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WFP-Advocacy Advisor (food security)-P3-Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

The objective of the Food Security Cluster is to ensure a timely, coherent and effective food security response by mobilizing stakeholders to respond in a strategic manner to a humanitarian crisis.

Considering the increasing confirmed cases of the virus in areas with elevated levels of acute food insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic would affect disproportionately livelihoods in countries which lack the capacity to cope with a pandemic in terms health systems, access to social protection, infrastructure and government capacity. The pandemic also will have devastation socioeconomic impact on people's livelihood and employment.

The global Food Security Cluster (gFSC) launched a new ad hoc Technical Working Group on COVID19 & Food Security (C19WG) within the gFSC on 31 March 2020. The purpose of the C19WG is to strengthen the coordination of gFSC partners in their preparedness and humanitarian response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the food security of all vulnerable and affected populations.

Challenges faced by the CO

Given the expected long-term and increasing severity of the COVID-19 fallout on food security and livelihoods, extra advocacy support will be crucial over the coming months to ensure the work of the gFSC is disseminated and visible to partners and beneficiaries.

Advocacy represents a key area for increasing and strengthening partnerships at global and field level, and this role will cover the tripartite nature of the C19WG - linking global, regional and national (countries prioritized by Result 1 C19 TWG) advocacy efforts by clusters and partners.

Why is external technical/temporary expertise required? 

Short-, medium- and long-term advocacy plans and key messages are currently being drafted by the WG and require a dedicated advocacy focal point to follow through, update and finalize them, ensuring all country and regional offices are coherent in their messaging and communicating their own efforts to the gFSC for broader dissemination to partners.

Moreover WFP's ability to provide internal surge staff is limited by competing demands and international travel restrictions. Standby Partner rosters, which include specialized and rapidly deployable staff across the world, therefore represent a unique asset.

Overall scope of the mission/expected impact

The Advocacy Advisor (COVID-19) will be under the general coordination of gFSC Senior Management and will be directly supervised by the WFP Senior Programme Policy Advisor.

The post holder will contribute to the overall teamwork towards the general FSC objective, and in particular lead gFSC advocacy efforts on COVID-19, including being the gFSC focal point for the Result 3 group (advocacy) within the Technical Working Group COVID-19 

How the CO attempted to cover the capacity

To cover this capacity, the FSC team has appointed a COVID-19 focal point and has been supported by some global partners to engage and step up. An Advocacy and Communications officer for overall gFSC activities has recently been appointed, however given the gravity of the pandemic and its potential impacts, the COVID-19 position requires a dedicated staff member to fulfill these tasks for the immediate phase and to assist country and regional offices in their planning and strategies.

Moreover international surge capacity is very limited given travel restrictions and the position can be considered with a remote-work modality

Exit strategy

COVID-19 advocacy activities should be mapped out and mainstreamed into overall gFSC advocacy and communications plan by the end of the assignment. National and regional offices expected to have short-, medium- and long-term advocacy strategies in place.

Main duties and responsibilities

Key Responsibilities and Tasks:

S/he will support the FSC at country and global level in their efforts to coordinate COVID-19 related advocacy efforts. In particular, s/he will:

1. Facilitate the Result 3 group (advocacy) within the COVID-19 Working group (C19WG) created among the global partners, as per established advocacy plan.
• Objective of the plan: Collaborate on and advocate that the world's response
to COVID-19 must safeguard and ensure continuity of food supply chains to avert a food crisis.
• Levels of engagement: The WG advocacy approach will be tripartite in nature, linking global, regional and national (countries prioritized by R1WG) advocacy efforts by clusters and partners.

2.    Lead the development of advocacy documents related to COVID-19 response, including information sheets on key messages and events and COVID-specific web page, liaising with the gFSC Communication & Advocacy officer

3.    Provide advocacy support to the other technical Working Groups on COVID 19- related matters as needed and identify upcoming events that could be useful for increasing gFSC visibility and awareness-raising.


•    Establish and update key advocacy messages on FS and COVID-19
•    Produce a series of COVID-19 & Food Security Aftershock Reports with key policy recommendations, as well as other scheduled and ad-hoc documents on COVID-19 response and results
•    Finalize and maintain COVID-19 advocacy plan
•    Compile and update events matrix to schedule release/promotion of advocacy products
•    Promote messaging via social and traditional media platforms

Qualifications and Competencies

•    University degree in humanitarian affairs, communication or related field.
•    Minimum 5 years of professional experience in humanitarian advocacy. Experience in food security related topics is desirable.
•    Excellent English (writing and speaking); Working knowledge of French is highly desirable

Core Competencies

•    Results focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building/maintaining effective relationships
•    Knowledge sharing
•    Cultural and gender awareness and sensitivity
Technical Skills
•    Ability to work and plan at strategic and operational levels.
•    Understanding of the international humanitarian response architecture, including humanitarian principles, coordination mechanisms, humanitarian reform and action, and funding mechanisms
•    Ability to express and summarise ideas orally and in writing in a diplomatic and inclusive manner
•    Ability to organise and facilitate workshops, meetings and to present outcomes in behalf of a group of stakeholders

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