Programme Policy Sr. Advisor – Food Systems & Resilience (P5)



We are seeking to fill the position of a Sr. Policy & Programme Advisor to support WFP Food Systems & Resilience efforts in the West and Central Africa region, based in Dakar (RBD), Senegal. This individual will lead RBD and COs develop and implement a complex portfolio of Food Systems and Resilience activities that include strategic engagement, programme design, technical assistance to COs, and partners’ coordination for joint and/or complementary programmes. The Food Systems & Resilience Sr. Advisor provide technical advice, develop guidance, forge strategic and operational partnerships with actors contributing to food systems development and resilience, including Governments, communities, farmers associations/organizations and the private sector.


The WFP Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa region is based in Dakar, Senegal. It supports 19 country offices (CO) in their programme delivery and advocate for the integration of WFP corporate priorities (People at the center, Organizational effectiveness, Triple Nexus and Digital transformation) into national policies and programmes.

The Regional Bureau core functions are to provide strategic guidance, technical support and operational oversight. By providing guidance and policy support to COs, the Regional Bureau ensures clear communication at management level between HQ, RB and COs, in line with the realignment of HQ-RB responsibilities, including advisory support to improve the quality of programme implementation, positioning and fundraising efforts. Significant work of the Regional Bureau is around technical support provided to COs, notably to ensure the quality of project design, to facilitate the sharing of technical resources and enhance CO’s staff capacity. WFP Regional Bureau also advocates for assessing and recommending appropriate actions to strengthen the capacities of Governments and National actors involved in achieving SDG2, foster the linkages between national academics, research entities and WFP operations. The Regional Bureau works to strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacities across the region to strategically position WFP as the leading organization responding to emergencies.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting food security, local economies and markets in West and Central Africa, the Regional Bureau is focusing on sustaining, expanding and complementing national responses and systems, through holistic, participative, adaptive and coordinated approaches, around three complementary and mutually reinforcing systems that are central to effective response and where WFP has demonstrated value as a partner of choice for national governments: social protection systems; basic services (nutrition and school-based programmes); and food system.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Responsible for taking the lead in defining the WFP’s strategic thinking and positioning in West and Central Africa in terms of food systems and resilience, providing policy and operational guidance to programmes in the region throughout the phases of the programming cycle from design to evaluation, coordinating WFP programming with partners in the region.
  • Identify regional food system improvement opportunities, and develop a regional food systems approach and strategy based on identified regional and country level opportunities for food systems strengthening with links to programmatic approaches in school feeding, nutrition, emergency preparedness, resilience and livelihoods. The overall approach will include a pro-smallholder regional procurement strategy, developed collaboratively with the relevant units.
  • Oversee the implementation of RBD’s and COs’ activities related to food systems and resilience to ensure that strategies and programme operations are consistent with WFP policies and other relevant guidance and SOPs.
  • Leverage existing and new regional partnerships for cross-border value chain analyses, strategy development and implementation through public and private sector engagement.
  • Strengthen CO capacities in value chains development related to the different components of the WFP Sahel integrated resilience programme and related package of activities.
  • Apply food systems lens in resilience and complementary programmes (e.g. social protection, School Meals, Nutrition, SAMS) – i.e. identify and foster linkages between specific interventions of the integrated resilience package to promote green and pro-youth value chains and employment opportunities, foster market access for farmers’ organization, and promote improved community infrastructure.
  • Strengthen COs as well as Governments, local organizations, community groups and Cooperating Partners capabilities in food systems development related to resilience and complementary programmes (e.g. linkages livelihood assets at scale, SF, nutrition, etc.).
  • Support food systems in selected coastal countries embarking in modelling resilience packages (e.g. Senegal, Guinee, NE Nigeria, etc.) and complementary efforts with pro-food systems social protection and SAMS interventions – including those linked to nutrition and school meals programmes.
  • Assist COs in developing second generation CSP in integrating food systems & resilience.
  • Assist COs, government and cooperating partners apply a Food Systems lens in the roll-out of the integrated resilience programming tools such as the three-pronged approach (3PA) consisting of the integrated Context Analysis (ICA), the Seasonal Livelihood Programming (SLP) and the Community Based Participatory Planning (CBPP) tools. Accordingly, organize and conduct TOT and follow-up efforts that apply food systems lens to ongoing resilience programmes.
  • Undertake field mission and identify strategic, programmatic and operational gaps and related solutions to advance robust food systems & Resilience efforts.
  • Assist senior government stakeholders and other partners in identifying where technical expertise for the planning, formulation and implementation of food systems & resilience programmes to strengthen government and community ownership within the project areas.


Education: Advanced University degree (or equivalent experience) in one or more of the following disciplines: Agriculture & Food Systems, Rural Development, Environment and Natural Resource Management, Rural Engineering and Food Transformation, or related fields, or First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.


  • Fluency (level C) in written and spoken English language.
  • Intermediate knowledge (level B2) in written and spoken French. (Candidates will be tested to confirm this level.)
  • Intermediate of an additional second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and/or (Portuguese, a WFP working language) desirable.

  • At least 11 years of professional with gradually increasing responsibilities in relevant work experience in Rural Development programme, Agriculture (food systems focus), Sustainable land management and value chains, and/or Resilience programme.

  • Experience in West and Central Africa is an asset.

  • Worked with government agencies, international agencies or non-governmental organisations and gained policy/strategic experience in government-led resilience and/or pro-smallholder strategies and programme

  • Good knowledge of the Sahelian livelihood contexts, food security issues and livelihoods, as well as links between food insecurity and gender inequalities in the Sahel desirable

  • Proven ability and experience in the development of interagency networks, partnerships, strategies and communications initiatives.

  • Good leadership and successful record of accomplishment in supervising multinational and multidisciplinary teams in complex operational environment

  • Expertise in planning, prioritizing, and managing resources (assets, budget etc.) efficiently.

  • Experience with participatory planning approaches, and/or 3-pronged approach resilience tools strongly desirable.


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