Research and Policy Officer, P4 level

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline





Job Description:


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.




The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading organization fighting hunger worldwide, working with communities to improve nutrition, build resilience and address the growing challenges posed by climate change and rising inequality.


For more than 50 years, WFP has been the leading organization in supporting countries with their school feeding programmes, which are widely prevalent throughout the world. Almost every country in the world has a national school feeding programme, making it the most widespread safety net. The interventions reach an estimated 368 million children and adolescents globally. Of these, WFP supports about 16 million children annually and also provides technical assistance to governments ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of government investments.


School feeding is important because it contributes to multiple objectives, including social safety nets, education, nutrition, health, and local agriculture. School feeding may also help leverage global efforts to enhance the inclusiveness of education for out-of-school children, adolescent girls, and disabled persons, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals.


To strengthen its global support for school feeding, WFP is establishing a new dedicated unit within the Operations Department at its Headquarters office in Rome. The unit will have the task of: 1) setting WFP´s global strategy and policy on the issue; 2) providing thought leadership and guiding global research; 3) providing technical support to regional bureaux and country offices; 4) establishing partnerships and new coalitions to raise funding and support; and 5) supporting governments with their own school feeding investments.




This position is related to objective 2 of the unit, described above: thought leadership. The position will lead WFP´s efforts to enhance the knowledge base around school feeding globally (not just WFP-related), establish and monitor the research agenda, lead the preparation of flagship publications and engage with other research partners. It will report to the Director of the Service.


KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


Research and publications

Lead the preparation of WFP´s flagship publication “State of School Feeding Worldwide” to be published periodically with partners.

Work with partners to establish a global school feeding research agenda and commission studies or research work to partners, as needed.

Lead the preparation of school feeding-related global and regional situation analyses, manage global school feeding surveys, and manage the WFP global school feeding database.

Ensure school feeding-related success stories are documented and disseminated, through case studies, videos, factsheets or others.

Provide inputs to other key publications done by other units in WFP or partners.

Ensure that WFP and partners´ research is responding to the needs of governments and WFP country offices by leading periodic consultations and doing field missions to determine key knowledge gaps.

Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all research, publications or events.


Knowledge partnerships and dissemination

Establish or manage key partnerships with universities, UN agencies, think tanks and other entities with whom WFP works on knowledge creation and research related to school feeding, including the World Bank, the Partnership for Child Development and IFPRI, among others. 

Organize conferences, symposiums or fora to disseminate the findings of WFP and partners´ work and ensure that WFP is present and involved in similar events organized by partners.

Represent WFP in such events and ensure WFP´s main messages and policy positions are well articulated and communicated to other stakeholders.

Ensure that the main messages of the key publications and other research products are clear and understandable to different stakeholders (through policy briefs, factsheets, presentations, infographics, and others).

Provide support to regional bureaux and country offices in research and knowledge creating initiatives.


Strategy and policy development

Provide key inputs to the development of WFP´s school feeding strategies and support the implementation of those strategies.

Lead the preparation of WFP´s school feeding policy, updates to that policy or related documents to be presented to the WFP Executive Board.

Provide inputs to the development of school feeding-related evaluations and reviews.

Draft briefing documents and other materials for WFP management.

Ensure proper integration with the work of other WFP units (the economic analysis unit, vulnerability analysis unit, evaluations, etc).





Advanced University degree in Economics, International Development or Social Sciences or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.



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.




Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience

Led research, policy analysis or policy development in other global organizations.

Experience drafting high-level documents or publications.

Experience leading research projects related to development issues and has managed research partnerships with other organizations. 

Proven experience translating policy and research into practical and actionable policy recommendations.

Managed high-level relationships with partners and donors and private sector entities.

Has gained management/ supervisory experience in directing teams.

Outstanding communication skills (written and oral); is an excellent writer and is able to draft high-quality documents in English quickly.  

Ability to work independently, without supervision and has initiative to propose or initiate activities to the benefit of the team and of WFP.




The selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term contract with a probationary period of one year.  WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. For more details please visit




6 July 2018




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.


The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide.

Level of Language Proficiency

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.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree