Strengthening social protection and safety-net mechanisms is a key priority for WFP in East and Central Africa. Several governments within the RBN region are seeking to establish and scale up their own social safety-net mechanisms to help address long standing, chronic vulnerability and prevent and mitigate the impact of shocks. WFP recognises that a more strategic engagement in Social Protection is critical to effectively contribute to the 2030 agenda and achieve SDG2, and a Safety Nets and Social Protection unit was recently established in headquarters (HQ) to guide and position WFP corporately. In the RBN region, WFP also recognizes the need to collaborate more strategically with humanitarian and development partners in order to better support governments establish and strengthen their own social protection systems. RBN also recognises the opportunity to better capture regional practices, to contribute to and leverage global organizational knowledge, and to more effectively support country offices.
STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
Education: Advanced University degree in International Affairs, Economics, Nutrition/Health, Agriculture, Environmental Science, Social Sciences or other field relevant to international development assistance, or First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.
Language: Fluency (level C) in English language. French language skills are also highly desireable.
KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)
Support WFP Country Operations (CO) strategic engagement with host governments in the region to design, formulate and/or implement scalable and flexible social protection and safety net programmes that contribute to food and nutrition security;
Provide technical advice or mobilise technical expertise to support country offices promote policy coherence and synergies between food and nutrition security programmes and national social protection/poverty reduction frameworks;
Assist COs to conduct policy review to determine WFP’s entry point in social protection policy dialogue with host Governments;
Coordinate activities with the social protection unit in HQ and actively contribute to shaping the corporate social protection agenda from the RBN perspective
Lead the development of effective partnerships at the regional level with key partners, such as the World Bank, ILO, UNICEF, FAO and IGAD, to enhance WFP’s ability to effectively contribute to strengthening the social protection systems of governments in the region.
Assist countries to upgrade the quality of existing safety nets, including school feeding, public works programmes, resilience building and other activities; and help refine the institutional links between safety nets and emergency-related mechanisms, including through risk sensitive or shock responsive programmes;
Explore the use of innovative approaches for improved efficiency and effectiveness such as the single registry for targeting, the expansion of cash-based delivery platforms and modelling safety nets in pastoralist settings;
Promote and advocate with other UN agencies the inclusion of improved nutrition as an explicit objective of social protection programmes and explore nutrition-sensitive interventions that contribute to prevent all forms of malnutrition;
Ensure gender analysis are properly integrated in needs assessments and taken into consideration during the design and implementation of social protection programmes;
Contribute to evaluating and generating evidence on the potential and interest to invest in safety-net mechanisms also during emergencies and in more fragile contexts;
Map current best practices and successful experiences with urban safety-nets across the region that can be scalable and applicable to other countries;
Manage, oversee or contribute to operational research and evidence building to influence policy dialogue; manage or oversee preparation and dissemination of timely analytical and critical reports, publications, and a variety of information products or proposals for internal or external use;
In close consultation with the regional Knowledge Management officer and other programme teams, lead the development of a learning agenda in the region on social protection.
Closely coordinate with other programme and functional areas to ensure that a social protection and system strengthening focus is applied in different areas of WFP’s work and that relevant knowledge is captured and informs WFP’s work in the region;
Engage in high level regional consultations and technical discussions with UN agencies, donors, academia and other relevant actors in matters related to social protection and resilience;
Develop donors proposals and contribute to resource mobilisation efforts for social protection activities;
Supervise other national and international programme staff; provide training and technical guidance in their work;
Perform other related duties as required.
WFP in the region is well positioned to actively support governments to strengthen their national social protection systems, in support of SDG2 targets, and as a partner of choice for hunger and nutrition sensitive social protection policies, capacity building and operational support.
Social Protection evidence, knowledge and best practice is shared with relevant programme officers and senior staff across the region to improve the quality of WFP’s direct assistance and technical support.
The safety nets that WFP is implementing directly in the region are achieving enhanced outcomes for beneficiaries, and evidence and learning from these experiences is captured and shared internally and externally.
Well prepared, analytic work.
Well managed projects, programmes and/or operations.
DESIRED EXPERIENCES FOR ENTRY INTO THE ROLE
At least eight years of postgraduate professional experience with increasing responsibilities in social protection in a bilateral, multilateral or nongovernmental organization. Very good knowledge of effective and sustainable practices and principles related government social protection systems in a variety of contexts. Proven capacity to conduct policy analysis and to successfully engage in policy dialogue. Demonstrated effectiveness in bringing global strategies into the regional/country context. Proven experience in building synergies among units, projects and regions.
Critical success factors include:
Good analytical skills, resourcefulness, initiative, maturity of judgement, tact, negotiating skills;
Ability to identify the main hunger problem at the national or subnational level to design and implement context-specific programmes that strengthen government systems and integrate complex analysis and the full range of food assistance tools.
Demonstrates the ability to incorporate technical information into policy and strategy formulation and into programme design and implementation, and to appropriately communicate it internally and externally.
Demonstrated ability to engage key stakeholders in policy dialogue to strengthen national government social protection systems.
Ability to translate policy and programme principles into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches, including in emergencies and protracted conflict situations.
Experience leading teams in strategic discussions;
Experience working in a multi-donor environment;
Ability to work in a team and establish effective working relations with persons of different national and cultural backgrounds. Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
High capacity for organization and coordination, as well as an ability to work with a high degree of independence in a team environment;
Experience in managing diverse and sometimes competing interests and perspectives to arrive at a durable consensus;
Fluent English, written and oral; excellent public speaking and presentation skills;
Excellent computer skills in MS Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint;
A willingness to travel frequently, often to remote areas; ability to cope with situations which may threaten health or safety; flexibility in accepting work assignments outside normal desk description.