U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports two multi-year development projects in Nepal focusing on building community resilience. These projects contribute to the Feed the Future Initiative by addressing the underlying drivers of chronic poverty and malnutrition among vulnerable communities. FFP is the largest provider of emergency food assistance in the world, delivering around $2 billion of food annually more than 50 countries. This includes Community Development Funds (CDF), U.S.-sourced food, as well as cash for local and regional purchase of food, cash transfers and food voucher programs. Taken together, these in-kind and cash-based programs comprise an increasingly diverse and flexible toolkit with which to combat hunger and malnutrition overseas. FFP works closely with other parts of USAID and the U.S. Government, including the Bureau for Food Security (BFS), Bureau for Global Health, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
Nepal is a country of great geographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity with significant social and economic disparities. Production systems and economic opportunities differ between its three ecological zones stretching east to west – the plains (terai), hills, and mountains. Gender, caste, and ethnicity-based social exclusions are deeply embedded in Nepali society and are a determinant of poverty, hunger, and poor nutrition. Nepal’s diverse geography and ethnic composition, coupled with its social exclusion practices, lead to wide variations in health and nutrition indicators across the country, between and within castes and ethnic populations. Nepal has one of the highest poverty rates in South Asia, with 25 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 per day (according to the Government of National Living Standards Survey). Despite great strides in maternal and child health and nutrition, 36 percent of children under 5 are stunted, and 10 percent are wasted.
USAID has designated Nepal as a resilience focused country due to recurring shocks and stresses, chronic nutritional deficiencies, geographic and caste and ethnic disparity in key economic and health indicators, and chronic poverty. Resilience programming crosses all Mission technical offices, and is one of three objectives in Nepal’s Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) Country Plan. Nepal was recently identified as one of 12 GFSS countries, and FFP programming contributes to GFSS goals and objectives in country.
Nepal’s FFP-funded development projects are funded with CDF funds and do not include any in-kind commodities. Awards are managed by the Office of Acquisition and Assistance in Washington, and a FFP Washington Country Backstop Specialist is the Agreement Specialist’s Representative (AOR) responsible for the technical oversight of the awards. The USAID/Nepal Mission has a FFP team of three and is responsible for the activity management of the two FFP development programs and for any emergency food security programming if needed. The Resilience and Food Security Specialist sits in the Social, Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) office which houses the GFSS, Environment and Energy programs
The USAID Mission in Kathmandu requires the services of a Resilience and Food Security Specialist, hired through a Personal Services Contract, to serve as the focal point for USAID/Nepal to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of all FFP-supported programming in Nepal. This position works closely with Mission staff to ensure effective programming, and coordinates across technical areas both within the SEED office and with the Health, Education, Disaster Risk Reduction, Reconstruction and Resilience, and Democracy offices. The Resilience and Food Security Specialist plays a leadership role in the formation and implementation of the Mission’s resilience strategy. The FFP Specialist is expected to spend up to 20% of his/her time in the field, monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of FFP-funded program activities, assessing food assistance needs, recommending effective interventions, and liaising with relevant stakeholders. The Resilience and Food Security Specialist is supervised by the SEED Office Director or their designee, and will supervise two locally engaged staff who serve as the Activity Managers for the FFP Development Programs.
The Resilience and Food Security Specialist will direct activities to ensure effective management of FFP resources in Nepal. His/her primary responsibilities are to direct and manage a team of employees who together will monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of FFP-funded activities, assess and monitor the need for emergency food assistance, report both to the USAID Mission and FFP/Washington, and ensure appropriate coordination with relevant stakeholders.
The Resilience and Food Security Specialist will undertake the following duties with regard to FFP-supported development and emergency food assistance in Nepal:
- Serve as the primary point of contact for issues pertaining to CDF, Title II and Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) food assistance in Nepal.
- Monitor and report on the implementation of ongoing FFP-funded programs, including progress and problems encountered by grantees.
- Work with PVOs on preparation of annual workplans, program modifications, and any surveys and assessments, as well as with WFP and regional FFP staff on new appeals or revisions to existing ones.
- Provide information and guidance to award recipients on pertinent regulations, policies and procedures.
- Work with award recipients as they adjust programming to respond to the Government of Nepal restructuring and decentralization process as outlined in its 2015 Constitution.
- Participate as a key member of the Mission’s resilience management team and other Mission and interagency working groups which may include gender and social inclusion, economic growth, integrated watershed management, and decentralization of local governance.
- Contribute to activity design, Mission reporting and strategy development as appropriate.
- Undertake and report on assessments, making recommendations to inform FFP food assistance funding decisions or modifications to ongoing programs.
- Lead the food security response after emergencies. This may include participating in cluster meetings, collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources, assessing needs in the field, reporting on findings at the Embassy and to FFP Washington, and advocating for funding if appropriate.
- Work with other parts of the U.S. Government and other donors to promote integration of food assistance and resilience activities with other programs to increase the effectiveness of the programs overall.
- Supervise, advise and mentor two FSN staff members fully supporting FFP activities in Nepal. This may include mentorship on USAID processes, technical specialties and leadership among other things.
- Undertake other tasks, as assigned.
The employee is expected to exercise a high level of autonomy and require minimal supervision.
SUPERVISORY CONTROLS: The incumbent is expected to take initiative and act independently with little direction, but will have no authority to make financial commitments on behalf of the U.S. government unless such authority is specifically delegated.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR HIRING AT THE GS-13LEVEL
- Bachelor’s degree (including, but not limited to international relations, agriculture, economics, public health, and/or nutrition) plus at least ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in international development or relief (three of which must be related to food aid or resilience);
- Master’s degree with significant study in a pertinent field (including, but not limited to international relations, agriculture, economics, public health, and/or nutrition) plus at least six (6) years of progressively responsible experience in international development or relief (three of which must be related to food aid or resilience programming);
- At least five (5) years of international field experience working on relevant technical areas such as agriculture, nutrition or resilience programming;
- Basic computer skills, to include knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, e-mail, and the internet;
- Proven experience managing staff and building a team in a multi-cultural context;
- Prior Nepal experience would be a plus, but is not required;
- Ability to obtain a SECRET level security clearance; and
- Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance for Nepal.
Applicants not meeting minimum qualifications will not be evaluated further.