Nutrition and Food Security Officer

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 20 Oct 2020

Please note that similar positions are avilable in multiple locations.

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Nutrition and Food Security Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR's nutrition and food security programmes meet minimum UNHCR and international standards, to minimise malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia prevalence and improve food security of populations of concern towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The incumbent provides strong and timely technical and strategic guidance to UNHCR senior management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR¿s responses in nutrition and food security. S/he provides guidance on and implement nutrition and food security assessments and programming based on technical guidelines. Based on robust analysis s/he engages with internal and external stakeholders to advise on and coordinate response. S/he facilitates contact with WFP, UNICEF and other partner agencies, advises on local agreements, reviews survey reports, and consults on technical protocols and nutrition interventions (prevention as well as treatment).

The incumbent has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and embassies/donors and works to catalyse the engagement of other actors such as Government Agencies, UN Agencies (UNICEF and WFP in particular). S/he will also coordinate approaches and strengthen/develop strategic partnership with other regional UN agencies including WFP, UNICEF, WHO, FAO and NGOs involved in nutrition and food security in line with global guidance and commitments. S/he will share information and experiences, carry out joint assessments, seek new opportunities for interagency collaboration on specific nutrition and food security issues, seek financial and technical support for selected refugee operations, conduct joint trainings, support operational research, and coordinate with.


Coordination, Leadership and Partnership

  • Coordinate nutrition and food security activities for Persons of Concern (POC) and advocate on their behalf in support of government and in conjunction with other government, UN agencies, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other humanitarian partners including development actors to ensure nutrition and food security is in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and in support of the Sustainable Development goals, including SDG 2.

  • Represent UNHCR in relevant technical nutrition and food security meetings and advocate with evidence and data on refugee nutrition and food security situation.

  • Support operational collaboration with WFP including the design and implementation of Joint Assessment Missions and corresponding Joint Plans of Action in line with global commitments on targeting of assistance to meet basic needs and data sharing to support assistance distribution (in collaboration with programme and protection colleagues),

  • Support the targeting of assistance to meet basic needs (food and cash) internally with other sections, including health, WASH, cash, protection, registration, information management, external relations to support nutrition and protection outcomes and increase advocacy and fund raising efforts.

  • Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between nutrition and food security with public health, WASH, education, environment, shelter, and protection etc. in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.

  • Support the development and monitoring of country specific medium to long term inclusion plans in support of the Ministry of Health and other relevant Ministries (e.g. Social Welfare) and in partnership with development and other actors including the World Bank, International Labour Organisations, UNICEF, WFP, WHO and major donors.

Strategic planning and development

  • Contribute to development and implementation of UNHCR¿s Strategic Plan for Public Health and adaptation at country or regional level.

  • Ensure that Nutrition and Food Security strategies address known gaps in nutrition and food security programming based on country-specific needs assessment with due consideration to multi-sectoral linkages and existing national nutrition and social protection programmes.

  • Support the development of country public health, nutrition and food security strategies (including targeting of basic food and non-food assistance) based on up-to-date assessment and identification of needs, recognizing the contributions of governments and other actors and in support of national health systems as much as possible; include preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative care; recognise the different approaches required for the stage of the humanitarian response (preparedness, emergency, stabilisation, transition and long term inclusion) as well as for settlement or camp based POCs and those in urban or non-camp situations.

Technical Support

  • Provide technical assistance on nutrition and food security to UNHCR's staff and partners.

  • Advise Field Offices on matters related to procurement of sector-related materials and equipment and provide regular update on new developments and specifications of such items.

  • Ensure dissemination and implementation of internationally accepted technical standards, policies, and guidelines within UNHCR and among partners; adapt accordingly to the unique situation of refugee populations.

  • Advocate on all issues relating to refugees¿ and other POC¿s nutrition and food security including adequate access to services, inclusion in national systems and services and identification of development and international funding sources.

Assessment, analysis and monitoring

  • Support the planning, implementation, analysis, and review of the UNHCR Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys.

  • Coordinate and participate in joint needs assessments (including Joint Assessment Missions with WFP), nutrition and food security assessments of refugees and returnees.

  • Design and implement the monitoring and evaluation system for nutrition and food security programmes within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).

  • Support staff and partners to implement the Health Information Systems, SENS data base, Post Distribution Monitoring and ensure linkages with nutrition cluster assessment tools and process in out of camp or host populations.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Undertake and/or support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to ensure the technical integrity of nutrition and food security programmes in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way.

  • Share with local and international partners relevant guidelines and information materials on programming relating to refugee nutrition and food security.

  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Human Nutrition; Food Science, Public Health, Health

or other relevant field.

Relevant Job Experience


Proven technical expertise in the area of nutrition and food security assessments including surveys, rapid screenings and rapid assessments. Experience in the collection and use of routine health and nutrition monitoring data. Ability to work under pressure and in hardship conditions. Ability to promote good working relationships among colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Analytical and creative thinking abilities with solutions oriented approach. Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of Nutrition and Food Security. Knowledge and experience of working with partner agencies with a capacity to provide formal and informal technical training. Strong communication skills both verbal and in writing. Proficiency in computer software such as MS Access, Epi Info, Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other statistical programmes required for nutritional survey data analysis.


Previous professional work with refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR with UNHCR, NGO's and / or UN agencies. Experience in multi-sector programming for nutrition outcomes. Experience, advanced training and combined knowledge in various related fields: e.g. public health, food assistance/food security, IYCF, reproductive health, WASH. Demonstrated experience in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices, targeting food assistance, small scale agriculture and livelihoods interventions, cash assistance to meet basic needs. Experience in project cycle management and working with diverse range of partners.

Language Requirements

For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

How to apply:

To learn more and to apply, visit and click on the "Vacancies" tab.

Closing date: 20 October 2020 (midnight Geneva time).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).


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