Programme Policy Officer (Social Protection) P4 – Nairobi, Kenya At World Food Programme


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.


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. The Regional Bureau for East and Central Africa (RBN) provides strategic guidance, technical support and direction to WFP country operations across the region.

WFP has been seeing an increased demand to play a role in strengthening national social protection systems across the region in recent years, through technical assistance, service provision and complementary action, not least in Sudan which was added to the bureau’s portfolio in 2020. The momentum for extending the coverage, comprehensiveness, adequacy and quality of social protection systems has continued to build in the face of COVID-19.

The Social Protection and Cash-Based Transfers Unit is part of the Programme Unit of RBN . It seeks to meet Country Offices support needs in ways that enhance high-quality engagement in national and subnational social protection dialogues, delivery system infrastructure strengthening, and direct cash-based assistance working through and in complement to national systems. The team also has a strong capacity building and knowledge management agenda which includes established partnerships with academia.

To deliver against the above, the East Africa Regional Bureau (RBN) is seeking an experienced social protection professional who combines both managerial experiences as well as technical expertise in social protection and cash-based transfers (CBT). Under the supervision of the Head of the Social Protection and CBT unit, the advisor will be expected to lead the social protection sub-unit. This work will require close collaboration with WFP’s regional bureau management and programme teams and Country Offices.


The purpose of this role will be to lead the Social Protection portfolio in RBN, particularly support and advice to Country Offices in the region on their strategic positioning and design and implementation of interventions in support of national social protection systems, as well as contributing to the positioning of WFP in the region with regards to social protection and safety nets programming providing technical leadership on Social Protection specifically.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Supervise a team of social protection professionals providing support and oversight to nine RBN Country Offices.
  • Manage the RBN Social Protection Trust Fund, ensuring appropriate use, full utilization and accurate reporting of all expenditures.
  • Articulate and implement the strategic direction for social protection in the region, including with regards to the implementation of WFP’s new Social Protection strategy.
  • Manage the regional bureau’s social protection evidence generation and knowledge management activities, including through the ‘Learning Facility’ partnership with the University of Wolverhampton.
  • Lead on social protection partnerships for WFP at the regional level, in ways that add clear value to WFP’s operations.
  • Advise RBN management on all matters relating to social protection in the region.
  • Advocate for resource mobilization and strategic engagement on social protection with donors, the United Nations system, international financing institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector entities and other bodies at the regional level; and support partnerships with host governments and United Nations country teams.
  • Support the recruitment and deployment of skilled social protection staff in the region.
  • As relevant, identify and propose new regional initiatives (events, partnerships, publications etc.) to further support Country Office programming and WFP positioning.
  • Enhance WFP’s leadership status in relevant fora related to social protection and safety net programming through participation, briefings and dissemination of relevant information products.



  • Advanced University degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development, International Relations, Sociology, Economics or other fields relevant to social protection, or, a First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.


8 or more years of professional experience relevant to social protection, preferably contributing to food security and/or nutrition objectives:

  • Has worked with government agencies and gained experience across the policy cycle in a developing country context;
  • Has direct experience managing programmes and working across various programme types relevant to social protection (e.g. cash-transfer programmes, school feeding, public works/food assistance for assets, insurance programmes);
  • Has managed discussions with experts in other functions of expertise e.g., Food Security Analysis, Nutrition, Supply Chain, Technology, etc.
  • Experience in managing partnerships with UN agencies and International Financial Institutions is an asset;
  • Familiarity with management information systems and national registries is an asset.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Understanding of Agenda 2030 and respective targets – particularly SDG1, SDG2 and SDG17 – and how the work of WFP can contribute to achieving them;
  • Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the field of social protection and public policy;
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders, conveying an informed and professional demeanour toward internal and external partners and stakeholders;
  • Ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative information to understand current and future social protection needs and identify solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality written outputs and ability to present.
  • Ability to work independently in a timely and organised manner;
  • Ability to work as part of a team, participating in open dialogues and valuing diverse opinions of others, regardless of gender, culture, background, experience, or country assignment.


  • Fluency (level C) in the English language is required.
  • Intermediate knowledge of a second UN language is required.
  • French language skills are also highly desirable.


  • The selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term contract with a probationary period of one year. He/she will be required to travel abroad, sometimes to remote and challenging locations.
  • Mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is rotational, which means that the incumbent shall be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is reclassified as non-rotational. Professional-level positions are rotational over a period of 2 to 4 years.
  • WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan, and medical insurance.
  • Please visit our website for detailed information on working with WFP:
  • Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.


The deadline to receive applications is Sunday, 16 January 2022 (11.59PM CET).

How to apply

Kindly apply using the following link:

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