Programme Policy Officer (Innovation Advisor) at WFP

by Udahiliportaldaily



Assisting almost 100 million people in around 83 countries each year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. WFP partners with governments, other international organizations and UN agencies, the private sector, and more than 1,000 national and international NGOs in its operations to provide food assistance and tackle the underlying causes of hunger.

We are currently seeking to fill an Innovation Advisor position in our Innovation Field Hub, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

WFP believes that new ideas and disruptive approaches are crucial to getting closer to achieving #zerohunger. We recognise the potential of bold, creative innovations in technology, nutrition and agriculture to create extraordinary, life-changing impact for millions of people.



At least five years of relevant, progressively responsible, professional experience in startup advisory, innovation project management, product design, or management consultancy. Alternatively, practical experience launching and managing a business is highly valued. Exposure to one of WFP’s programmatic focus areas including smallholder agriculture, nutrition, and emergency response is a plus.


University degree in Business, Economics, Computer Science, Agriculture, Social Sciences or other relevant field.

Knowledge & skills:

Familiar with human-centered design and lean methodologies. Strong business writing and professional verbal communication skills. Highly organized with the ability to multitask and prioritize. Microsoft Office and Google suite knowledge.


Ability to communicate effectively at different levels and in Kiswahili and English: from casual startup lingo to professional government communications.


To this end, WFP’s first Field Innovation Hub (the Hub) was established in Tanzania in 2017. Now in its fourth year, the Hub has laid the groundwork for catalysing Tanzania’s innovation ecosystem and changing the way WFP approaches both current and future operations. The Hub’s work is closely aligned with the objectives of WFP Tanzania’s 2017-2021 country strategic plan, which focuses on supporting the Government of Tanzania in its effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the Zero Hunger 2030 agenda. In 2021, the hub is fully dedicated towards finding opportunities to revolutionise WFP’s activities to increase its impact and effectiveness.

The Hub’s work in Tanzania focuses on four areas: 1) Identifying, matching and piloting innovation projects: We identify challenges within the domains of WFP’s work such as food distribution in refugee camps, smallholder agriculture, nutrition, logistics, social protection, and emergency preparedness & response. We match these with local & international startups or custom-design solutions together with WFP colleagues and innovation partners. We then provide funding and support to teams to refine & pilot their solutions using human-centered design tools. 2) Exploring transformative innovation: We test new approaches to innovation by leading a pioneering “moonshot” project that aims to uncover radical solutions on longer, 10 year time horizons using techniques such as systems mapping and scenario planning. 3) Build capacity of intra- and entrepreneurs: We support WFP colleagues as well as external (aspiring) entrepreneurs to build their innovation and business skills to develop and test their ideas. 4) Catalysing the Tanzania innovation ecosystem: We play a key role in the Tanzania innovation ecosystem by convening and supporting other hubs and UN agencies through regular events, workshops and technical support.

The Hub complements the global WFP Innovation Accelerator based in Munich, Germany. Since its inception five years ago, the Accelerator has grown to a team of 50 innovators from diverse backgrounds. The Tanzania hub is the first dedicated WFP field team for innovation initiatives and works very closely with the Accelerator and the Country Office team in Tanzania to deliver on its objectives.


To initiate, design, and manage policy and programme activities related to innovation projects; both with internal WFP colleagues and external startups.

This post is initially limited to 12 months.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)


  • Own a portion of the WFP CO innovation portfolio and drive these projects towards generating impact, including coaching, advice, and hands-on support to teams on pilot design, prototype development and testing.
  • Act as the innovation focal point for 3 key activity units (out of supply chain, smallholder farming, nutrition, emergency response, social protection, refugee operations) at the WFP country office and liaise regularly to identify opportunities for embedding innovation into core activities.
  • Identify and facilitate the review & selection of startups for the Innovation Hub portfolio that have the potential to contribute towards zero hunger and align with the priorities and activities of the WFP Tanzania country office.
  • Manage the budget of allocated innovation projects, ranging from smaller projects up to full internationally-funded pilots up to $100k.
  • Monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of allocated innovation projects by setting and tracking key performance indicators and milestones.




    • Deliver general and specific innovation trainings and coaching to aspiring and successful entrepreneurs as well as WFP colleagues (human centered design, lean startup, leadership development, etc).
    • Be an internal champion for innovation at the country office by promoting new ways of working to increase efficiency, collaboration, and impact.
    • Represent the WFP Field Innovation hub at public events and towards partners and donors.
  • Support other Innovation Hub projects and activities on an as-need basis – work packages can change quickly and we need versatile project managers that are eager to tackle new challenges and opportunities.
  • The candidate will be based in Dar es Salaam, with travel to the field when needed.





