World Food Programme (WFP)

Programme Policy Officer

World Food Programme (WFP)

Job Description

WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles. Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance. ABOUT WFP The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need. BACKGROUND The WFP Kenya Country Strategic Plan [CSP] (2018 – 2023) endeavours to ensure that targeted smallholder producers, food-insecure and vulnerable populations benefit from more sustainable, inclusive Food Systems and increased resilience to climate shocks to meet food and nutrition needs by 2023, through its Food Systems component (Outcome 2).   Under this component WFP will design and implement interventions to address food system challenges, from production, through transformation and to consumption. In line with the new Food Systems approach outlined in the CSP and WFP corporate strategy documents, WFP will apply its comparative advantages in field presence, partnerships and relationships with national and county governments to improve the production and climate resilience of smallholder farmers and pastoralists, while linking them to markets and improving supply chain efficiencies. The programme is delivered in close collaboration with County Governments, drawing in partners from civil society, the private sector and academia. ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT These roles are likely found in Headquarters (HQ), Regional Bureaux (RBs) or Country Offices (COs). Job holders are likely to report to the relevant Director or more Senior Programme post. Job holders are likely to manage a moderate portfolio of activities that may include contribution to and/or direct management of programmes in COs of moderate complexity, or contribution to policy formulation and provision of technical advice at RB or HQ level for a defined area of expertise. Job holders operate with considerable independence in their specialities and may manage a substantial team of junior professional and support staff JOB PURPOSE To design and manage programmes of moderate size or complexity that effectively meet food assistance needs, or contribute to policy formulation and/or provide technical advice or oversight on programme strategy and implementation. This position is required to provide overall leadership, management and coordination of WFP’s portfolio in promoting resilient livelihoods under Outcome 2 and specifically Activity 3 of the CSP.  Specific activities include management of in-kind and cash transfers, design and implementation of appropriate and transformational livelihoods assistance, capacity strengthening of national and county governments, promotion of access to financial services including micro-insurance and savings and credit schemes. This will include prioritisation and management of resources including financial flows from multiple funding sources, provision of normative guidance to Field Operations for effective and efficient delivery. It will also entail retaining an oversight and forging synergies with the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA), which is also housed within WFP and forms part of CSP Outcome 2. The Programme Policy Officer will be the Activity Manager for Activity#3 (Resilient Livelihoods), under the direct supervision of the Strategic Outcome Manager for SO#2 (Food Systems and Resilient Livelihoods). KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)
  • Contribute to formulation of WFP-wide programme policies in line with both organisational strategy and the practical realities of operating in the field; or translate programme policy into Regional/Country level practices. Developing programme guidance and implementation modalities and operations, to ensure a clear and strong connection between HQ and field operations.

  • Provide advice and support to COs on moderately complex issues to clarify ambiguities and ensure that policy and programme operations are consistent with WFP policies, Executive Board decisions, and other relevant guidance.

  • Provide technical advice or mobilise technical expertise on programme and policy issues including assessment and analysis, the choice of objectives, activities, transfer modalities and appropriate food products, the deployment and testing of innovative approaches and the development of strategies to support government efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition.

  • Assist counterparts in governments and other partners in identifying where food assistance can be usefully employed and provide support and technical expertise for the planning, formulation and implementation of moderately complex food assistance programmes to strengthen government and community ownership and effectiveness of food security and nutrition programmes at national and sub-national levels.

  • Establish and maintain operational partnerships to identify opportunities for collaborative approaches and initiatives that improve assistance packages and support advocacy work.

  • Enhance WFP’s leadership status in forums relating to area of specialism, for example food security, nutrition, livelihoods, resilience or engagement in humanitarian, transition and development contexts through direct participation, briefings, information products and other materials.

  • Manage operational research and evidence building on issues relevant to food assistance.

  • Manage the preparation and dissemination of timely analytical and critical reports, publications, and a variety of information products or proposals for internal or external use.

  • Contribute to resources mobilisations efforts for WFP projects, including clearly articulating the need for food assistance and related programme opportunities, and follow up on the resource situation of projects including commodity and cash availability, seeking advice from senior colleagues where necessary.

