By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Food Systems and Environment Specialist

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-04

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

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, nationality, background, and culture
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member nations, and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct and to uphold our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination
  • All selected candidates, therefore, will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • 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 Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF) supports a coordinated approach to the development of food systems, including inter alia, (i) the development of sustainable food value chains (SFVC) and sustainable investments in across value chains (VC); (ii) the strengthening of food safety and quality at national, regional and international levels, (iii) the reductions in food loss and waste, (iv) the implementation of the urban food agenda and (v) the engagement in global level dialogue, platform and initiatives. It works to support FAO Members in their efforts to develop inclusive and sustainable food systems in alignment with the SDGs. The Division works closely with internal FAO teams and external partners in integrating sustainability in its three dimensions (social, economic and environmental) across global, regional and local food systems. To this end, establishing linkages between food systems with environment and climate work steams and supporting an integrated approach in design and implementation of relevant programs and project such as elements of the FAO’s work with Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has been a major part of the ESF work.

Reporting Lines

The Food Systems and environment expert will report to the Policy Officer, under the overall guidance of the Director, ESF, and in close collaboration with the FOLUR-IP Programme Management Unit (PMU) in the Forestry Division.

Technical Focus

The FOLUR Impact Program builds on the momentum and growing commitment by governments and private sector toward a transformational shift in food systems. To support FOLUR in the objective transitioning towards adopting a food system approach, there is a need for methods and tools for identifying the viable pathways for lasting change in investment, policies and practices aiming at improving sustainability of agri-food systems. This is crucial in minimizing trade-offs between delivering environmental benefits with desired socio-economic outcomes in various contexts.

To this end, ESF in collaboration with FOLUR PMU is leading the design and implementation of methodological approach to help capturing the overall performance of food systems around selected commodity supply chains (as opposed to single point intervention), identifying main constraints as well as complex political and social settings in which individuals and groups and key food systems actors interact, and food systems activities operate. The approach aims at building evidence by providing an understanding of the interlinkages between elements that shape agri-food systems and shed light on trade-offs and synergies in delivering multiple environmental, health and socio-economic outcomes within the scope of the GEF. The evidence base is key in designing investment programs to safeguard environment and at the same time to nourish people and contribute to advancing livelihood and bringing prosperity to communities.

The activities will take advantage of the momentum created by the UN food systems summit in engaging with the stakeholders and policy makers at country level around opportunities and barriers for transformation of food systems. They will contribute to raising awareness and build capacity of the stakeholders for taking an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach in policy making related to environment and natural resources, by looking at mutual impact of nature on agri-food systems and food systems on nature.

Tasks and responsibilities

Against this background, the Food Systems and environment expert will perform the following tasks:

  • Based on the activities, budget and timeframe submitted to the World Bank, develop a detailed work plan for two years in close consultation with ESF, NFO FOLUR Coordination and the FAO FOLUR PTF in the HQ.
  • In close coordination with the aforementioned FAO entities contribute to the development pilot country selection criteria.
  • Compile the existing ESF-FOLUR outputs and activities on the design, piloting and validation of the assessment methodology in a detailed concept note, including a brief indicative theory of change, results framework, beneficiaries, logical framework, risk matrix and work plan.
  • In alignment with FAO’s FOLUR cross-cutting deliverables (in particular under assessment component of deliverable 1 - the sustainable landscape production toolkit), conduct a stock taking of the relevant tools and methodologies (Internally and externally) on food systems assessment, sustainable value chain development, environmental assessment of agri-food systems, etc. and mapping the findings against GEF-FOLUR objectives.
  • Based on the information gathered from the stocktaking, develop a methodological approach/guideline for the assessment of food systems around the FOLUR-IP targeted commodity supply chains. The methodology will look at the FOLUR priority commodities and guide adoption of a systemic approach in identification of the root causes of deforestation and unsustainable production and distribution patterns, trade-offs analysis between delivering environmental outcomes with ensuring food and nutrition security, economic profitability for all stakeholders as well as social and gender inclusiveness and equality.
  • Based on the agreed pilot country criteria and subsequent pilot country selection contribute to the country outreach and in iteration with FOLUR-IP country teams work with national consultants to guide the piloting the methodology in two countries. This includes documenting the results and evidence based on a standardized “good practices and experience capitalization” methodology and thus contribute to the overall FOLUR-IP knowledge management and learning objective.
  • Using participatory and inclusive multi stakeholders’ approach, such as consultations, webinars and workshops to ensure all views are reflected along the process of data collection, analysis and finalizing the outputs with particularly attention to the most vulnerable groups.
  • Develop two Policy briefs based on the results of the assessment and consultative workshops – aims at supporting the countries efforts in aligning their environmental policies with commitments and national action plans for food systems transformation, post-food systems summit.
  • Support FAO - FOLUR post-Summit action areas as required
  • Support additional activities as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in agri-food systems, environmental economics, geography or related field
  • Five years of relevant experience in food systems-environment-climate nexus
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or 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
  • Extent and relevance of experience in implementing sustainability assessment approaches and methodologies
  • Extent and relevance of experience in supporting multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary approaches
  • Familiarity with GEF projects and programs

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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.