Research Intern, Johannesburg, South Africa

Organization: WFP - World Food Programme

Country: South Africa

City: Johannesburg

Office: WFP Johannesburg

Closing date: Thursday, 5 January 2023

WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status or disability.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to end global hunger. 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.

In emergencies, WFP gets food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After an emergency, WFP uses food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. Present in nearly 80 countries, the organization has the global footprint, deep field presence and local knowledge and relationships necessary to provide access to nutritious food and contribute to the lasting solutions, especially in many of the world’s most remote and fragile areas. We manage an operating budget of approximately $5.9 billion each year, distributing 12.6 billion rations to those most in need. We reach an average of 80 million people with food assistance in around 80 countries each year. The World Food Programme office in Johannesburg is a Regional Office coordinating and supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to 12 Southern Africa countries including, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Malawi, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazaville, Tanzania.

For more on WFP and what we do, please go to


In the pursuit of its research agenda, the Evidence Generation Unit is increasing the need for data analytics and research support. Hence, the WFP Regional Bureau for Southern Africa is looking for a Research Intern to support the literature review, data cleaning, analysis, and systematization of information needed to generate the different research pieces planned in the current EG Unit research agenda.

The research agenda is focused on food systems, especially food security and nutrition, as well as food assistance effectiveness. The former includes pieces centered on understanding drivers of food insecurity and nutrition, such as climate-driven conflict and climate/economic shocks, and the latter on informing WFP about the best way to deliver food assistance, including aspects such as targeting and prioritization and their implications for people and communities outcomes. Moreover, the research agenda intends to promote the use of monitoring data to provide causal evidence about the impact of WFP’s projects on food security, nutrition, and other outcomes.

In addition to the contributions to achieving the regional research agenda, the Intern will be involved in the Rapid Rural Transformation (RRT) project while supporting its implementation and impact evaluation. The support will include tasks such as data processing, literature review, and writing. The first phase of the RRT is focused on decentralized renewal energy projects and their impact on food systems and economic development.

The Research Intern will be assigned to report formally directly to one of the VAM officers, while he/she, in addition, will report functionally to various others, particularly those in the RRT and those working on the research agenda of the Evidence Generation Unit.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

Data analytics and research support - EGU research agenda The Evidence Generation Unit (EGU) believes in the continuous improvement of its research and analytics systems to support the efficient and effective delivery of WFP’s and Governments‘ interventions. The Research Intern is expected to contribute with his/her knowledge in terms of internal and external data sources and data management tasks conducted by the unit to understand food systems, food security, and nutrition in the Southern African region. With this aim, the main activities of the Intern will comprise:

Literature review to support the development of concept notes, thematic analysis and peer-review articles part of the Evidence Generation Units research agenda.

Data management, including data gathering, cleaning, and processing of WFP’s and other surveys available in the countries in the region, following high standards of reproducibility.

Writing contributions for thematic analysis and peer-review publications.

Rapid Rural Transformation Project The Research Intern will support the coordination of the impact evaluation of the RRT as well as the data analysis and writing of the evaluation report. The portfolio of work within the RRT will entail:

Field Coordination: development of questionnaires, data quality protocols and training materials for enumerators as well as support during data collection with high-frequency checks.

Literature review: this includes a thorough literature search of decentralized renewal energy interventions needed for the evaluation and scaling up of the project.

Data management: This includes the cleaning, processing and analysis of the data collected for the impact evaluation.

Other tasks Support EGU in undertaking any other activity relevant to the development or continuation of its research agenda. Most activities will be carried out in Johannesburg. However, the Research Intern may be required to travel to other WFP Country Offices on an ad-hoc basis to streamline data analytics.



Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate programme (for example, Bachelor’s degree) from a recognised university and have completed at least two years of the programme. Candidates should have attended classes in the past 12 months; or

Be currently enrolled in a graduate programme (for example, Master degree) from a recognised university and have attended classes in the past 12 months; or

Be a recent graduate from an undergraduate or graduate programme (within six months prior to the application to the internship programme) from a recognised university and have attended classes in the last 12 months of enrolment in the university.

Field of study in Economics, Development Economics, Statistics, Data Science, or other related field.

Knowledge and Skills:

Experience using a variety of quantitative tools and methods. Use of statistical software (STATA required, R of advantage)

Fully computer-literate with excellent skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and database management;
Excellent quantitative analytical knowledge, including statistical/econometric methods for impact evaluation;
Demonstrated ability to manage data, analyze, quality assure and communicate them;
Experience in survey design (programming) for ODK or KOBO or SurveyCTO.


Working knowledge (proficiency/level C) of English. Knowledge of French or Portugues is an advantage.


Interns receive a monthly stipend from WFP up to the maximum amount of US$1000 per month depending on the duty station of assignment.

WFP is not responsible for living expenses, arrangements for accommodation, necessary visas and related costs.

Depending on the duty station of assignment, WFP will reimburse travel ticket for candidates who are nationals of developing countries and are pursuing their studies in their home country.

WFP will recognize candidates‘ educational credentials from recognised institutions that have been certified by competent international or national authorities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) or Ministries of Education;

This Vacancy Announcement will close on Thursday 05 January 2023 at 11:59pm Johannesburg Time.

This position is only open to South African nationals or Permanent Residents of South Africa.

WFP has a zero-tolerance approach to conduct such as fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to WFP’s standards of conduct and will therefore undergo rigorous background verification internally or through third parties. Selected candidates will also be required to provide additional information as part of the verification exercise. Misrepresentation of information provided during the recruitment process may lead to disqualification or termination of employment

WFP will not request payment at any stage of the recruitment process including at the offer stage. Any requests for payment should be refused and reported to local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

Link to the organization’s job posting: