Urban Social Protection Consultant

World Food Programme
  • Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 12

Position description

Location: Remotely based— with travel as required

Duration: 25 days (When-actually-employed WAE contract) starting April 2017

Reporting to: Nutrition and Social Protection Unit


Globally, more than half of the population lives in urban settings, and this proportion is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050[1]. This emerging trend is also largely apparent in the Eastern and Central African, which is facing the world’s fastest rates of urbanization. Urban centers are also expanding, in part due to the increasing incidence of rural-to-urban migration— including in Addis, Kampala, Nairobi, and Juba. Cities also are home to larger numbers of malnourished people compared to in the past, particularly among women and young children. These trends have also shown that a greater share of malnourished people in the region will reside in urban centers over the coming decades.[2] Similarly, the drivers of food insecurity, such as conflict or other crisis, are the same drivers for urban migration. Cities are also home for many people who have sought refuge and have been forcibly displaced by conflict.

WFP is supporting social assistance or ‘social safety nets’, which have had proven results to reduce hunger and promote sustainable livelihoods, improving food security and nutrition, and enabling access by the poorest to nutrition and education services. This is done through a variety of social safety net transfer mechanisms—including cash, vouchers, and support for the development of community-owned assets. WFP is also increasing its portfolio related to systems strengthening for governments to increase capacity to be able to prepare and respond to urban emergencies—such as floods in Kenyan informal settlements and capacity support to Red Cross in Burundi. However, there is still missing documentation for WFP to better understand what tools to use in urban contexts.

One of the challenges for WFP in urban settings for related to nutrition indicators—such indicators show better nutrition outcomes in urban compared to rural areas because aggregated nutrition statistics often disguise the nutritional status of urban poor- especially among individuals living in informal settlements. Malnutrition in all its forms is no longer an exclusively rural problem, with high rates of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity increasingly apparent in urban contexts—otherwise known as the ‘triple burden’. This warrants a better understanding for the role that WFP plays in urban contexts related to malnutrition.

In light of these trends, WFP will seek to support governments to achieve zero hunger through SDG2, and to follow nutrition patterns in urban areas to reduce the burden of malnutrition in urban and peri-urban areas by working with governments and others stakeholders.

Report objective

The objective of the regional report will be to reflect on current trends and challenges related to social protection programmes in urban contexts, and will be used for both advocacy purposes and to support programme guidance with focus on understanding the linkages between social protection and food and nutrition security in urban settings—and to explore WFP’s role to support governments in this context. The report will further reflect some of the implementation challenges related to achieving SDG2 in urban areas and the role that social protection can play in response to such challenges. The regional report also seeks to provide better understanding of what programmes are relevant for highly-vulnerable acute and chronically malnourished groups in urban settings and the activities and tools that should be activated in such cases.

This Regional Report seeks to support the strategic positioning of WFP to move from an implementer of safety net transfer activities to a technical partner of choice to support capacity strengthening of government-owned social protection systems. It will put a spotlight on the growing importance of urban programming to address malnutrition and food insecurity in the urban context using social protection mechanisms that exist. The report also seeks to reflect off of National Urban Policies in the region and the linkages that are made to food security and nutrition.

The regional report will focus on, but is not limited to, the following questions regarding current situation of urban migration:

  1. What are the drivers of urban population growth in the region and what is the current state?
  2. What is the state of social protection to the urban poor and what are the entry points to programme urban-based social protection while maintaining focus on the most vulnerable?
  3. What does nutrition-sensitive social protection look like in urban settings with focus on achieving zero hunger?

Report outputs

  • Develop a regional report—focused on a regional overview of the state of urban based social protection with focus on supporting increased food security and nutrition indicators through social safety net programmes— with examples taken at country level. This report will be informed by primary and secondary data related social protection in urban areas to help reflect the social safety net programmes that can be applied in urban areas.
  • Distribute key findings of this report through a workshop to help inform country offices, governments and other partners of the intersection between using safety nets programmes to support good nutrition. The report is also planned for dissemination through government platforms related to social protection.


Minimum requirements:

  • Postgraduate degrees or PHD student in one or more of the following fields: economics; social sciences; food security; or another field relevant to international humanitarian/development assistance;
  • At least 3 years of progressively responsible experience with food security and urban analysis in international humanitarian/development context
  • Experience with report writing related to urban studies; food and nutrition security; migration; livelihoods
  • Good communication and interpersonal/writing skills to translate technical language into common language

Preferable requirements:

  • Relevant broad professional background related to food security and urban issues
  • Familiarity with World Food Programme

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org*

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