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Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Representative

  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Due Date: November 3, 2023
Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Representative

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Introduction

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Climate Hazards Center, American Institutes for Research, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics houses FEWS NET’s Early Warning Team (EWT), a team charged with integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 FEWS NET offices.

Based on an in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, the EWT monitors information and data on factors that affect food security, such as weather conditions and climate, crops, pasture, markets and trade, and nutrition. The FEWS NET EWT produces regular reports, including Food Security Outlooks and Outlook Updates, emergency alerts, market and price updates, and global weather hazards analyses. FEWS NET makes reports available at www.fews.net and distributes them globally to governments, relief agencies, and other organizations engaged in humanitarian response and development programs.

The seventh phase of FEWS NET began in 2019. The work of FEWS NET EWT relies on close collaboration with international, regional, and national partners on food security data and information gathering and analysis. Major activities include joint monitoring and assessments, data exchanges, collaborative analysis and reporting, and technical capacity strengthening. FEWS NET supports local and regional food security networks to contribute to achieving the global objective of food security for all.

Position Description

The FEWS NET EWT maintains field offices in Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean. These offices are organized into various regions to facilitate technical and administrative management. Each regional office is composed of a cadre of technical experts and administrative staff led by a regional representative (RR), who serves as the technical and administrative head of that office. In addition, the RR is responsible for supporting and supervising field offices in their respective region in the following activities:

  • Efficient, focused food security monitoring, data collection, assessment, and early warning analysis
  • Effective communication of early warning analysis to partners and decision-makers though high-quality reports and participation in briefings and formal and informal meetings
  • Close collaboration with key partners, such as host government ministries, UN agencies, and international and local NGOs, among others
  • Supporting network development by addressing identified gaps in effective early warning systems
  • Project administration and management at the regional level
  • Representation of FEWS NET EWT senior management in the region

The RR provides quality control for regional- and national-level project deliverables and ensures that activities and products for the region are delivered in a timely manner.

Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the Latin America and the Caribbean RR include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting field offices in the region in maintaining a knowledge base composed of, at a minimum, livelihood zone profiles, commodity trade flow maps, sub-national seasonal monitoring calendars, commodity price data, nutrition data, and other technical data covering rainfall, agricultural production, population, historical assistance flows, etc., in collaboration with other FEWS NET 7 implementing partners, as applicable
  • Ensuring maintenance of relevant regional technical databases built from inputs from national offices and regional partners, including through inputs entered into the FEWS NET Data Warehouse;
  • Developing and updating regional seasonal monitoring plans and participating in regional acute food insecurity monitoring, as applicable
  • Providing high quality and effective early warning of acute threats to food security in the region and supporting efforts to mitigate acute food insecurity and prevent food crises through effective communication of actionable food security analysis
  • Providing strategic leadership in the planning and execution of technical activities in the region, including early warning analysis, livelihoods and vulnerability assessments, monitoring tools and methods development, capacity strengthening, markets and trade analysis, and network development/strengthening
  • Overseeing remote monitoring of non-presence countries in the region, including supervising remote monitors, as applicable, and directly carrying out remote monitoring activities when needed;
  • Collaborating with regional and international partners in food security monitoring and analysis in the region, including through implementation of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) or Cadre Harmonisé (CH) protocols
  • Developing and maintaining strong collaborative regional relations, both formal and informal, with USAID Mission representatives, US Embassy technical contacts, UN agency representatives, government ministry staff, and key international, regional, and local NGO counterparts to facilitate technical exchanges, promote consensus-building, work to resolve technical disagreements, and facilitate joint, coordinated actions to mitigate food insecurity
  • Supporting FEWS NET field offices in the region to collect, archive, analyze, and share food security data and information and to undertake network development activities
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of regional and field office work plans;
  • Ensuring the organization of project documentation and files for the region
  • Collaborating with and coordinating FEWS NET EWT field offices in the region to conduct regular independent and joint field assessments of food security conditions in areas of most concern;
  • Fulfilling monthly reporting requirements, including writing and/or supporting the development of Food Security Outlooks (FSOs), FSO Updates, and key messages; contributing to Food Assistance Outlook Brief reports; and providing regular briefings to the US Government and other partners
  • Contributing to the development of other FEW NET EWT information products required regionally and by the Washington D.C.-based technical team
  • Ensuring information on the relevant regional page of the FEWS NET website is current and accurate;
  • Reinforcing network development, capacity strengthening, and management at the regional level and supporting similar efforts at the national level
  • Representing the FEWS NET EWT at regular and ad hoc formal and informal meetings within the food security network for the region
  • Supervising, mentoring, and supporting the professional development and performance of Country Representatives (CRs) in the FEWS NET field offices in the region, as well as technical and administrative staff in the regional office
  • Leading recruitment efforts for regional office technical and administrative staff, monitoring all recruitments in the region and, when necessary, participating in technical and administrative recruitments

Qualifications

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and Spanish is required; other local language skills relevant to the region are desirable.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a discipline relevant to the work of FEWS NET, such as economics, agricultural economics, agronomy, nutrition, climatology, anthropology, or social geography is required; advanced university degree (Master’s degree or higher) is desirable
  • At least six years of relevant experience (with PhD), ten years of relevant experience (with Master’s degree), or 15 years of relevant experience (with Bachelor’s degree) is required. Relevant experience includes working on food security information systems, food security analysis, early warning, or other related fields; experience working with UN agencies and/or NGOs is desirable
  • Demonstrated experience setting the strategic direction for or otherwise leading and managing a team of colleagues, including an ability to mentor and coach staff;
  • Excellent planning, organizational, analytical, and report writing skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others at all levels, including an ability to effectively liaise with host governments, UN, NGO, and other relevant stakeholders and an ability to coordinate effectively with remote colleagues;
  • Excellent computer skills; GIS applications and mapping skills are desirable.

Location and Reporting

The RR is a full-time position based in Guatemala City, Guatemala at the FEWS NET EWT regional office. The RR will work under the technical direction and supervision of the deputy chief of party-programs (DCOP-P). For technical activities, the RR collaborates and coordinates with the regional specialists and the CRs in the region, home office-based technical advisors, food security analysts, and the regional lead in the home office-based Decision Support Group. For office administration and financial management, the RR collaborates with the regional-level office administration and finance staff, the respective CRs in the region, and the relevant Washington D.C.-based Project Management Units. The RR will be required to travel within the region, and other international travel may also be required, security and health conditions permitting.

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