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G7 - Team Leader International Agriculture and Sustainable Land Use - International Climate Finance (Maternity Cover)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Salary Additional Information National: £47,078 - £54,456, London: £51,771 - £59,889
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 05/07/2020
Company Name Defra
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Defra logo
Directory Entry : Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs.
Also Listing:
Defra is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

The Wildlife International and Climate Directorate (WICAF) is a multi-site team of over 200 staff. With a large and very varied portfolio this is an exciting opportunity to join a group of people working at the heart of the Governments agenda. It leads on policy and programming in a broad and diverse range of areas including nature and species recovery, biodiversity protection, tackling the international illegal wildlife trade, climate change, international environmental negotiations, and managing official development assistance (ODA). We work closely with our partners in the Natural Environment and Rural (NER) system and contribute to the aims of the 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP).

In Defra, your work can have a profound impact on people’s lives, and your role will be critical to achieving our vision of ‘creating a great place for living’. These roles will provide significant opportunities to develop your own skills and future career, as you play an active role in shaping and delivering Defra’s priorities.

The 2020s will be definitive for whether or not we are able to limits the impacts of climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals are met, and the catastrophic decline in global biodiversity is stopped. A rapid acceleration in climate action between now and 2030 is crucial. Pivotal to this will be transforming the way in which the world uses land and water, to tackle the triple challenge of climate change, biodiversity loss and ensuring secure livelihoods through resilient, productive food systems.

Defra currently manages a £210 million+ portfolio of International Climate Finance (ICF). These programmes support developing countries protect the world’s most biodiverse forests; promote sustainable livelihoods through improved land use and low carbon agriculture; and contribute to global food security and resilience to climate change. In September 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the UK would double its ICF contribution to £11.6bn for 2021-2025. As the UK prepares to host COP26, we will continue to demonstrate global leadership through ICF by putting climate change and restoring global nature at the heart of the international agenda, and scaling our action to support nature, climate and development outcomes.

Job description

This Grade 7 Team Leader role is being offered as a fixed term appointment for up to 12 months. The reason why this post is being offered for a fixed time period, is to provide maternity cover. The work that the appointee will carry out during the fixed term will include leading the development and delivery of ICF programming and policy on sustainable agriculture and land use and overseeing our strategic approach in these areas. The post will begin in September 2020 and end in September 2021. (The contract will end on the return of the employee from maternity leave).

We are looking for a motivated and experienced individual to join our growing team to lead our work to develop and deliver ICF programming and policy on sustainable agriculture and land use and, working closely with the Division’s International Strategy & Engagement Team, oversee our strategic approach in these areas. You will work with the team to deliver our existing pipeline of programmes and develop new investment opportunities as part of a coherent strategy of international environmental policy work within Defra and across HMG. You will work closely with your counterparts in the Division leading ICF programming and policy on forests and commodities.

In light of these objectives we seek an individual with previous experience in ODA management and/or agriculture/land use policy.

Large sums are spent as part of ICF and interest at Ministerial and very senior official level therefore runs high in Defra. We will need to develop long-term productive relationships with delivery partners, including international organisations, in order to effectively deliver results on the ground, and you will engage with senior leaders and project partners. The post holder must be a confident and persuasive communicator. International travel may be required.

Essential Skills and Experience:
• Confident leading a team and the ability to learn quickly get to grips with a fast moving policy and delivery area, resilient in the face of pressure;
• Analytical skills to identify key issues and risks from complex and often unclear problems, from a wide range of sources, and develop clear, evidenced options which take account of the bigger picture;
• An innovative approach, seeing the opportunities to do things differently or start from a blank page, and then being agile enough to adapt or develop new options as things change;
• Building relationships with colleagues and confidently engaging stakeholders to be able to take account of their different and often conflicting views;
• Presenting complex issues clearly and persuasively with excellent written and verbal communication skills;
• Delivering a quality service at pace – planning and prioritising effectively to deliver results and with a flexible and adaptable approach to change;
• Experience of ODA management and/or agriculture/land use policy;
• Experience of working internationally, especially in the context of international sustainable development initiatives;
• Relevant academic qualifications and / or work experience


You will:
• Oversee and manage our current ODA programmes on international sustainable agriculture and land use in countries such as Brazil, and design and deliver new investment opportunities in preparation for Defra’s future allocation of ICF (in line with the early settlement of £11.6bn). You will work closely with colleagues in Defra, other Departments and delivery partners to manage our projects to HMT and DFID ODA standards. This includes in relation to project and business case development, implementation, and monitoring and reporting. You will work closely with analytical colleagues in the Division and oversee appropriate engagement with senior officials and Ministers.

• Work closely with the international engagement and strategy team and relevant colleagues in the Defra Group in developing and delivering key policy agendas on sustainable agriculture and land use (e.g. on agriculture subsidies) and bringing strong strategic insight to Defra’s ODA portfolio to ensure a coherent programme of work within Defra and across HMG.

• Work in partnership with the Division’s programme management office, ensuring the effective and timely management and delivery of ICF projects and strategic fit with Defra’s interests. You will lead on the department’s outreach, transparency and communications in your policy area and ensure value for money and effective ODA expenditure, linking up with colleagues in BEIS and DFID. You will also lead on reviewing spend, undertaking due diligence, conducting business and resource planning, and ensuring that we meet our UK commitments and manage our risks effectively. You will work closely with finance, legal and procurement colleagues to ensure effective project initiation and with Defra’s ODA team on progress and risk reporting.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together


• Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.
• An annual leave entitlement of 25 days (rising over 5 years to 30 days) for full time staff
• A pro rata annual leave allowance if you work part time or flexibly
• In addition, an entitlement to 9 public holidays a year (pro rata if you work part time or flexibly)

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.
Application Process:
This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, experience and strengths.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete 5 X 250-word statements on the Behaviours listed above, a CV and Statement of Suitability. The CV will ask for your Job History, Qualifications and Past Skills and Experience. Your Statement should be no more than 750 words, and should be aligned to the following guidance: Please provide an overview of relevant experience, expertise, and interest in the position.

Please note, depending on the volume of applications an initial sift may be conducted on the lead behaviour, Leadership. Candidates must pass this behaviour for their application to be progressed.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed. Interviews remotely based via telephone or video conference.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

New entrants will be expected to join on the minimum of the payband.

Merit Lists
Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-Employment.Checks@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

Loan and Fixed Term Appointments
Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

Higher Security Clearance:
This post requires the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to Marsham Street, London may be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Job offers to these posts are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.’’

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
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