Programme Policy Officer

World Food Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
18th April, 2019

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.


Sri Lanka has been ranked second among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 20 years since 1998 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2019. The Long-Term Climate Risk Index listed Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico as the top two affected countries. It should be noted that Sri Lanka was ranked fourth in the Climate Risk Index (CRI) in 2016 and it was in the 76th position in the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2017.

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 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)

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Country Director and working closely with the Activity Manager for resilient building and as part of the team, the Agriculture Engineer will be responsible for the following:

Provide technical guidance to WFP Sri Lanka’s resilience building programmes in Mullaitivu, Mannar, Matale, Monaragala and Matale districts including project design, review, appraisal, and activities implementation such as cash for work/livelihood skills training for income generation, livelihood support for the women members of the PTK Cooperative in Mullativu (under the joint project with ILO) and technical advice on the implementation of the adaptation project by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment and UNDP with nutrition-sensitive/gender-transformative approach through integrated resilience building activities.

Specific responsibilities are as follows:

  • Assess the feasibility of the infrastructure proposed for the rehabilitation/construction in close coordination with the selected community, community organization and government counterparts in the DS divisions and districts.
  • Support the local partners in prioritizing the needs and framing up project proposals,
  • Support the local partners in preparation of designs and bill of quantities for the rehabilitation /construction/installation of the selected productive infrastructures;
  • Identify any environmental and social threats related to the infrastructure development and propose adequate remedial measures.
  • Review and finalize the project plans for the rehabilitation/construction of productive infrastructure, designs and estimates of the identified projects, make conclusion and submit for approval;
  • Assess the technical capacity of farmers groups and draft plans to strengthen them in operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems and water management.
  • Facilitate /conduct ratification meetings with the beneficiaries together with the local partner to explain the proposal, estimates and execution procedures;
  • Carry out periodic inspection to the project sites and observe construction procedures and achievements, in order to monitor the progress of the works and status of the contract management and to ensure the quality of the works and timely completion of the same;
  • Write log-book notes and/or submit field inspection report containing the details of site inspected, officers accompanied, observations, problems identified and proposed solution and recommendation within set target of time period from the date of the visit;
  • Participate in contractual joint measurement activities, review test quality reports and recommend/endorse payments certificates;.

STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: University degree or advanced university degree (preferable) in one of the following: agriculture engineering, agriculture; agronomy; and or related fields.

DESIRED EXPERIENCES FOR ENTRY INTO THE ROLE: Minimum 5 years of working experience in agriculture or agriculture engineering sector with the field experience on agriculture-based rural development and climate change adaptation.


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