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Southern Africa Regional Food Security Consultant

  • Southern Africa
  • Due Date: February 3, 2024
Southern Africa Regional Food Security Consultant

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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, Kimetrica, 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 field offices.


Based on an in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, EWT members monitor 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 offices in Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean. The regional food security (RFS) consultant is a member of the regional technical team who supports field offices in their respective region in the following activities:

  • Efficient, focused acute food insecurity monitoring, early warning analysis, and response planning;
  • Effective communication of this analysis to partners and decision-makers though high-quality reports, briefings, and other decision support;
  • Capacity strengthening and network management of key local and regional stakeholders;
  • Additional technical backstopping to French and Portuguese speaking countries in the region in food security monitoring, including focused early warning, technical reporting, and related food security activities;
  • Supporting the FEWS NET EWT Madagascar and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and any other project offices in the region in the implementation of network development activities in collaboration with the regional representative (RR) and country representatives (CR).
  • The RFS consultant assists the RR in providing quality control of project deliverables from the regional and national offices as assigned and helps to ensure that activities and products for the region are delivered in a timely manner.

Responsibilities

The RFS consultant will direct the majority of their support to the French- and/or Portuguese-speaking EWT project offices in the region. The main activities of the RFS consultant include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting field offices in the region in maintaining an evidence base composed of, at a minimum, livelihood zone profiles, commodity trade flow maps, sub-national seasonal monitoring calendars, and technical databases covering commodity prices, rainfall, agricultural production, population, historical assistance flows, and nutrition/health;
  • In collaboration with the RR, providing high quality and effective early warning of acute food insecurity and supporting efforts to mitigate acute food insecurity and prevent food crises through the effective communication of actionable food security analysis;
  • Participating in strategic planning and executing technical activities in areas of expertise, including cross-border markets and trade monitoring, regional scenario development, livelihoods analyses, and other areas as requested by the RR;
  • Contributing to remote monitoring of non-presence countries in the region, including directly carrying out remote monitoring activities;
    • Collaborating with regional, and international partners in acute food insecurity monitoring and analysis, including through the implementation of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and/or Cadre Harmonisé (CH) protocols;
  • Coordinating with the RR to develop and maintain strong collaborative relations, both formal and informal, with USAID missions/representatives, US Embassy technical contacts, United Nations agency representatives, government ministries, and key international non-governmental organizations to facilitate technical exchanges, promote consensus-building, and resolve any potential conflicts;
  • Supporting national offices in collecting, archiving, analyzing and sharing food security data and information;
  • Fulfilling monthly reporting requirements, including support to drafting Food Security Outlooks (FSOs) and FSO Updates and providing regular briefings to the US Government and other partners;
  • Contributing to other FEWS NET EWT information products required regionally and by the Washington-based technical team;
  • Contributing to FEWS NET EWT methods development and testing;
  • Assisting the RR in carrying out other technical, management, and representational functions of the regional office upon request. • Coordinating with the RR to support field offices in the implementation of Network Development activities,] in the region.

Qualifications

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and French is required; proficiency in Portuguese and 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 two years of relevant experience (with PhD), four years of relevant experience (with Master’s degree), or six 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 ability to effectively conduct food security assessments, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and analyze data from relevant sectors using both qualitative and quantitative methods is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with regional partners and stakeholders is required.
  • Experience leading capacity building activities is desirable.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required.
  • Excellent analytical and report-writing skills are required.
  • Strong computer skills are required; ability to use statistical software packages and/or GIS applications is desirable.
  • Previous experience with Household Economy Analysis (HEA) is desirable.
  • Previous experience with the IPC or CH is desirable.

Location and Reporting

This is a remote position supporting the FEWS NET EWT Southern Africa region. While candidates based in the Southern Africa region in countries where FEWS NET operates are preferred, qualified candidates based in other countries in Africa where FEWS NET has an operational presence may be considered. The RFS consultant will work under the technical direction and supervision of the RR or their designee. The RFS consultant may be required to supervise technical assistants and/or short-term consultants, as/if delegated by the RR. The RFS consultant will assist the RR in providing technical support to CRs in the region. The RFS consultant will be required to travel frequently within the region, and some international travel to other regions may be required, security permitting.

The RFS consultant will invoice for no more than 15 days per month, unless a higher level of effort for a given month is approved in advance by the RR and the FEWS NET Early Warning Team’s Senior Management Team. The anticipated period of performance for this consultancy runs from October 2023 through end of September 2024.

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