Description of assignment title – Programme Specialist

Assignment country – Jamaica

Expected start date – 30/01/2023

Sustainable Development Goal – 2. Zero hunger

Volunteer category – National UN Volunteer Specialist

DoA reserved for persons with disabilities – No

Host entity – WFP JAM

Type – Onsite

Duration– 12 months (with the possibility of extension)

Number of assignments – 1

Duty stations – Kingston


Mission and objectives

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. As the international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030, one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty. For its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. In 2020, WFP assisted 115.5 million people – the largest number since 2012 – in 84 countries. On any given day, WFP has 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and nearly 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need. These numbers lie at the roots of WFP’s unparalleled reputation as an emergency responder, one that gets the job done quickly at scale in the most difficult environments. WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations. Two-thirds of our work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict.


In 2018, WFP re-established its presence in the Caribbean with an office in Barbados. The WFP Caribbean Multi-Country Office (MCO) supports 22 countries and territories across the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. WFP Caribbean’s capacity strengthening programme focuses on vulnerability analysis and mapping; end-to-end supply chain management; shock-responsive social protection; food systems strengthening; and climate risk financing. In times of crisis, WFP works with partners to provide direct assistance when events surpass national and regional capacities by delivering food, cash, or voucher assistance, or through emergency logistics or emergency telecommunications service provision. This UNV assignment will be a critical component within the Jamaica Office to provide support to policy and programme activities in areas related to food security, social protection, and school feeding

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Policy Officer, Head of Office in Jamaica the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Contribute towards the development of a wide variety of projects, plans and processes, ensuring alignment with wider programme policies and guidance;
  2. Provide project management support to specific and defined programmes and projects of considerable size/complexity, ensuring a coordinated approach with wider programmes that complies with WFP standards and procedures;
  3. Develop and coordinate data gathering and monitoring systems ensuring that rigorous quality standards are maintained;
  4. Research and analyses a range of policy and operational issues to inform the development of policies, programmes, and activities;
  5. Contribute to the preparation of accurate and timely reporting on programmes and activities that enable informed decision making and consistency of information presented to stakeholders;
  6. Liaise with internal and external counterparts to ensure effective collaboration, monitor ongoing projects, and highlight potential risks to project delivery;
  7. Support the identification, development, and management of potential partnerships to collaborative working leading to improved food assistance packages;
  8. Support the capacity building of WFP staff, partners, and national government to prepare for and respond to food assistance needs, e.g., through providing inputs into training materials;
  9. Guide and supervise more junior staff, acting as a point of referral and supporting them with analysis and queries.

Eligibility criteria

  • Age – 27 – 80
  • Nationality – Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.


Required experience

  • 3 years of experience in Contributing to and working with technical teams (i.e. social protection, cash-based transfers, education, food systems);
  • Has contributed to the implementation of programmes (i.e. development, capacity and systems strengthening);
  • Has observed and/or assisted with policy discussions;
  • Experience working with data sets and summarizing data for business purposes;
  • Ability to work effectively within a regional team and build effective working relationships with persons of many national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate across business functions;
  • Mature judgment and experience in working in a multicultural environment.

Area(s) of expertise

  • Crisis and emergency response, Development programmes, Economics and finance.


  • English, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Required education level

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent in University degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in Economics, Public Policy, Education, Social Science, Political Science or any other relevant field

Competencies and values

  • Accountability
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Commitment and Motivation
  • Ethics and Values
  • Integrity
  • Planning and organising
  • Professionalism
  • Self-management
  • Technological Awareness
  • Working in Teams

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Jamaica is a small island state, home to a population of around 2,991,545 people. Jamaica is accessible by plane from neighbouring Caribbean countries, the USA, Canada, and Europe. It has a relatively good standard of living with banks, health services, pharmacies, communications infrastructure, and amenities geared to locals and tourists. Jamaica faces threats from natural hazards, notably tropical storms, and hurricanes. Jamaica has a high cost of living (including for accommodation) and relies on imported goods. Crime is a persistent issue in Jamaica. Robberies and other crimes committed in high traffic business areas are usually opportunistic in nature. Residential burglars also exploit existing vulnerabilities, such as unlocked doors/windows, substandard door/window grilles, and poor/non-existent outdoor lighting.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy

How to apply

Please click here to apply

By oytq5