Food Systems Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization

Rome, Italy

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are global objectives that will shape national development plans over the next 15 years. From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. The FAO Office of Sustainable Development Goals (OSG) coordinates FAO engagement in the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review, working closely with concerned units across the Organization. The OSG is also managing the FAO-hosted UN Food Systems Coordination Hub. 
The UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) took place in Rome, Italy from 24 – 26 July 2023, convened by the UN Secretary General and hosted by Italy, in collaboration with the Rome-based UN Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub and the wider UN system. The summit saw over 3300 participants, including delegations from 182 countries, 21 world leaders and 126 ministers, 225 Non-state Actor organisations, and close to 900 UN system representatives, gather to share efforts and steer global action towards sustainable food systems.
At the end of the UNFSS+2, the Secretary-General launched a Call to Action for accelerated Food Systems Transformation. The Call focuses on six concrete objectives: embedding food systems strategies in national policies; establishing food systems governance with a whole-of-society approach; investing in research, data, innovation, and technology capacities; promoting business engagement and accountability for sustainability; including full participation of marginalized groups including women, farmers, youth and Indigenous Peoples; and ensuring long-term, concessional finance for food systems transformation. Moving forward the UN Food Systems Hub will continue with its mandate to support a fast-tracked implementation of food systems national pathways, including through fostering better coordination within the UN System as well as optimizing the Ecosystem of support. 

Reporting Lines:
The Consultant/PSA will report to the Deputy Director of the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub or to other technical officers. 

Tasks and responsibilities:

The tasks of the consultant/PSA will include the following:
  • Support the overall preparation of the Food Systems Solutions Dialogues and Food Systems Solutions Webinars, as well as other peer learning platforms and activities to enhance engagement with and among National Convenors and the broader Ecosystem of Support.
  • Support the Hub activities in relation to governance and policy coherence to accelerate food systems transformation and the implementation of the food systems national pathways.
  • Support liaision with DCO and engagement with the UN Resident Coordinators, the UN Regional Directors and the UN Country Teams on delivering support for the FSS follow-up at the national level.
  • Collect and analyse relevant information, statistics and data on food systems and relevant stakeholders in food systems transformation.
  • Support research on transformation opportunities to elevate current and emerging issues, and develop a roadmap for transformative shift in food systems.
  • Support fostering the diffusion of knowledge and expertise for peer exchange, mobilizing expert alliances, collect information to assist in preparing consistent messaging and communication on key priorities for food and agriculture to achieve sustainable development (searching for relevant events, publications, content, etc).
  • Support the development of communication and outreach materials, such as articles and web materials, on SDGs and the Hub´s engagement in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 
  • Assist in the organization of events and meeting (including virtual) and related preparatory and follow-up actions.
  • Assist in the preparation of briefing notes, communications, invitation letters, summary notes, presentations, etc. as required.
  • Perform any other related duties as required.
Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following:

Minimum Requirements:
  • University degree in sustainable development, environment, economics, social studies or other area related to FAO work. 
  • From one to five years of relevant experience in at least one of the following areas: advisory services, partnerships and advocacy programme management, food finance, programme development, policy support,  in the area of sustainable development policy and planning;
  • Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other FAO languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish). For PSA, working knowledge of English is required.
Technical/Functional Skills :
  • An advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) will be an advantage
  • Familiarity with the work of FAO or other multilateral organizations 
  • Knowledge of the content of UN Food Systems Coordination Hub and SDG Agenda 
  • Good writing skills as can be proved by relevant publications record