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French Junior Professional Officer Programme (JPO) - Technical Analyst (Nutrition)

Rome

  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Junior level - P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Organizational Setting

This post is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of France and is addressed exclusively to CANDIDATES WITH FRENCH NATIONALITY. This assignment will be equally distributed between initial training at IFAD HQ in Rome, Italy, and at an IFAD Country Office to be identified with the donor country.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD's strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD's operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness, by generating and disseminating IFAD's development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes, and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries tackles their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

ECG takes the lead in mainstreaming cross-cutting themes of environment and climate, nutrition, gender, youth, and indigenous peoples and all related aspects of social inclusion into IFAD's portfolio, to strengthen the quality of IFAD's operations and achieve improved impacts in these areas in an integrated manner. ECG contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these cross-cutting themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities. In addition, it provides guidance and support to ensure the inclusion of marginalized groups, particularly women, indigenous peoples and rural youth, into IFAD operations. `

Investment in nutrition is an investment in the future of national welfare, is central to building a healthy and well-functioning society, and for increasing economic productivity. The vast scale of people affected by malnutrition globally is undermining individual's ability to meet their full economic and social potential.  Failure to address these issues will therefore affect other areas of national development, and will undermine efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At present, none of the six SDG targets on nutrition have been achieved.

Nutrition is among IFAD's priorities in contributing to achieving SDG2. The Fund has set ambitious targets to accelerate the integration of nutrition into its investments, aiming to improving the nutrition of 5 million people by 2027. This result will be achieved through the improvement in women and youth's empowerment and increased production of safe, diverse and nutritious food, as part as healthy diets.  IFAD's Nutrition Action Plan 2019-2025 sets out the framework to guide IFAD’s actions in mainstreaming nutrition. Central to the plan of action is the need to intensify efforts in building implementation capacity and the importance of improved knowledge generation and synthesis.  In order to provide quality support and to manage knowledge and lessons learned on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and scaled up in future IFAD's programmes, an effective and efficient team is required at HQ and in the regions.

School meal programmes are increasingly recognized as useful entry points for multiple impacts on SDGs, not only for education in terms of increased school attendance and learning performance; but also for poverty reduction, sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security, health, gender equality, climate adaptation, and partnerships. IFAD’s ongoing portfolio of school-based nutrition related interventions include 32 projects in 27 countries; among them, 11 link smallholder producers to schools as a market outlet for their produce, 11 use the schools for nutrition education targeting pupils and local communities, 10 support the establishment of school gardens; and 9 are linked with government sponsored School Feeding programs. IFAD is an active Partner of the School Meals Coalition and is involved in the activities of its Five SMC Initiatives. IFAD is also involved in a United Nations Rome-based Agencies’ field-level collaboration in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for SDG 2 focused on the potential of national home grown school meals programmes to transform local food systems in a set of countries.

The JPO will contribute towards achieving IFAD’s ambitious results in nutrition in an integrated approach in particular with gender, youth, indigenous peoples and climate change, as well as other relevant sectors/issues.

The Technical Analyst on Nutrition works under the supervision of the Lead Technical Specialist, Nutrition and Social Inclusion and overall strategic, policy and management guidance, and supervision of the division Director.

Job Role

The JPO works collaboratively with respective ECG technical specialists (both Environment/Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion), PMI thematic Technical Specialists, and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the provision of programme development support.

The Technical Analyst on Nutrition serves as IFAD’s technical expert in his/her area of expertise. The JPO supports country/regional programs by providing technical advice throughout the project cycle (strategic and operational), as well as contributes to the corporate agenda, in their technical area of expertise. Within their areas of responsibility, the Technical Analyst exercises a degree of independence in providing reliable programme delivery. The JPO works collaboratively with the thematic Technical Specialists, Country Directors (CD)/Head of Multi-Country Offices (MCO) and other staff to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of technical advice and provision of programme development support.

Key Functions and Results

The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) will act as Technical Analyst on Nutrition and Focal Point for School meals related activities. Their core duties/responsibilities will include the following:

Technical Advice

On the basis of technical knowledge and analysis of nutrition related risks and opportunities, emerging development challenges and the state of rural poverty regionally and globally, the Technical Analyst provides technical advice and support to improve the capacity of IFAD to address rural poverty and social inclusion. They help to mainstream nutrition into national government policies and programmes, provide technical assistance on integrating school meals into IFAD’s nutrition sensitive investments, drawing from experiences from other partners. 

