers on new proposals and initiatives, provide input on proposals to ensure a high level of quality on documentation provided to the ITGC, advice and develop content for the CIO strategic presentations to the committee. 7. Advises and leads on budget, cost management and billing related to the technologies within their area of responsibility including in the context of Cloud products subscription or consumption models or other differentiated cost models from product or service vendors. 8. Supports the development and growth of team members to ensure their continuous improvement and learning. 9. Leads on vendor management activities related to the technologies within their area of responsibility, ensure sufficient and adequate vendors are part of the procurement framework available to ICT for that technology.

Key Functions and Results

1. ICT PRACTICE LEADER: Senior ICT Specialists at this level are typically accountable for technical leadership in their occupational area at the corporate level with accountability for conceptualization, design, development, implementation and maintenance of major and complex information systems and applications to meet the evolving needs of the Fund. They typically accomplish the assigned activities through supervision of an ICT unit comprised of other Professional (P) and General Service (GS) staff and through technical guidance and work product validation of external ICT Consultants and contactors.

2. ICT BUSINESS PARTNER: Senior ICT Specialists are credible, trusted partners to client offices served and the Division where assigned, serving as responsive and constructive service providers with a focus on results. They contribute directly to the development of the Fund’s ICT strategy and plans. Senior ICT Specialists provide authoritative advice and guidance to ICT colleagues and the Division Director on cross-division systems / applications interfaces as well as on the requirement for modifications or enhancements / extensions and any direct or indirect impact on related information or data.

3. ICT MANAGEMENT: Senior ICT Specialists are accountable for conceptual work and technical leadership in the development, design, implementation and management of original systems/applications and ensures their interface with existing applications and/or major ICT systems. Representative accountabilities/key results include: a. identifying the need for new applications/systems, conducting feasibility studies and translating user needs into systems and applications that can be integrated with existing systems/technology; b. conducting and/or leading systems analysis, determining costs of development and eventual operations of the system(s)/applications; c. defining application/system requirements and developing technical and functional specifications; d. overseeing the development of database architecture, design and configuration ensuring relevant internal control and security mechanisms are established; e. planning, scheduling and launching implementation work and systems testing; f. identifying, testing, assessing and evaluating new products and technologies and proposing strategies and implementation plans; g. collaborating on defining and optimizing the systems integration (intra/inter-organizational) landscape in particular in the context of increasing complexity and differentiated users; and, h. leading the preparation of technical and user documentation for entire systems and interdependent applications as well as training materials and detailed technical presentations; conduct courses for users.

4. AGENT OF CHANGE: Senior ICT Specialists understand and apply the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. They use a seasoned knowledge of information technology to develop, analyze and promote acceptance of new methods of work and automated workflows. Senior Specialists manage change through technical leadership in identifying systems/applications that support change and outreach to client offices to build understanding of and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s information and communication technology strategy, standards, regulations and rules.

5. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Senior ICT Specialists are typically team leaders with accountability for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD technology. This includes: a. People Management through work plan development, recruitment, performance and career management of P and GS staff as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD; b. Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into the divisional budget preparation exercises; c. Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring: i. knowledge content within functional area is continuously updated and available to colleagues and clients; ii. best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed, and iii. appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available to the Fund’s managers, supervisors and staff Information Technology Management through leveraging ERP and other corporate applications (enterprise applications and in-house developments) functionality for improved business results, simplification of transaction and reporting processes and improved client services.

Position specific: The Senior ICT Specialist (Operations Systems) key functions are: 1. TECHNICAL & FUNCTIONAL MANAGEMENT of specific technology/product area The Senior ICT specialist will be the ICT lead for Operations systems. This includes: a. Developing and continuously updating knowledge of IFAD operations globally b. In collaboration with business leads, conceptualizing technology solutions that meet business needs considering the IFAD technology landscape, sustainability, risks, user community and expectations for growth or evolution. c. Monitoring strategic and business model evolutions with IFAD to identify potential impacts on Operation’s systems or emerging needs that can be supported by technology, ensuring compliance and fit-for-purpose solutions. d. Project manage new initiatives, working closely with the business lead, to ensure that technical solutions and applications meet requirements. Manage technical resources and vendors to deliver according to agreed plans and ensure that solutions are compatible with the new or existing infrastructure and architecture. e. Lead projects within the technology footprint of IFAD: Ruby on Rails, ERP, IBM, Microsoft Sharepoint, Liferay, Azure Cloud. f. Ensure that operational relevant data is fully leveraged for corporate reporting and analytics, in line with Data Governance policies and procedures. g. Continuously seeks opportunities for process improvement and technical excellence within corporate systems fully leveraging automation technologies. h. Acts as a Technical Subject Matter expert in application and IT solutions. i. Working closely with IT Security lead, IT Infrastructure, Architecture and DevOps leads to ensure that all work is fully aligned with IT policies and guidelines across these technical areas.

2. RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT -WITHIN ICT AND EXTERNALLY Within ICT foster strong relationships to ensure effective exchange of information and knowledge, frictionless collaboration for holistic technology solutions (infrastructure, application, integrations, security, change management) and issue resolution. Within IFAD, build relationships with counterparts to deepen the understanding of IFAD’s work, be a trusted IT partner to assess needs, review the pipeline of work, ideate on future projects and co-ordinate, and manage the IT needs of the business counterpart. The Senior ICT Specialist will be assigned at least one business areas to which they will be the primary IT contact.

3. VENDOR MANAGEMENT: the Senior ICT specialist will remain current and informed of vendor trends aware of IT market trends and changes for software and hardware vendors. They will lead on ensuring that IFAD has an adequate and appropriate level and number of agreed key vendors. They will schedule regular interactions with key vendors to ensure full awareness of services, resources and other conditions to plan for pipeline needs.

Key Performance Indicators

The work of Senior ICT Specialists involves leading the design, configure, implement, maintain and improve critical technology operations of the Fund, adapting processes as necessary to achieve full functionality and interface with existing systems. Thus work at this level impacts on the overall design and continuity of major systems/applications and indirectly impact the accomplishment of the Fund’s objectives, goals and functions. as a foundation for the Fund’s administrative and programme operations. Technical decisions are taken on the feasibility of technology proposals and specifications for systems / applications. They provide authoritative advice to the Division Director and senior IFAD management, which leads to both technical decisions as well as resource commitments. The key performance indicators for Senior ICT Specialists include leadership, both technical and team.

Working Relationships

Internally, Senior ICT Specialists are responsible for overall coordination with users on all aspects or during all phases of development as well as the provision of authoritative technical guidance to others involved in interrelated technology activities. The acceptance of modification to specifications and work processes is accomplished through negotiations. They provide authoritative technical advice to the ICT Division Director on the design and implementation of technology applications and systems as well as IFAD senior management/decision-makers. Externally, work relationships require collaboration and coordination to ensure vendors, service providers, collaborators and external ICT consultants meet established contractual terms and conditions, coordination with other organizations to establish compatibility of systems/application interface (Borrowers and Contributing institutions).

Position specific: The Senior ICT Specialist (Operations Systems) work relationships are with:

  •  ICT Team: works closely with ICT team leaders and peers to ensure coherent and consistent management of technology services and solutions, managing technical dependencies and embedding security principles in all IT components.
  •  IFAD Peer: builds effective working relationships across IFAD divisions to raise awareness of the work being done by ICT and to identify needs and issues with potential for technology interventions;
  •  IFAD Management: through contribution to IFAD working groups, board initiatives or IFAD priority areas, develops awareness of the requirements and priorities of Senior Management.

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 from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area. In lieu of an advanced university degree, a diploma in combination with six years over and above the minimum experience requirement may be considered;
  •  Areas – Computer science, information technology, mathematics or other job-related field
  •  Degree must be an accredited institution listed on


  •  At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in planning, design, development, implementation and maintenance of information technology, in any of the following roles: infrastructure, system administration, network administration, security management or coding and agile development;
  •  Two (2) years’ experience in a multi-lateral or national organization providing support on a global scope;

Position-specific experience:

