Programme Policy Officer (Risk Management & Financial Services Specialist)


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


WFP Kenya is investing in innovative approaches to enable rural households and community groups to build resilient livelihoods and sustainable food systems in the ASALs. WFP is fostering the creation of a conducive environment for communities in the ASALs receiving WFP support to access financial services, including business planning support, agricultural microfinance and climate microinsurance. These services will be key catalysers of WFP’s impact on livelihoods transformation and sustainable hunger reduction.


WFP is seeking to recruit a Risk Management and Financial Services Specialist within Strategic Outcome 2 of the WFP Kenya Country Strategic Plan (2018-2023). Strategic Outcome 2 is designed to address bottlenecks in food production, transformation and consumption in food insecure areas in the arid and semi-arid lands through a systems-oriented, and risk management-, market- and community-based approach. Activities aim at addressing climate-related threats to food security and well-being by adopting climate smart technologies, investments in resilience of households, communities, institutions, market access for smallholder farmers, and combines these with innovative new approaches throughout the food system.


The risk management and financial services component will build on WFP’s extensive market and supply chain expertise, analyses and identified food-based business opportunities along the value chain in the ASALs, and subsequent business plans and models thus to enable WFP beneficiaries to gradually transition from a situation of food insecurity to self-sufficiecy and eventually market actors.


The work will build on WFP’s global experience and learning on integrated risk management also known as Rural Resilience Initiative (R4). R4 was introduced in Kenya in 2017 with positive results and is now being scaled up. WFP also seeks to build on long-standing efforts to link the creation of climate-resilient technologies at community level to microfinance - particularly village savings and loans associations, as a bridge towards financial inclusion. Additional innovative areas where financial services will need to be mainstreamed include farmer organisation capacity strengthening, youth engagement in agribusiness and the strengthening of capacity of small and medium-scale food retailers and processors in the ASALs.

  • Education: A minimum of an advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: agricultural economics, economics, development studies or development economics, finance, or agriculture.
  • Experience: At least five (5) years of postgraduate experience in agricultural insurance, financial services or business economics, particularly in products for Base-of-the-Pyramid clients.

The candidate is required to meet the following qualifications:

  • Strong understanding of climate-related risks affecting food security, and agricultural livelihoods/agribusiness.
  • Demonstrated ability for strategic thinking and developing programming and programmatic strategy based on analysis;
  • Demonstrated ability to identify business opportunities and build and scale-up innovative programming;
  • Strong project management skills that ensure goals are set, projects are planned and managed effectively within budget and time constraints.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and coordination skills; experience in the management and building of long-term partnerships and ability to influence.
  • Excellent written and spoken English, with demonstrated ability write good quality written material (e.g. reports).
  • Strong computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet, project management and other standard WFP software packages and systems.
  • The following qualifications are an added advantage:

  • Experience in developing and/or facilitating trainings and workshops;
  • Understanding of public policy and socioeconomic context in the ASALs and capacity strengthening approaches;
  • Knowledge of the UN system and its policies, rules, regulations and procedures.
  • National Professional: Fluency (level C) in English language and the duty station’s language, if different.
KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The Programme Policy Officer will be responsible for the following areas:

  1. Act as a thematic expert in business planning, savings, credit and insurance services in Strategic Outcome 2, developing WFP Kenya’s strategic approach in these thematic fields and mainstreaming these approaches in the food systems programme portfolio under Strategic Outcome 2.
  2. Lead the identification and planning of appropriate interventions tailored to different contexts in the ASAL counties, the setup of implementation mechanisms, exploring and advancing key partnerships and linkages especially with the MoA&I (Kenya Agriculture Insurance Program), NDMA (Drought Contingency Fund), and the Rome-based Agencies (Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihood Window).
  3. Support WFP Kenya engagement in policy and strategic dialogue on financial inclusion and climate risk management in Kenya as the primary focal point for programming in this thematic area.
  4. Closely coordinate the business planning, savings, credit and insurance work with the Strategic Outcome 2 team, WFP Kenya, and the R4 global team in WFP headquarters, especially the microinsurance advisor who will provide support and guidance on insurance-specific tasks.


  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives: Understands WFP’s Strategic Objectives and the link to own work objectives.
  • Be a force for positive change: Flexibly adapts individual contributions to accommodate changes in direction from supervisors and internal/external changes (such as evolving needs of beneficiaries, new requirements of partners).
  •  Make the mission inspiring to our team: Recognizes and shares with team members the ways in which individual contributions relate to WFP’s mission.
  •  Make our mission visible in everyday actions: Sets own goals in alignment with WFP’s overall operations, and is able to communicate this link to others.


  • Look for ways to strengthen people's skills: Assesses own strengths and weaknesses to increase self-awareness, and includes these in conversations on own developmental needs.
  •  Create an inclusive culture: Participates in open dialogue, and values the diverse opinion of others, regardless of background, culture, experience, or country assignment.
  •  Be a coach & provide constructive feedback: Proactively seeks feedback and coaching to build confidence, and develop and improve individual skills.
  •  Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit: Participates in accomplishing team activities and goals in the face of challenging circumstances.


  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions: Shows willingness to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches in own work.
  •  Focus on getting results: Consistently delivers results within individual scope of work on time, on budget and without errors.
  •  Make commitments and make good on commitments: Commits to upholding individual accountabilities and responsibilities in the face of ever-changing country or functional priorities.
  •  Be Decisive: Makes rational decisions about individual activities when faced with uncertain circumstances, including in times of ambiguity regarding information or manager direction.


  • Connect and share across WFP units: Seeks to understand and adapt to internal or cross-unit teams’ priorities and preferred working styles.
  •  Build strong external partnerships: Demonstrates ability to understand and appropriately respond to and/or escalate needs of external partners.
  •  Be politically agile & adaptable: Portrays an informed and professional demeanor toward internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  •  Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships: Provides operational support on analyses and assessments that quantifies and demonstrates WFP’s unique value as a partner.
Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level
Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance Displays ability to identify the main hunger problem at the national or subnational level to design and implement context-specific programmes that integrate complex analysis and the full range of food assistance tools.
Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher) Demonstrates ability to analyse and consolidate quantitative and qualitative information from different sources (e.g., market studies) to inform transfer modality selection and programme development.
Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Nutrition, VAM, etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring.
Emergency Programming Displays ability to translate understanding of programme principles in emergencies and protracted conflict situations into relevant, effective, and context specific approaches.
Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes.


• Has deepened technical knowledge through exposure to technical teams.
• Has taken leadership of implementing programmes.
• Has provided input into policy discussions and decisions.


  • WFP is an equal opportunity employer and does not charge fees from applicants at any stage of the recruitment process. Only short listed applicants will be contacted. 
  • Qualified female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • For any queries write to  
Deadline/closing date: 
Wednesday, August 28, 2019