Accountabilities may include:

  • Support IFADs country-level programme and portfolio, ensuring that new investment designs are viable and sustainable.
  • Provide technical support to operations in all phases of project /program implementation. This includes participating in key processes such as Project Delivery Teams (PDTs) meetings and reviews such as the operation and strategic committee (OSC).
  • Carry out analyses on nutrition and help define nutrition sensitive actions in agriculture and food systems and propose integrated operational solutions to tackle the root causes of all forms of malnutrition with a specific focus on healthy diets.
  • Provide technical support to staff, field missions and national programmes at all stages of the project cycle, including design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation inputs and participating in implementation support and supervision missions.
  • Conduct a deep dive on projects with school based interventions and capture best practices of linking such projects to school meals.
  • Support the development of a framework/guidance on integrating school meals and school based nutrition interventions in IFAD’s investments at design, also using evidence, innovations and best practices  from partners.
  • Work closely with the SSTC RBA initiative on school meals targeting Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and the Philippines, supporting the development of tailored proposals and resource mobilization in line with national commitments.
  • Support IFAD’s participation and engagement in the School meals Coalition and follow-up actions within IFAD.

Knowledge Management and Capacity Development

The Technical Analyst enhances the development of viable and sustainable policies and projects at country-level and supports regional and global thematic input through seasoned technical knowledge sharing for their area of specialization. They will ensure country-level access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation with regards to nutrition, strengthen national technical capacity and establish new knowledge and advisory partnerships.

Accountabilities may include:

  • Support in the generation of lessons learned through analytical studies, sharing knowledge and experience with project teams and colleagues in the IFAD Programme Management Department.
  • Support the enhancement of the Fund’s portfolio through the collaborative diffusion of country level strategic innovation in the field of specialization.
  • Participate in IFAD–wide thematic discussions and develop appropriate technical and operation recommendations to improve project, country/divisional strategies and programmes.
  • Prepare the dissemination and exchange of relevant knowledge with institutions outside of IFAD within the region concerned and national institutions. This may include mobilizing and engaging outside partners and stakeholders through seminars and workshops, through electronic media and the development of new knowledge products and operational tools that are informed by learning from the field.
  • Support knowledge standard setting, evidence generation and dissemination on nutrition at IFAD, and documenting best practices, as well as innovative, out of the box solutions, including those that can be tested and those that can be scaled up.
  • Support the capacity of PMUs to implement nutrition sensitive activities (including school meals), apply the relevant metrics and use of data on decision making.
  • Support in the preparation of knowledge management products and events on nutrition.

Partnership Building

The Technical Analyst develops and maintains a network of peer contacts inside and outside of IFAD to keep up-to-date on activities at the country and regional levels, to support joint advocacy and for knowledge sharing to enhance the fund’s profile as a highly competent and viable partner.

Accountabilities may include:

  • Work collaboratively and in partnerships with complementary technical organizations (including other Rome-based agencies) NGOs, and specialized departments of other development agencies as potential operational and strategic partners at regional and country level.
  • Support strengthening IFADs engagement with bilateral donors, other RBAs, governing bodies, NGOs, private sector entities.
  • Support strengthening of IFADs representation and communication on nutrition mainstreaming issues in policy dialogue/processes and strategic fora, including representing IFAD at national and regional meeting, seminars and conferences.
  • Participate in School meals Coalition Meetings and working groups, CoP meetings and working groups.
  • Collaborate with IFAD country offices and SSTC team to implement the Home Grown School Feeding Rome Based Agencies Initiative.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

The Technical Analyst supports the nutrition team in the monitoring and reporting on nutrition mainstreaming – with a special focus on healthy and diversified diets – within IFADs portfolio of loans and grants. They help ECG to collect, manage and analyze data which can help to document progress on IFADs nutrition mainstreaming commitments, and delineate statistics and analytical products which enhance country level programme and funding decisions.

Accountabilities may include:

  • Contribute to the technical support to projects on IFAD’s core nutrition indicators- Minimum Dietary Diversity of Women (MDDW) and Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) in IFADs projects.
  • Contributes to thematic reviews on project or programme performance and results.
  • Aggregate results from IFAD supervision reports to strengthen corporate reporting.
  • Ensure compatibility of investment designs with IFADs Operational Results and Management System (ORMS).
  • Statistically analyze the IFAD investment portfolio from a nutrition angle and developing corresponding graphs and dashboards.
  • Support the monitoring of project implementation and maintain an early warning system/traffic light system for problem projects.
  • Support the director/lead technical specialist in their reporting of the divisional plans and operational strategies to the senior management.

