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Program Lead – Food Security Program (internationally recruited)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: IDLO - International Development Law Organization
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Band B - Technical Functional Supervisory Management - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Legal - International Law
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-17

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The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting global and national food systems, and there is growing concern that it might generate a food crisis, with devastating impacts on low-income countries and marginalized social groups who were already facing food insecurity. Emergency measures to protect public health are starting to have adverse impacts on food security. Restrictions to freedom of movement are reducing physical access to food, due to constrained access to markets and limitations to public and private transport. Lockdowns and curfews are limiting the movement of goods and labor across the food production and distribution chain, disrupting food supply systems and creating the risk of price spikes. This is likely to be compounded by the current economic downturn and loss of income at both global and national levels, which will further reduce households’ purchasing power and aggravate food insecurity.

Rule of law and human rights-based approaches (HRBA) to the response to COVID-19 provide solid frameworks for enhancing access to food and food security. In the context of the COVID-19 response, rule of law is essential to ensure that emergency laws and regulations are aligned with international human rights standards.

In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) will launch a pilot project to enhance food security and access to food for vulnerable populations, women and girls in times of emergency response and recovery, including in the context of COVID-19. Through pilot interventions in two countries (Honduras and Uganda), the project will contribute to an increased understanding of challenges to access to food in emergency and recovery situations and of potential policy and legal solutions amongst stakeholders involved in increasing food security. The duration of the pilot project is estimated at 12 months. It is conceived as the first phase of a broader intervention to be scaled up at a later stage.


Under the supervision of the Director of Programs, the Program Lead manages the IDLO project on ‘Strengthening Food Security for Vulnerable Groups, Women and Girls in the Context of the Global Response to COVID-19’. The Program Lead will be expected to: 

1. Oversee project implementation, including work planning, budget, monitoring and reporting, HR management, recruitment and coordination of technical experts

  • Lead the overall management of the project, including substantive and administrative matters, to ensure effective, efficient, results-based and timely delivery of activities and results;
  • Design work plans by means of standardized program cycle management tools, logic models and frameworks, work plans, monitoring reports, and others;
  • Monitor project implementation, including revisions to project design and work plans, and make decisions for timely and optimal adaptation;
  • Oversee of the financial management of the project, including financial reporting, financial forecasting and identifying areas of over- or under-spending;
  • Ensure project deliverables meet quality standards and proactively seek input from other relevant IDLO Departments;
  • Develop and review narrative and financial project reports and provide input to annual and quarterly reports;
  • Effectively lead the project team by providing direction, addressing employee development, and performance through dialogue and mentoring; foster a teamwork approach and address conflicts in a positive and constructive manner; encourage initiative and maintain effective working relationships within a multi-cultural setting;
  • Supervise and manage international and national technical experts and ensure that the work delivered meets quality standards;
  • Establish and maintain regular communications with project partners and stakeholders at HQ and field level;
  • Foster effective communication and coordination with relevant IDLO Departments, Branch Offices and Field Offices;
  • Undertake missions to project countries and other locations, as needed, throughout the implementation of the project.

 2. Contribute to policy research on access to food and food security

  • In collaboration with the IDLO Research and Learning Department, design, research, draft, review and edit technical working papers, memos, briefs, and other original materials on access to food and food security in the context of the project, and utilize these materials for the development of relevant outputs;
  • Conduct and review research on legal, political, social, and economic events, trends, and/or developments relating to the project and respond to internal and external requests for such research.

3. Program development and representation

  • Under the guidance of the Director of Programs and in collaboration with other IDLO Departments, generate ideas and identify opportunities to scale up the project and identify new program opportunities;
  • Provide substantive input in the development of proposals or concept notes aimed at innovatively expanding the IDLO food security portfolio in line with the organizational strategy;
  • Under the guidance of the Director of Programs, represent IDLO in project events and liaise with project stakeholders and donors.


Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in International Relations, Gender, Development, Food/Agricultural Studies, or a related field is required;
  • Minimum 8 years of relevant professional experience in designing and implementing complex food security/access to food projects in an international governmental or non-governmental organization is required;
  • Relevant experience in human rights-based approaches, gender, access to justice, community engagement, designing/assessing/supporting national food security emergency legal responses is desirable.


  • Fluent oral and professional writing skills in English are required. Fluent oral and professional writing skills in Spanish are desirable.

Specific Knowledge/Skills/Competencies

  • Proven experience in food security, access to food, gender and/or right to food-related programming and collaboration with international organizations and network/partnership building in these areas;
  • Familiarity with standard program and data management tools, as well as results-based management and monitoring and evaluation principles;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; proficient use of other ICT software and internet software;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and experience working in a diverse professional environment. Shares information and contributes, encourages and motivates others to become involved in team activities. Contributes to a professional environment that fosters collaboration and cooperation; 


    Works effectively across and within IDLO organizational boundaries;
  • Takes initiative to share knowledge, experiences and information with others. Accepts and gives constructive feedback (up, down and across) to develop and motivate others;
  • Proven ability to see through tasks set and deliver results;
  • Ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines, flexibility and an entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Ability and willingness to travel, if necessary;
  • Keen sense of ethics, integrity, and commitment to IDLO’s mandate. Self-motivated and dynamic with a willingness and ability to use initiative to assist the organization to achieve its objectives.


For this internationally professional recruited position, IDLO shall offer the selected candidate an Affiliate contract of 12 months, with the possibility of extension subject to performance and availability of funding.

IDLO shall offer a yearly basic salary of EUR 64,000 and a benefits package including provident fund contribution (14%), medical insurance, and leave entitlements. Relocation and installation support are also available for internationally recruited employees in accordance with IDLO Employee Regulations and Rules. 

Salaries and benefits paid by IDLO to employees are exempt from taxation in Italy. IDLO employees are responsible for compliance with income tax laws of their country of nationality or residence and/or of any other relevant fiscal jurisdiction.

Applications will be screened on rolling basis; a qualified applicant might be recruited before the deadline. In the interest of making most effective use of resources, only the short-listed candidates will be contacted during the selection process.

IDLO is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in all areas of its operations. We welcome and encourage diverse applications. 


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the employee assigned to this work. This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities.

The Director-General of IDLO reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities or even to cancel the recruitment to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

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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