Programme Policy Officer (Social Safety Nets) NOA & SC8 - Damascus, Damascus, Syria

Organization: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Country: Syria

City: Damascus, Syria

Office: WFP, Syria


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.


All applications should be received no later than Monday 7 December, 2020.


Eligibility This position is open to Syrian or Syrian/Palestinian nationals. Contract Type: Fixed Term & Service contract Duration: 12 months Duty Station: Damascus Number of required employees: 2 positions (NOA & SC8)


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 worldwideto ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women andchildren, can access the nutritious food they need. In Syria, WFP provides food assistance to more than 4.6 million people each month. This includes families whorequire emergency assistance when affected by conflict and displacement and also those who need help toimprove their nutrition and food security. WFP supports children across Syria with healthy meals and snacks atschool, mothers with nutritious diets, and families and communities with sustainable livelihood projects.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture). 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.

Despite the challenging contextual developments in Syria WFP significantly expanded both the scale and reach of its activities, reaching 6.7 million beneficiaries across its activities in Syria in 2019. In recognition of the varying needs of the Syrian population, particularly women and children, WFP diversified its activities and continued expanding its complementary interventions aiming at ameliorating the long-term effects of the protracted crisis, including the erosion of livelihoods and household resilience. WFP significantly scaled up the use of cash-based transfers (CBT) and enhanced its beneficiary targeting, with most preparatory work completed for a countrywide household-level re-targeting exercise that will enable evidence-based programming benefitting the Syrian people through a move from geographical to vulnerability-based beneficiary selection.

In alignment with national frameworks and strategic priorities, WFP Syria’s interim Country Strategy Plan (iCSP) 2019-20 envisions an increase in livelihood programming as well a stretegic reorientation. WFP Livelihood Strategy builds on current strengths, articulates new partnership models, and identifies opportunities to address the constraints encountered in the past. The strategy includes four Pillars: (i) Pillar 1: Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) through a) provision of household and group-based productive assets; and b) communal agrarian infrastructure; (ii) Pillar 2: Food Assistance for Training (FFT) through human capital development; (iii) Pillar 3: Market Access and Value Chain support; (iv) Pillar 4: Social Transfer/Basic Income.

The iCSP livelihood strategy is aligned with national priorities identified by various Line Ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR), Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) and Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MoSAL). Additionally, this strategy is aligned with national-level strategies and frameworks, including the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Syria and the 2016-2020 UN Strategic Framework (UNSF) Pillar 3 ‚Improving socio-economic resilience of the Syrian people‘ which focuses on sustainable livelihoods, economic recovery and social protection. As the follow-on framework to the current UNSF is being developed, WFP will ensure that its Livelihoods strategy and the upcoming Social Protection strategy are reflected therein.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictions of movement have further exacerbated an already deteriorated economic situation, further reducing opportunities for recovery and self-sufficiency among the affected population. Social Protection is expected to play a key role in the recovery phase, ensuring the most vulnerable households affected by the restrictions benefit from national and international socio-economic assistance programmes.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Livelihood and Social Safety Nets sections, and under the overall guidance of the Head of Programme, the incumbent will perform the following tasks:

Provide strategic thinking on WFP’s role in livelihood and/or social protection programming in Syria identifying opportunities for engagement in line with global WFP guidance as well as with Government’s vision and guiding policies (e.g. ‚Syria 2030‘ Strategic Plan);
Support the development and implementation of WFP’s Social Protection strategy, formulating programme and implementation plans related to social protection, informing WFP’s engagement in specific national social programmes, and following-up on strategic and technical partnerships;
Support the management of joint programmes including the ‚UN Joint Programme to Strengthen Urban and Rural Resilience and the Conditions for Recovery in Syria‘, including internal coordination with WFP Activity Managers, external coordination with the Programme Management Unit, as well as reporting and M&E.

Contribute to WFP assessment of the medium-long term socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in Syria and to design relevant recovery programmes in collaboration with other UN agencies and with government counterparts; Attend interagency technical meetings, supporting preparation of such meetings, taking minutes, preparing presentations, contributing to policy discussions and to technical documents;
Build and maintain partnerships with all relevant government institutions in line with opportunities for collaborative approaches and initiatives, including with MoSAL, MITCP, PICC, CBS, MOLAE, and others as needed;
Review and update Memorandums of Understanding between WFP and relevant national counterparts as well as with other UN agencies as needed and support the elaboration of operational documents to reflect country operating context while ensuring compliance with WFP corporate policies and directives;
Help fostering synergies with other WFP programmatic areas including emergency response, cash-based transfers, vulnerability analysis & mapping, school feeding & nutrition, accountability to affected populations, monitoring & evaluation;
Keep abreast with Livelihood, Social Protection and Social Safety Nets related research, studies, lesson learned and best practices, disseminate relevant information and support application of knowledge and sustainable innovation in the field;
Contribute to the design and formulation of projects, workplans, donor proposals, reports, communication material and other documents as needed, ensuring alignment with wider programme policies and guidance;Perform other related duties as required.



Advanced University degree in Political Science, Economics, Social Policy, Public Policy, or other relevant field, OR First University degree with additional years of related work experience and/or training/courses.


One year post graduate relevant professional experience with Master’s Degree, or three years post graduate relevant professional experience with a first University Degree


Flunecy in both oral and written communication in English & Arabic


Working knowledge and/or interest in Social Protection and Social Safety Nets is desirable

Previous work experience in a Ministry or government agency would be an asset

Work experience in providing inputs into programme design, policy discussions, strategic decision-making.


Experience in project implementation and coordination among several teams.

Tags agrarian reform covid displacement food security humanitarian response market access political science programme management project implementation school feeding sdg2 social policy social safety nets sustainable agriculture sustainable development sustainable livelihoods value chain water resources

Strong analytical skills with the ability to interpret information and draw out the key messages.

Strong oral and written communication skills, able to clearly articulate insights to stakeholders in WFP.

Good networking skills and capacity to build and maintain professional contacts

Leadership skills and excellent inter personal skill. Ability to lead and motivate.

In-depth understanding of WFP program, objectives and strategic priorities.

Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multitasking skills


Please upload your professional CV in English in PDF format making sure to include the following in terms of ‚Experience‘:

Company/Organization name and scope of work of the organization

Exact Position Title

Contract type: part-time, full-time, volunteer, consultant, or freelancer

Start and End date of Employment for each position: From (dd/mm/yyyy) to (dd/mm/yyyy)

Responsibilities: To mention the main responsibilities that highlight your gained skills and experience

A proof of your experience will be required in the final stage of recruitment.

Only short-listed candidates will be invited to the next stage of the selection process.

Candidates must get an auto confirmation email once application is submitted.


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Internal candidates

External candidates


Qualified female candidates 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.