Head of Retail Supply Chain, P4

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline





Job Description:




WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.





The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) 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, mainly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need. We are looking for a Head of Retail Supply Chain, P4 based in Rome, Italy.





Assisting 80 million people in around 80 countries each year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Funded entirely by voluntary donations, in 2017 WFP raised US$6.8 billion. WFP has more than 14,000 staff worldwide of whom over 90 percent are based in the countries where the agency provides assistance.


The Supply Chain expertise and the size of our demand for food, goods, and services help strengthen these sectors (food trade, retail, transport, etc.) in local economies, resulting in higher purchasing power for the people we serve. In operations involving cash (and retail), for example, we help optimize the transport and bulk-buying strategies of our contracted retailers, so that they can cut costs and reduce shelf prices. This allows our beneficiaries to buy more – and more nutritious – food. Our planning, sourcing and delivery strategies make the most of donor resources and help professionalize commercial markets, thereby boosting economic growth.


Over the last decade, the number of people assisted through Cash-Based Transfers (CBT) has increased from almost nothing to around 14 million people, totaling around $ 1.6 Billion transferred. ‘Cash-Based Transfers’ is a catch-all expression: it covers a variety of ways in which funds are given out to individuals and families to meet their food and nutritional needs. CBT may take the form of physical money (cash in envelopes); bank transfers; vouchers, whether paper or electronic; or other electronic platforms, such as special SIM cards or debit cards.


Sometimes, the (CBT) money can be spent freely; at other times, only on pre-approved items or at chosen retailers. Depending on the circumstances, CBT may be used on its own or in conjunction with food provided in kind. Each situation is analyzed to ensure that assistance reaches the beneficiary through the best possible means – or indeed, the best combination of mechanisms. And while CBT does not fit every situation, it does fit an increasing number of them. This explains the strategic shift towards CBT, now covering more than a quarter of WFP’s portfolio.


This unique position is found in Headquarters (HQ) and reports to the Chief of Retail. It entails leading WFPs specialized, centralized commercial retail engagement.





To deliver on direct supply chain goals and broader national capacity strengthening through retail sector development. The job will involve working in complex/fragile countries along with various technical units to ensure that, in CBT or hybrid environments (using both and in-kind food), beneficiaries get the best value for money (speed/agility, availability, cost, quality, service). The job will also have a particular focus on rapid CBT (fast emergency response with cash to buy essentials) and integrated (ability to switch between cash and in-kind food) response options in emergencies and synergies between retail sector supply chain and that of WFP.


KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


The job involves working closely with Regional Bureaus /Country Offices to provide strategic and operational support to achieve effective outcomes within WFP’s engagement with the retail sector; increased purchase power and availability for beneficiaries; rapid emergency response through CBT/retail; broader retail sector development; and application of relevant retail sector supply chain practices (plan, source and deliver). 

Provide specialized and substantial support to Country Offices to understand retail supply chains and the associated costs of various WFP modalities, including effective use of retail engagement within a multi-purpose unrestricted cash setting (settings where beneficiaries are given cash without any restriction on how they can spend it). 

Jointly with other WFP units, recommend the optimal mix of modalities (unrestricted cash, vouchers to be cashed in retail only for food, in-kind food delivered in bags, etc.) for effective beneficiary outcomes (highest food and nutrition impact) at Country Office level. Develop and implement pilots and be responsible for creating a learning process for retail engagement strategy to be widely applicable across many countries. 

Lead and guide WFP staff, external partners, and governments to take a strategic and proactive approach to achieve strengthened retail sectors. Oversee and contribute to diagnostic work and implementation plans for retail supply chains in fragile markets (Northern Kenya, Eastern Chad, DRC, etc.) to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement to drive down shelf-prices, ensure year-round availability and increase access to affordable nutritious foods for beneficiaries and poor populations alike. The discounts/increased purchasing power (and other benefits such as nutritious foods, availability, etc.) for beneficiaries may also be depending on the context, be used for critical non-food item (cooking stoves, blankets, tents, etc.) supply chains. 

Manage retail preparedness actions, providing technical recommendations and guidance and actively monitor associated risks. Manage the development and rollout of the necessary strategies, normative guidance, and training required for both emergency response and retail aspects of CBT. 

Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men. 

Lead, motivate and coach a team to enable continued development and high performance. 

Act in an assigned emergency response capacity including deploying to deep-field locations on short notice, as required to meet emergency food assistance needs. 

Others as required.





Experience: A minimum eight years of senior-level retail sector experience with at least five years with large retail chains/wholesalers and/or experience in operational and strategic supply chain planning in fast-moving industries (Consumer Goods, Fashion & Apparel, Food & Beverages or other relevant industries). Professional experience in an international context (preferably in developing countries) and experience in the improvement of retail supply chains efficiency, with a demonstrated impact on consumer shelf prices. 

Education: Advanced University degree preferably in Supply Chain Management, Engineering, Economics, Business Administration, Logistics, Social Sciences, International Development or other related fields, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.

Language: Fluency (level C) in English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language, in particular: Arabic, French, or Spanish.





A background and/or interest in international humanitarian development;

Experience in monitoring operational success and suggesting areas of improvements;

Extensive experience leading multicultural teams and improving performance.





The selected candidate will be employed on a Fixed-Term contract with a probationary period of one year. He/she will be required to travel abroad sometime to remote and challenging locations.

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 icsc.un.org.





20 August 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.

Application : https://world-food-programme.contactrh.com/jobs/11918/26862707

Level of Language Proficiency

Language: Fluency (level C) in English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language, in particular: Arabic, French, or Spanish.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement