Social Policy Officer (Social Protection) - FAO

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FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. The Regional Office for Africa (RAF) oversees 47 sub-Saharan countries guided by Regional Programme Priority areas Initiatives that serve as a mechanism to ensure effective delivery and to demonstrate the impact of FAO’s work on agrifood systems transformation in the key priorities of the Region.

In its programme delivery, RAF contributes to the achievements of the FAO Strategic Framework, which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The four betters represent an organizing principle for how FAO intends to contribute directly to SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (Zero hunger), and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities) as well as to supporting the achievement of the broader SDG agenda, which is crucial for attaining FAO’s overall vision. The four betters reflect the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of agrifood systems. As such, they also encourage a strategic and systems-oriented approach within all FAO’s interventions.



The Regional Office for Africa (RAF) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with offices and divisions at Headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO’s strategic response to regional priorities.

RAF also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. RAF develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the African Union and Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

The post is located in the RAF Programme Unit in Accra, Ghana, under the technical leadership of the Regional Programme Leader.

Reporting Lines

The Social Policy Officer (Social Protection) reports to the Senior Policy Officer, Social Protection Programme Lead and is under the general supervision of the Regional Programme Leader (RPL), of the FAO Regional Office for Africa and maintains regular contact with FAO headquarters in Rome for functional guidance on matters relating to social protection and rural development sectors.

Technical Focus

Supports the social protection policy, programming and analytical work for strengthening the contribution of social protection in agricultural development, and emergency interventions to sustainable poverty reduction, food security and nutrition.

Key Results

Research and analysis of information, data and statistics, and the maintenance and updating of related tools, methodologies and/or databases to support the delivery of programme products, projects, publications, and services and in alignment with the Organization’s Policy on Gender Equality.



Key Functions

  • Researches and analyses agricultural, economic, trade, market, social, environmental, nutrition/food composition and/or gender related data, statistics and information to provide technical, statistical and/or policy-related information and analysis to support the delivery of economic and social development programmes work, products, projects, publications and services.
  • Produces a variety of technical reports and input for technical documents, publications and/or web pages.
  • Provides technical, statistical and/or analytical services on various studies, projects and/or assessments and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
  • Participates in the development of improved/updated technical, statistical and/or analytical tools, methodologies, systems, databases, key social/economic/environmental/nutritional and/or early warning indicators, etc.
  • Participates in multi-disciplinary teams, collaborates with other divisions and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices.
  • Collaborates in capacity development activities involving the planning and organizing of training workshops, seminars and major meetings and the preparation of related information, materials, on-line tools and information kits.
  • Promotes knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations.
  • Participates in resource mobilization activities.

Specific Functions

  • Contributes to research on the linkages between social protection, agriculture, humanitarian assistance, climate action, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
  • Supports countries, through technical and capacity development, in forging links and promoting greater policy coherence and synergies between social protection, agriculture, humanitarian assistance, climate action, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
  • Contributes to the review of Country Sustainable Development Frameworks and to the formulation of FAO Country Programming Frameworks and other engagements related to social protection in line with FAO’s corporate and regional policies and strategies on social protection and other relevant initiatives.
  • Ensures that FAO’s corporate and regional policies and strategies on social protection and other relevant initiatives are responsive to country demands.
  • Contributes to integration of corporate and regional strategies and policies pertinent to social protection into country-level programmes and practices.
  • Establishes and maintains strategic and programmatic partnerships for complementary and collaborative approaches and initiatives that improve social protection and support related advocacy work within all relevant audiences.
  • Prepares and disseminates timely analytical and critical reports, publications and a variety of knowledge products or proposals for internal or external use.
  • Facilitates and contributes to regional and subregional policy dialogue and advocacy activities for strengthening coherence between social protection, agriculture, humanitarian assistance, climate action, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
  • Provides technical backstopping support to country offices and field projects related to social protection and its interlinkages with agriculture, humanitarian assistance, climate change, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
  • Contributes to the development of analytical and policy tools for informing the design and assessing the effectiveness of social protection systems for rural poverty reduction, decent rural employment and food and nutrition security.



Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in social protection, political science, economics, institutional development, social anthropology, gender or other relevant social sciences and related fields.
  • Five years of relevant experience in socio-economic analysis, policy assistance, capacity building in relation to social protection, gender and rural development.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of another official FAO language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).




  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing policy assistance on social protection and its contribution to inclusive agricultural development and climate action, shock responsiveness, gender equality, food security and nutrition.
  • Analytic skills in qualitative and/or quantitative socio-economic analysis, particularly in social protection, and its contribution to inclusive agricultural development and climate action, shock responsiveness, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
  • Demonstrated experience in policy analysis, programme formulation and implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the fields of social protection and social policies.
  • Ability to mobilize resources.
  • Experience in capacity development to support the design, implementation and analysis of social protection policies and programmes for to inclusive agricultural development and climate action, shock responsiveness, gender equality and food security and nutrition.
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