Nutrition Advisor

  • Senior-level, Long-term consulting assignment
  • Posted on 29 October 2020

Job Description

General Statement of Purpose of the Contract:

The Nutrition Advisor is a senior technical expert located in USAID/Ethiopia’s Office of Assets and Livelihoods in Transition (ALT). ALT manages a diverse food security portfolio that ranges from emergency and development food assistance (Food for Peace), to livelihoods, food security and disaster risk management (Feed the Future and Global Climate Change). With a life of portfolio value of more than $1.54 billion – nearly $500 million of which was obligated in FY16 – ALT contributes to USAID/Ethiopia’s CDCS Development Objective 1: Increased Economic Growth with Resilience in Rural Ethiopia. The ALT Office houses one of the largest Food for Peace programs in the world and has a growing portfolio of emergency nutrition investments along with non-emergency nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive activities. In response to the recent El Niño-induced drought in 2015-2016 the ALT Office has worked closely with its counterparts in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), through the Office of Food for Peace, to improve the quality of nutrition programming nationwide.

The Nutrition Advisor will provide technical leadership to Food for Peace, the USAID/Ethiopia Mission, and the technical teams in ALT on both emergency and development nutrition activities. S/he will provide technical and programmatic guidance to staff, program partners, and government counterparts on nutrition-related issues. It is expected that the Nutrition Advisor will work closely with multiple stakeholders in Ethiopia, including the Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE) Ministry of Health, National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture; the Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU); United Nations agencies; and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen humanitarian and development nutrition policies and programming. S/he will also play a pivotal role in representing USAID interests related to the successful integration of nutrition considerations into the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).

The incumbent must also provide technical, programmatic and logistical guidance related to the proper use, transportation, and storage of the Food for Peace food commodities and products distributed under Title II of The Food for Peace Act. This includes, but is not limited to, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF), and fortified blended foods (FBF).

Statement of Duties to be Performed:

1. Technical Leadership: Provide intellectual leadership and promote collaborative work across a broad nutrition portfolio. Serve as the USAID/Ethiopia Mission lead on emergency nutrition issues in Ethiopia. Serve as the lead within the ALT Office on non-emergency nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive activities. Advocate for and educate others on the linkages between agriculture, nutrition, WASH and health in ALT’s emergency and development programming to increase the nutritional and health impacts of the interventions that protect the nutrition security of vulnerable populations. Act as the primary authority related to the proper use, transportation, and storage of the Food for Peace food commodities and products distributed under Title II of The Food for Peace Act. Keep abreast of current research and data to ensure identification and promotion of best practices that contribute significantly to nutrition and food security across various sectors, including agriculture, nutrition, water, and environmental hygiene (in the context of agriculture), and humanitarian assistance. Provide technical guidance and support, both virtually and through field visits, to USAID, UNICEF and WFP in designing, planning and implementing quality nutrition activities. Promote and support nutrition capacity building efforts among USAID staff in Washington and the field as well as among implementing partners, including mentoring and training on field visits, the provision of regular updates on nutrition in emergencies, and identification of agency and external training opportunities.

2. Partner Relationships and Advocacy: The Nutrition Advisor will collaborate with and maintain partner relationships with nutrition and food security experts from USAID (including the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance – OFDA), other U.S. government organizations, private voluntary organizations, the GoE, international organizations, regional organizations and implementing partners. S/he will collaborate with Food for Peace implementing partners to support integrated multi-sectoral approaches to addressing nutrition issues in emergency and development programs and to identify and share real-time learning and sharing of best practices. The Nutrition Advisor will have a significant role in interaction with the Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) and the Multi-Agency Nutrition Taskforce (MANTF) and with International NGOs, UN agencies- particularly UNICEF, WFP, WHO, and other partner agencies to foster development of policies and lead to increased availability of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) management services for the prevention of SAM, improved infant and young child feeding support in crises, and availability of nutrition data. The incumbent shall maintain strong engagement with representatives of Government of GoE’s emergency, food security, and agricultural organizations, including the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural Job Creation and Food Security Sector’s Productive Safety Net Program, and regional government officials.

3. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Program Logistics: The Nutrition Advisor will provide oversight and leadership for the implementation of nutrition monitoring and evaluation across emergency and development nutrition programming. The Advisor shall be responsible for coaching and mentoring the ALT Office Monitoring Team to develop an effective monitoring system for both emergency and development nutrition programming. This will involve working with Food for Peace and OFDA partners and monitoring the timeliness of commodity delivery and the related impact on the nutrition situation. The incumbent will work closely with Food for Peace Washington to ensure that both emergency and development food assistance nutrition activities meet Food for Peace global best practices and standards. The Nutrition Advisor will also be responsible for providing expert advice and practical experience on emergency and development nutrition monitoring and evaluation to the National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the Productive Safety Net Program.

This position requires technical expertise in infant and young child feeding in emergencies, maternal nutrition, and nutrition sensitive food security approaches. The Nutrition Advisor must possess expertise in multi-sectoral nutrition approaches and have experience in applying analytical and evaluative methods and techniques concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of nutrition program operations and interventions.

The Nutrition Advisor will:

• Serve as Food for Peace’s nutrition lead within Ethiopia. Support ALT engagement with Mission Staff from OFDA, Economic Growth and Transformation (EG&T), Health, AIDS, Population and Nutrition (HAPN) and Food for Peace in Washington on all nutrition matters. Provide strategic planning guidance to Food for Peace on activities related to the integration of nutrition into emergency and food security programs through field support and other mechanisms.

