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Roster of environmental and social safeguards advisors

World Food Programme (WFP)

Background and purpose of the assignment

WFP strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability within the UN system. In pursuit of this goal, WFP adopted a new Environmental policy in February 2017, which commits the organization to avoiding unintended harm to the environment, its beneficiaries, or any other affected populations as a result of our operations and programmes, and to maximize environmental benefits. The policy led to the development of three tools: a set of environmental and social standards, environmental and social risk screening of activity design, and an environmental management system (EMS) consistent with the international standard ISO 14001. Collectively, these three elements are known as WFP's Safeguards Framework. 

WFP is building a roster of Environmental and Social Safeguards Advisors to help roll out and mainstream the WFP safeguards in the programmatic activities of all country offices. In particular, the Environmental and Social Safeguards Advisors will train country office staff on the application of the WFP safeguards and risk screening. 

These roles will report to the Safeguards Team in the Climate & Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Unit (PRO-C) in the Rome Headquarters. They will be based in one of the six regional bureaux of WFP and will coordinate their work with relevant colleagues in the regional bureau, in particular with: the regional Senior Programme Advisor, the regional Environmental Management Advisor, the regional Protection Advisor, and the regional Risk Compliance Advisor. It is expected that they will be travelling in the assigned region around 50% of their time with occasional travel outside the region as required. 


  1.  Capacity building and training of country offices: Promote awareness of WFP's environmental and social impacts and of the safeguards framework as a tool for systematically managing those impacts; Train country office staff on the application of, and compliance with the WFP Environmental and Social Safeguards (including risk screening), by delivering in-country training sessions; Collect and share best practices from within the region to promote ongoing engagement and improvement.

  2.  Technical support to country offices: Support the application of the WFP safeguards (including risk screening) in programmatic activities at CO level; Support the application of the WFP safeguards in proposals to donors (e.g. the Adaptation Fund or Green Climate Fund); Check the extent to which alternative screening tools used by country offices are aligned with WFP’s standards; Provide advice to COs during an emergency response to promote adherence to WFP’s environmental and social standards Review Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) of high-risk projects; Support the formulation of environmental and social safeguards in the Country Strategic Plans.

  3. Strategic direction and guidance to country offices: Seek opportunities to link WFP safeguards to national safeguard regulations and capacities; Support country offices to comply with national environmental regulations; Seek opportunities to access regional and country-specific funding sources to increase the involvement of local stakeholders.

  4. Monitoring: Monitor country offices' adherence to the safeguards; Ensure that country offices identify and record risks in the corporate digital platform; Support country offices in reporting on the application of the WFP Safeguards in the Annual Country Reports. 

Deliverables at the end of the contract:

-At least six in-country training workshops delivered in the region in 2020;

-Country Strategic Plans formulated in 2020 include robust environmental and social safeguards;

-All ESIAs of high-risk projects in the assigned region have been reviewed by the regional advisor;

-All country offices in the region adequately report on the application of WFP safeguards in the 2020 Annual Country Reports. 

Qualifications and experience required:


-An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in one of the following areas: Environmental Studies, Environmental Management, Engineering, Social Science, International Studies, Human Rights, Agriculture, or a related field;

-Additional education in a complementary field (e.g. additional education in social science when the first degree was in environmental science - or vice versa) would be an advantage;


-At least five (5) years of post-graduate experience in areas related to: environmental and social sustainability, environmental and social safeguards, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA), or corporate sustainability;

-Experience in developing and delivering training;

-Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions, would be an advantage;

-Work experience with the UN, particularly with WFP, would be an advantage; 

Knowledge & Skills:

-In-depth understanding of environmental and social sustainability and how they link with food security;

-Excellent training skills or public speaking skills;

-Proven ability to coordinate and communicate across multiple teams and with offices in remote locations.


-Excellent written and spoken English (level C) is a requirement for all regional bureaux;

In addition, the following regional bureaux require a second UN language:

-Dakar (Senegal) - Excellent written and spoken French (level C);

-Panama City (Panama) - Excellent written and spoken Spanish (level C);

-Cairo (Egypt) - Intermediate knowledge of Arabic (level B);

-Johannesburg (South Africa) - Intermediate knowledge of French (level B).

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  • Additional location info Bangkok (Thailand), Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Johannesburg (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya), or Panama City (Panama)
  • Closing Date 1 Mar 2020

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