World Food Programme (WFP)

Senior Programme Associate

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.


To contribute the Sustainable Development Goal Number 2: Achieve Zero Hunger ", the United Nations World Food Program in Nicaragua (WFP), designed the Country Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 (CSP). In this strategy, activities are implemented to provide food assistance, technical support, and strengthening of national capacities with government partners and smallholder farmer organizations. WFP's focus areas in Nicaragua are school feeding, social protection, nutrition, climatic and economic resilience, climate change adaptation, gender, emergency preparedness, and response. WFP implement these activities in close coordination with Government partners and Farmer Organizations.

The Strategic Outcome 2 (SO2) of the CSP is: Vulnerable communities and smallholder farmers in targeted areas benefit from sustainable food systems and have strengthened capacities to cope with shocks, climate change and natural hazards by 2023. The aim is to promote disaster risk reduction and help generate inclusive food value chains that are resilient to environmental degradation, climate change and other shocks, both natural and economic, while generating opportunities for smallholder farmers.

Under this SO2, WFP implements Activity 3: Provide technical assistance to smallholder farmers in order to increase their resilience, improve their livelihoods and reduce their vulnerability to adverse climate events

Through this activity, WFP will provide a comprehensive package of support that ranges from climate services, resilience building and climate change adaptation to market support, gender-transformative approaches and linkages between local value chains and social protection programmes. The package will contribute to the development of sustainable food systems, while promoting the economic and climate resilience of smallholder farmers, who are the backbone of agricultural production, with a focus on women’s empowerment.

For smallholder farmers associated in farmer organizations, WFP and its partners will provide technical assistance on topics such as commercialization, post-harvest management, good manufacturing practices, value aggregation and entrepreneurship. WFP will continue to leverage its own food procurement by purchasing part of the food requirements for the school feeding programme from smallholder farmers and will promote the scale up of linkages between smallholder farmers’ production and national social protection programmes.

To achieve these results, the WFP Policy and Programme Unit in Nicaragua needs to hire a professional to work as a Manager of the Activity 3.


Education:         Completion of secondary school education. A post-secondary certificate in the related areas is desired: Agriculture, Sociology, Social Science, International Affairs, Rural Development, or related fields.

Language:       Fluency in both oral and written communication in the UN language in use at the duty station.


At least 3 years’ experience working in programme implementation related to rural development, support to smallholder farmers and agricultural cooperatives.

Experience in programme design, monitoring and evaluation.

Experience in coordination and negotiation with Government counterparts.


These jobs is found at Nicaragua Country Office, based in Managua. Job holder will report to the Programme Policy Officer. Field missions to the implementation area are required.  
At this level, job holders are responsible for technical work including the planning, implementation and co-ordination of activities that require thorough understanding of programme/project context, issues and ability to apply a range of guidelines/practices. They independently handle a wide range of specialized programme or policy support activities and may be involved in analytical work. Work performed typically has a substantial impact affecting other parts of the programme. Job holders demonstrate initiative in the identification and resolution of a wide range of issues/problems, and effectively handle unforeseen situations. They may act as technical focal points in the area of vulnerability assessment and analysis. Job holders set objectives, resolve wide-ranging issues and unforeseen problems, supervise and coach a team of support staff within an area of responsibility.  


  To provide effective coordination and specialized support to the Policy and Programme Unit, particularly to CSP Activity 3 to effectively meet technical support needs.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)
  1. Provide specialized expertise and contribute towards the development of project activities, plans and processes within Activity 3, ensuring alignment with wider programme policies and guidelines.

  2. Provide efficient coordination and specialized project management support to a range of specific and/or defined initiatives to ensure that Activity 3 is performed within the established targets following WFP’s policies and procedures.

  3. Within the specific area of responsibility, prepare a variety of elaborated reports and substantial data analysis (e.g. food assistance needs, resource utilization, programme status, performance) and make recommendations to supervisors, ensuring deliverables adhere to corporate standards and quality control.

  4. In coordination with M&E team, ensure accurate timely recording of data with gender consideration, within the specific technical area of work and consistency of information presented to stakeholders.

  5. Coordinate and liaise with internal (WFP functional units, WFP Regional bureau and Head Quarter) and external counterparts, (the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology, UN Agencies, and others), on a range of complex matters to enable effective collaboration, implementation and monitoring of Activity 3.

  6. Support the capacity building of WFP staff, cooperating partners and national government in issues related to small holder farmers production and sustainable food systems, integrating a gender perspective.

  7. Advise management on issues of sustainable food systems and other related topics

  8. Participate in inter-agency meetings, with the government and NGOs on related topics

  9. Act as an escalation point for complex query resolution on all matters within the area of responsibility.

  10. Manage a team of support staff, providing advice, guidance and training, to ensure individual and team objectives are delivered to agreed standards and deadlines.

  11. Contribute to the preparation of accurate and timely reporting on programmes and activities that enable informed decision making and consistency of information presented to stakeholders.

  12. Other as required.

  • Has excellent analytical writing skills in Spanish

  • Has solid analytical, research, and problem-solving skills including gender analysis

  • Knowledge of the UN system

  • Has excellent communication skills and can communicate complex data in a simple manner

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with competing deadlines and can adapt to organizational changes

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including active listening, teamwork, responsibility, dependability, leadership, motivation, flexibility, and patience



  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives: Coaches team in the most effective ways to communicate WFP’s Strategic Objectives to WFP team and partners in the field.

  •  Be a force for positive change: Implements new methods or tools to improve team’s work processes and productivity.

  •  Make the mission inspiring to our team: Maps team’s activities and tasks to specific successes in beneficiary communities to showcase positive impact.

  •  Make our mission visible in everyday actions: Explains to teammates how each unit contributes to the overall WFP mission.


  • Look for ways to strengthen people's skills: Identifies skill development opportunities such as training modules or on-the-job experiences for self, colleagues and direct reports.

  •  Create an inclusive culture: Facilitates team building activities to build rapport in own unit.

  •  Be a coach & provide constructive feedback: Facilitates the pairing of junior colleagues with coaches within own team.

  •  Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit: Proactively anticipates potential challenges and develops mitigation plans to ensure that team meets goals and targets.


  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions: Identifies opportunities to be creative in own work and to help team be more innovative and accurate in their respective tasks and areas of work.

  •  Focus on getting results: Monitors team’s deliverables and provides feedback to ensure outcomes are delivered consistently and accurately.

  •  Make commitments and make good on commitments: Provides accurate guidance to team on expected responsibilities and tasks, whilst also upholding own commitment to the team.

  •  Be Decisive: Sets an example and provides guidance to junior team members on when to escalate issues when faced with challenging issues in the workplace or in the field.


  • Connect and share across WFP units: Facilitates partnerships with other WFP units to accomplish missions in the field.

  •  Build strong external partnerships: Sets an example and provides guidance to team on how to build relationships with external partners.

  •  Be politically agile & adaptable: Articulates to colleagues or direct reports the value of contributing to other WFP teams and agency partnerships in fulfilling WFP’s goals and objectives.

  •  Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships: Organizes, monitors, and prioritizes own and team’s efforts to ensure that they will fulfil the needs of internal and external partners.


POSITION TITLE: Senior Programme Associate - Act. 3

CONTRACT TYPE: Fixed-Term Contract in General Service category grade 7. 

DUTY STATION: (City, Country): Managua, Nicaragua

DURATION OF APPOINTMENT: Twelve (12) months. Renewal subject to funds and performance.


Applications will be received through the Careers web page until June 30th, 2020.

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

Note that this position is only open to nationals and/or residents of Nicaragua.

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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