    Job Profile Requirements

    Education:

    • Advanced University Degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) from an accredited institution in the field of specialisation, e.g. Food Security and Nutrition, Agriculture, Rural Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment, Economics, etc.
    • Degree must be an accredited institution listed on https://www.whed.net/home.php

    Experience:

    • At least 3 years of progressively relevant, paid professional experience in a related role providing analytical support on issues related to nutrition and integrated approaches, preferably in development institutions or international contexts.
    • Relevant field experience will be considered an asset.
    • Proven track record in reviewing and analysing technical papers and providing inputs to management to draw strategic actions.
    • Demonstrated experience in working as part of a multidisciplinary team and with country governments and international development partners.

    Organizational/technical competencies:

    Organizational

    • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
    • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
    • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
    • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
    • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
    • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
    • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally

    Technical/Functional

    • Strong knowledge of nutrition sensitive agriculture approaches and food systems in the context of developing countries.
    • Experience and knowledge of nutrition multi-stakeholder mechanisms and governance mechanisms at global and country level such as the Scaling up Nutrition Movement (SUN) and the United Nations Nutrition.
    • Ability to design and synthesize strategies for project development and support technical review and supervision of project implementation.
    • Ability to contribute to partnerships with a broad range of partners and deliver results required by client governments.
    • Computer skills: thorough knowledge of PeopleSoft ERP as well as full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common internet application.
    • Ability to manage multiple, simultaneous and shifting demands/ priorities under tight deadlines and coordinate the work of others.
    • Strong analytical skills in order to identify systemic issues, both programmatic and operational and develop viable solutions.
    • Analytical skills are also essential for identifying opportunities to promote new strategies and initiatives with regional divisions, partner agencies and national government partnerships.
    • Communicate effectively with different counterparts (civil society, governments, multilaterals, private sector actors, local communities, and project staff).
    • Listens effectively to engage others.

    Languages and other skills:

    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations and group interactions.
    • Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French or Spanish) is desirable.

    Training Components and Learning Elements:

    Training components:

    • On the job training in work related areas on a wide range of new and emerging issues with a focus on nutrition sensitive agriculture and food systems.
    • Participation in trainings organised by IFAD and external training providers, including but not limited to nutrition team’s capacity building activities in operations academy.
    • Direct coaching by IFADs nutrition team Lead Technical Specialist on Nutrition and Social Inclusion.

    Learning elements:

    • Improving analytical skills by providing programme/project diagnostics inputs and recommending impact pathways for follow-up actions.
    • Developing self-awareness and ability to identify and understand nutrition mainstreaming within IFADs portfolio of loans and grants.
    • Communicating effectively to suit various audiences in a highly diverse setting.
    • Learning how to reach out to various internal and external clients, building professional relationships, listening and responding effectively and efficiently to technical queries.
    • Learning how to be an agent of change, client orientation and service.

    The JPO / Technical analyst on nutrition and social inclusion will gain exposure and experience in:

    • All departments and units of IFAD, as nutrition is cross-cutting thematic across various interventions it will give the JPO a 360 degree understanding of the organisation at the operational level.
    • The exposure to different levels of IFAD’s management, including senior management, will provide the JPO with the ability to interact effectively with different levels of technical knowledge while understanding the rationale behind management’s decisions.
    • IFAD nutrition mainstreaming activities will provide the JPO with clear and practical insights into the programming cycle from the generation of concept notes, to their design and implementation.  
    • The exposure to all levels of staff and management in IFAD will assist the JPO in developing strong and practical inter-personal and management skills.
    • The organisational role of the JPO will ensure that he / she gains comprehensive understanding of the working of a UN agency and Development Financial Institution.
    • Learning will be achieved through structured courses, on-the job coaching, assignments of increasingly responsible tasks and gradual exposure to all facets of IFAD’s work at HQ and in the field.  It will be gradual and will continue throughout the entire period of the assignment.

    Other Information

    IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.
    Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in @ifad.org.
    In the interest of making most cost-effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

    This post is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of France and is addressed exclusively to CANDIDATES WITH FRENCH NATIONALITY. This assignment will be equally distributed between initial training at IFAD HQ in Rome, Italy, and at an IFAD Country Office to be identified with the donor country.

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