Programme Support Consultant (Disaster Risk Reduction)

United Nations World Food Programme

Rome, , IT


More than 1.2 billion people in the developing world live below the poverty line and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Vulnerability to climate-related shocks is a constant threat to their food security and wellbeing. Thus, providing them with strategies for reducing and mitigating risks becomes essential to overcoming hunger, achieving food security, and increasing resilience.

The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) is an innovative response to this challenge. R4 enables vulnerable rural households to increase their food and income security in the face of increasing climate risks by providing them with a combination of four risk management strategies, including asset creation (risk reduction), insurance (risk transfer), livelihoods diversification and microcredit (prudent risk taking) and savings (risk reserves).

R4 currently reaches over 32,000 smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi, and Zambia. With the vision to reach half a million farmers by 2020, R4 is seeking to consolidate lessons learned from the current R4 countries and expand these over the next years to new areas and countries of work.

This consultancy aims to support testing, scale up and learning from this comprehensive risk management approach through support to implementation and knowledge management activities.


The R4 Consultant will support the operationalization of the risk management approach in Southern Africa, including Malawi and Zambia, as well as the Learning and Knowledge Management component of R4. The consultant will work closely with R4 global and country teams and partners.

Specific tasks and responsibilities will include:

  1. Provide technical and operational assistance to the global and country teams with current project tasks, with a specific focus on Malawi and Zambia, as well as with the expansion of R4 to other countries, as required.
  2. Provide inputs into global reports in close collaboration with the R4 country and global teams. This includes monthly, quarterly, annual and ad-hoc reports to the R4 teams, donors and general public.
  3. Support R4 fundraising efforts through the writing up of funding proposals and national and/or local context assessments needed for planning the expansion for R4.
  4. Become the focal point for the global R4 team, regarding procurement of services, contract preparation, etc..
  5. Provide inputs to the preparation of communication and advocacy materials and to R4 external and internal reporting as needed.
  6. Support R4’s analytical, learning and knowledge work program, including coordinating, providing inputs and/or day-to-day follow up to technical and research pieces, programmatic guidance, and knowledge management activities.
  7. Support the team in consolidating, reviewing and publishing existing and upcoming technical briefs and papers.
  8. Provide technical support to learning events at global and country level, including trainings, workshops, and other learning events.

Duties and Responsibilities

Within the above mentioned objectives, the R4 Programme Officer will have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Provide technical assistance to R4 country offices in Southern Africa
  • Prepare with each CO an annual workplan, and follow up on its implementation. This includes budget monitoring, and management. Also, more broadly, this includes the assessment that will be conducted by the donor and the design of the scale up strategy for phase II, in coordination with the global team ;
  • Ensure the CO has the proper skills and resources according to their needs and the workplan, and if necessary provide support to make these skills and resources available to the CO
  • Ensure a good communication between the CO and the RBJ, as well as the global team
  • Support WFP CO in procurement and legal processes.
  • Define human resource needs at CO and required levels of support from RB/HQ
  • Organize and participate, with COs, any kind of project activity, including the first steps (feasibility studies, CBPPs, M&E strategy design and implementation,…)
  • Liaise with SDC regional office in Harare
  1. Support R4 Global reporting
  • In close relation with the officer in charge of reporting, ensure the correct information from COs and RBJ in Southern Africa is collected and communicated to the donor
  • Ensure with the different units and offices that the financial reporting is also up to date
  1. Support R4 Fundraising.
  • Participate to the design, with the R4 Global teams and CO teams, of global and country strategies
  • Participate to proposal design particularly, but not exclusively, in Southern African countries
  1. Focal point on legal and procurement
  • Keep constant communication with Legal and Procurement Units in WFP HQ to address ad-hoc requirements but also to help develop guidance relevant to the specifics of delivering micro insurance services at scale.
  • Prepare LTAs for the procurement of insurance-related and other services relevant for the scale up of R4.
  1. Consolidate the engagement of R4 in additional countries
  • Assess, in collaboration with R4’s Insurance Team, the potential of implementing micro insurance /R4 interventions in ‘new’ countries (currently Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Bangladesh).


  1. Provide technical assistance to R4 country offices in Southern Africa
  • Country strategy (phase II) and country workplan updated.
  • Workplan follow up and reporting
  • Budget follow up, 2017 budget programmed
  • Inputs and support to the management of the R4 cost benefit analysis
  • Day-to-day support Malawi and Zambia R4 operations, including budget reports, M&E reports, knowledge and advocacy pieces, and other operational documents and activities.
  1. Support R4 Global reporting
  • Country reporting to donor and to global reporting
  1. Support R4 Fundraising..
  • R4 Project Proposals and other expansion supporting materials, with a focus on Malawi and Zambia Phase II
  1. Focal point on legal and procurement
  • Monthly reporting on legal and procurement needs, achievements and challenges
  1. Consolidate the engagement of R4 in additional countries
  • For selected countries, assessment on feasibility and potential for R4
  1. Workshops and Events
  • Specific sessions and overall input to upcoming R4 Retreats and other learning events
  • Workshop and other event material as needed

Qualifications, Experience and Skills

Qualifications required:

  • Advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: economics, agriculture, environmental sciences, agricultural insurance, social protection, or disaster risk management
  • A minimum work experience of 5 years in project support/management, in a field relevant to the R4 initiative, and/or M&E. Some field experience will be valued.
  • Strong analytical and writing skills and data collection experience
  • An understanding of food security vulnerability and ability to link analysis to programme design, in the context of WFP programmes
  • Knowledge and understanding of WFP procedures
  • Strong understanding of how climate-related risks affect food security.
  • Demonstrated ability to present information and ideas and to communicate effectively.
  • Demonstrated data collection and analytical writing skills.
  • Proven experience-building partnerships with international organisations, Governments and the private sector in developing countries
  • Fluency (level C) in English language, knowledge of French and/or Spanish a distinct advantage
  • Ability to work in a team. 

Previous experience working in a UN agency desired.

Contact Kathryn Milliken if interested: [email protected]