World Food Programme (WFP)

Programme Policy Officer (Head of Innovation)

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.

Are you an Innovation Leader and Expert interested in further developing your professional experience while contributing to ending global hunger? Would you like to join WFP, a highly reputable organisation bringing positive change to lives of people affected by hardships? Would you like to join a global organisation investing in its people?

If your answer is yes, then this is a great opportunity for you to become an integral member of a diverse and passionate team that works on varied and international projects directly contributing to beneficiary assistance.

About WFP

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) 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.  With more than 18,000 colleagues worldwide, WFP works 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.

Why WFP?

  • WFP assists more than 86 million people around 83 countries. Your work will have a positive impact on lives of the world’s most vulnerable people

  • The way WFP serves hungry and vulnerable people is truly important for transforming their lives and provide a path for self-reliance

  • You will join one of the biggest operations of WFP in the world with a wide portfolio of assistance, and a diverse team of passionate professionals ready to find solutions for the complex context of South Sudan.

  • WFP invests in the training and development of its employees through a range of training, accreditation, mentorship and other programs as well as through internal mobility opportunities

  • We offer attractive compensation package (please refer to Terms and Conditions section)

WFP South Sudan County Office, Programme Unit

WFP in South Sudan is seeking to fill the position of Programme and Policy Officer (Head of Innovation) at the P4 Level, based in Juba. The position reports to the Deputy Head of Programme, and works in close Coordination with activity managers from different functional units. The Head of Innovation manages a dynamic and results-oriented team focused on driving change to improve programme quality and enhance the impact of WFP’s programmes. The Innovation Unit sits within Programme and is responsible for identifying gaps, testing new approaches, and bringing successful models to scale so they can be adopted and mainstreamed. The successful candidate will manage a team of over 50 professionals in two main areas: Cash Transfer programmes and the in-house beneficiary management system (SCOPE) for the registration, identification and delivery of food assistance.

The Head of Innovation position requires a person with vision, creativity, excellent partnering skills, strategic positioning and negotiation experience, and strong management and interpersonal capability. This is an exciting leadership role that offers the opportunity to make a real difference within one of WFP’s largest and most complex operations with activities spanning the spectrum of emergency response to development interventions.

 The Head of Innovation manages one of the largest teams in WFP South Sudan. The examples of some of the great projects the Head of Innovations will work on:

  • WFP’s aim is to biometrically register all 5 million of beneficiaries in SCOPE by the end of 2021, as well as offering it as a beneficiary management solution for other UN agencies and NGOs.

  • WFP is the leading agency in the country for cash transfers, and it is constantly looking for strategies to expand the use of market-based interventions to maximise the benefits of food assistance.

  • WFP is constantly looking for innovative solutions to address the root causes of food insecurity in South Sudan, and to respond to the challenges of delivering assistance efficiently and effectively in the country.

The Role

Key Responsibilities

  • Spearhead and provide technical expertise for the planning, formulation and implementation of innovative solutions to strengthen the accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of WFP in South Sudan.

  • Position WFP as the leader in cash-based programming in South Sudan designing new pilot projects, including new payment mechanisms, safety nets and financial inclusion.

  • Manage and oversee institutional change for the adoption of improved technologies and processes.

  • Provide leadership to identify evidence gaps that require operational research to improve Program Design and the effectiveness of WFP operations.

  • Lead fundraising efforts for the design, pilot and scale-up of innovations.

  • Develop operational partnerships and maintain established strategic partnerships to identify opportunities for developing innovations.

  • Oversee the scale up of the use of SCOPE and provide guidance to streamline its use across the Country Office.

  • Implement controls and adopt a risk management approach for the roll out of current and new technologies and processes in order to mitigate negative impact to WFP and all stakeholders.

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

About You

  • You are a professional with experience in helping shape an organisation’s culture and processes to facilitate innovation and to train others on how to get better at it.

  • You have a solid experience in project management and a proven record of delivering complex projects in challenging environments.

  • You are highly adaptive and able to communicate effectively with diverse audiences who might not share the same technical knowledge

  • You have the ability to influence people and enjoy fostering collaborative work with team members who are highly qualified in their areas of expertise.

Qualifications & Key Requirements

  • Degree in economics, Agriculture, international affairs, business Administration, social sciences, development studies or a field relevant to international development assistance.

  • At least eight years of professional experience in project management, leading complex operations, and with at least three years spent at the country / implementation level in developing countries.

  • Experience in Change Management, facilitating stakeholders’ transition into new processes, and reinforcing and sustaining change.

  • Sound analytical abilities and Problem Solving skills.

  • Strong understanding of the theory and application of food security, livelihood and safety net programmes.

  • Experience leading, managing, and analysing discussions with technical experts in a variety of disciplines.

  • Proven leadership skills to motivate and develop a team to enable high performance.

Additional/Nice have requirements:

  • Knowledge of major humanitarian, recovery and development challenges and issues, ideally in peacebuilding areas, and post-conflict settings.


  • Fluency (level C) in English language.

  • Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or WFP’s working language, Portuguese


Ref.: VA No. (122812)

Terms and Conditions

Mobility is, and continues to be, a core contractual requirement in WFP. The selected candidate will be employed on a Fixed-Term contract with a probationary period of one year.

WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. For more details, please visit

Qualified 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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