Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Early Warning for Early Action Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

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  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background, and culture
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member nations, and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct and to uphold our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination
  • All selected candidates, therefore, will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization
Organizational Setting The Agri-food Economics Division (ESA) conducts economic research and policy Analysis related to all five of the Organization's strategic objectives (food security and nutrition, sustainable Agriculture, poverty reduction, inclusive Food Systems and resilient livelihoods). ESA provides evidence-based analytical support to national, regional and global policy processes and initiatives related to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture; and leads the production of two FAO flagship publications: The State of Food and Agriculture and The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. ESA also leads large programmes at country level on agricultural and food policy monitoring, climate smart agriculture (CSA), agribusiness and food value chains, rural poverty, and food security information and analysis in support of national policies.

The Office of Emergencies and Resilience (OER) is responsible for ensuring FAO's efforts to support countries and partners in preparing for and effectively responding to food and agricultural threats and crises. It is responsible for coordinating the development and maintenance of corporate tools and standards to enable Decentralized Offices to assist Members to prepare for, and respond to emergencies. OER ensures humanitarian policy Coordination and knowledge, liaison with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee as well as with humanitarian resource partners, co-leadership with the World Food Programme of the global Food Security Cluster, organizational preparedness, surge capacity and response to large-scale emergencies. OER supports food and nutrition security assessments and early warning activities related to emergency and humanitarian analysis and responses. OER plays a major role in the development and leadership of the Organization's programme to increase the resilience of livelihoods to food and agriculture threats and crises.

The Early Warning Early Action (EWEA): FAO has a clear mandate for and Comparative Advantage in, supporting early warning systems to inform early actions and protect food security and agriculture. The Organization already supports or directly manages a range of early warning systems at global, regional and national levels, which are key to informing humanitarian and resilience interventions. With the support of the EU, FAO is currently implementing an Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) initiative with the aim to coordinate and harmonize early warning messages, develop better methodologies for global risk analysis as well as new ways of disseminating EW information digitally, for the overall purpose of informing relevant decision-making and programming.

EWEA is co-managed by FAO’s Agri-food Economics Division (ESA) and the Office of Emergencies and Resilience (OER).

Reporting Lines The Early Warning for Early Action Specialist reports to the Economist, Early Warning Early Action, and the overall joint guidance of ESA and OER Directors.

Technical Focus The Early Warning for Early Action Specialist will conduct and coordinate risk analysis on a broad range of issues that can potentially impact food security and agriculture, as well as contributing to the further development and harmonization of risk analysis and early warning concepts and methodologies. The overall aim would be to methodologically strengthen the food security early warning monitoring including through coordination and harmonisation of different sources of EW info and linking them to accountable decision-making processes.

Tasks and responsibilities can include:
  • Lead or support the global risk analysis of major threats to agriculture and food security, providing inputs to key EW products (e.g. the FAO-WFP Hunger Hotspot report), assuring timeliness of reporting and supporting continuous improvement to processes and products;
  • Translate risk analysis into high quality and effective early warnings, with emphasis on potential impact modelling (food security impacts);
  • Examine the current range of EW products, processes and sources, and formulate recommendations for improvements and additional outputs based on a needs analysis (e.g. conflict, macroeconomic shocks, risk prioritization)
  • Ensure EW outputs are actionable, i.e. designed in a way to be effective in supporting decision making and programming to mitigate food insecurity and prevent food crises;
  • Support the digitalisation of risk Data Collection and EW dissemination modalities;
  • Contribute to further develop close linkages with relevant in-house stakeholders working on food security Data Analysis, statistics, markets and food prices monitoring, Food Chain Crisis threats, and others;
  • Collaborate with national, regional, and international partners in early warning analysis and identify new partnerships;
  • Support FAO involvement in the Inter Agency early warning processes and global initiatives (e.g. IASC, Global ENSO cell).
  • University degree in one or more of the following: agriculture, Food Security Analysis, conflict analysis, early warning, international relations, social/political sciences, or related fields. Advanced University Degree (Master’s or equivalent) is an asset.
  • At least 1 year (Category C) or 5 years (Category B) of relevant experience in conducting risk analysis and early warning or similar duties for the humanitarian/agricultural/food security sectors, including work experience with national and international NGO’s, UN agencies, governments, donors.
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for COF.REG. For PSA.SBS working knowledge of English will be sufficient.
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in early warning and risk analysis and its use in mitigation of humanitarian impacts.
  • Understanding of drivers of food insecurity and of food security analysis.
  • Excellent research writing and communication skills.
  • Ability to plan and organize own work, deliver results and meet deadlines, within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated Problem Solving ability.
Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency
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