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Social scientist (multiple positions)


  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-17

WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, color, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status, physical or mental disability.



Job Title: Social Scientist 


Type of Contract:  Regular consultancy (CST)


Division: RAM (Research, Assessment and Monitoring)/ Training and Knowledge Management Hub


Duty Station (City, Country): Based on needs of specific assignment (HQ, Regional Bureau and/or country-specific support)


Duration: 2 weeks to 11 months





This vacancy announcement is for a roster of social scientist consultants with expertise in qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting. Multiple positions are expected to be available.


WFP seeks to build a roster of professionals ready to be deployed at the headquarters, regional or country level to provide technical advice or lead on implementing qualitative research projects. These projects will contribute to WFP’s assessments, monitoring, reviews, evaluation and operational research, with the objective to expand WFP’s evidence base to guide WFP’s programmatic approaches and demonstrate long-term impact.


WFP is seeking candidates with technical expertise in the following methodological areas:


    • Design and management of qualitative research projects within assessments, monitoring, evaluations or operational research;
    • Conducting qualitative data collection and analysis in low- and middle-income settings;
    • Use of qualitative data analysis software (NVivo, Atlast.ti or MAXQDA;
    • Reporting and communicating on qualitative data including designing effective evidence products;
    • Capacity building of national and local stakeholders on methodologies for qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting.
    • Use of participatory techniques in food security and nutrition (for instance Participatory Needs Assessment and Participatory Rural Appraisal).
  • Experience and expertise with WFP’s programmatic approaches and cross-cutting priorities is an advantage, such as food security, nutrition prevention and treatment, school-based programmes, social protection, resilience building, gender equality and women’s empowerment and protection and accountability to affected populations. 
  • The roster will include candidates with different levels of experience and expertise. The individual contracts and Terms of References will be developed by the hiring unit at either HQ, the Regional Bureau or the Country Office.






The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

WFP teams regularly collect quantitative and qualitative data as per the corporate monitoring requirements, however, full utilization of qualitative data has been identified as a gap both regionally, and globally. WFP is therefore committed to develope staff capacity on qualitative data methodologies and integrate qualitative data in WFP monitoring systems, through various online and facilitated courses on qualitative research, as well as technical support to qualitative data collection and analysis activities across WFP.

To learn more about WFP, visit our website: and follow us on social media to keep up with our latest news: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.





The consultant(s) will be responsible for the following, depending on expertise:


  • Design, management and execution of qualitative evidence generation activities for WFP or for WFP’s partners;
  • Provide technical advice on qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting methodologies as per current developments in the field; and
  • Support the capacity building of WFP staff and national and local level stakeholders on methodologies for qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Support the integration of qualitative approaches in regular evidence building activities.
  • Support programme decisions by integrating qualitative feedback from the field.  
  • Support developing qualitative methods to:
    • Assess food insecurity, malnutrition, and other needs
    • Inform targeting and prioritization decisions
    • Inform program design and planning
    • Conduct regular monitoring and evaluation exercises
    • Measures the population perceptions and intentions about topics of operational concern
  • Analyse and integrate Complaint Feedback Mechanism (CFM) data into programme design







Advanced University degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Development Studies, International Development, International Relations, or other relevant social science fields.




At least 2 years of professional experience, with:


  • A social scientist background (technical knowledge and/or operational experience), with an established professional reputation;
  • Demonstrated expertise in the above-specified methodological areas.
  • Preferred familiarity with WFP’s programmatic approaches and cross-cutting priorities


Since the roster will include experts of varying levels of experience and expertise, we encourage everyone to apply with a range of methodological experience. 




  • Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the field of qualitative data collection and analysis and reporting;
  • Ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with a variety of stakeholders;
  • Ability to analyse and triangulate qualitative and quantitative information to understand current and future operational needs and identify solutions;
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills;
  • Aptitude for supervising, guiding and empowering staff;
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders, conveying an informed and professional demeanour toward internal and external partners and stakeholders;
  • Ability to work independently in a timely and organised manner;.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, participating in open dialogues and valuing diverse opinions of others, regardless of gender, culture, background, experience, or country assignment;
  • Knowledge of key national and regional contexts and issues; and
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality written outputs and ability to present in English and the working language.




International Professional: Fluency (level C) in English language.

Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or WFP’s working language, Portuguese, is preferred.


Terms and Conditions


All applications received will be reviewed and go through a selection process to assess relevant experience and qualifications. Applicants who meet the selection criteria may be contacted for further interviews or assessments and to confirm their continued interest and availability.

Successful candidates will be placed on a roster for short-term opportunities. Rostered applicants may be contacted in the upcoming 24 months on an as-needed basis.

Applications are submitted in English.

WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WFP. Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.



Deadline for applications: 16 December 2022

Ref.: VA No. 178518


All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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.