Programme Policy Officer

World Food Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
9th December, 2018

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.


As an island nation, Sri Lanka remained highly vulnerable to climate change, being the fourth most climate-change-affected country in 2016 according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2018. Weather events and recurrent natural disasters, such as droughts, floods and landslides, adversely impact socio-economic progress. Long-term impacts of climate change affect public health, nutrition, agriculture and infrastructure development, including hydropower,8 impacting women, men, girls and boys differently.

Since 2016, Sri Lanka experienced the worst drought in 40 years, which resulted in a significant decline in rice paddy production—the lowest in the last ten years. The drought impacted 20 out of 25 districts and led to overall significant crop losses, increased debt levels, and reduced agricultural labour opportunities. The effects were detrimental to food security and nutrition, income levels and access to water cultivation, particularly amongst hardest-hit communities.


Resilience building for the vulnerable affected by shocks to improve food security and nutrition is one of the major outcomes of the WFP Sri Lanka’s Country Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. This outcome will be achieved by enabling shock-affected communities to benefit from strengthened capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather and other disasters in order to mitigate the impact of shocks and stresses.

Working closely with government ministries and agencies at all levels and in partnership with other stakeholders such as UN agencies, I/NGOs, civil societies and development partners, WFP assists the affected communities and people through integrated application assistance in the creation and rebuilding of productive community assets and the diversification of livelihoods - through such approaches as improved and efficient water harvesting at household and community levels, water management, tree planting, crop diversification with improved value chain and skills training, to reduce climate and disaster risks and to improve resilience and coping abilities. The main objective is to enable the affected vulnerable to have access to productive assets for income generation purposes.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The Programme and Policy Officer acts as Resilience Building Activity Manager and Team Leader, under the direct supervision of the Deputy Country Director, will be responsible for:

Leadership, guidance and technical:

  • Guide the overall vision for the next 5 years of resilience building activities, within the Country Strategic Plan (CSP), in all relevant units, serving as the link to an integrated approach to resilience that horizontally connects other CSP activities.
  • Effectively take the lead in working and coordinate with the resilience building teams at the Country Office (CO) and field levels.
  • Lead partnerships development with UN agencies (FAO, UNDP, ILPO and UNFPA etc.), NGOs, development partners and civil societies for synergy and complementarity to build a longer-term vision of multi-sectoral resilience building. Manage the Programme Associates at the districts of Monaragala, Batticaloa and Matale who work closely with the district authorities on the implementation of resilience building activities.

Analysis: In collaboration with WFP Headquarters and Regional Bureau, undertake training and capacity building activities in the area of Seasonal Livelihood Programming (SLP) and Community-Based Participatory Planning (CBPP) targeted Government, partner staff as well as WFP staff for the impactful implementation of resilience building and livelihood diversification activities with nutrition sensitive approach.

Monitoring & Evaluation and Evidence Creation: Work with the M&E focal points at both Country Office and Regional Bureau to strengthen Government capacity to design a robust monitoring plan, with clear and measurable indicators disaggregated by sex and age for reporting purposes.

Reporting: Draft bi-annual and annual reports in compliance with standard procedures and templates in order to maintain quality, consistency, timeliness and standardization of information management and performance reporting to donors.


  • Effectively lead and coordinate the resilience building teams at CO and field levels.
  • Please refer attached TOR for detailed list of accountabilities


  • A university degree in one of the following: business administration, rural development, agriculture.


  • Minimum 5 years of working experience in cash-for-work projects and projects on resilience building, livelihood support, community development and related field.



  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives: Understands WFP’s Strategic Objectives and the link to own work objectives.
  • Be a force for positive change: Flexibly adapts individual contributions to accommodate changes in direction from supervisors and internal/external changes (such as evolving needs of beneficiaries, new requirements of partners).
  • Make the mission inspiring to our team: Recognizes and shares with team members the ways in which individual contributions relate to WFP’s mission.
  • Make our mission visible in everyday actions: Sets own goals in alignment with WFP’s overall operations, and is able to communicate this link to others.


  • Look for ways to strengthen people's skills: Assesses own strengths and weaknesses to increase self-awareness, and includes these in conversations on own developmental needs.
  • Create an inclusive culture: Participates in open dialogue, and values the diverse opinion of others, regardless of background, culture, experience, or country assignment.
  • Be a coach & provide constructive feedback: Proactively seeks feedback and coaching to build confidence, and develop and improve individual skills.
  • Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit: Participates in accomplishing team activities and goals in the face of challenging circumstances.


  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions: Shows willingness to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches in own work.
  • Focus on getting results: Consistently delivers results within individual scope of work on time, on budget and without errors.
  • Make commitments and make good on commitments: Commits to upholding individual accountabilities and responsibilities in the face of ever-changing country or functional priorities.
  • Be Decisive: Makes rational decisions about individual activities when faced with uncertain circumstances, including in times of ambiguity regarding information or manager direction.


  • Connect and share across WFP units: Seeks to understand and adapt to internal or cross-unit teams’ priorities and preferred working styles.
  • Build strong external partnerships: Demonstrates ability to understand and appropriately respond to and/or escalate needs of external partners.
  • Be politically agile & adaptable: Portrays an informed and professional demeanor toward internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  • Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships: Provides operational support on analyses and assessments that quantifies and demonstrates WFP’s unique value as a partner.


Please refer attached TOR


  • Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance Demonstrates ability to identify key variables and contextual factors that affect food assistance problems and programmes throughout the lifecycle to inform quality programme design or re-design.
  • Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher) Demonstrates ability to analyse and consolidate quantitative and qualitative information from different sources (e.g., market studies) to inform transfer modality selection and programme development.
  • Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring.
  • Emergency Programming Displays capacity to provide inputs into the development, implementation and realignment of high quality emergency programmes.
  • Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes.


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