The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.


The Regional Bureau for Western Africa (RBD) provides strategic guidance, policy/technical support and direction to WFP operations and activities in 19 countries. Several Country offices have already started to feature support to national social protection systems in their strategies, programmes and initiatives, and there are good examples of such engagements conducted in very different contexts and settings. To support these efforts, RBD is strengthening its capacity and strategic engagement in the sector, bringing together and leveraging WFP’s expertise and experience.


As a global leader in fighting hunger and malnutrition worldwide, often in very difficult contexts, the World Food Programme (WFP) is increasingly called upon by governments to help implement or strengthen their social protection systems. As WFP embraces an approach of working through and strengthening national systems, WFP can truly aspire to help countries make measurable contributions to the Zero Hunger goal (SDG2) as well as the reduction of poverty and the expansion of social protection floors.

WFP is also increasingly called upon by governments to support national social protection systems. In 2020, WFP partnered with governments in 78 countries to support their national social protection systems, in particular to support the COVID-19 response, making support to social protection an integral part of WFP’s activities in most of the countries where it operates.

Through its triple role providing technical advice, delivering on behalf of governments and providing complementary programmes, WFP is supporting national social protection systems, as it works with governments to extend the coverage, comprehensiveness, adequacy and quality of national social protection systems, with the aim to ensure that all people have access, throughout their lives, to strong national social protection systems that safeguard and foster their ability to meet their food security, nutrition and associated essential needs, and to reduce and address the risks and shocks they face.


To deliver against the above, the Regional Bureau is seeking a Social Protection Programme Policy Officer, NOB to provide support to its social protection activities. The incumbent will operate under the direct supervision of the Regional Social Protection Advisor, under the overall guidance of the Senior Regional Programme Advisor.

The incumbent will be responsible for carrying out the following tasks and responsibilities:


Support Country Offices engaging with and supporting national social protection systems, ensuring alignment with corporate policies and guidance relevant to social protection, with a particular focus on the areas of nutrition, food security and emergency preparedness and response.
Provide programme and policy guidance to Country Offices in the design and implementation of social protection projects, programmes and initiatives, including support to building a policy dialogue on social protection with host governments and their development partners.
Contribute to strategic discussions with Country Offices and other Units in the Regional Bureau to identify priorities and entry points for the strategic positioning of WFP on identified social protection pathways and issues across the region.
Support the development of a social protection strategy document for the region, its implementation plan, and contribute to its operationalization.
Work closely with the Regional Bureau relevant units and teams to foster coordinated and integrated programme and policy support, and position social protection within broader strategic engagements in particular fostering linkages with emergency preparedness and response, nutrition and resilience.
Participate actively and regularly in relevant sector working groups and other relevant coordination fora.
Support and contribute to the identification, development and management of potential partnerships leading to stronger social protection systems in the region.
Contribute to research and analyses on social protection policies, strategies, programmes and activities across the region.
Contribute to the preparation of accurate and timely reporting on social protection programmes and activities, to foster coordination and informed decision-making.
Ensure dissemination of timely analytical and progress reports, including normative guidance notes and other regional or global strategic documents (studies, assessments, etc).
Work closely and engage regularly at the regional level, with partners’ focal points for social protection and related aspects (UN agencies, World Bank, donors, NGOs, civil society, private sector), in advancing WFP social protection agenda and narrative.
Undertake regular field visits in countries supported by the Regional Bureau, to support ongoing initiatives as well as identify and promote new engagements in social protection.
Support the capacity strengthening of WFP staff, partners and national government to identify and address social protection needs, e.g. by providing inputs into specific social protection guidance materials and/or learning initiatives.
Guide and supervise more junior staff, acting as a point of referral and assisting them with analysis and queries related to social protection.
Other as required.


Advanced University degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development, International Relations, Sociology, or other fields relevant to social protection.


Proficiency (level C) of French and English is required under all circumstances


– Three (03) or more years of relevant professional experience in social protection policy and programming, directly supporting governments implementing and strengthening national social protection systems, preferably contributing to food security and/or nutrition objectives;

– Has deepened technical knowledge pertinent to social protection, at policy and programmatic level;

– Has led in designing and implementing social protection programmes;

– Has supported policy analysis, formulation and implementation in the social protection sector, directly liaising with different line ministries at national and decentralized levels

– Has experience in West Africa is desirable


– Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the field of social protection and public policy;

– Understanding of Agenda 2030 and respective targets – particularly SDG1, SDG2 and SDG17 – and how the work of WFP can contribute to achieving them;

– Understanding of WFP’s mandate;

– Knowledge of current thinking and developments in country capacity strengthening and effective knowledge transfer models, concepts and principles

– Knowledge of key national and regional contexts and issues in the West and Central Africa region;

– Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;

– Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality written outputs and ability to present in English and the working language.

– Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders, conveying an informed and professional demeanour toward internal and external partners and stakeholders;

– Appetite for exploring and experimenting with new ideas and approaches.

– Ability to work independently in a timely and organised manner;

– Ability to work as part of a team, participating in open dialogues and valuing diverse opinions of others, regardless of gender, culture, background, experience, or country assignment.

– Aptitude for supervising, guiding and empowering more junior staff.

– Proficient computer literacy.