• Manage and respond to nutrition commodity issues and advise relief food programs in the selection of proper nutrition and food security commodities and incorporation of related nutrition education and behavior change components into programs. Work with Food for Peace logistics partners, the Government of Ethiopia, and implementing partners to identify solutions and make appropriate recommendations to resolve nutrition commodity related logistics and operations matters.

• Provide technical support on nutrition matters to USAID’s emergency food assistance programs (relief and refugees), community disaster risk reduction partners, and other in country relief partners active in the emergency nutrition landscape.

• Serve as USAID/Ethiopia’s lead advisor for fighting moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Ensure that programming in support of targeted supplementing feeding (TSF), Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding, and MAM and SAM case management more broadly, is aligned with USAID global best practices and international guidelines.

• Participate in regular monitoring of activities supporting the treatment of SAM and MAM.

• Provide technical advice and advocate for the better use of global guidelines for emergency malnutrition management with Ministry of Health. S/he will advocate to the Ministry of Health and UN partners for a change in SAM discharge criteria from % of weight gain to middle upper arm circumference (MUAC), for a change of MUAC admission criteria for 11.5 and 12.5 for SAM and MAM respectively, and for improvement in the monitoring of SC quality.

• In close coordination with OFDA, represent USAID, coordinate programming, advise counterparts, and advocate for best practices in various multi-agency task forces and forums including the Multi-Agency Nutrition Taskforce (MANTF), the National Disaster Risk Management Commission’s Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU), the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG), the advisory board for Community Moderate Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) and the nutrition cluster.

• Provide technical advice and support to USAID nutrition interventions in support of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). Advocate for best practices including nutrition sensitive public works, appropriate nutrition behavior change activities, and the implementation of soft conditionality for pregnant and lactating women and mothers of SAM-affected children.

• Represent USAID to the Government of Ethiopia and donor partners working on behalf of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). Provide technical support to the PSNP and its partners on both emergency and non-emergency nutrition issues. Participate in the PSNP Nutrition Task Force Meetings and advocate for the full implementation of nutrition elements within the government safety net as per the design of PSNP 4.

• Provide nutrition technical support and advice to Food for Peace Development Food Assistance Programs (DFAPs). Ensure that DFAP nutrition programming and monitoring is aligned with Food for Peace’s global best practices, PSNP soft conditionality, and other nutrition components of PSNP 4.

• Provide nutrition expertise and advice to ALT value chain programs funded by Feed the Future and working on the development of nutrition sensitive value chains such as the orange fleshed sweet potato, quinoa, and amaranth. Work with Feed the Future colleagues to identify opportunities to promote and scale the uptake of nutrition sensitive value chains in chronically food insecure areas.

• Work across the ALT portfolio and with programs supported by EG&T and HAPN to identify opportunities to layer and sequence nutrition elements across ALT portfolio activities including the new Feed the Future Ethiopia Livelihoods for Resilience Activity.

• Design and implement a system in conjunction with ALT’s monitoring team to track and monitor FFP emergency and development nutrition programming including nutrition commodities and quality of emergency nutrition programs.

• Conduct field visits to assess the nutrition standards and conduct nutrition needs and gap assessments in communities with low performance and develop strategies and programs to address those needs.

• Conduct monitoring visits to review the implementation of emergency and development nutrition programming in local communities. Advise implementing partners and the GoE on strategies and interventions to address identified issues.

• Lead efforts to identify emergency and development nutrition programming best practices and share lessons learned across the ALT portfolio, with Feed the Future and other USAID partners, and with the GoE. Develop strategies with GoE and partners to implement those practices and lessons.

Collaborate on and/or lead the planning, facilitation and delivery of technical presentations at international and domestic meetings, workshops, and conferences as required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

Applications will be initially screened by the Human Resources Office to determine whether applicants have met the advertised minimum qualifications. A list of qualified applicants will be referred to the hiring office for further consideration and screening.

EDUCATION: Master’s degree in nutrition science, food management, dietetics, or public health nutrition from a recognized institution.

WORK EXPERIENCE: Seven years of work experience in planning, designing, implementing, managing, monitoring and/or evaluating emergency food security or nutrition sensitive programming in low-resource settings. Experience in past positions involving technical leadership, program management, monitoring and evaluation, and problem solving is required. Preference will be given to those candidates with sub-Saharan African work experience, proven knowledge and experience with USAID-supported emergency and development nutrition and food security assistance programs, and a demonstrated understanding of USAID procedures and systems for Title II commodities.

The incumbent should have experience with nutrition needs assessments, nutrition programming for MAM and SAM treatment and should be familiar with donor and government offices involved in supporting and/or implementing, nutrition programs. The incumbent must have an understanding of the emergency and development nutrition landscape in Ethiopia with knowledge of pertinent laws, regulations, policies and precedents that affect the use of program resources. S/he must have the skills and experience to work collaboratively across government, NGO and private sector partners in the country.

The incumbent should have experience in nutrition monitoring and evaluation. Expertise in quantitative data analysis and adapting analytical techniques and evaluation criteria to the measurement and improvement of nutrition program effectiveness and/or organizational productivity in low resource settings is required. The incumbent should have experience conducting detailed analyses and assessments of complex functions, processes, and operations.

The Nutrition Advisor should be familiar with USG policies and procedures, including those related to Food for Peace, and have experience working with USAID (Washington or internationally with USAID Missions), host country governments, cooperating agencies, other donor agencies or private voluntary organizations. Administrative and management skills are also required to assist in the oversight of technical advisors and implementing partners. Experience and skills in staff training and mentoring is preferred.

CLOSING DATE: November 22, 2020 (5:00pm Ethiopia’s local time.)

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