  • Advice and support the development of functional training in areas of expertise to enhance the capacity of WFP staff and partner to design and deliver effective food assistance programmes.

  • Lead, motivate and develop a team of staff to enable high performance.

  • Ensure the best use of assigned financial resources for achievement of set objectives within a moderate budget.

  • Contribute to Country Office Emergency Preparedness i.e. early warning, risk analysis, and contingency planning in order to respond to humanitarian crises and needs.

  • Other as required

Activity Management
  • Lead the development and implementation of resilient livelihoods strategies including for improving productivity and resilience to shocks amongst food insecure populations.

  • Analyse the country context and policy debates nationally, regionally and globally to ensure that WFP Kenya remains at the forefront of thinking and practice in Food Systems and Resilience.

  • Provide technical oversight and guidance and identify opportunities for improvement and innovative initiatives analysing best practices from WFP and partners in academia, government and the private sector.

  • Plan, monitor, prioritise and overall manage resources to maximise their effectiveness in the delivery of Activity#3.  Report comprehensively on the same in required formats and forums.

  • Manage agreements, contracts and MoUs related to Activity#3 with external service providers to ensure corporate standards are followed with special emphasis on quality control, loss prevention, risk mitigation and cost effectiveness.

  • Manage, develop and motivate a team of supervisees, including programme officers to support and provide day-to-day management of activities under Activity#3.

Collaborative Activities and Partnership Management:
  • Present, justify and rationalize activity Resource Management status, plans, prioritization and options to the Resource Management Committee.

  • Contribute fully to the wider Outcome 2 leadership with the Activity#4 Manager and Food Systems Coordinator.

  • Represent WFP in relevant partnership, coordination and collaborations forums with government, United Nations agencies, donor and private sector forums among others.

  • Liaise with other units, including Supply Chain, Administration, finance, procurement, HR and others to ensure the multi-disciplinary and efficient delivery of the programme.

  • In collaboration with the monitoring and evaluation unit, ensure baselines for Activity#3 are established; project reviews and evaluations are carried out and findings are used to improve guidance documents for use by field offices.

KEY DELIVERABLES Main outputs expected from the position include the following:
  1. Annual activity implementation strategies and budgetary reports developed, implemented and reported in line with WFP financial framework.

  2. Technical guidance developed and made available to both Nairobi and field based staff as well as implementing partners where necessary.

  3. Project funding proposals developed.

  4. Activity grants programmed and managed according to WFP financial guidelines and donor requirements.

  5. Strategic, complementary and implementation partnerships forged and formalised where appropriate.

  6. Policy briefs/concepts for policy and strategic engagement with government.

  7. Activity#reviews and evaluations carried out and reports available.

  8. Human Resource requirements for delivery of the activity are identified, recruited and managed.

  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives : Utilizes understanding of WFP’s Strategic Objectives to communicate linkages to team objectives and work.

  • Be a force for positive change : Proactively identifies and develops new methods or improvements for self and immediate team to address work challenges within own work area.

  • Make the mission inspiring to our team : Identifies opportunities to further align individual contributions with WFP’s mission of making an impact on local communities.

  • Make our mission visible in everyday actions : Helps colleagues to see the link between their individual tasks and the contributions of their unit’s goals to the broader context of WFP’s mission.

  • Look for ways to strengthen people's skills : Is able to identify, support and encourage focused on-the-job learning opportunities to address gaps between current skillsets and needed future skillsets for WFP.

  • Create an inclusive culture : Recognizes the contributions of teammates, and encourages contributions from culturally different team mates to recognise the value of diversity above and beyond just including it in programming for beneficiaries.

  • Be a coach & provide constructive feedback : Provides and solicits ongoing constructive feedback on strengths and development opportunities to help develop individual skills, whilst also helping others identify areas for improvement.

  • Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit : Sets clear targets for self and others to focus team efforts in ambiguous situations (e.g., unprecedented issues and/or scenarios)

  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions : Thinks beyond team’s conventional approaches to formulate creative methods for delivering food aid and assistance to beneficiaries.

