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International Specialist on Nutrition and Food Systems

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2019-07-31

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IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device


FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization


Organizational Setting

The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at Headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO's strategic response to regional priorities. REU also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. REU develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

Reporting Lines

The International Specialist on Nutrition and Food Systems will work under the overall supervision of the regional programme leader for Europe and Central Asia and direct supervision/technical guidance of the technical officers (Economist and Food Security Officer) in REU, in close cooperation with the FAO country offices and international/national consultants.

Technical Focus

Supporting countires in the development of evidence-informed food security and nutrition policies is in the core of FAO’s mandate. There is a growing evidence on the global level related to the fundamental impacts of different food system elements (food production, processing, food trade and marketing, as well as consumer demand) on nutrition. There is a growing demand to conduct regional and country level situation analysis and provide specific policy recommendations for the improvement of national food system strategy of selected countries.

Nutrition transition poses a major challenge for the public sector in terms of its ability to anticipate and mitigate possible negative nutritional and health impacts. Considering the complexity of the underlying causes of malnutrition, these challenges need to be addressed in a multi-sectoral approach. However, malnutrition is still considered as a health sector issue in the region and there is a lack of nutritios-sensitive, supportive policies in sectors such as agriculture, food processing and distribution, food marketing and trade, environment and education, particularly in Central Asia and Caucasus.

The FAO Regional Office would like to support the countries suffering from different types of malnutrition to strengthen their evidence-base for addressing nutrition related challenges from the food system perspective. The results will serve as a basis for multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue.

The International Specialist on Nutrition and Food Systems will carry out duties to support evidence-informed policy development and promote a comprehensive and systemic approach to bring coherence to the existing policy fragmentation with a special emphasis on the food, agriculture and health sectors, while also addressing livelihood and sustainability challenges. The incumbent will also contribute to the formulation of country-specific recommendations taking into consideration the diversity of food system, as well as the various endogenous and exogenous drivers.

Tasks and responsibilities

Applicants with experience in multiple technical areas as well as specialists in a very specific area are required to address the range of requests dealt with through the REU programme of work on food systems and nutrition. The planned activities require advanced skills and professional competencies in the following technical areas\:

  • Review food systems literature of food systems and nutrition for evidence-informed policy development in Europe and Central Asia;
  • Design and conducts research, data collection and analysis, and preparation of technical reports/publications;
  • Support food system analysis through the development of specific research methodologies and work plans;
  • Prepare and implements training courses and workshops on food systems and nutrition, and providing specific technical advice;
  • Design capacity development interventions, including project formulation, project management, reporting and monitoring frameworks in line with FAO requirements;
  • Contribute to the preparation of missions, including setting-up coordination meetings, preparing the mission agenda and relevant background materials.
  • Support the methodology development for first hand data collection (such as information checklist/questionnaire) and provide the guidance for the data collection;
  • Carry out the second hand data collection, processing, and analysis;
  • Prepare country specific and regional reports and nutrition-sensitive policy recommendations;
  • Carry out the country case studies from different sub-regions (Central Asia, Europe CIS, Western Balkans, Caucasus, and EU-28) and reflecting malnutrition country clusters of the ECA region.
Minimum Requirements
  • Advanced university degree in economics/statistics, nutrition, public health, medicine, food science or related fields (PhD is advantage);
  • Five years of relevant experience in food security and nutrition related project design and implementation;
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for COF.REGs. For PSAs a working knowledge of English is sufficient.
FAO Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent of knowledge and direct experience in food consumption and nutrition data analysis or food system analysis;
  • Ability to plan and organize technical work and support the work of multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Extent of experience in program/project management;
  • Analytical (in economics, policies, and programme) and advisory skills;
  • Knowledge of the socio-economic conditions and development-related policies and procedures in the target countries in Europe and Central Asia is an asset;
  • Specific knowledge on improving nutrition through the food system approach is an asset;
  • Working knowledge of Russian is an asset.


Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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