Policy Specialist

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 08 October 2019
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019

Background Information - Job-specific

Launched in September 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement catalyses collective action towards ending malnutrition in all its forms. Led by 61 SUN Countries and the Indian States of Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the SUN Movement is an unprecedented effort to bring together stakeholders – governments, national and international civil society organisations, businesses, the UN system, researchers and scientists across different sectors – to create an enabling environment to improve nutrition.

SUN countries, and all stakeholders in the Movement are committed to scaling up nutrition, by strengthening four strategic processes:

  1. Expanding and sustaining an enabling political environment;
  2. Prioritising effective actions that contribute to good nutrition;
  3. Implementing actions aligned with national common results frameworks;
  4. Effectively using, and significantly increasing, financial resources for nutrition.

The SUN Movement Secretariat was established in 2012 as a small coordinating mechanism to support SUN countries, helping them connect with each other for support and advice, and ensuring coordinated and coherent support from actors in a series of networks. The Secretariat also maintains momentum across the SUN Movement, catalyzing interest and action in new or problematic nutrition issues. Finally, the Secretariat tracks and communicates the progress made by each SUN country, and the Movement as a whole.

The SUN Movement Coordinator, a UN Assistant Secretary General, oversees implementation of the Strategy and Roadmap, leads the SUN Movement Secretariat and represents the SUN Movement globally. Day-to-day management of the Secretariat is the responsibility of the Director of the SUN Movement Secretariat (SMS).

Functional Responsibilities

Central to the SUN Movement Secretariat, and reporting to the Coordinator of the Country Liaison Team, is a team of Policy Specialists who liaise with SUN countries. Each Specialist is responsible for establishing and maintaining a dynamic working relationship with 8-10 SUN countries. The Specialist’s primary contact in each SUN country is a SUN Focal Point. Specialists must also work closely with UN agencies, civil society organizations, businesses, academics and other development partners active in each country. Specialists actively assist SUN Focal Points, and the multi-stakeholder platforms they work with, to: achieve their objectives, implement national nutrition plans, strengthen policy, legislation, institutions and actions for improved nutritionat country level.

Specialists support the stakeholders in creating and strengthening opportunities in each country for accelerating progress, scaling up results and sharing and learning across SUN countries. Like all in the SUN Movement, Specialists are vigilant that the SUN Movement’s principles are always upheld, everywhere.

Policy Specialists must therefore be in frequent contact with a large and diverse network of in-country stakeholders, primarily via telephone, teleconference, and email – often in different time zones. They must be able to sustain productive exchanges with actors that are busy, and whose means of communication can be limited. Specialists also travel periodically to the countries in their portfolio, or to selected global events. Specialists produce high-quality written or oral briefs for members of SUN Networks, the SUN Coordinator and the Secretariat, and external audiences. These briefs should make clear recommendations based on political-economy analysis, data and insights into policy processes.

Policy Specialists are expected to be proactive, innovative, entrepreneurial, agile and result oriented, demonstrating a high standard of professionalism and integrity.

Policy Specialists have the following responsibilities in support of a portfolio of SUN Countries

A. Support SUN Countries including:

  • Support with their strategies and priorities;
  • Support (further) development of a stakeholder platform that is aligned and focused on implementation of scalable and replicable results;
  • Support with the Identification and encouragement of opportunities for government and other actors to accelerate impact in-country;
  • Support peer-to-peer learning between SUN Countries
  • Assist with the facilitation of virtual exchanges or meetings among groups of SUN Countries facing similar nutritional challenges, among those in comparable contexts, or neighbors in Regional Economic Communities;
  • In response to SUN Countries’ requests, broker access to effective and predictable support from within the Movement, and maintain up-to-date records of country needs and priorities;
  • Identify and highlight common, or recurring capacity gaps and support to overcome them and prevent new gap
  • Plan and implement senior level visits by the SUN Coordinator to SUN countries

B. Track and analyze country progress, challenges and opportunities, including:

  • Assist with the Movement’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning system;
  • Assist SUN countries with organizing and conducting their annual Joint Assessment ensuring their timely and quality participation;
  • Accompany provincial / county level visits by SUN partners to understand sub-national dynamics
  • Assist with the SUN Movement Annual Progress Report, country briefs, case studies, and the SUN website by compiling and analyzing country information, and documenting lessons learnt on effective multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approaches to improving nutrition;
  • Assist with other documents as required by SUN Countries, Networks, the Executive Committee, and Lead Group


Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in Political Science, Social Sciences, Development, International relations or related fields.
A Bachelor degree with two additional years of relevant experience may be acceptable in lieu of the advanced degree


At least five years (seven years with bachelor's degree) of progressively responsible professional experience in an international working environment, is required.
At least three years of field experience in multi-sector programmes and policies, in food and nutrition security, food systems, trade, responsible business, gender equity or local government is desirable.
Understanding of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is desirable.
Hands-on experience in SUN country-owned and country-driven initiatives for development is desirable

Functional competencies

Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Knowledge of Microsoft ACCESS
Abililty / willingness to strengthen team spirit.
Ability / willingness to collaborate across one or more dispersed and diverse teams.


Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
Fluency in either Spanish, French or Portuguese is desirable.
Knowledge of Russian or Arabic is an asset.


Strategic Perspective: Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.

Integrity & Inclusion:Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Leading Self & Others: Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Partnering: Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Results Orientation: Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Agility: Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Solution Focused: Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Effective communication: Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Temporary Appointment (TA)
Contract level: P-3 (ICS-10)
Contract duration: 364 days initially, renewable once subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link*:* https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/UN-Staff-Contracts.aspx

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

*It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

This vacancy is archived.

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