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) has implemented the School Feeding Programme (SFP) in Tajikistan since 1999. As of May 2019, SFP covers 52 districts and reaches over 400,000 beneficiaries, targeting primary school students at approximately 2,000 schools, accounting for more than half of the schools across the country. The SFP has been implemented with financial support from the Russian Federation, implemented through two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), one with the Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) and the other with the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (MINFIN). Funds from EMERCOM are used to procure and deliver food commodities, whereas funds from the MINFIN are spent on capacity development and augmentation (CD&A) activities. The CD&A activities are implemented in partnership with the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI).
Responding to the Decade of Action (2020 – 2030), WFP will work with the government and partners to jointly ensure all primary schoolchildren have access to good quality meals in school, accompanied by a broader integrated package of health and nutrition services. Together with the government, WFP will develop time-bound national targets and handover strategies, leading to a gradual decrease of WFP operational beneficiaries in the coming years. Through this process and beyond, WFP will continue to support development and testing of innovative and new approaches.
PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT
- The above described initiatives would require enhanced capacity at the country office level and strong coordination with internal and external stakeholders. The National Programme Policy Officer (SFP) will support the SFP Coordinator/Activity Manager in managing all aspects of SFP initiatives, ensuring the gradual handover of SFP activities to the government is well organized and systematically achieved.
Working within school feeding activity team and reporting directly to the SFP Coordinator/Activity Manager, the incumbent is expected to perform the following duties and responsibilities:
- Represent WFP in various technical forums with national stakeholders and with key government officials involved national SFP decision-making, including at the intersectoral coordination council, with line ministries (e.g., Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture, etc.), and other government entities at the central level;
- Provide advisory and technical support to the government in designing and implementing the national SFP through all relevant platforms;
- Support the development of the SFP handover strategy, and lead the coordination with national government entities for its implementation;
- Strengthen multisectoral coordination forums at central and subnational levels for the implementation of the national SFP through its inclusion in district development plans;
- Support the liaisons with UN agencies, international financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations to ensure synergies with WFP’s SFP are incorporated in project implementation, engage in joint programming where possible;
- Lead the development of the education information management system (Maktab) of the Ministry of Science and Education: In collaboration with the relevant units in the country office and through discussions with government counterparts at relevant ministries:
- Revamp discussions to enhance and improve monitoring and rapid assessment of SFP;
- Conduct a gap analysis to determine requirements in relation to information, technology, processes, objectives, staffing, technical skills, management systems/structures, resourcing;
- Ensure the realization of nation-wide school infrastructure and capacity assessment, data from which will be stored in Maktab (coordinate with UNICEF);
- Create a handover plan to ensure the government can use, maintain, troubleshoot, and further develop the system;
- Lead efforts on complementary activities for optimal school feeding: The below activities are all initiatives to be implemented under the MINFIN contribution and can be considered as a collective package. Review existing plans, develop an implementation strategy, and launch activities.
- Urban school feeding;
- Renewable energy for hot water in schools;
- Animal husbandry in school gardens;
- Microgrants initiatives;
- Support the implementation of the WFP Tajikistan Country Strategic Plan through ensuring cross-cutting efforts such as nutrition-sensitivity, gender and diversity inclusion, protection and accountability, and linkages with other activities, including resilience and capacity development, are integrated into SFP;
- Coordinate with monitoring and school feeding focal points at the country and field offices to develop a robust monitoring and reporting system of all SFP activities to ensure a standardized approach;
- Ensure the preparation of accurate and timely reports on SFP activities that enable informed decision making and consistency of information;
- Ensure strong collaboration with partners (public, private, or civic) that lead to improved SFP packages;
- Support the capacity building of WFP country office and field staff, partners, and government counterparts to prepare for and respond to SFP;
- Provide technical guidance, training, support and advice to all country and field office staff responsible for the implementation of SFP;
Assist SFP team staff in the development and implementation of SFP initiatives, plans and processes; key initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- Provision of daily hot-meals in schools;
- Establish and operationalize an SFP unit with the Ministry of Science and Education;
- Potential new programming that targets beyond the current demographic to include early child development, adolescents, and youth;
- Cash-based transfers;
- MINFIN pilot reviews and scale-up;
- Public-private partnerships that support SFP;
- Systems Approach for Better Education Results - School Health and School Feeding process.
- Any other tasks as needed.
STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
- Advanced University degree in International Affairs, Education, Social Sciences or other field relevant to international development assistance, or First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.
- Fluency (level C) in English and either Tajik or Russian is required.