  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives : Utilizes understanding of WFP’s Strategic Objectives to communicate linkages to team objectives and work.
  • Be a force for positive change : Proactively identifies and develops new methods or improvements for self and immediate team to address work challenges within own work area.
  • Make the mission inspiring to our team : Identifies opportunities to further align individual contributions with WFP’s mission of making an impact on local communities.
  • Make our mission visible in everyday actions : Helps colleagues to see the link between their individual tasks and the contributions of their unit’s goals to the broader context of WFP’s mission.




  • Look for ways to strengthen people’s skills : Is able to identify, support and encourage focused on-the-job learning opportunities to address gaps between current skillsets and needed future skillsets for WFP.
  • Create an inclusive culture : Recognizes the contributions of teammates, and encourages contributions from culturally different team mates to recognise the value of diversity above and beyond just including it in programming for beneficiaries.
  • Be a coach & provide constructive feedback : Provides and solicits ongoing constructive feedback on strengths and development opportunities to help develop individual skills, whilst also helping others identify areas for improvement.
  • Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit : Sets clear targets for self and others to focus team efforts in ambiguous situations (e.g., unprecedented issues and/or scenarios)




  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions : Thinks beyond team’s conventional approaches to formulate creative methods for delivering food aid and assistance to beneficiaries.
  • Focus on getting results : Maintains focus on achieving individual results in the face of obstacles such as volatile or fragile environments and/or organizational roadblocks.
  • Make commitments and make good on commitments : Takes personal accountability for upholding and delivering upon team’s commitments and provides assurance to stakeholders.
  • Be Decisive : Demonstrates ability to adjust to team’s plans and priorities to optimize outcomes in light of evolving directives, while also responding quickly in high-pressure environments, such as in emergency settings.




  • Connect and share across WFP units : Demonstrates an understanding of when and how to tactfully engage other units in conversations on impact, timing, or planning
  • Build strong external partnerships : Networks regularly with key external partners using formal and informal opportunities to understand each partner’s unique value proposition, and to build and strengthen relationships
  • Be politically agile & adaptable : Demonstrates ability to adapt engagement approach in the context of evolving partner circumstances and expectations
  • Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships : Demonstrates ability to articulate to internal and external audiences the value that individual contributions and immediate teams bring to partnerships.



Capability Name

Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level

Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance


  • Displays ability to identify the main hunger problem at the national or subnational level to design and implement context-specific programmes that integrate complex analysis and the full range of food assistance tools.


Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher)


  • Demonstrates the ability to design, implement, monitor and provide oversight over effective and efficient programmes deploying different transfer modalities.


Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, etc.)


  • Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring.


Emergency Programming


  • Displays ability to translate understanding of programme principles in emergencies and protracted conflict situations into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches


Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government


  • Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes..



Desired profile:


  • You are business savvy. You often look at the world through a startup or private sector lens and are keen to bring smart business models to the humanitarian and development sector.
  • You are a self-starter. You are full of initiative and great ideas. You need little guidance, are comfortable working independently but are also a great team player. You might have even started a few ventures of your own.
  • You are driven by impact. Making a difference through your job is important to you, and you are passionate about working towards achieving zero hunger
  • You have a high affinity with the Tanzanian innovation space and have good connections with key players in the startup, private sector, or (impact) investment space.




  • You can clearly formulate a vision and inspire people around you, on a daily basis
  • You are able to quickly assess the quality of project proposals and ventures and can quickly formulate recommendations for improvements.
  • You have some domain knowledge in one of WFP’s focus areas such as agriculture, nutrition, emergency response or social protection.
  • You are good with numbers, and can quickly put together a high level business model for a new idea.
  • You are able to successfully run projects in multi-stakeholder environments: manage timelines, budgets, measure impact and stakeholder satisfaction.
  • You are able to represent WFP innovation at senior partners, donors and other stakeholders
  • You connect easily with people and get them excited about innovation (online & offline)



Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


The deadline for receiving applications is 20 August 2021.

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.


The recruiting organization, WFP – World Food Programme, has not specified a closing date for this vacancy or continues to list jobs after their stated closing date. Because such positions may remain open, they are listed here until removed from the recruiting organization’s website. Click the button below to verify its current status.


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