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Early Waning Anticipatory Action Specialist (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Johannesburg (South Africa)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Johannesburg (South Africa)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2020-07-14

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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

FAO’s Early Warning Anticipatory Action (EWAA) programme translates warnings into anticipatory – or early – actions to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable and food and nutrition insecure households and communities. Acting early, before a disaster has actually happened, or reached its peak is critical\: it can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks, and increase the resilience of local communities over time. FAO EWAA is key element of FAO’s Strategic Programme 5\: ‘Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises. FAO EWAA work includes global level (risk analysis, advocacy and partnerships), Sub-regional technical support, as well as country level activities implementation (setting up country level EWAA systems and Anticipatory Action implementation).

The Sub-regional office for Southern Africa Resilience Hub (SFS REOSA), in line with FAO’s Strategic Objective 5 “Increasing resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises” is supporting FAO Country Offices and partners in strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities’ livelihoods. This is through better prevention and mitigation, improved preparedness and response to recurrent food and nutrition security, pastoral crises and the generation of information for planning and decision-making.

The Resilience Team based in Johannesburg enables FAO to liaise and coordinate with the large humanitarian and resilience community in Southern Africa. It also provides FAO country offices in the sub-region with strategic technical support on resilience issues. SFS covers 16 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision, of the Sub regional Coordinator (SRC), and direct reporting to the SFS REOSA Project Coordinator, with technical guidance from Technical Officers at SFS, Regional Office for Africa (RAF) and the EWAA Unit, at Headquarters.

Technical Focus

The Early Warning Anticipatory Action Specialist will support the implementation of FAO’s EWAA Initiative in Southern Africa. The Consultant will focus on overseeing consistent risk monitoring and analysis for the region, develop information notes on anticipated risks, recommend Anticipatory Actions to mitigate the risks, support the implementation of EWAA projects coordinate and communicate activities related to the EWAA program.

Tasks and Responsibilities
Capacity Building & Coordination
  • Support mainstreaming of EWAA in the sub-region by providing phases capacity support and training to high-risk countries (DOs) and liaise closely with HQ in the identification of priority countries;

  • Develop or adapt EWAA training materials and the organization of trainings at regional and national level;

  • Support the setting up of EWAA country level focal points and coordination modalities; \\

Risk Analysis

  • Identify appropriate early warning sources at the national and regional while further identifying key gaps;

  • Carry out regular integrated risk analysis for natural hazards, socio economic crises, conflict, food insecurity and animal health threats for countries in the sub-region;

  • Regularly produce notes on multi-sector risks in the sub region;

  • Inform decision making by regularly communicating risk findings to relevant SFS REOSA, Country office management and the Global EWAA team, in particular contributing to the quarterly global EWAA reporting process;

  • Assist the Project Coordinator in Southern Africa in closely liaising with regional working groups and technical experts in order to ensure an in depth understanding of the risk context, as well as participate to regional level for a such as PREGEC-PRESASS, etc.;

  • Collaborate with the Project Coordinator in ensuring the diffusion and visibility of FAO’s EWAA analysis through the organization of technical meetings and presentations with government counterparts and key partners;

  • Assist the Project Coordinator in co-leading the regional EWAA thematic sub-group, carrying out specific analyses and supporting the coordination and management of the group;

  • Strengthen the available network of information sources and maintain an up-to-date mapping of key institutions and partners;

Anticipatory Action & Implementation

  • In close liaison with relevant country focal points, contribute to the further development of the Anticipatory Action repository with best practices from Southern Africa
  • Conduct a gap-analysis of operational capacities to implement timely Anticipatory Actions;

  • Support the Project Coordinator in the provision of technical assistance to country offices for the implementation of EWAA pilot projects, by carrying out risk analysis, identification of key EW indicators and triggers and the selection of Anticipatory Actions – coming together as a EWAA Plan;

  • Support DOs in the formulation of Anticipatory Action proposals, the activation of the SFERA Fund and timely implementation of Anticipatory Actions, including prompting Dos when necessary. Liaise with operational focal points at SFS, RAF and HQ level to support timely implementation of Anticipatory Action projects;

  • Support M&E efforts and impact evaluations of Anticipatory Action projects;

  • Work with technical staff on other on-going resilience building activities;

Partnerships & Communications

  • Maintain an overview of the EWAA initiatives and opportunities in Southern Africa and map out key opportunities for FAO’s involvement;

  • Support the Project Coordinator in maintaining and building partnerships and collaboration efforts with governments, key agencies, regional entities and scientific/research institutions;

  • Support FAO participation in relevant key coordination mechanisms and the organization of specific meetings on EWAA (Regional FbF Dialogue Platforms, etc.)

  • Contribute to ensure the visibility of EWAA initiatives in the region by developing key notes and communication products, in collaboration with Sub-regional communication officers

  • Undertake any other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements
  • Advanced degree in one or more of the following\: Agriculture, Early Warning and Risk analysis, Natural Resources, Forestry, Climatology, Geography, Development Studies, Disaster Risk Management, Food security analysis, or a closely related field.
  • At least 7 years of experience working with government, NGO, or United Nations agency
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian).
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, writing ability, and oral presentation skills.
  • Ability to produce clear reports and written products
  • Ability to plan and organize own work, deliver results and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to perform well in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Field experience working in a multi-sectoral disaster risk reduction, emergency response, early warning, for food and nutrition security and vulnerability analysis.
  • Knowledge of and experience of Southern Africa agriculture and food security risk setting coupled with skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is an added advantage

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


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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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