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Program Officer, Food Systems, Nutrition Sensitive Initiatives

India (India)

  • Organization: CHAI - Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Location: India (India)
  • Grade: Entry Level - Open for both International and National Professionals - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Food technology (Food tech)
  • Closing Date:

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Program Officer, Food Systems, Nutrition Sensitive Initiatives

Full Time
Program (Division)
Country Programs - India

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit:


CHAI, in partnership with its India affiliate William J Clinton Foundation (WJCF), works in close partnership with and under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) at the Central and States’ levels on an array of high priority initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes. Currently CHAI/WJCF works across projects to expand access to quality care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis-C, tuberculosis, cancer and immunization. Additionally, CHAI is also supporting the government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) on large-scale programs to arrest childhood and maternal mortality due to malnutrition, anaemia, diarrhoea and pneumonia, and helping increase access to quality Family Planning services. 


Dietary Diversity in Nutrition Program


Since 2016 CHAI, with the support of the IKEA Foundation, has been working to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition amongst young children and anaemia amongst women of reproductive age group in Madhya Pradesh. To that end, CHAI has developed a comprehensive strategy that aims to address supply and demand side challenges in public funded services.


Availability and access to locally available food and diversity of the food basket is critical to the success of the program. Unfortunately, due to the low income levels (average monthly income INR 6,210 or USD 88[1]) marginalised families find it difficult to consume a diverse diet; 41% of calorie intake of rural households in MP comes from non-cereals, with ~7%[2] coming from fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and fish. While approximately 55%[3] of a household’s income in the state is dedicated to procuring food items, most communities consume a staple heavy diet as it is both easier and cheaper to access; this despite ~60% of the rural community in MP being agrarian with ~40-50% income from agricultural produce. Approximately 65%[4] of farmers in the State fall in the small or marginalised category but only make about ~INR 37,260/year from core agricultural activities. Small farmers are unable to generate adequate and predictable income because of several compounding factors including inefficient market structures, unreliable quality of their produce, varying yield from their landholdings and low crop intensity which makes them heavily reliant on a single variety of crop.


As part of its program to address malnutrition, CHAI, under the guidance of the GoMP will explore comprehensive interventions that could be undertaken to improve diversity of food basket among the small and marginal segment of farmers. To that end, CHAI is looking for a Food Systems Expert who can work with different stakeholders, including different government departments, NGOs, and start-ups. The candidate is expected to identify interventions to promote nutrition-rich crops or commodity value chains in rural context. The ideal candidate would have rich value chain analysis and implementation experience and strong stakeholder management abilities. CHAI places great value on relevant personal qualities: resourcefulness, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, and work ethic.


[1] NSSO: Average monthly income per agricultural household during July 2012- June 2013

[2] NSSO 68th round: Nutritional intake in India, 2011-2012

[3] NSSO 60th round: Household consumer expenditure in India

[4] Agriculture Census, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GOI, 2015-2016

  • Provide government stakeholders with data-based insights to identify scalable and sustainable nutrition-sensitive interventions.
  • Identify nutrition rich crops and commodities (as per agro-climatic zones) for implementation of nutrition sensitive practices
  • Design/customize strategy for adopting a food systems approach to achieve better nutritional outcomes
  • Design/customize SOPs for food systems interventions (includes nutrition demand generation) and pilot implement the same in select blocks/villages
  • Design/customize package of practices for implementation (nutrition garden, backyard poultry, farm pond, etc.)
  • Design/customize SOPs and pilot implementation of local food processing practices for nutrition-rich commodities
  • Pilot implementation of designed package of practices and SOPs in select blocks/villages
  • Technical Assistance to government stakeholder staff to implement the practices across multiple blocks/villages
  • Monitor the intervention and devise course correction measures, if required
  • Initiate convergence dialogue with existing government programs (ICDS, MDM, and such others)
  • Support in conducting consultative workshops with experts to design and develop the implementation plans
  • Coordinate with NGOs, CBOs and other private players already implementing nutrition-sensitive interventions
  • Travel within the state and multiple national locations at short notice
  • Undertake any other duties as requested by the Program Manager
  • Master’s degree in agriculture/food systems/nutrition or any other relevant field with minimum 5 years of relevant work experience in designing and implementing food systems approach & conducting value chain assessment
  • Work experience with NGOs/corporates/government in agriculture, nutrition or relevant sector is desirable
  • Strong data analytics and communication (written and verbal) skills
  • Entrepreneurial mind-set, including ability to work independently, self-motivate, and propose and implement new initiatives
  • Ability to think strategically, handle ambiguity, and problem solve in a fast-paced, limited-structure and multicultural environment
  • Ability to absorb and synthesize a broad range of information, especially clinical, scientific, and technical information
  • Willing to travel frequently to meet the needs of the program and deliver impact effectively
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel, PowerPoint and Word


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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