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Food Assistance Specialist Jobs in The Niger

Food Assistance Specialist
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world. We work in 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan's vision is of a world in which all children realise their full potential in societies that respect people's rights and dignity, our aim is to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in developing countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. This position is responsible for assessment, response analysis, design and implementation of the food security and nutrition components of PLAN’s emergency response. S/he will need to co-ordinate with other Emergency Response team members and PLAN staff, especially Implementation Management, health and other relevant technical sectors, to ensure a rapid, proportionate and effective response. S/he will need to ensure response to immediate food security and nutrition issues with simultaneous consideration of longer term needs and possible scenarios. Depending on the situation the specialist may need to take a very active role in technical co-ordination, support and advocacy with the country specific Food Security and Nutrition Clusters and other stake holders and technical agencies relevant to the sector.
Responsibilities and Tasks
  1. Assessment
• Provide sectoral leadership and expertise in the assessment. • Ensure integration of all nutrition aspects into food security during all stages including assessment, response analysis and implementation. • Conduct initial rapid assessment of current situation in collaboration with local specialists and affected population; determine priorities and immediate activities and resources i.e. more detailed assessment versus need to address immediate nutritional and/or food security problems. • Conduct thorough response analysis and recommend comprehensive and effective actions for response which may include both food and cash based interventions and recuperative programs to address moderate and severe acute malnutrition. • Represent PLAN to food security and nutrition clusters, stakeholders and Governmental and non-Governmental agencies (and military where present) for the purposes of the nutrition and / or food security aspects of the assessment. • Assess in-country resources, human, material and financial for response with relevant staff and agencies and assist in capacity building of national staff.
  1. Program Design
• Define aims and objectives of the overall nutrition and/ or food security program. • Select and design most appropriate nutritional and/ or food security interventions based on the outcomes of assessments and the context. • Develop gender analysis of both the external context to inform interventions and internal context to inform systems and structures such as food targets taking into consideration nutritional needs, and ensure gender balance within PLAN’s teams especially at field level. • Ensure that issues of protection, gender, livelihoods, DRR and environmental impact, operation and maintenance are factored into the program design. • Ensure PLAN’s guidelines and Sphere standards both qualitative and quantitative are considered and any departures documented. • Work in close collaboration with broader Country Office programs to ensure that emergency interventions build upon and link in to longer term programming. • Develop Program Plan, concept papers, and proposals in respect of the above.
  1. Response Management and Implementation
• Work closely with the relevant implementation manager(s) to ensure that the implementation of relevant activities are planned and implemented in a phased and prioritised manner in full consultation and co-ordination with all relevant agencies both governmental and non-governmental. • Ensure children and youth, gender, and disability issues are fully considered throughout the project cycle with women & children being enabled to influence decision- making around nutrition and /or food security issues. • Provide technical supervision of nutrition and /or food security activities. • Design and develop appropriate surveillance, monitoring and evaluation systems for nutrition and or food security interventions. • Ensure early and rigorous implementation of quality and accountability mechanisms. • M&E systems should reflect data on the current health and nutritional well being of the population being served. Data can be used from such sources as country office reports, OCHA and/or the UNHCR or similar health information system.
  1. Response Reporting & Evaluation
• Evaluate the implementation of PLAN food security & nutrition activities and draft recommendations for improved program design • Draft food security & nutrition interventions reports to serve as standalone deliverables or to be included in larger emergency response reports for both donor and internal purposes.
  1. Information and Co-ordination
• Provide regular updates to Emergency Response Manager and emergency team on progress, priorities and constraints – verbally and in writing on an agreed frequency. • Engage and follow up with relevant implementation manager(s) • Represent PLAN to governmental and non-governmental groups as needed and agreed with the Team Leader. • Support the implementation of, and represent PLAN in, food security & nutrition coordination mechanisms including any relevant cluster. • Brief updates and reports on sectoral activities/strategies to donors and other stakeholders.
  1. Human Resources and Administration
• Coordinate and/or implement training and briefing of PLAN staff and stakeholders on nutrition and/or food security issues.
Core Competencies
• People Skills: Ability to work independently and as a team player who demonstrates leadership and is able to support and train local and international staff and also able to work with disaster affected communities in a sensitive and participatory manner.
