Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Specialist Consultant, Rome, Italy

Organization: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Country: Italy

City: Rome, Italy

Office: WFP Rome

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: Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Emergency Specialist - WFP Rapid Response Team

Type of Contract: Regular Consultant

Division: NUT (Nutrition in Emergency Team / Nutrition operation unit)

Duty Station (City, Country): HQ, Rome

Duration : starting date 15/02/ 2021


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency implementing programmes to fight hunger and is part of the global community working to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, which includes ending malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. Emergency preparedness and response is a core component of WFP’s work.

Hunger and malnutrition are widespread among crisis-affected populations, disproportionately impacting women and children. Forty-five percent of deaths in children under-five are associated with undernutrition, related to both acute and chronic undernutrition. Poor nutrition also has longer term consequences related to child growth and development - these latter consequences are largely irreversible. WFP’s emergency nutrition programming is an integral part of any humanitarian crisis response and globally.

Given the multiple causes of undernutrition, WFP supports a comprehensive response to address the underlying and immediate causes of undernutrition and to treat undernutrition when it occurs. WFP facilitates access to appropriate nutritious foods for children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and lactating women/ girls (PLW/G) supported by maternal, infant and young child nutrition in emergencies (MIYCN-E) programming directed at improving dietary and caregiving practices. This is achieved through advocacy and partnerships across sectors (especially health, water, sanitation and hygiene; household food security). WFP works with governments, UN partners (especially UNICEF and UNHCR) and other international and national organizations to ensure a well-coordinated nutrition response.


The Nutrition Division at WFP Headquarters is seeking a full-time consultant to join the rapid response team (RRT) in order to support timely, appropriate and well-coordinated nutrition responses in emergencies, including MIYCN. Members of the RRT may be called to respond to sudden-onset or slow-onset crises, to support scale-up, scale-down, and/or quality improvements and coordination in existing emergency nutrition programmes. The RRT role intends to fill short-term capacity gaps until medium- to long-term solutions are found by Country Office. Each assignment is not expected to exceed three months on average. RRT members will be deployable within 72 hours after VISA is obtained and will be on deployment an estimated 70-80% of their time. When not deployed, the RRT members will contribute to other workplan priorities of the Division’s Emergency Nutrition team.


Following responsibilities are indicative and will be aligned with priorities determined by the concerned WFP country office and outlined in a specific TOR for each deployment. During country deployment the tasks will be carried out in close collaboration with the different functional teams of the country office (such as programme, supply chain, reporting, etc.). During non-deployment, tasks will be coordinated with members of the Emergency Nutrition team of WFP’s Nutrition Division.

1 ) Provide immediate technical and programmatic support to WFP’s nutrition response in emergencies, including maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN), in crisis affected countries. Depending on programme needs, general responsibilities include:

a. Coordinate with WFP country office (CO), Regional Bureau (RB) and Headquarters (HQ) to plan and support the start-up/ scale-up of emergency nutrition responses, including MIYCN programming;
b. Provide support to strengthen the MIYCN capacity of WFP staff and key partners involved in the nutrition response to ensure quality programming implementation, including through mentoring/ coaching and the development or adaptation of training and guidance materials, based on identification of need;
c. Strategically engage with the country’s Nutrition Cluster, Infant Feeding in Emergency Technical Working Group, or equivalent coordination mechanism, working closely with government, UNICEF, UNHCR, NGOs and other partners to develop strategies and implement coordinated multi-sectoral responses;
d. Liaise with the Food Security, Health and WASH Clusters to ensure that nutrition, including MIYCN, is appropriately integrated into assessments and analyses, and MIYCN responses are evidence-based, aligned and well-coordinated;
e. Liaise with functional areas beyond nutrition areas within WFP (within programme, finance/admin, communications etc.) to support a coordinated, timely and targeted response;
f. Lead on or support nutrition assessments/ surveys, including MIYCN, in collaboration with government partners, UN agencies, NGOs and other nutrition actors and in coordination with WFP’s Vulnerability analysis and mapping (VAM) team. Identify joint and multi-sectoral assessment opportunities when applicable;
g. Provide inputs to funding concept notes and proposals for nutrition intervention, including MIYCN (CERF, flash appeals, etc.) ;
h. Advocate for the needs and prioritization of the most vulnerable: infants and young children and pregnant and lactating women to be considered across the humanitarian response.

i. In close collaboration with the reports officer, manage initial reporting on nutrition-related, including MIYCN, operations and programmatic developments both internally within WFP and externally with cooperating partners;
j. Work with SBCC team to develop and disseminate relevant MIYCN messages and identify key behaviors to focus on during the emergency response;
k. Identify additional nutrition surge needs, including MIYCN, and facilitate recruitment, as required;
2) Provide immediate technical support to WFP’s NIE team when not deployed

a. Support the NIE team to monitor acute situations that may progress to emergency status, with special attention to the MIYCN context;
b. Document and analyze NIE emergency responses, including MIYCN;
c. Provide input to or develop relevant tools or guidance materials to support improved emergency nutrition programmes, especially MIYCN, which will feed into WFP’s Nutrition Emergency Toolkit;
d. Support relevant NIE/ MIYCN trainings.

e. Perform any other duty in support of the NIE team as required


Tags architect behavior change child nutrition emergency preparedness food security humanitarian response infant feeding nutrition programmes oral communication supply chain sustainable development trainings undernutrition

The surge consultant will prepare a hand over/ end of mission report for the country office deployed to upon departure that outlines recommendations and follow up actions

The consultant will summarize observations and learnings from his/her deployment that can be of interest both to the country office of deployment and to others in the organizations.

The surge consultant will develop tools or short guidance that he / she identified as a gap during deployment



Master’s degree in nutrition, public health, or any other relevant field.


At least 5-years work experience in international nutrition programing with a minimum of 2-3 years work in humanitarian emergency contexts, required;
Must have operational experience supporting/managing nutrition emergency responses in different contexts, including familiarity with IMAM/CMAM and prevention programming;
Substantial operational experience supporting/ managing/ coordinating MIYCN emergency responses in different contexts, required;
Work experience with the U.N, preferably with WFP, highly desired; field experience with NGOs is an asset;
Demonstrated ability to strategically engage with Government and partners to develop and implement multi-sectoral programmes.

Knowledge and Skills:

Conceptual and operational knowledge of nutrition in emergencies and the humanitarian project cycle management;
Solid knowledge of MIYCN in emergencies programming,

Knowledge of global nutrition and global humanitarian architecture including the ‚cluster approach‘ and related roles and responsibilities for the nutrition sector;
Strong assessment and analytical skills;
Knowledge of social & behavior change communication approaches and methodologies;
Knowledge of humanitarian funding mechanisms (CERF, flash appeals, country-based pooled funds, etc);
Excellent interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work in multicultural settings and teams.

Ability to perform duties under pressure with a minimum level of supervision and to cope with highly demanding living/working environment.

Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Fluency in French and English is required;
Consultants are required to travel extensively to the field, sometimes working in difficult and occasionally insecure locations.

Consultants are expected to attend security trainings required for hard ship duty stations.

Consultants are required to deploy within 72 hours upon receipt of VISA. They will receive a thorough briefing before the first deployment.

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: 27 January 2021

Ref.: VA No. 135283

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.