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Southern Africa Regional Food Security Specialist Position

  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Due Date: June 19, 2023
Southern Africa Regional Food Security Specialist Position

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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, evidencebased, 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 a number of countries in Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean. These are organized into various regions to facilitate technical and administrative management. Each regional office is composed of a number of technical experts and administrative and operations staff led by a regional representative (RR) who serves as the technical and administrative head of that region. The regional food security specialist (RFSS) 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, data collection, and assessment for select countries in Southern Africa;
  • Effective integrated acute food insecurity and early warning analysis and communication to partners and decision‐makers, including through reporting, briefings, and participation in formal and informal meetings;
  • Close collaboration with key network partners, including host‐government ministries, the Food Security Cluster, the Nutrition Cluster, United Nations (UN) agencies (e.g., the World Food Programme, WFP; the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO; and UNICEF, as well as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR; the International Organization for Migration, IOM; and World Health Organization, WHO), the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), and international, regional, and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), among others.

The RFSS assists the RR in providing quality control of project deliverables from the regional and national offices and helps to ensure that activities and products for their region are delivered in a timely manner.

Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the Southern Africa RFSS include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting the RR in completing and/or providing quality control of project deliverables, including drafting and/or reviewing Food Security Outlooks (FSOs) and FSO Updates, monthly key messages, remote monitoring reports, and other FEWS NET EWT information products required regionally and by the Washington‐based technical team;
  • 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 their areas of expertise, including cross‐border markets and trade monitoring, regional scenario development, livelihoods analyses, nutrition, 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 IPC;
  • 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;
  • Providing regular briefings to the US Government and other partners;
  • 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.

Qualifications

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English is required; operational level in French and 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 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
  • Knowledge of nutrition is highly desirable
  • Previous experience with the IPC or CH is desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively conduct assessments, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and analyze information from relevant sectors using both qualitative and quantitative methods is required
  • Demonstrated leadership capacities and an ability to work independently, when necessary is required, as are strong organizational skills
  • Demonstrated analytical and report‐writing skills are required Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required, including demonstrated ability to coordinate productively with diverse partner stakeholders (e.g., UN, non‐governmental organizations, host government entities) and multidisciplinary, multicultural teams, and to work effectively with
    remote‐based colleagues
  • Excellent computer skills (e.g., Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are required; ability to effectively use statistical software packages and/or GIS applications is desirable

Location and Reporting

The RFSS will be based in Harare, Zimbabwe at the FEWS NET EWT regional office. The RFSS will work under the technical direction and supervision of the RR or their designee. They may be required to supervise technical assistants and/or short‐term consultants, as/if delegated by the RR. The RFSS will assist the RR in providing technical oversight for country representatives (CRs) in the region. The RFSS will be required to travel frequently within the region, and some international travel to other regions may also be required, security permitting. 

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