Associate Professional Officers

Kaori Abe

A Japanese APO at FAO from 1999 to 2003, Kaori was based between FAO's Country Office in Mozambique and Rome headquarters. She currently works as an Emergency Operations officer for FAO's response to the Southern Sudan Crisis through the Special Emergency Programme Service (TCES).

"The APO Programme allows you to work in the kind of environment that suits your personality and goals. I have a degree in Law and Development Studies but my specialization is in environmental sociology and gender and the first project I worked on as an APO was 'LinKS Project - Gender, biodiversity and local knowledge systems for food security'. It covered several countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and focussed on making local and national governments aware of the impact of gender on natural resources through workshops and gender analysis techniques.

As the APO Programme is so flexible, I was able to transfer from headquarters in Rome to the FAO Country Office in Mozambique. While there, I worked for diverse FAO projects on community forestry, natural resource management, plant protection and conservation agriculture. I was involved in the various cycles of project management (from project formulation to management and implementation of activities and negotiation with donors) and had the opportunity to communicate with a range of people (from farmers to ministry staff). I like communicating with different people who have diverse needs and priorities and enjoy trying to think of how all sides can work together for a common objective.

Once I had finished as an APO, I moved to the Special Emergency Programme Service at FAO where I am currently assisting FAO's response to the Sudan crisis through various emergency and rehabilitation projects." (Note: Kaori is pictured above between two colleagues at FAO's Southern Sudan office in Juba.

Working both in headquarters and the field really broadened my view and helped me to understand the presence of FAO in the wider context of food security in Africa. I also had a lot more independence in terms of organizing my work and my supervisor always provided me with good advice and guidance whenever I needed, so I feel that I really grew professionally."