Programme Policy Officer (Head of Innovations) at WFP July, 2021

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Programme Policy Officer (Head of Innovations) at WFP July, 2021


WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.
Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.
WFP Tanzania is developing its second-generation Country Strategic Plan (CSP), which will lay shifts and strategic engagements of WFP in Tanzania for the period 2022 -2027.
As part of Strategic Outcome 5 of the CSP (WFP and its partners in Tanzania and beyond are facilitated to foster, test, refine and scale up innovation that contributes to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030), WFP works close with Innovation Accelerator in Munich (INKA) to test, refine,  scale up and manage innovations.
In collaboration with the WFP Innovations Accelerator, the field innovation hub has been in place since May 2017 with promising results. Tanzania Country Office is therefore seeking a Programme Policy Officer (Innovations) to continue to manage the CO’s Innovation Hub as the Head of Unit.


A Master’s degree in one or more of the following disciplines: economics, agriculture, international affairs, design, business administration, social sciences, development studies or a field relevant to international development assistance.
Language:                          Fluency (level C) in English language.


These roles are likely found in Headquarters (HQ), Regional Bureaux (RBs) or Country Offices (COs). Job holders are likely to report to the relevant Director or more senior programme post.Job holders are likely to manage a moderate portfolio of activities that may include contribution to and/or direct management of programmes in COs of moderate complexity, or contribution to policy formulation and provision of technical advice at RB or HQ level for a defined area of expertise. Job holders operate with considerable independence in their specialities and may manage a substantial team of junior professional and support staff


To manage Innovation Hub and/or provide technical advice or oversight on programme strategy and implementation.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

Under the direct supervision of the Country Director and Representative, the Head of Innovations Unit will:

  • Develop an Innovation Strategy for the Country Office.
  • Ensure the development and improvement of the following activities and processes: content design, planning, and operational development of innovation activities.
  • Lead and manage the portfolio of innovations. Provide technical guidance and project management support to relevant teams to ensure that field level agreements, service contracts, and other core documents employed in engaging with partners meet requirements and are in-line with corporate policies and guidance.
  • Lead and supervise a dedicated team, develop work plans, set objectives, monitor KPIs, and ensure appropriate development to enable and encourage high performance.
  • Coach project teams from ideation to implementation (as applicable), using methodologies such as human-centred design, lean start-up, project management and business modelling.
  • Advise innovation teams on key decisions regarding product features and technology elements;


  • Improve tools, systems and processes that have been developed for beneficiary services and communication with beneficiaries, or for use within the office, while leveraging most recent innovation best practices.
  • Define key performance indicators and milestones for the innovation hub, and for the portfolio innovation projects, and assure their implementation, impact measurement and reporting.
  • Strengthen innovation capacity at Country Office level, enabling access and advising on change management practices related to the adoption of innovation and transfer knowledge on new approaches and methodologies.
  • Enhance engagement with partners to harness innovative ideas and approaches with a view of, piloting and rolling out those that have potential of adding value in Tanzania Country Office context.
  • Lead on stakeholder management to maintain and create new strategic partnerships, secure funding and resources needed to execute on plans, as well as producing and managing budgets, conducting regular reviews to ensure efficient use of resources.
  • Build strong partnerships and create organizational alignment by ensuring linkages between CO and the central Innovation and Knowledge Management function at WFP, INKA, especially with the Innovation Accelerator in Munich to help CO and projects reach growth/scale.


  • Represent the Country Office when interacting with the WFP innovation community or other events to further the visibility of the Innovation Unit and to establish/consolidate synergies with UN agencies, NGOs, foundations, private sector partners and governments.
  • Build a strong local innovation platform, network and ecosystem creating strategic partnerships and coordination with the regional ecosystem, as well as with UN agencies, WFP’s Innovation Accelerator.
  • Provide strategic opportunities and inputs to the Country Strategic Plan by identifying areas and strategic priorities in which innovation could improve activities, and/or create efficiency gains.
  • Proactively capture and disseminate learnings from implementation of innovative approaches.
  • Support the Country Office management on negotiations with donors and stakeholders presenting recommendations on the positioning of innovation and its value proposition for the Country Office.
  • Perform any other relevant duties.



