Nutrition Specialist Consultant, Rome, Italy

Organization: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Country: Italy

City: Rome, Italy

Office: WFP Rome

Closing date: Thursday, 10 December 2020

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

Job Title: Nutrition Specialist Consultancy

Type of Contract: Regular Consultant

Division: NUT (Nutrition Operations)

Duty Station (City, Country): HQ Rome (or remotely)

Duration: 11 months


As a United Nations (UN) agency reaching more than 90 million nutritionally vulnerable and food-insecure people each year, WFP plays a critical role in multi-stakeholder efforts to address malnutrition. In 2019 alone, 17.2 million children under the age of 5 (CU5) and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) residing in humanitarian contexts were assisted through WFP-supported nutrition-specific programmes that aim to prevent undernutrition and treat moderate wasting.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 aims to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, including wasting, stunting, overweight and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Childhood malnutrition is a major global development challenge, contributing to increased mortality, morbidity, impaired intellectual development, increased risk of disease in adulthood and suboptimal adult work and earning capacity. Of the word’s CU5, it is estimated that at any given time 47 million suffer from wasting and 144 million are stunted, with some children concurrently affected by multiple types of undernutrition (wasting, stunting and micronutrient deficiencies). A substantial increase in effort is required to tackle the issue.

WFP is well positioned to leverage the increased global momentum to address childhood malnutrition and is working to strengthen community-based programmes that put prevention first to reduce the number of those affected as well as pilot and implement innovative approaches to treatment that aim to increase coverage in hard-to-reach fragile settings, ensuring no nutritionally vulnerable mother or child is left behind. Emerging evidence and lessons learned will be used to inform and update WFP nutrition policy and programme guidance. WFP, alongside FAO, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO is also supporting the development of the Global Action Plan (GAP) on child wasting, which aims to assist national governments, through a systems-wide approach, improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of child wasting to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

This assignment will support WFP Nutrition Division by providing technical support to nutrition specific programming. The consultant will work in WFP Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment (MPT) team, Nutrition Operations under supervision of the MPT Team Lead to:

provide technical support to WFP HQ, Regional and Country Offices with nutrition specific programming implemented as part of WFP operations

support evidence-based updates to WFP nutrition policy and programming guidance and work with Regional Nutrition Advisors and Country Office Nutrition Officers with roll-out and implementation.

The consultant will be Rome-based or work remotely and will be required to travel to high priority WFP countries and regional bureaus as necessary (estimated 20% travel time) to support strengthening of WFP nutrition operations to address maternal and child undernutrition. The consultant will leverage lessons learned, as well as experience and expertise to improve nutrition programming.


Provide technical support to WFP Regional (RB) and Country Offices (CO) on nutrition specific programming implemented as part of WFP operations

provide timely technical inputs to various HQ Units, RBs and COs on guidance, protocols, training materials, reports, SOP and other tools

build the capacity of HQ, RB and CO staff to enhance quality standards for prevention and treatment programming

conduct field visits to improve quality of WFP nutrition programmes and to offer support for troubleshooting to assure programme enhancements

Tags nutrition policy nutrition programmes oral communication portuguese sdgs stunting sustainable development trainings undernutrition

Support evidence-based updates to WFP nutrition policy and programming guidance and work with Regional Nutrition Advisors and Country Office Nutrition Officers on its roll-out and implementation.

review of emerging evidence on malnutrition prevention and wasting treatment

support updates to WFP nutrition-specific programming guidance and tools as well as development of training materials to facilitate roll-out to RB and CO

Support the Nutrition Operations Unit workplan with other activities as requested by the Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Team Lead


Timely inputs provided to RB/ CO requests for support on nutrition-specific programming

Reports with recommendation after each field visit to support lessons learned

Relevant guidance and tools for supporting nutrition-specific programming revised/adapted/developed

Technical workshops, webinars, brown bags and/or trainings on malnutrition prevention and wasting treatment for WFP staff and partners conducted

All the activities will be carried out in coordination and close collaboration with other Teams within the Nutrition Operations Unit, but also with other Units and considering needs and priorities of the Nutrition Division, regional bureaus and country offices. The above responsibilities will be captured into an individual workplan and will be used for the PACE of the consultant.



Master’s in Public Health Nutrition or related field


Five (5) - seven (7) years of work experience in international nutrition programming with at least three (3) years in humanitarian contexts, with focus on prevention of undernutrition and treatment of wasting, particularly the community-based management of acute malnutrition and any simplified approaches

Experience of developing nutrition programming guidance and tools

Experience of working with other UN agencies, or key international NGO in humanitarian settings

Experience of training and other learning approaches would be an asset

Knowledge & Skills:

Knowledge on project cycle management, and nutrition M&E

Knowledge of challenges in implementing nutrition programmes

Good interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in multicultural settings

Excellent written and oral communication skills required


Fluency in English. Working knowledge of another UN language (ideally French) or Portuguese desirable.

Terms and Conditions

WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WFP. Click on: ‚Our work‘ and ‚Countries‘ to learn more about WFP’s operations.

Deadline for applications: 10 December 2020

Ref.: VA No. 130401

Qualified 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.