UN World Food Programme Policy Officer (School Meals) Jobs in Malawi

UN World Food Programme Policy Officer (School Meals) Jobs in Malawi

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.

Organizational Context

This role will be based in WFP Malawi Country office in Lilongwe. Job holders will typically report to the Strategic Outcome Manager, and under the overall supervision of the Head of Programme, or designate.

Job holders operate with a high degree of independence, manage more junior staff to ensure that programme and policy objectives are achieved in full. They are usually involved in a wide variety of programme and policy activities and analytical work, some of which may be of a considerable complexity. At this level job holders are expected to contribute to performance improvement.

Job Purpose

The WFP Malawi Country Strategic Plan is a five-year strategy aimed at supporting national efforts on hunger and nutrition, reduce vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition in recognition of gender and age in order to advance its resilience agenda in anticipation of recurrent shocks.

The purpose of the assignment is to support the government’s efforts by leading WFP Malawi’s School Meals programme as outlined in the Country Strategic Plan.

School Meals programme is a critical safety net, as also recognized in the Malawi National Social Support Programme (MNSSP), as well as an essential component of an integrated school health and nutrition package, as outlined in the School Health and Nutrition Policy, WFP works with the Government and communities to effect national best practice guidelines for school meals, seeking to gradually expand Home-Grown School Meals (HGSM) models across the country and assist in the development of a more sustainable national school meals programme.

This is also in line with the integrated approach of WFP’s CSP in Malawi, as linkages with activities supporting livelihoods and smallholder and local farmer organisations are established to supply nutritious, locally produced, diversified food commodities to schools for the SMP.

Key Accountabilities (not all-inclusive)

The Activity Manager will focus on the planning, implementing, and reporting of activities in partnership with functional areas to support the achievement of the relevant Strategic outcome with a focus on school meals as per WFP’s Malawi CSP. Under the direct supervision of the Strategic Outcome Manager, the Programme Officer – Activity Manager shall perform the following duties:

  • Ensure day-to-day management of implementation of School feeding activity results in outputs that meet the CSP’s plan, at the appropriate quality, on time and within budget. Proactively assess risks, monitor overall progress and initiate corrective actions as appropriate to resolve issues.

  • Plan and manage the activity’s budget, monitoring expenditures against outputs as the programme progresses. Manage the implementation of grants, ensuring timely completion of all associated deliverables and provide inputs for reporting to the donors as needed.

  • Collaborate with and report progress on the activity delivery at regular intervals to functional managers and other staff with activity management responsibilities.

  • Manage the performance of supervised staff. Facilitate the recruitment and development of individuals to the activity programme teams.

  • Ensure that knowledge generated for and by the activity is captured and shared for use by internal and external stakeholders.

  • Keep abreast on trends and issues related to school health and nutrition including gender equity in Malawi and globally, analyse and inform the internal organization management for any needs of programming decision making for the School feeding activity or cross-cutting elements

  • Contribute inputs and information for the evaluation of the on-going CSP, specific evaluation and studies related to school feeding and support design of new CSP building on evidence generated and lessons learnt from current implementation.

  • Support resource
    mobilization efforts, eg. through drafting of concept notes, providing inputs to advocacy related material (proposals, donor briefs, talking points for management etc.)

  • Facilitate policy engagement and dialogue for influencing and or policy development and reformation with Key Government Partners and other stakeholders particularly in the area of School health and nutrition.

  • Provide an analytical basis for discussions with the national government on WFP’s interventions to achieve its development goals.

  • Represent WFP in external meetings. Participate and/or co-lead when needed in the relevant cluster, technical working groups, and other forums related to education, school health, and nutrition, through direct participation, briefings, information products, among others.

  • Develop and manage partnerships with external partners including UN, government, private sectors, academia/knowledge sector, and implementing partners. Liaise with partners (internal and external) to share experience, lessons learned, and best practices.

  • Support the capacity building of WFP staff, partners and national government to design and implement school feeding, e.g. through providing inputs into training materials.

    Some specific responsibilities will also include:

  • Project management of the expected expansion of the HGSM, ensuring strengthening of quality of implementation, oversight and adherence to SOPs.

  • Build a relationship with the Government and other stakeholders at the technical level to ensure understanding and ownership of HGSM as well as community participation for more sustainable solutions to deliver school meals. This will require the exercise of higher communication skills and strategic partnership building.

  • Identify opportunities to improve the current model for HGSM, including procurement, funding and distribution planning methodology to design a more sustainable and transferable programme.

  • Perform other related duties as required.

    Standard Minimum Qualifications

  • Education: Advanced University degree in Agriculture, Nutrition/Health, Social Sciences or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.

  • Experience: At least 5 years relevant professional experience in project management focusing on School health and nutrition related interventions for Maters degree holders OR a first university degree with at least 7 years’ relevant professional work experience in project management focusing on School health and Nutrition related interventions. Focus on management of school meals programmes with linkages to agriculture and home-grown modalities is an asset.

  • Language: Fluency in both oral and written communication in English. Knowledge of the local language or UN official language is an added advantage.

    Desired Experiences for Entry Into the Role

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with counterparts and staff within the office, and with other stakeholders;

  • Excellent negotiation, facilitation and coordination skills;

  • Has deepened technical knowledge through exposure to technical teams.

  • Has taken leadership of implementing programmes.

  • Has provided input into policy discussions and decisions.

    Critical Success Factors

  • Skills in programme development/formulation and resource mobilization through funding proposal writing;

  • Strong budgetary management skills;

  • Good analytical skills and experience in report writing;

  • Resourcefulness, initiative, maturity of judgment, ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing; ability to work in a team, and establish effective working relations with persons of different national and cultural backgrounds;

  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan

  • Ability to interpret and analyze a wide variety of programme issues and statistical information, and to maintain accurate and precise records;

  • Ability to solve problems in a holistic manner and achieve planned goals;

  • Self-starter and able to work with minimum supervision;

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; UN World Food Programme Policy Officer (School Meals) Jobs in Malawi

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