Food Systems and Fortification Specialist, P-4, Regional Office for South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, #00125966, Temporary Appointment (364 days)
Job no: 565011
Position type: Temporary Appointment
School/Unit: Regional Services Div (SAR), Kathmandu
Department/Office: Reg Serv – Prog Section, Kathmandu
Categories: Nutrition, Health and Nutrition
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.
Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.
And we never give up.
For every child, hope.
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy, and operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, nutrition, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.
The evolving face of maternal and child malnutrition in the South Asia region demands a new multi-faceted response that supports nutritious, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets at every stage of life. The UNICEF Nutrition Strategy 2020–2030 calls for a systems approach to improving maternal and child nutrition, acknowledging the central role of the food system – working together with the health, water and sanitation, education, and social protection systems – to deliver nutritious, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets for children and women, while ensuring adequate nutrition services and positive nutrition practices across the life cycle. The Strategy calls for UNICEF programmes to engage strategically with public and private sector actors to advocate for business policies, practices, and products that support optimal nutrition for all children, adolescents, and women, in all contexts. UNICEF also supports mandatory, large-scale food fortification programmes for salt, wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, or other context-specific foods to address nutrient intake gaps.
How can you make a difference?
The Food Systems and Fortification Specialist provides authoritative technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes and business case development to facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable results in UNICEF-supported programmes/projects leveraging food systems, mobilizing innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods and in strengthening UNICEF’s regional positioning in supporting engagement, partnerships convening, policy formulation, programme design, and public communication on LSFF and building capacity of UNICEF country offices. This is carried out according to plans, allocation, results-based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, UNICEF Nutrition Strategy 2020–2030, standards of performance, and accountability framework.
1. Programme development and planning
- Provide technical support and guidance on the preparation, design, and updating of the situation analysis for the nutrition sector/s to ensure comprehensive and current data is available to guide policy development as well as design and management of Large-Scale Food Fortification (LSFF), food systems / innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods programmes/projects in South Asia region.
- Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency, and delivery.
- Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of business cases, programmes/projects to protect and promote access to nutritious foods, a healthy food environment, and nutrition practices, through public-private-producer sector engagement and LSFF in line with the UNICEF Strategy 2020-2030.
- Formulate, design, and prepare a plan of action/roadmap on LSFF in South Asia and model framework to inform regional efforts to leverage food systems, and mobilization of innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods for the base of pyramid population groups, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies, and management plan, as well as regional priorities, plans, and competencies.
- Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans for the regional agenda on large-scale food fortification (LSFF) including universal salt iodization (USI), innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement) based on results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentation for programme review and approval. Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine regional priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
- Provide authoritative technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes including business case development and design of pilot efforts to ensure integration, coherence, and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
2. Programme management, monitoring, and delivery of results
- Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence, and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for regional agenda on large scale food fortification (LSFF) including USI, innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews, and annual nutrition reviews with country offices, the government, and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action and interventions to achieve results on LSFF (including USI), food systems / innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods and coverage, scale, and sustainability of programmes
- Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths, and/or weaknesses in programme management. Identify lessons learned and use the knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Actively monitor programmes and projects through field visits, surveys, and/or exchange of information with partners and stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Plan, monitor, and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative, and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations, procedures, donor commitments, and standards of accountability. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors, and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
3. Technical support and guidance
- Provide advice to UNICEF country offices, key government officials, NGO partners, UN system partners, and other country office partners/donors on policies, strategies, best practices, and approaches to Large Scale Food Fortification (LSFF), food systems / innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods -related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation, and delivery of results.
- Participate in strategic programme discussions and planning to provide technical advice, contribute to policy discussions and agendas, and promote Large Scale Food Fortification (LSFF), food systems / innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods interventions. Provide technical support to UNICEF country offices, key government officials, NGO partners, UN system partners, and other country office partners/donors to foster enabling environments (legislative environment and institutional capacities) to support long-term positioning, mainstreaming, and strengthening key elements of universal salt iodization (USI) program sustainability
- Prepare policy papers, briefs, and other strategic programme materials for management use, information, and/or consideration.
4. Advocacy, networking, and partnership building
- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with the nutrition sector’s global, regional, and national partners, allies, donors, specialized regional bodies, and academia, through active networking, advocacy, and effective communication. Build capacity, exchange knowledge and expertise, and/or promote cooperation and alliances to achieve programme goals on large-scale food fortification (LSFF) including USI, and innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement.
- Prepare communication and information materials to highlight programme goals, achievements, and/or needs to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances and support fundraising for UNICEF regional and country-level efforts to advance agendas on large-scale food fortification (LSFF), food systems / innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate regional, global, and national discussions and planning on LSFF, food systems, and innovative business solutions-related issues to ensure organizational position, interests, and priorities are fully considered in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency regional partners/colleagues on planning and preparation of programmes/projects on LSFF, food systems/innovative business solutions.
5. Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building
- Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches, and good practices for sustainable large-scale food fortification (LSFF), and innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement programme/project initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting-edge practices in scale food fortification (LSFF), and innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods. Assess, institutionalize, and share best practices and knowledge learned to strengthen UNICEF ROSA knowledge leadership.
- Explore and initiate innovations and/or multi-country proof of concepts to demonstrate solutions to improve the quality of children’s foods, food environments, and food practices through food and social protection systems and public-private-producer sector engagement. Support public sector partnerships and regional reviews of food fortification policy, standards, legislations, and programmes and regional trade in fortified foods in South Asia and identify opportunities for strengthening evidence-based fortification regulation and drive improved technical standards about micronutrients in fortified foods in the region.
- Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
- Organize, plan, and/or implement capacity-building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders to promote sustainable results on large-scale food fortification (LSFF), including USI/iodine nutrition efforts, innovative food systems/business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods related programmes/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: nutrition, public health, nutritional epidemiology, global/international health and nutrition, health/nutrition research, policy and/or management, health sciences, nutritional epidemiology, or another health, food science/food technology, food policy-related field.
- A minimum of eight years of professional experience in a developing country in one or more of the following areas is required: nutrition, public health, nutrition planning and management, food science, and technology.
- Proven policy, regulatory and programmatic experience in food sector market-based solutions, Food Fortification including Universal Salt Iodization and Food Systems.
- Experience in leading business development of innovative business solutions to improve access to nutritious foods through public-private-producer sector engagement is an asset.
- Experience and track record working on building private sector partnerships for improving nutrient intake and reducing micronutrient deficiencies is an asset
- Experience in food regulatory and institutional capacity building in food fortification including regulatory monitoring and enforcement/quality assurance and control.
- Research (i.e., qualitative, and quantitative research methods) and publication experience for a range of audiences (technical, academic, research, and non-technical) including peer-reviewed publications.
- Experience in health/nutrition/food system programme/project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values
UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.
During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable females are encouraged to apply.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.
Application close: Aug 30 2023 Nepal Standard Time