  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives : Utilizes understanding of WFP’s Strategic Objectives to communicate linkages to team objectives and work.
  • Be a force for positive change : Proactively identifies and develops new methods or improvements for self and immediate team to address work challenges within own work area.
  • Make the mission inspiring to our team : Identifies opportunities to further align individual contributions with WFP’s mission of making an impact on local communities.
  • Make our mission visible in everyday actions : Helps colleagues to see the link between their individual tasks and the contributions of their unit’s goals to the broader context of WFP’s mission.


  • Look for ways to strengthen people’s skills : Is able to identify, support and encourage focused on-the-job learning opportunities to address gaps between current skillsets and needed future skillsets for WFP.
  • Create an inclusive culture : Recognizes the contributions of teammates, and encourages contributions from culturally different team mates to recognise the value of diversity above and beyond just including it in programming for beneficiaries.
  • Be a coach & provide constructive feedback : Provides and solicits ongoing constructive feedback on strengths and development opportunities to help develop individual skills, whilst also helping others identify areas for improvement.
  • Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit : Sets clear targets for self and others to focus team efforts in ambiguous situations (e.g., unprecedented issues and/or scenarios)


  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions : Thinks beyond team’s conventional approaches to formulate creative methods for delivering food aid and assistance to beneficiaries.
  • Focus on getting results : Maintains focus on achieving individual results in the face of obstacles such as volatile or fragile environments and/or organizational roadblocks.
  • Make commitments and make good on commitments : Takes personal accountability for upholding and delivering upon team’s commitments and provides assurance to stakeholders.
  • Be Decisive : Demonstrates ability to adjust to team’s plans and priorities to optimize outcomes in light of evolving directives, while also responding quickly in high-pressure environments, such as in emergency settings.


  • Connect and share across WFP units : Demonstrates an understanding of when and how to tactfully engage other units in conversations on impact, timing, or planning
  • Build strong external partnerships : Networks regularly with key external partners using formal and informal opportunities to understand each partner’s unique value proposition, and to build and strengthen relationships
  • Be politically agile & adaptable : Demonstrates ability to adapt engagement approach in the context of evolving partner circumstances and expectations
  • Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships : Demonstrates ability to articulate to internal and external audiences the value that individual contributions and immediate teams bring to partnerships.


Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level
Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance Displays ability to identify the main hunger problem at the national or subnational level to design and implement context-specific programmes that integrate complex analysis and the full range of food assistance tools.
Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher) Demonstrates the ability to design, implement, monitor and provide oversight over effective and efficient programmes deploying different transfer modalities.
Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring.
Emergency Programming Displays ability to translate understanding of programme principles in emergencies and protracted conflict situations into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches
Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes..


  • Sound analytical abilities and problem-solving skills.
  • Understanding of the theory and application of food security, livelihood and safety net programmes.
  • Knowledge of major humanitarian, recovery and development challenges and issues, specifically strategies for poverty and hunger reduction.
  • Experience leading, managing, and analysing discussions with technical experts in a variety of disciplines.
  • Knowledge and understanding of UN’s role in development cooperation.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills.
  • Well-developed listening, communication and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to influence people from different levels of the organization.
  • Proven team management experience.


  • Minimum 8 years (of which 3 international) professional postgraduate experience in project management, leading complex operations, and with at least three years spent at the country / implementation level in developing countries. Experience in innovation structures such as an innovation accelerator or working directly with start-ups, is a plus.
  • Experience in innovation, change management, facilitating stakeholders’ transition into new processes and reinforcing and sustaining change.
  • Interest in technology innovations (e.g. mobile apps, blockchain, artificial intelligence) and business model innovations (e.g. innovative finance, sharing economy).
  • Proven experience in innovation project life cycle – from ideation, minimum viable product, testing, prototyping and implementation and innovation methodologies such as human centered design.


All applications should be submitted through the e-recruitment portal.


The deadline for applications is 01 August 2021.


Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply
WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.
No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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