FAO recruits 01 National Laboratory Specialist

FAO recruits 01 National Laboratory Specialist


Lusaka, Zambia
Agronomie, Agroalimentaire

Job Description:  2300482

National Laboratory Specialist

Closure Date: 06/Mar/2023, 11:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit: FRZAM

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition: NPP (National Project Personnel)

Grade Level: N/A

Primary Location: Zambia-Lusaka

Duration: 6 months with possibility of extension

Post Number: N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture

Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply

Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values

FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations.  With presently 194 member states, and working in more than 130 countries worldwide, including Zambia where the Organization has operated since 1978. The main aim of the FAO country office, which is headed by the FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner. 

The support is based on the guidelines as provided by the Country Programming Framework (CPF). The current Zambia CPF has four priority areas: (1) Improve production and productivity of crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry; (2) Sustainable management of the natural resource base and Increasing Resilience and Uptake of Climate Smart Agriculture; (3) Enhance food security and nutrition status; and (4) Improved market access and sanitary measures. The incumbent’s tasks will mainly contribute to the first priority area.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through its Emergence Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is implementing a new project “Enhancing Animal Health and One Health capacities to mitigate zoonotic diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) risks and threats in Zambia”. This project is being supported by the USAID under the Global Health Security (GHS) programme. The project focuses on effectively supporting Zambia to build a sustainable animal health system and One Health capacities to mitigate risks and threats caused by emerging and re-emerging zoonosis, endemic zoonosis and AMR.

Reporting Lines

The incumbent will work within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease Operations (ECTAD), under the overall supervision of the Senior Animal Health Officer/ECTAD Global Programme Coordinator (NSAH), the functional and administrative supervision of the FAO Representative in Zambia, the direct supervision of the ECTAD country Team Leader at FAO Zambia, in support to the ECTAD Zambia team, and the ECTAD Regional Team for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, and relevant animal health officers at FAO sub-regional Office for Southern Africa (SFS), the incumbent will undertake the following duties and responsibilities:

Technical focus

•    Laboratory component of ECTAD Zambia programmes submitted timely

•    Updates on zoonotic and TADs events, and related laboratory results provided

•    Veterinary laboratory network strengthened, and activities regularly updated

•    Reports on national veterinary laboratory capacity for pathogen testing and Proficiency Test results prepared

•    BTORs submitted for clearance within 10 days of mission completion, bi-weekly updates and regular project reports submitted

•    Inputs for project proposals, concept notes provided timely 

•    Final technical report upon completion of the assignment submitted

Tasks and responsibilities

•    Contribute to the preparation of country strategies and programme for the management of high impact priority zoonotic diseases (PZDs), as well as emerging, re-emerging zoonotic and non-zoonotic disease, and AMR in line with the national priorities and FAO’s Strategic framework 2022-2031

•    Coordinate the implementation of activities relevant to laboratory aspects of the FAO component of the USAID-funded Global Health Security Program (GHS program) in Zambia. These include:

o    Contribute in the framing and the implementation of diagnostic protocols to support surveillance plans and maintain the ISO17025 status of the veterinary laboratory

o    Ensure effective implementation of laboratory testing protocols for pathogen bio surveillance as per ECTAD Zambia GHS program country work plans

o    Contribute to Laboratory capacity assessments using the FAO laboratory mapping tool (LMT) and development of strategy for capacity development of national laboratories 

o    Supervise the assessment of national laboratory veterinary capacity for pathogen testing of samples from livestock and livestock products 

o    Link epidemiological and laboratory findings including positive epidemiological results with virus sequence accession number

o    Participate in country expert missions on field investigations

o    Liaise with the DVS and CVL for sample collection from livestock in targeted livestock farming systems, and at critical points along the value chains and at domestic animals-wildlife interfaces using appropriate biosafety/biosecurity measures

o    Support the collaboration between veterinary laboratory staff and field epidemiologists.

o    Supervise the preparation of lists of appropriate laboratory items for procurement for Zambia, along with draft technical specifications, taking into account laboratory requests when needed and monitor their good delivery to beneficiary laboratories.

o    Support capacity development of national laboratories through facilitation of training programs for laboratory personnel on new laboratory techniques/tools such as LMT, ATLASS, diagnostic techniques

o    Assist in the organization of planned training workshops, laboratory-related simulation exercise and meetings and other technical meetings, as needed

o    Support country participation in Proficiency Tests and coordinate troubleshooting actions 

o    Support the strengthening of a functional national epidemiology and laboratory network in Zambia

o    In consultation with relevant national partners, prepare specifications for the procurement of laboratory consumables and related non-expendable equipment

•    Prepare regular reports on the progress of the implementation of laboratory aspects of projects implemented by ECTAD Zambia for FAO, donors or other stakeholders

•    Participate in animal health emergency preparedness and contingency planning exercises, or tabletop scenarios

•    Participate in weekly epi-lab weekly coordination calls, provide regular updates of TADs epidemiology situation immediate notification to the ECTAD Zambia Team Leader, of any significant diagnostic test results

•    Support ECTAD resource mobilization efforts 

•    Undertake other duties as requested.


Minimum Requirements 

•    A degree in the field of Microbiology, Veterinary Medicine or Biomedical Sciences or the equivalent

•    Master’s degree in the relevant field with experience in laboratory analysis.

•    Five years of relevant experience in laboratory diagnostics, research and stakeholder engagements is cardinal.

•    Working knowledge of the English language.

•    Should be a Zambian National 

FAO Core Competencies

•    Results Focus

•    Teamwork

•    Communication

•    Building Effective Relationships

•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills 

•    Extent and relevance of experience in supporting, advising and guiding the implementation of complex, multi-stakeholder projects;

•    Extent and relevance of experience in providing laboratory technical support for programme/project formulation, analysis, planning and implementation 

•    Understanding of FAO policies and programmes is considered a strong asset; 

•    Extent of experience in formulation, implementation and monitoring of projects; 

•    Familiarity with UN administrative, operational and financial procedures is an asset


FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help please contact:

Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted

Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at  

For additional employment opportunities visit the FAO employment website: 

 Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. 

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions. 


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills

• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile

• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application

• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications

• Incomplete applications will not be considered

• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application

• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered

• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile

• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact:


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