Food Systems Strategic Advisor

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

  • Publication date:

    28 April 2023
  • Workload:

  • Contract:

    Unlimited employment
  • Place of work:


Food Systems Strategic Advisor

Hosted EntitiesScaling Up Nutrition (SUN)Job categoriesHealth, Project Management, Programme ManagementVacancy codeVA/2023/B5007/25946LevelICS-11Department/officeECR, GVA, GenevaDuty stationGeneva, SwitzerlandContract typeFixed TermContract levelP4DurationOne year, initially. Renewable subject to programme need, funding availability and satisfactory performanceApplication period28-Apr-2023 to 05-Jun-2023

Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Please note that UNOPS will at no stage of the recruitment process request candidates to make payments of any kind.


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Apply Apply Print Expand all [+] Background information- ECR
Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOP...

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

 ECR strategy is to:

  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.

  • Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Background Information - Job-specific
Since 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement has inspired a new way of wo...

Since 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement has inspired a new way of working collaboratively to end malnutrition, in all its forms. With the governments of SUN Countries in the lead, it unites people—from civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers—in a collective effort to improve nutrition. The SUN Strategy 2021–2025 (SUN 3.0) prioritises country leadership and focuses on supporting systemic change at the country level. It seeks to capture the ambition of SUN countries and guide the work of all actors at all levels aligning concerted action behind and responding to commonly agreed national priorities set out by governments in SUN countries.

SUN 3.0 is committed to fundamental, non-negotiable aspects of effective nutrition action, including equity and the principle of leaving no one behind. For its third phase, the SUN Movement will drive forward gender equality and enshrine youth leadership across the Movement. SUN 3.0 will strengthen partnerships to achieve greater impact on nutrition through food systems, health systems, social protection systems, actions by the private sector and humanitarian and development actors, and through education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and climate change adaptation.

The SUN Movement Secretariat (SMS) plays a central role in enabling the multiple members and structures of the Movement to work together to advance progress on country-level priorities and the global positioning of nutrition.

The SUN Movement Secretariat comprises personnel, based in Geneva and in various regions globally. All parts of the Movement – member governments, the SUN Global Support System - the GSS, consisting of four SUN networks (Civil Society, United Nations, Business, Donors) and the SUN Movement Secretariat, together with the SUN Movement Coordinator, work together to align and focus efforts on priorities within countries. 

The SUN Movement Secretariat is hosted by UNOPS.

Role of the Food Systems Strategic Advisor

The Food Systems Strategic Advisor reports to the Head of Partnerships, Financing and Network Relations. The role is part of the Partnerships, Financing and Network relations team which  supports  sustainable long-term funding, political positioning and institutionalization of nutrition in SUN member countries  and collaboration across the SUN networks. 

For its third phase, the SUN Movement will strengthen partnerships to achieve greater impact on nutrition through improved food systems and related development topics. 

The purpose of the Food Systems Strategic Advisor role is to support the Coordinator and the Secretariat to ensure political positioning of nutrition  becomes increasingly institutionalised in member countries and stakeholder organisations within the wider food systems context. The Food Systems Advisor helps.strengthen the Movement’s focus on a food systems approach, including its links to climate change, health,conflict, environmental and social protection, and trade and economic development.  

The role will support the Coordinator’s function by contributing in shaping the Secretariat’s thinking and execution of new concepts, approaches and priorities for the future direction of the SUN Movement, including its Global Support System.

Functional Responsibilities
1. Strategic country support to a food systems approach Identify, monitor a...
1. Strategic country support to a food systems approach

  • Identify, monitor and analyse trends and emerging issues with respect to the wider food system.

  • Identify other global challenges that affect nutrition and the work of the SUN Movement, either directly or indirectly, such as climate change, conflict, displacement, environmental and social protection and trade and economic development, which impact the key principles and core themes of the SUN Movement.

  • Assess national, regional and global food systems trends that might affect the SUN Movement; recommend solutions/possible actions by the Coordinator and or Secretariat in response.

