Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) Officer - CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat


The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) provides rigorous, independent evidence and advice to the CGIAR System about the impacts of international agricultural research. The CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS Secretariat) supports SPIA and other independent advisory services of CGIAR. The CAS Secretariat is hosted at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture[1], at its office in Rome, Italy.

On behalf of the CAS Secretariat, the Alliance seeks a skilled Impact Assessment (IA) professional to serve as a SPIA Officer.


The SPIA Officer is a critical role within the CAS Secretariat that supports SPIA operations. The incumbent will work closely with other members of the SPIA team and collaborate with the CAS Secretariat and other CGIAR colleagues to ensure that activities of SPIA, and independent advice in general, are timely, of high quality, available and accessible, to support System-wide management, learning and decision-making processes.

The position is based in Rome, Italy, and involves international travel.

Key Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the SPIA Senior Manager, and with technical guidance from SPIA panel members, the SPIA Officer will:

  • Participate in in-depth analysis on topics germane to the impact assessment of the CGIAR portfolio
  • Assist with writing and reviewing technical products pertinent to IA subject matters, including guidelines, protocols and training material, with input from SPIA panel members
  • Contribute to the success of the communication and social media strategy of SPIA and of the CAS Secretariat
  • Prepare communication products (technical notes, research summaries, blogs, presentations) for various audiences
  • Support SPIA event organization by preparing technical agenda contributions and inputs
  • Participate actively in event preparation and event management to ensure all technical and logistical aspects of events run smoothly
  • Prepare background materials related to IA subject matters for use in meetings and trainings
  • Prepare technical and procedural communications with research teams and other stakeholders
  • Assist with conducting literature reviews in support of SPIA and in alignment with the SPIA workplan
  • Interact regularly with members of CGIAR IA community
  • Work constructively with other workstreams of the CAS Secretariat (i.e., research for development strategy and planning, and independent evaluation)
  • Work closely with other Secretariat staff supporting SPIA to ensure all Secretariat services for SPIA run smoothly
  • Follow theoretical and technical developments in the IA field that may have a bearing on CGIAR IA
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Qualifications and competencies

Essential qualifications and competencies

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Applied Economics (Development, Agricultural, and Environmental Economics), Public Policy, or other disciplines with course work in impact assessment methods (candidates who are completing Master’s studies in the summer of 2020 are eligible to apply)
  • Progressively responsible professional experience including in academic settings, which may include work-study, volunteer, internship or other similar arrangements
  • Strong theoretical, technical and functional understanding of impact assessment, including recent methodological developments
  • Strong quantitative skills, including experience with data analysis and econometrics, and qualitative analysis skills
  • Strong familiarity with emerging techniques and methods at the cutting edge of impact assessment (as evidenced through writing sample, publication or other sources)
  • Interest in agriculture in developing countries, including agricultural innovations
  • Excellent  command  of  the  English  language,  both written and spoken
  • Interest to work in a multi-disciplinary work environment with the ability to juggle multiple assignments of both a technical and operational/logistical nature
  • Exposure to and professional interest in international and intercultural settings

Desirable qualifications and competencies

  • Understanding of IA in the context of agriculture and food systems, and of the CGIAR’s research for development domains
  • Experience in an international setting, in particular in projects aimed at delivering outcomes for developing countries
  • Working knowledge (spoken and written) of French and/or Spanish

Terms and conditions: This is an internationally recruited position. The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance, housing allowance and leave provisions. All benefits are denominated and paid in US dollars. The initial contract will be for a period 2 years, subject to a probationary period of 6 months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of funds.

Applications: Please apply online through the Alliance Job Opportunities web page ( by clicking on the “Apply” button, completing the online application and attaching the required information, no later than 4 May 2020. Please note that in the application you are required to provide the contact details (address, telephone number and e-mail address) of at least three referees, whom we will contact for short-listed applicants.

This Job Description is an integral part of the employment contract and is subject to change from time to time.

For more information about CAS Secretariat, refer to

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT is an equal opportunity employer and strives for staff diversity.


Download the Full Vacancy (PDF)


[1] Bioversity International and CIAT are CGIAR Research Centers. For further information consult the websites at and