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Programme Policy Officer NOB - Emergency and Social Protection, Fixed Term, Duty Station Lilongwe(1)


  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Lilongwe
  • Grade: Junior level - NO-B, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Legal - Broad
    • Political Affairs
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Civil Society and Local governance
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed


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, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status or disability.

Job Title: Programme Policy Officer NOB - Emergency and Social Protection

No. Position/s: 1 (One)

VA No.: 210652

Date of Issue:    30 January 2023       Deadline: 13 February 2023

Type of Contract: Fixed Term - NOB

Unit / Division: Programme 

Duty Station: Lilongwe (1) 

Duration: 12 Months


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. As the international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030, one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty. For its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020

Malawi is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa. With a population expanding rapidly at 3 percent per year and the majority of livelihoods dependent on agriculture, the population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate-related disasters. Poverty is experienced by most rural families, with those headed by women suffering the most. Relying on small parcels of densely cultivated land for their livelihoods, rural Malawians are highly affected by climate change. Episodes of drought as well as severe flooding are increasing in frequency, intensity and unpredictability, giving the most vulnerable households inadequate time to recover.

Malawi’s challenges are also compounded by high rates of HIV infection (at 9.6 percent), low primary school completion rate (at 51 percent) and chronic under-nutrition (at 37 percent for children under 5). WFP continues to partner with the government, other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular emphasis on reaching Zero Hunger (SDG 2), addressing structural drivers of hunger wherever possible.


The Programme Policy Officer will manage a portfolio of activities that include contribution to and/or direct management of emergency programmes including the relief operation, Social Protection and support to refugees, with oversight responsibility at Country Office level while supporting sub-offices. S/he will operate with considerable independence in her/his specialties and will be the day-today focal point contact for emergency and social protection programmes at Country Office level. S/he will significantly input into the design, management and coordination of programmes that effectively meet food assistance needs.
WFP recognize its role for strategic engagement in social protection and emergencies to achieve SDG2 and contribute to the government’s objectives under Malawi’s Vision 2063, through improved targeting and design of emergency and social protection assistance programmes so no one is left behind.


To plan, manage and coordinate operations to ensure an efficient, effective and well-coordinated food assistance provision to the food insecure residents, Lean season response beneficiaries, social protection beneficiaries, asylum seekers and refugees. 

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The Programme Policy Officer will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

1.    Programme Design and Planning for Emergencies and Social Protection 
•    Contribute to resource mobilisation efforts for WFP projects, including clearly articulating the need for food assistance and related programme opportunities, and follow up on the resource situation of projects including commodity and/or cash availability, seeking advice from sector leads, where necessary.
•    Lead UNSDCF planning and reporting on emergency and social protection (including cash+) activities and ensure submission of SITREPs to Country Office on programme implementation, track key trends, recommend an-actions to address any identified, or foreseen gaps;
•    Contribute to Country Office Emergency Preparedness i.e. early warning, risk analysis, emergency preparedness and response package administration, contingency planning, response planning etc in order to timely respond to humanitarian crises and needs;
•    Provide advice and support to partners on moderately complex issues to clarify ambiguities and ensure that policy and programme operations are consistent with WFP policies, Executive Board decisions, and other relevant guidance. 
•    Guide the Country Office on operational research and evidence building on issues relevant to food assistance to support the development of country strategies, programme and activities.

•    Contribute to ongoing strategic planning processes on social protection and safety nets and support the improved positioning of WFP in this area, vis-à-vis internal and external stakeholders. Including the inclusion of all stakeholders at all levels, major stakeholder being government. 

