Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Is Currently Hiring An Administrative Assistant APPLY NOW


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to “let there be bread”. It was founded on 16 October 1945.

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Job Title: Administrative Assistant
Closure Date: May 2, 2024, at 11:59:00 PM
Organizational Unit: FRSAF – FAO Representation in South Africa
Job Type: Non-staff opportunities
Type of Requisition: PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level: Not Applicable
Primary Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: Up to 11 months with the possibility of extension

About FAO

  1. Mandate: FAO’s primary goal is to achieve food security for all and ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives. It aims to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition, enhance agricultural productivity, and promote sustainable agriculture.
  2. Membership: FAO has 194 member countries, making it one of the largest specialized agencies of the United Nations. It serves as a platform for international cooperation, facilitating collaboration and partnerships among nations to achieve common goals in the food and agriculture sector.
  3. Areas of Work: FAO’s work covers various areas, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, livestock, nutrition, rural development, and sustainable natural resource management. It focuses on promoting sustainable practices, improving rural livelihoods, enhancing agricultural productivity, and addressing climate change and environmental sustainability in the context of food and agriculture.
  4. Programs and Initiatives: FAO implements a range of programs and initiatives to support its member countries. These include promoting sustainable farming practices, conducting research and analysis on food and agriculture, providing technical assistance and capacity building, and coordinating emergency responses to food crises and natural disasters.
  5. Global Reports and Publications: FAO produces a wealth of reports, publications, and data on various aspects of food and agriculture. These resources provide valuable information on topics such as crop production, livestock management, food security, nutrition, and policy analysis, contributing to evidence-based decision-making and fostering knowledge exchange.
  6. Partnerships and Collaboration: FAO collaborates with governments, international organizations, civil society, academia, and the private sector. It works on joint initiatives and partnerships to tackle complex food and agriculture challenges and achieve sustainable development goals.
  7. Research and Innovation: FAO is actively involved in research and innovation to develop and promote new technologies, practices, and approaches in agriculture and food systems. It fosters innovation to address emerging challenges and improve the resilience and sustainability of food production and supply chains.
  8. Advocacy and Policy: FAO plays an important role in advocating for policies and actions that promote sustainable agriculture, food security, and rural development. It provides policy advice and technical expertise to governments and stakeholders to support evidence-based decision-making at local, national, and international levels.

Why Work At FAO

  1. Meaningful Impact: FAO’s work directly contributes to addressing global challenges related to hunger, food security, and sustainable agriculture. By working at FAO, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, particularly those in vulnerable communities.
  2. Global Reach and Influence: FAO is a renowned international organization with a presence in over 130 countries. Working at FAO provides you with an opportunity to collaborate with experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, influencing global strategies and policies in the field of food and agriculture.
  3. Multidisciplinary Approach: FAO’s work covers a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, nutrition, and rural development. By working at FAO, you can engage in cross-cutting and interdisciplinary projects, gaining a broad understanding of complex issues and contributing to holistic solutions.
  4. Professional Development: FAO is committed to the professional growth and development of its staff. The organization offers a range of learning opportunities, training programs, and career development initiatives to enhance your skills, knowledge, and expertise in various aspects of food and agriculture.
  5. Collaborative Work Environment: FAO fosters a collaborative and inclusive work culture, encouraging teamwork, knowledge sharing, and innovation. You’ll have the chance to collaborate with colleagues from different countries and backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and learning.
  6. Networking and Partnerships: Working at FAO provides opportunities to build a vast network of contacts within the organization and across the global food and agriculture sector. You can establish partnerships with governments, international organizations, research institutions, and civil society, facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration.
  7. Exposure to Cutting-Edge Research and Innovations: FAO is at the forefront of research and innovation in the field of food and agriculture. By working at FAO, you’ll have access to the latest research, technologies, and best practices, contributing to evidence-based solutions and promoting sustainable development.
  8. Work-Life Balance: FAO recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. The organization offers flexible working arrangements, supportive policies, and benefits that promote employee well-being, allowing you to maintain a fulfilling personal and professional life.
  9. Prestige and Reputation: FAO is a globally recognized organization with a long-standing reputation in the field of food and agriculture. Working at FAO can enhance your professional profile, provide opportunities for career advancement within the United Nations system, and open doors to future opportunities in the international development field.
  10. Cultural and Diversity Experience: FAO’s multicultural work environment allows you to engage with colleagues from various cultural backgrounds, fostering cultural understanding and appreciation. It provides a unique opportunity to learn from different perspectives and develop intercultural competencies.

Tasks and responsibilities

• Provide administrative support to ensure timely implementation of project activities.

• Handle travel arrangements for all in country missions and support processing of travel claims.

• Proofread documents, prepare draft letters (notice of selection, invitations etc.) in accordance with FAO guidelines.

• Assist in all activities related to the preparation and organization of meetings & workshops, supporting all logistical aspects. 

• Support the liaison with AHTs, mentors and workshop attendees with respect to travel and data re-imbursements. 

• Maintain effective delivery follow-ups control tracking the delivery of goods and services. 

• Support preparation of Casual Labour contracts for reimbursement of AHTs during work placements.

• Track completion of work placements.

• Assist in monitoring budget and project expenses.

• Support updating of project archives in the SharePoint.

• Support the project team in resolution of administrative matters.

• Undertake other related duties and duty missions when required.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in administration or equivalent.

• At least one year of relevant experience assisting project implementation and administration.

• Working knowledge of English (Level C) and limited knowledge of a second national language.

• National of South Africa or resident of the country with valid work permit.

FAO Core Competencies

• Results Focus

• Teamwork

• Communication

• Building Effective Relationships

• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

• Good knowledge of FAO or united national operations procedures is desirable.

• Competent in using Microsoft Office, Excel, formatting in Word

• Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.


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