• Communication Skills: Well developed written and oral communication skills. Able to communicate clearly and sensitively with internal and external stakeholders as a representative of PLAN. This includes effective negotiation and representation skills.
• Integrity: Works with trustworthiness and integrity and has a clear commitment to PLAN's core values and humanitarian principles.
• Resilience/Adaptability and flexibility: Ability to operate effectively under extreme circumstances including stress, high security risks and harsh living conditions. Works and lives with a flexible, adaptable and resilient manner.
• Awareness and sensitivity of self and others: Demonstrates awareness and sensitivity to gender and diversity. Have experience and the ability to live and work in diverse cultural contexts in a culturally appropriate manner. Has a capacity to make accurate self-assessment particularly in high stress and high security contexts.
• Work style: Is well planned and organized even within a fluid working environment and has a capacity for initiative and decision making with competent analytical and problem solving skills.
• Knowledge and skills: knowledge of PLAN policies and procedures, Sphere and the Red Cross/ NGO Code of Conduct. Requires general finance, administration, information management and telecommunication skills and proficiency in information technology/ computer skills.
• English and French language skills desirable.
Technical Competencies required for this position are
• All specialists must have a thorough understanding of the: o Situation Analysis using the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). o Program design using different modalities of Cash transfer and voucher programming o The Operational Guidance for Emergency Relief Staff and Programme Managers o Harmonized Training Package o PLAN’s EPP and Food Security specific Contingency Planning processes. o PLAN HAF and Sphere Food Security and Nutrition Standards.
• All Food Security & Nutrition specialists must be familiar with key donor relevant regulations including: FFP (e.g. Reg.11 and PA2M), OFDA (e.g. new guidelines), ECHO (e.g. single form & cash/voucher guidelines), and WFP.
While all specialists will need to have a good understanding of the linkages between food security and nutrition, they will usually have a focus on either food security or nutrition. Technical competencies for each are outlined below:
Food Security
  1. Analysis • Livelihood Analysis using either the HLS or HEA. • An understanding of the Coping Strategies Index (v.2). • Design and implementation of M&E and Early Warning systems. • An understanding of the role of response analysis in the project cycle. • Market Analysis using either: o participatory methods o Decision Tree Tool/MIFIRA o EMMA
  2. Cash & Vouchers • In depth understanding of implementing cash & vouchers responses • Clear understanding of the potential risks of cash / voucher responses related to commodity price inflation and food access - as well as strengths.
  3. Local / Regional Purchase • In depth understanding of local / regional procurement of food aid in order to:
    • stabilize an existing commodity pipelines
    • address seasonal hunger gaps
    • provide a rapid emergency response.
  4. Food Aid • In depth technical understanding of the complexities of food aid management (warehousing, logistics, distribution).
  1. Analysis
• Design and implementation of Representative Nutritional Surveys. • Analysis of the relative importance of food security and public health / maternal & child care in determining nutritional status including infant and young child feeding. Address the dietary needs of pregnant and lactating women and children under 5.
  1. Global Acute Malnutrition Moderate Acute Malnutrition • In depth understanding of weaknesses of traditional approaches to addressing moderate acute malnutrition (based on the use of fortified blended foods), and the range of potential alternatives that support evolution of the sector. • Be aware of current supplementary feeding and medical care requirements for children
Severe Acute Malnutrition • Understand current therapeutic options and medical care requirements for children.
  1. Public Health • Supplementary Public Health interventions (e.g. promotion of breast-feeding in emergencies, immunization campaigns) Link health and nutrition programming interventions were needed (e.g. mobile clinics, health tents, mother/baby friendly tents).
  2. M&E
• Understanding of sector wide initiatives to improve M&E of interventions to address severe and moderate acute malnutrition Ensure cross cutting health issues related to nutritional status are regularly monitored
How to apply: 
How to Apply
Please submit a full CV and a comprehensive cover letter setting out your reasons for applying for the post and outlining the qualifications experience knowledge and skills that you feel you can bring to the role to:- The closing date for applications is 3rd January 2012
Please quote reference number WA019
Reference and background checks will be carried out in conformity with Plans Child Protection Policy. Plan operates an equal opportunities policy and actively encourages diversity, welcoming applications from all areas of the international community.

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