  •  Progressively responsible professional experience in planning, design, development, implementation and maintenance of information technology, in any of the following roles: infrastructure, system administration, network administration, application development, security management or coding and agile development;
  •  At least five (5) years demonstrable experience of leading on technology delivery for a business area, with successful track record of successful implementations and user adoption of robust, secure global solutions.
  •  At least five (5) year’s experience of working on technology projects, including but not limited to the following: Ruby on Rails or similar open-source frameworks, ERP, Business Intelligence tools, enterprise IBM solutions, M365 enterprise solutions, Liferay or similar CMS tools, Cloud platforms including Azure, AWS and others.
  •  Proven and demonstrable experience of working as a lead project manager on a complex technology enterprise solution at global level with proven track record of successful project delivery.
  •  Experience of managing a pipeline of work for both continuous improvement work and new initiatives, ensuring adequate planning on resource needs, risks, contingencies, and technical and non-technical dependencies.
  •  Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization tailoring language, tone, style and format to match audience, including up to Senior Management.


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


  •  Project/Programme management: Identification of key-priorities, ability to structure work to meet deadlines and adjustment of workplan/resource allocation when needed Programme management: overall management of portfolio of work (including PMO interaction) with expertise to identify dependencies or bottlenecks between projects, managing changes and risks
  •  Leadership: Group thought leader, sought out by others and providing mentorship and effective guidance to others; Ability to build trust, inside and outside the organization by acting as a role model for IFAD’s core values and competencies, and to provide a clear sense of direction, mentorship and effective guidance to the team, strategizing the IFAD’s goals, giving the vision, empowering the team and ensuring a positive environment for all.
  •  Analytical skills: Outstanding ability to analyse and synthesize qualitative and/or quantitative information from a variety of sources and filter out key insights and recommendations
  •  Strategy implementation: Ability to lead and manage the development and implementation of medium to longer-term strategies for IFAD / for respective divisions
  •  Client orientation: Strong critical thinking combined with communication skills to liaise between the business and technologies to understand business problems and needs, document requirements and identify solutions
  •  Planning: Know-how in the planning of human, financial and material management of IFAD resources
  •  Change management: Role modelling, anticipation of key risks & conflicts and formulation of contingency plans/solutions, action-oriented
  •  Budgeting, resource management: Know-how in budget administration and accounting, resource allocation and planning at divisional level
  •  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
  •  Financial data integrity and financial systems: know-how in systems interface control, core banking system management, data mining and analytics
  •  HR systems: Know-how in the design and management of HR systems and tools (e.g. learning platforms, performance platforms, etc.)
  •  Data management: Data collection, cleaning, transformation and consolidation; data-base architecture & development; data presentation
  •  Data analysis/architecture: Know-how in the analysis and interpretation of data needs and sources taking into account its operational context, using systems and models to disseminate ensuring integrity, availability to meet reporting and business analytics needs
  •  Data systems & tools: Expertise in the design, development, deployment, maintenance and management of Data Warehouse, data visualization, data analysis, data mining and reporting tools
  •  Agile ICT services: Use various agile methods, such as daily stand-ups, sprints and hackathons, to generate end products early on
  •  DevOps: Expertise in continuous integration, configuration management, deployment automation, infrastructure orchestration and monitoring and analytics
  •  Basic ICT & digital fluency:Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. in-depth, computer information systems, including micro-computer operating systems software, hardware and applications software and other office technology equipment), end-user computing configuration management
  •  Cyber-security: Understanding specific to cyber-security principles, tools, systems and applications
  •  Emerging technologies: Expertise to evaluate and identify business and technical opportunities in emerging technologies including methodologies, tools, systems and applications (including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Robotics, GIS Analytics, etc.)
  •  Network and Infrastructure Administration: Understanding of the provisioning, configuration, management, tuning and performance monitoring of IT networks and the infrastructure of datacentres
  •  System and Database Administration: Expertise in the provisioning, configuration, management, tuning and performance monitoring of systems and databases
  •  User technology enablement and support: Advanced configuration and endpoint management, digital mobile communication, seam IT monitoring and backup, incident response and endpoint management
  •  User experience: Strong focus on the delivery of a positive and intuitive user experience, building on a proactive clarification of user needs and requirements

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

This position is included in IFAD internal reassignment exercise and advertised externally in parallel. Should a suitable staff member be identified during the reassignment exercise and the reassignment decision accepted, the recruitment process will be cancelled. In case no suitable candidate is identified through reassignment, the recruitment process will continue.



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