Nutrition and Food Systems Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN)

FAO UN Recruitment 2021

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) – An intergovernmental organization, FAO has 194 Member Nations, two associate members and one member organization, the European Union. Its employees come from various cultural backgrounds and are experts in the multiple fields of activity FAO engages in. FAO’s staff capacity allows it to support improved governance inter alia, generate, develop and adapt existing tools and guidelines and provide targeted governance support as a resource to country and regional level FAO offices. Headquartered in Rome, Italy, FAO is present in over 130 countries.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Nutrition and Food Systems Specialist

Vacancy ID: 2100948
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Organizational Unit:  FRNIR
Job Type: Non-staff opportunities
Type of Requisition: PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Duration: 6 months, with possible extension

Organizational Setting

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the UN technical agency whose goal is to eliminate malnutrition through food and agriculture. FAO’s Strategy for nutrition addresses the root causes of malnutrition (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity), building on FAO’s core functions and comparative advantages. The Strategy recognizes that combating malnutrition in a sustainable way requires a holistic approach, bringing the potential of food and agricultural systems to bear on the problem, joining with those working on health and care.
  • In Nigeria, FAO’s work is underpinned by one of the five priorities of the Country Programming Framework (CPF 2018 – 2022): Strengthening national food and nutrition security through enhanced nutrition sensitive and climate-smart food systems. In this regard, FAO supports the government to develop and implement policies, strategies, and frameworks for nutrition-sensitive agriculture initiatives and programmes across the Humanitarian and Development continuum. FAO also reinforces capacity for monitoring and evaluating the nutrition impact of agricultural programmes and further supports capacity development for effective nutrition education.
  • The purpose of this consultancy is to expand and strengthen FAO Nigeria Country Office’s work on nutrition, reposition and prioritize its work in nutrition and to provide leadership in ensuring cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder coordination offers more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems.

Reporting Lines:

  • Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative (FAOR) and direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programmes) (AFAOR-P) and in close collaboration with the Programme Leads along the Humanitarian and Development continuum, Nutrition experts at FAO Headquarters and Decentralised offices, the Consultant will be expected to support the implementation of FAO Nigeria Country Programme Framework.

Technical Focus:

  • Nutrition programme development and management, coordination and technical support based on the knowledge of the socio-economic and institutional context of Nigeria.

Tasks and Responsibilities
The Nutrition and Food Systems Specialist will:

  • Contribute to the achievement of FAO Nigeria Country Programming Priorities through expansion and strengthening of nutrition programme portfolio and its effective implementation.
  • Provide leadership in food systems analysis, collating nutrition-related outcomes for advocacy and formulation of concept notes and programme documents. In particular targeting (i) Trust Funds (TF, UNJPS), (ii) Unilateral Trust Funds (UTFs) with Federal and State Governments; (iii) South-South Cooperation (SSC, TrC)) and triangular cooperation programme (iv) Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCPs) and (v) Private sector partnerships in the areas of nutrition sensitive agriculture, nutrition education and consumer awareness, food systems, food safety, and food losses/wastes.
  • Provide technical assistance to Federal and State-level governments, and FAO Implementing Partners, engaged in the delivery of nutrition and food systems outcomes. This can be through capacity development, knowledge – sharing, disseminating good practices through projects in the field.
  • Review of relevant government, UN and Donor strategic and development plans/frameworks, and existing platforms with a view to identifying additional entry points for FAO Nigeria to enhance/strengthen partnerships.
  • Facilitate policy dialogues, roundtables, commemoration of relevant international days and media events to create understanding and advocate for utilization of food – based dietary guidelines to enable consumption of healthy diets (type, quantity and safety as well as food waste, and the importance of agriculture and food value chains in that space.
  • Support project leads in work-planning, implementation, reporting and project coordination with stakeholders, initiate actions to be taken with relevant partners, Agencies, institutional and stakeholders on issues related to projects management to enhance effective implementation of programmes;
  • Facilitate and coordinate operational and logistical field actions in all aspects of the project cycle management related to nutrition and food systems activities. These include, but are not limited to, implementation arrangements, choice of inputs and procurement plans, site selection, beneficiary targeting, determining vulnerability criteria, distribution mechanisms, activity monitoring, training and capacity building, reporting, etc.;
  • Ensure timely preparation and submission of Project Progress Reports and any other reports required by the Organization;
  • In collaboration with the M&E and Reporting Officer, contribute to monitoring and evaluation of programme and project performance (outputs, reduction of inequality and impact on nutrition-status) and its linkages to FAO’s Country Programme Framework (CPF) and the UNSDPF.
  • Contribute to the preparation and review of technical briefs, evaluation reports, Letters of Agreement, Terms of Reference, technical specifications, statements and correspondence for internal use and for recipient governments and donors;
  • Monitor emerging food security and nutrition concerns, trends and threats and advise on measures to be taken; interact with food security surveillance groups and utilize their findings and analyses for programme planning;
  • In liaison with the communication team, collect and maintain repository of documents and information, governmental guidelines, policies, manuals, assessments, etc.), to shape and define priorities, guidelines and standards for interventions in the nutrition and food systems sector;
  • Mentor and strengthen capacities of programme assistants and junior professionals about healthy diets, nutrition-sensitive agriculture and analytical frameworks used in nutrition.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Candidates will be Accessed Against the Following
Minimum Requirements:

  • Advanced University Degree in Agri-food systems, Nutrition, Food Security, Programme Development, Development Economics or a related field.
  • At least 5 years relevant experience in programme development and management, fundraising, negotiations, public relations/advocacy, preferably in the areas of nutrition or food systems or food security.
  • Working knowledge of English and at least one of the Nigerian main languages.
  • National of Nigeria or resident in the country with a regular work permit.

FAO Core Competencies:

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical / Functional Skills:

  • Sound knowledge and understanding of the on-going emerging policy issues in the areas of Nutrition, Food Security, Food Systems;
  • Strong knowledge and background food systems, food safety, nutrition education, food wastes/losses and food value chain in Nigeria.
  • Experience in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating nutrition and food systems projects at UN Systems level will be a key asset;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and experience in working with a wide range of individuals at technical and strategic levels in government, private sector and civil society;
  • Experience in preparing high quality policy briefs and guidance notes for use by senior policy makers;
  • Experience of working with the government counterparts, national or international financial institutions, private sector/ civil society in the field of economic and social development in Nigeria;
  • Familiarity with the agricultural system of different geographical regions, their products and potential internal and external marketing systems

Application Closing Date
16th August, 2021; 10:59:00 PM

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries are encouraged to apply.
  • Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
  • Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.
  • Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile.
  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help, or have queries, please contact:
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications.
  • Fao Is A Non-Smoking environment.


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