  • Advise and support the analysis and direction setting of the SUN Movement, with particular consideration to policies and strategies, multi-sectoral progress and inter-agency collaboration required to ensure a food systems approach to transformation.

  • Develop documents for and input to the SUN Movement’s planning processes, including written briefings related to food systems.

  • Make recommendations for the SUN Movement’s actions across nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive sectors, through strengthened food and health systems, and with a focus on gender and economic equity, social inclusion, accountability, corporate responsibility and financing.

2. Alliance building, networking, policy guidance and advocacy 

  • In collaboration with relevant SMS colleagues and key stakeholders across the Movement and Secretariat, contribute to the development and implementation of food systems-related policy engagement.

  • Provide advice on key (potential) partners in food systems/nutrition/health,climate/trade/economics and education including UN family, national and international NGOs and associations and civil society.

  • Collaborate with the SMS communications and advocacy colleagues  , ensure visibility of activities with donors and press, including press releases, meetings and field visits, as well as strengthened communication activities around food systems interventions.

  • Participate in advocacy efforts for food systems approaches with existing donors, governments and other actors, explore possibilities and engage with new donors.

  • Contribute to conferences, seminars and academic fora related to his/her assigned area of expertise.

  • Represent the Coordinator and/or the SUN Movement Secretariat (when requested) in public events, task forces, working groups etc on food systems, food security and social sectors activities.

3. Support to the Coordinator

  • Develop and maintain relations with government officials, donors, missions and other SUN stakeholders at the working level to understand issues and policies of mutual concern.

  • Contribute food systems expertise to notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for the Coordinator and lead on these products as requested..

  • Provide expert information to the Coordinator regarding wider food systems issues, related to the positioning of the SUN Movement.

  • Support the Coordinator’s function by contributing in shaping the Secretariat’s thinking and execution of new food systems concepts, approaches and priorities for the future direction of the SUN Movement, including its Global Support System.

4. Capacity building and knowledge management

  • Provide technical assistance to priority countries in support of food systems nutrition-sensitive programming, especially as it relates to food environment, consumer demand, private sector engagement and/or food policy.

  • Support the capacity strengthening of staff across the Secretariat in terms of wider food systems issues, including advice and training as required.

  • Participate in the development of improved tools and methodologies for food systems analysis.

  • In collaboration with various stakeholders across the Secretariat (particularly MEAL/KM and communications and advocacy) lead the development and dissemination of key food systems-related lessons for key stakeholders.

  • Support the development of new concept notes for future resource mobilisation on food systems.

Education/Experience/Language requirements
A. Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivale...
A. Education:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) nutrition or other relevant field is required.  

  • A bachelor's degree with a combination of two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted  in lieu of the Master's degree.

B. Work Experience:

  • A minimum of seven (7) years professional experience in international public health nutrition, international development  or agriculture, with a nutrition focus is required.

  • Experience with food systems activities and demonstrated work on one or more food systems domains (food supply, food environment, private sector engagement for nutrition, consumer behavior, diet quality) is required.

  • Experience working with government and NGO stakeholders on food systems, with a preference toward food system and nutrition programme design and implementation and/or policy is desirable.

  • Experience translating complex technical material and research findings into tools that support evidence uptake is desirable.

C. Language:

  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.

  • Knowledge of another official UN language, particularly French , is an asset.

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and ex...

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment (FTA - UN Staff Contract) Contract level: ...
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment (FTA - UN Staff Contract)
Contract level: ICS-11 / P4
Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:

Additional Information
Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes. Applic...

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.

  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. 

  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.

  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

  • Geneva, Switzerland is a UN family duty station.

Terms and Conditions 

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post. 

  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.

  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.


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UNOPS – an operational arm of the United Nations – supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by successfully implementing its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.

Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.

We are proud of our people. The UNOPS family brings together approximately 160 nationalities, represented by over 5,000 UNOPS personnel as well as some 7,800 personnel recruited on behalf on our partners. Spread across 80 countries, our workforce is rich in diversity and culture – with inclusion at its core.

We understand the importance of balancing professional and personal demands and offer several flexible working options.

Explore what we offer here.