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Nutrition Specialist

Nairobi (Kenya)

UNICEF Kenya is looking for a seasoned professional in Nutrition who will be responsible for overall coordination and management of the Nutrition programmes, including programme/project formulation, design, planning and management focused on achievement of UNICEF's Organizational priorities.

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, an advocate:

The 2018-2022 Country Programme for UNICEF Kenya is marked by the creation of an outcome supporting the reduction of mortality and stunting. Under this outcome, four programme sections – Health, Nutrition, WASH and HIV-AIDS – will contribute to “Increased proportions of vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating women, including adolescent girls, have equitable access to and use quality WASH, Nutrition, Health and HIV/AIDS services, to reduce their risk of mortality, preventable diseases, stunting and other forms of malnutrition, and improve their birth outcomes”. With regards to specific objectives in nutrition, UNICEF Kenya aims at ensuring that: 1) communities adopt healthy infant and young child feeding behaviors and practices as well as demand and utilize quality nutrition services; 2) communities are provided with quality integrated nutrition services; 3) the capacity of national and county governments, and other service providers is improved, and commitment strengthened, to deliver quality integrated services; and 4) government and non-government partners adopt risk-informed integrated approaches to emergency preparedness, planning, and response to humanitarian needs. This position will contribute to the achievement of these results with a focus on enhancing the contribution of nutrition sensitive actions and strategies thus leveraging on the investments and results achieved through nutrition specific actions for maternal and child nutrition.

How can you make a difference?

Under the supervision of the Chief of Nutrition section, the incumbent is responsible for overall coordination and management of the Nutrition programmes, including programme/project formulation, design, planning and management focused on achievement of UNICEF's Organizational priorities. 

Programme Development and Management

With a focus on nutrition sensitive lens, identify critical intervention points and measures by administering a consistent and transparent monitoring system; analyse country level socio-political-economic trends and their implications for ongoing programmes and projects.

Draft changes to/or prepare programme work plans as required with a focus on nutrition sensitive lens. Prepare program recommendations for inclusion in formal programme documentation, and new approaches, methods and practices.

Ensure programme workplans have a relevant nutrition sensitive component, monitors compliance and provides training, support and guidance to the programme team in order to meet objectives. Identifies human resources requirements and on-going staff development needs.

Adopt rights-based programmes approach in the formulation of programme goals and objectives and development of strategies and implementation frameworks. Formulate consistent and effective planning, design, implementation, monitoring and/or evaluation of programmes and projects. Bring coherence, synergy and added value to the programming planning and design processes using a results-based management approach to programme planning and design.

Reviews and evaluates the technical, institutional and financial feasibility and constraints of the section nutrition sensitive portfolio in collaboration with Government and other partners. Monitor the overall allocation and disbursement of nutrition sensitive programme funds, making sure that funds are properly coordinated, monitored and liquidated. Take appropriate actions to optimize use of programme funds.

Prepares relevant nutrition sensitive programme reports required for management, the Executive Board, donors, budget reviews, programme analysis, annual reports, etc.

Programme Monitoring and Evaluations

Undertakes field visits to monitor and assess nutrition sensitive programme implementation and decides on required corrective action

Carry out  rigorous and transparent approach to evaluation and participate in nutrition sensitive programme evaluation exercises in consultation with the Nutrition Manager, Deputy Representative, the Operations Officer, the Evaluation Officer and others, to improve efficiency and quality of programme delivery. Participate in annual sector review meetings with government counterparts.  Ensure the timely preparation of annual program status reports.

Knowledge Management and Capacity Building/Sustainability

Ensure that area/country programmes are supported by knowledge management with a focus on nutrition sensitive lens, through data collection and analysis, complete and accurate reporting as well as participation in the Programme Knowledge Network system of "lessons learned" and other corporate-level databases.

Participate in information exchange through donor and media visits as well as in the development of training and orientation material.

Provide government authorities with technical supports and guidance to plan and organize training programmes for the purpose of capacity building and programme sustainability.

Ensure the building and reinforcing of the commitment and institutional capacities of the national and local partners starting with taking a strategic approach to the identification of these partners and partnerships.

Partnership, Coordination and Collaboration

Develop partnership and collaboration with internal and external counterparts, including those of the UN and national partners, in order to improve the ability to collect and disseminate development data and information, exchange information on programme/project status and implementation and movement/distribution of supplies. Linkage to the Regional Programme Knowledge Network to ensure the availability of current and accurate programme data.

Collaborate with the Operations Section to establish and maintain sound internal controls supportive of programming endeavours and to coordinate financial and supply management requirements and accountability.

Maintain close collaboration with Regional Advisers and HQ Officers for effective overall coordination on programmes.

Plans, develops and implements sectoral programme(s) by collaborating with the government and other partners. Provide leadership in provision of technical advice, negotiation, advocacy and promotion of area/country level goals, leading to agreement on practicable and priority actions to be supported by UNICEF programme and country level cooperation.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Nutrition, Public Health, Nutritional Epidemiology, Global/international health and nutrition, Social Sciences, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, or other relevant disciplines. Training in gender and in nutrition programmes that promote gender equality an asset.
    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience in development and management of nutrition related programmes or projects.  Experience in monitoring gender inequalities and in programming interventions that reduce these inequalities an asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is required.
  • 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 Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Leading and Supervising    [ I ]                      
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts [ II ]
  •  Analyzing   [ III] 
  •  Relating and Networking [ II ]
  •  Deciding and Initiating Action [ II ]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [ III]

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-06

What does it mean?

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