  • Focus on getting results : Maintains focus on achieving individual results in the face of obstacles such as volatile or fragile environments and/or organizational roadblocks.

  • Make commitments and make good on commitments : Takes personal accountability for upholding and delivering upon team’s commitments and provides assurance to stakeholders.

  • Be Decisive : Demonstrates ability to adjust to team’s plans and priorities to optimize outcomes in light of evolving directives, while also responding quickly in high-pressure environments, such as in emergency settings.

  • Connect and share across WFP units : Demonstrates an understanding of when and how to tactfully engage other units in conversations on impact, timing, or planning

  • Build strong external partnerships : Networks regularly with key external partners using formal and informal opportunities to understand each partner’s unique value proposition, and to build and strengthen relationships

  • Be politically agile & adaptable : Demonstrates ability to adapt engagement approach in the context of evolving partner circumstances and expectations

  • Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships : Demonstrates ability to articulate to internal and external audiences the value that individual contributions and immediate teams bring to partnerships.

FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITIES Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance Displays ability to identify the main hunger problem at the national or subnational level to design and implement context-specific programmes that integrate complex analysis and the full range of food assistance tools. Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher) Demonstrates the ability to design, implement, monitor and provide oversight over effective and efficient programmes deploying different transfer modalities. Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring. Emergency Programming Displays ability to translate understanding of programme principles in emergencies and protracted conflict situations into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes. FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITIES (Continued) Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level Strategy Development Demonstrates robust understanding of livelihoods and resilience concepts and strategies. Conducts analytical and conceptual work in support of strategy design and implementation. Supports field offices to operationalise strategies in own area of responsibility. Capacity Strengthening Leads design and implementation of capacity strengthening initiatives within area of operations managed. Leverages WFP’s capacities and networks to strengthen local organisations, county and national authorities. STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS Education: Advanced University degree in Agricultural Economics, Agriculture,  or other field relevant to resilient livelihoods development, OR First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses. Language: National Professional: Fluency (level C) in English language. DESIRED EXPERIENCES FOR ENTRY INTO THE ROLE
  • Has experience working across the Program portfolio including VAM/Nutrition.

  • Has led a Sub Office or a small country/area office programme team or a component of a country office programme portfolio.

  • Has engaged in policy discussions and provided input into policy decisions.

  • At least five years of postgraduate professional experience in designing and implementing multi-faceted food systems and livelihoods programmes in arid and semi-arid areas.

  • Has led a Sub Office or a small country/area office programme team or a component of a country office programme portfolio.

  • Has engaged in policy discussions and provided input into policy decisions.

  • Proven ability to take initiative, develop and execute demanding work plans.

  • Ability to analyse and identify opportunities and challenges and develop and propose solutions to programmatic challenges.

  • Proven ability to establish and maintain excellent working relations with colleagues and external partners and deal tactfully and patiently with different people. Experience in managing diverse interests and perspectives and build consensus.

SKILLS & COMPETENCIES Skills & Competencies:
  1. Food Systems and resilient liveihoods-related project planning and management.  Specific competencies are required in:
    1. Community based, multi-sectoral programmes to improve food security and nutrition including productivity and access to financial services.

    2. Budget/grant management.

  2. Team/Staff development,  leadership, motivation to enable high performance.

  3. Policy and strategy development and has provided input into policy decisions.

  4. Proven ability to establish and maintain excellent working relations with colleagues and external partners, and deal tactfully and patiently with different people. Experience in managing diverse interests and perspectives and build consensus.

  5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and presentation skills and ability to participate in and facilitate meetings and/or trainings.

  6. Proposal development.

  7. Partnership management, organisation representation.

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


  • WFP embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that celebrates diversity and inclusivity in all ways. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications and merit.

  • Applications for this position will close at 11:59 p.m. (East African Time) on the deadline date.

  • The deadline for recieving applications for this position is Thursday16th January, 2020.

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status. No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.
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