Country Capacity Strengthening/Country Strategic Planning
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide. We are seeking to fill a consultancy position of Research and Knowledge Management at junior consultant level, based at our Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Duration of appointment 6 months.
Context and background
Through the adoption in 2015 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nations are increasingly taking the lead in sustainably improving the wellbeing of their populations and building their own capacities to design and deliver effective anti-hunger solutions. To fulfil its mission to end global hunger, and to support national governments in doing this, WFP provides nations with direct capacity to respond to hunger—when such capacity is missing or inadequate—or increasingly, facilitates national capacity to end hunger and improve food security by supporting national hunger governance capacity. Hunger governance capacity reflects a country’s capacity to prepare and manage national systems and public policy to ensure food security and nutrition objectives are consistently met across the board.
The Country Strategic Review and Planning process
The Country Strategic Review (SR) is an independent, analytical and consultative exercise that provides a comprehensive and detailed understanding of national context; identifies key challenges a country faces in achieving zero hunger, including gaps in national hunger response and hunger governance capacities; and proposes actionable areas where partners, including WFP, can better support the country to make significant progress towards zero hunger. Findings and the recommendations contribute to national development planning and the formulation and effective implementation of UN system-wide plans and inform the WFP Country Strategic Plan (CSP) which articulates WFP’s strategic and programmatic engagement in a country.
The country capacity assessment process and WFP capacity development response
The country capacity assessment process (CCAP) is an integral yet distinct part of the SR and CSP processes, as it assesses institutions mandated with anti-hunger response capacities against five hunger governance dimensions and a set of core capabilities. The results of the CCAP include a statement of existing and desired capacity levels which helps national governments prioritise their demands for capacity building support according to their national development priorities, critical needs, timeframes and available resources. Building on the findings of the country capacity assessment, WFP can respond to national government demands for technical assistance through a range of mechanisms: it may take the lead by providing technical assistance through its own staff and as part of its programme activities, or it may support the deployment of a range of technical assistance associates (TAA) or experts, facilitating and supervising their longer-term engagement in country. WFP can also facilitate, where appropriate, the transfer of knowledge by third parties, for example through a range of South-South and/or Triangular Cooperation models. The CSP exercise therefore is complemented by an operational or Technical Plan that articulates WFP specific response proposals.
Purpose and scope of these Terms of Reference
Comprehensive technical guidelines on the design and implementation of capacity development finalised in 2015, provide WFP with a UNDG-aligned and academically-grounded conceptual framework for corporate engagement in capacity development and proffer a comprehensive country capacity assessment methodology. OSZ priority is to operationalise this work and define a streamlined yet robust, reliable and replicable country capacity assessment process (CCAP) that is sensitive – in design and implementation – to the wide range of factors influencing the contexts in which WFP COs engaging in the Country Strategic Review and Planning (CSR/CSP) process operate (e.g., national context, financial and human CO resource constraints, internal capacity levels and prevailing organisational culture, etc.).
This process of operationalisation involves carefully reviewing and cataloguing the information emerging from the SR/CSP processes, proposing an updated approach to supporting CCAP components across thematic areas and validating this approach through engagement in ongoing SR/CSP processes in country as and where appropriate. Once validated, the CCAP will be further rolled-out in planned SR/CSP priority countries.
This process also constitutes a basis for organisational learning in CCAP exercises embedded in ongoing CSP processes as relevant information and knowledge need to be systematically communicated to interested parties through appropriate knowledge management and communications channels to facilitate their continued roll-out and improvement.
The Country Capacity Strengthening, Technical Assistance & Country Capacity Strengthening (TACCS) Service (OSZI) is seeking support in rolling-out a preliminary information mining and knowledge generation plan to support all of the above as well as contribute to the finalisation of the CCAP guidance materials and their appropriate inclusion in the CSP Guidance materials that will be developed by the CSP Team.
The Consultant will report to the Deputy Director of the Programme and Policy Division (OSZ), and head of the Technical Assistance and Country Capacity Strengthening (TACCS) service, but will operate under the direct supervision of the Programme and Policy Officer for Country Capacity Strengthening who will coordinate activities as needed with the full CSP Team. He/she will be responsible for, inter alia, assisting with tasks in two main areas:
Establishing Information and Knowledge Base to support theCCAP/CSP and TAA mechanism
Systematic review of completed and ongoing Country Strategic Reviews and WFP Country strategic Plan outputs to extract, tag and store precise information on national contexts in relation to SDGs, national capacities and government demands for technical assistance support from WFP, including direct follow-up with the Country Strategy Team and WFP Country Offices to verify and qualify information, as needed, with a view to strengthening development of CCAP implementation;
Systematic capture of the individual technical associate profiles and institutions engaged throughout the SR/CSP processes to populate the Technical Assistance Associates (TAA) database to allow for planning and follow-up to promote continued and further engagement with said parties at the country level. Assistance with cataloguing additional TAA profiles that may be submitted to WFP through the external TAA Vacancy process.
Disseminating and promoting CCAP/ TAA Knowledge Base
Operationalising the WFP Capacity Development Communities platform to provide a centralised space for dialogue on emerging issues in capacity development and facilitate mining of internal information and knowledge on related capacity issues from WFP Country Offices and Regional Bureau.
Qualifications & Experience Required
Master’s degree in International Development, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Research Methods, or related fields.
2 years of relevant professional experience e.g., related to national development programmes, strategies or plans, preferably in relation to food security and/or nutrition and revolving around national capacity building and/or programme and knowledge management;
Experience carrying out methodical thematic research and analytical work, qualitative data analysis, mapping and/or stocktaking exercises;
Experience working in an international environment heavily dependent on virtual networking and engaging individuals from a diverse range of nations and functional areas;
Previous experience working in an International Organisation and/or UN organisation is considered an asset.
Technical Skills & Knowledge:
Solid understanding of Agenda 2030 and in particular, understanding of SDG2 and SDG17 and respective targets and how the work of WFP can contribute to achieving them
Knowledge of current thinking and development in country capacity development and effective knowledge transfer models
Ability to think logically and manage taxonomies and information architectures
Strong information mining skills using a range of channels and platforms
Ability to work with information systems to accurately classify (tag) information
Familiarity with WFP’s mandate, Country Strategic Planning process, intervention modalities, programme and project lifecycle tools, implementation and monitoring and evaluation desirable.
Ability to work independently in a timely and organised manner
Willingness to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches in own work;
Ability to work in a team and multi-task as needed.
Fluency in oral and written English is essential. An intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages) is desirable.