Nutrition Officer (Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’.  The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication.  The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

The Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection profile will be placed in the UNICEF Malawi Country Office (MCO) where the Nutrition and Social Protection Programmes are components of the Country Programme and UNDAF. The Nutrition Officer (Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection) will assist in the implementation of the Nutrition-Sensitive Social Protection components under the DFID-funded PROSPER programme in three districts of Balaka, Chikwawa and Mangochi, build and manage the needed partnerships, and provide quality assurance to the research component. The incumbent will work closely with other Social Policy Section officers to support implementation of shock-responsive social protection, the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) and the broader social protection agenda.

How can you make a difference?

The Nutrition Officer (Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection) reports directly to the Social Protection Specialist. However, the Malawi country office is operating under a matrix-management model, where individuals will have more than one reporting line. This position is “matrixed” to the Nutrition Specialist in the Nutrition Section. This arrangement could change depending on program needs.

The Nutrition Officer (Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection) provides professional technical, operational and administrative assistance throughout the programming process for the nutrition components under the DFID-funded PROSPER programme from operational planning and management of field level process to the delivery of results.

In doing so, the Nutrition Officer (Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection) performs both technical and administrative programme tasks to facilitate the implementation, progress monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of results for the two programme components with a focus on the operational research and strategic engagement with the nutrition survey. The incumbent also provides professional technical support to the implementation of the broader SCTP.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities: 

1. SUPPORT TO PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING

  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes by executing and administering a variety of technical programme transactions; preparing materials and documentations, and complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support programme planning, results-based planning (RBM), and monitoring and evaluation of results.
  • Prepare required documentations and materials to facilitate the programme review and approval process.

2. PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT, MONITORING AND DELIVERY OF RESULTS

  • Work closely and collaboratively with the nutrition field monitors and district council counterparts (District Nutrition Coordination Committees – DNCCs), Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP)’s Social Support Services Officers and District Social Support Committees (DSSCs) to discuss operational and implementation issues.
  • Provide solutions, recommendations and/or alert appropriate officials and stakeholders for higher-level intervention and/or decision-making.
  • Keep record of reports and assessments for easy reference and/or to capture and institutionalize lessons learned. Participate in programme monitoring and evaluation exercises, including facilitating in programme reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and report on required action and interventions at the higher level of programme management.
  • Monitor and report on the use of resources (financial, administrative and other assets), verifying compliance with approved allocation, goals, organizational rules, regulations/procedures, donor commitments, standards of accountability, and integrity.
  • Report on issues identified to ensure timely resolution by management and stakeholders. Follow up on unresolved issues to ensure resolution.
  • Prepare programme reports to keep the donor, management and partners informed of programme progress.

3. TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONAL SUPPORT TO PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION

  • Conduct regular programme field visits in collaboration with the social protection unit, exchange information with partners and stakeholders to assess progress and provide technical support.
  • Take appropriate action to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for resolution including issues related to the cash transfers and or non-compliance by PLW.
  • Report on critical issues, bottlenecks and potential problems for timely action to achieve results.
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts and implementing partners on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, and best practices on nutrition-related issues to support programme implementation, operations and delivery of results.

4. NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDING

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with district and national nutrition and SCTP government counterparts and other stakeholders for sharing of information and knowledge to facilitate programme implementation and build capacity of stakeholders to achieve programme goals on maternal and child rights as well as social justice and equity.
  • Adapt the Nutrition Education and Communication Strategy (NECS) information materials for towards influencing the rational spend of the cash transfer on nutritious diets and access to health services and or child care services.
  • Participate in national and district level inter-agency nutrition and SCTP coordination and cross learning meetings and events to share programme experiences and learn from others.

5. INNOVATION, KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND CAPACITY BUILDING

  • Identify, capture, synthesize, and share lessons learned for knowledge development and to build the capacity of stakeholders.
  • Apply innovative approaches and promote good practices to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
  • Research, benchmark and report on best and cutting-edge practices for development planning of knowledge products and systems.
  • Participate as a resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders.
  • Represents UNICEF in meetings and technical discussions on nutrition sensitive social protection with a focus on the Social Cash Transfer Programme and humanitarian response.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • A university degree in one of the following fields is required: nutrition, public health, nutritional epidemiology, global/international health and nutrition, health/nutrition research, policy and/or management, health sciences, or another health-related science field.
  • A minimum of two years of professional experience in a developing country in one or more of the following areas is required: nutrition, public health, nutrition planning and management, or maternal, infant and child health/nutrition care.
  • Experience in Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) is a strong advantage.
  • Experience in health/nutrition programme/project development, especially interventions focused on the first 1,000 days in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of local languages in the programme areas is considered as an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are:

  • Formulating strategies and concepts (I)
  • Analyzing (II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (II)
  • Learning & Researching (II)
  • Planning & Organizing (II)

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