Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Assessment Specialist

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 01 July 2020
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 21 July 2020


Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Assessment Specialist

Job Posting

: 30/Jun/2020

Closure Date

: 21/Jul/2020, 11:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit: PSE

Job Type

: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition: Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level: N/A

Primary Location

: Various Locations

Duration: Up to 11 months

Post Number: N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

Organizational Setting

The Emergency and Resilience Division (PSE) is responsible for ensuring FAOโ€™s efforts to support countries and partners in preparing for and effectively responding to food and agricultural threats and crises. It is responsible for coordinating the development and maintenance of corporate tools and standards to enable Decentralized Offices to assist member countries to prepare for, and respond to emergencies. PSE ensures humanitarian policy coordination and knowledge, liaison with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee as well as with humanitarian resource partners, co-leadership with World Food Programme of the global Food Security Cluster, organizational preparedness, surge capacity and response to large-scale emergencies. PSE supports food and nutrition security assessment and early warning activities related to emergency and humanitarian analysis and responses. PSE plays a major role in the development and leadership of the Organizationโ€™s programme to increase the resilience of livelihoods to food and agriculture threats and crises.

Since late 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) โ€“ an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus โ€“ has rapidly spread across the world, devastating lives and livelihoods. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is particularly concerned about the potential impacts of the virus and related containment efforts on food security and livelihoods in contexts of high vulnerability and where populations are already experiencing food crises. Within the United Nations Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), FAO is seeking USD 350 million to protect the food security of the most vulnerable rural populations in 34 priority countries, most of which are already faced with food crisis contexts.

Under the GHRP, FAO, in close collaboration with key partners such as the World Food Programme, the global Food Security Cluster and the Global Network Against Food Crises, is proposing to establish a global data and analysis facility to create a common understanding and inform programming. At the core of the data and analysis facility is a structured assessment framework which is sequenced to respond to different information needs as the crisis unfolds in high-risk countries. The assessment framework is driven by a set of questionnaires, which will be administered in the 34 countries on a periodic basis over the July 2020 โ€“ June 2021 period to monitor key risk factors and to understand the occurring and potential impacts on agricultural production, market chains, food security and livelihoods. At a later stage, agriculture sector damage and loss assessments will be conducted, linked to the food security and livelihood impact assessments.

The information system will rely principally on remotely collected data (mobile phone and on-line), collected either by FAO offices themselves or through international service providers. Field assessments may also be conducted at a later stage. This will be enriched by various other data sources and disseminated in the form of various analytical products via a GeoSpatial hub. The actual data sets also will be made available to stakeholders for independent analysis.

Reporting Lines

The Consultant reports to the Senior Technical Officer, PSE.

Technical Focus

Under the direct technical supervision of the PSE Senior Technical Officer and the technical back-up of the PSE Needs Assessment team leader, in collaboration with the country offices, the regional offices and resilience hubs and other PSE teams as relevant (Response, Early Warning Early Action, Needs Assessments), the Consultant will support assessment activities to help ensure that COVID-19-related needs in agricultural value chains (including crops, livestock, fishery and forestry) and of crisis affected populations (in terms of food security, nutrition and livelihoods, with a focus on agricultural livelihoods) are assessed and reported in an accurate and timely manner.

Tasks and responsibilities

A number of International Consultants are required, each with responsibility for different parts of the world, including East Africa, West and Central Africa, Southern Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East, Central and Latin America.

Regional / Country lens

  • Working with regional officers and resilience hubs, assist FAO country offices in setting up remote data collection systems either independently or in collaboration with service providers, and possibly also in conducting field assessments;
  • Gather and review baseline and secondary data to identify data gaps and inform the design of the tools. Promote coherence between different assessment tools in terms of scope, tools design and result interpretation. Contribute to technical exchanges with other actors engaged in food security / socio-economic monitoring and surveys in the region;
  • Develop and review sampling protocols for quantitative surveys;
  • Assist in the design of questionnaires for quantitative surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews;
  • Assist in the choice and development of mobile data collection interfaces (using call centres / cell phones, ODK, social media etc.);
  • Prepare enumerator training materials and supervise simulations / tool testing, closely monitor call centres supervisors;
  • Carry out random quality control on remotely collected quantitative data (through online platforms) and qualitative interviews (semi-structured questionnaires);
  • Assist in the cleaning, analysis, interpretation and visualization of collected data;
  • Facilitate discussions on assessment findings, contribute to their interpretation and to the formulation of operational recommendations and further data collection needed;
  • Make use of these findings to inform other assessments such as the Multi-sector socio-economic studies on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis;
  • Help draft and also review assessment and monitoring reports, and assist in their dissemination;
  • Generate regional analysis and multi-countries comparisons when relevant;
  • Contribute to COVID-19 response and programme design as requested. Undertake travel, if needed and possible, in support of country offices;
  • Support data collection and needs assessment activities for other major crises or disasters occurring in supported countries.

Global lens

  • Liaise with the Needs Assessments team in Rome and regional offices to disseminate agreed frameworks, methodologies, tools and recommendations;
  • Contribute to the development of guidance materials related to COVID-19 assessment and monitoring;
  • Support creation and development of the global data and analysis facility and Geospatial Hub;
  • Provide ad hoc support to other FAO COs on remote / mobile data collection, upon request;
  • Contribute to FAO corporate learning processes and documentation about COVID-19 assessments
  • Share tools developed at country level;
  • Contribute to capacity building of FAO assessment staff (Webinars, training sessions).


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agronomy, economics, relevant social or natural sciences, or other related discipline relevant to the mandate of the Organization;
  • Minimum of 5 years of proven knowledge and experience in post disaster emergency and rehabilitation assessment and programming, and other relevant technical experience;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Able to work under pressure and adapt to an evolving and complex humanitarian context and within multidisciplinary and different cultural background teams;
  • Familiarity with or training in the following assessment phases and tools included in the FAO Phased Assessment Framework: MIRA I and II, detailed/sector-specific needs assessments (household food security/livelihood, livestock, seeds, fishery, forestry), market analysis (EMMA, MIFIRA), Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and/or Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA), recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA), Livelihood Recovery Assessment (LRA);
  • Experience in formulation, sampling, data collection, coordination, implementation, data analysis, interpretation and reporting for assessment processes in agriculture and food security;
  • Expertise in remote data collection in the area of food security and in emergencies
  • Working knowledge of advanced statistics with ability to use statistical software packages (in particular SPSS , STATA and/or R);
  • Good knowledge of using and programming questionnaires in Open data kits (in particular Kobo toolbox);
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • Effective team leadership and decision making skills with strong individual planning capacity;
  • Knowledge of humanitarian principles.


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
If you are in possession of language certificate/s from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT), please attach the certificate/s when submitting the application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website

This vacancy is archived.

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