2.    Programme Management and Implementation for Emergencies and Social Protection
•    Establish and maintain strong operational and strategic partnerships to improve assistance packages, develop and sustain liaison with local government authorities (district councils, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Disaster Management Affairs), NGO partners, UN Agencies (UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF), international and local NGOs, civil societies, beneficiaries and other partners and media engaged in the field of food security for both residents, social protection beneficiaries, refugees/asylum seekers;
•    Reinforce local level engagement and deliberate efforts to cultivate the community leadership roles to enhance targeting criteria, implementation of impactful Shock Sensitive Social Protection and wider expansion to relief operations

•    Contribute to the expertise sharing and capacity building of humanitarian actors for effective preparedness and response to food assistance needs;

•    Plan and manage day-to-day WFP field operations in the central and northern regions to ensure effective and efficient delivery of food assistance and that daily operational issues are timely resolved to prevent losses or delays; 

•    Prepare accurate and comprehensive reports on WFP’s operations and performance with regular and timely submission to Country Office to inform efficient operational planning and informed decision making while ensuring consistency of information presented to stakeholders;

•    Support DoDMA, Min of Gender and EP&D in coordination of the Food Security Cluster and represent WFP in key technical working groups, task forces etc.

•    Ensure all relief project activities are conducted in accordance with the Field Level Agreements, agreed upon implementation plans, proposals and budget limits;


3.    General management and Leadership
•    Maintain regular and effective communication with staff, government Ministries, UN agencies and partner NGOs through meetings and written correspondence to ensure timely, orderly and effective delivery of food assistance to beneficiaries;
•    Work with the Budget Programming Office and Finance units to track and programme funds and grants and ensure that all grants are well managed;
•    Support the partner management process through development of EOIs, performance evaluations, capacity assessments etc.
•    Advise and support the development of functional training in areas of expertise to enhance the capacity of WFP staff, national government and partner to prepare for and respond to emergency and/or social protection needs/opportunities;
•    Coordinate and oversee delivery of the innovations including the relief-resilience complementary activities such as social behavioural change communication (SBCC) messaging and linkages between relief, social protection and resilience, nutrition interventions and recommend improved strategies to achieve better results;  while strengthening existing government systems; for awareness, ownership, guiding operationalization and effective delivery of services i.e National Identification, UBR, MIS etc 
•    Support development of Country office strategic and operational plans and lead reviews of the same for emergency sector 
•    Provide direct management of emergency programmes (relief operation, social protection and refugee/asylum seekers support), with oversight responsibility at Country Office level and supporting sub-offices.
•    Research and analyze policy and operational issues to support the development of country strategies, programme and activities including the on-going Malawi’s Country Strategic Plan (CSP) review/development.


  • Education: Advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: economics, agriculture, international affairs, business administration, social sciences, development studies or a field relevant to international development assistance, or relevant first degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.
  • Experience: At least five years of postgraduate progressively responsible professional experience in public sector management, development projects, emergency assistance, and/or operational aspects of national, bilateral or multilateral food aid or commercial transactions.


Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level
Operational Engagement with Government and NGO partners Applies negotiation, networking and diplomacy skills to develop, nurture and sustain mutually beneficial external partnerships with local government authorities, international and local NGOs, civil societies, UN agencies, beneficiaries and other partners/ media engaged in the field of food security, to improve assistance packages.
Emergency Programming Displays ability to translate understanding of programme and aid principles in emergencies and protracted conflict situations into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches.
Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, Resilience, Social Protection, School Feeding, etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design and integration, implementation and monitoring.
Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher, combinations)

Demonstrates the ability to implement, monitor and provide oversight over effective and efficient programmes deploying different transfer modalities (cash based, in kind transfers and vouchers).



  • Has solid understanding of, established networks or experience working with key stakeholders and related government bodies implementing the humanitarian and/or development programmes.
  • Has deepened technical knowledge through exposure to technical teams.
  • Has taken leadership of implementing programmes.
  • Has provided input into programme planning and design discussions and decisions.
  • Familiar with the UN and/or WFP work in Malawi;
  • Interpersonal skills and communication, team-building and inter-cultural sensitivity.
  • Adequate computer skills, knowledge of relevant packages (MS Office) and internet proficient.
  • Self-starter and able to work with minimum supervision



13th February 2023


Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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