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Food Security and Nutrition Advisor

BACKGROUND:

Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition (SPRING) is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide state-of-the-art technical support and facilitate country-led, regional, and global programs to improve the nutritional status of women and children.

The SPRING implementation team consists of JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (the Prime), Helen Keller International (HKI), The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Save the Children (SC), and The Manoff Group (TMG). SPRING builds on past USAID investments and its partner expertize to deliver high impact nutrition interventions, such as infant and young child feeding, control of micronutrient deficiencies, and maternal nutrition practices focusing on the first 1,000 days of life.

SPRING is also leading efforts to strengthen the evidence base and to build on, clarify and strengthen understanding, application and use of the most promising nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions. In support of this, SPRING builds capacity and creates dialogue and evidence through exchange of ideas across stakeholders through a platform for Knowledge Management to share Agriculture/Nutrition related learning. SPRING, as designed, provides an opportunity for USAID bureaus and missions worldwide to invest and access its technical services and resources.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Food Security and Nutrition Advisor will bring a strong understanding and experience of human nutrition science and practice. S/He will work across two major thematic areas within SPRING, focused on improving nutritional quality of diet and reducing micronutrient deficiencies. The FSN Advisor will report to the Team Lead for SPRING’s initiative on Agriculture Nutrition, but also work closely with Agriculture Advisors, Team Lead for Anemia and the Research Advisor. S/He will manage the development of and technical content for guidance documents and reports, provide on demand technical assistance to missions and SPRING programs. 

Supported by the SPRING team, she/he will lead SPRING’s work in four key areas related to the linkages between nutrition and agriculture and enhancing diet quality:  1) context-based evidence for program design; 2) strengthening understanding and use of appropriate metrics by Feed the Future country programs for monitoring steps along the agriculture to nutrition pathways; 3)  completing reviews, research and publication of one or more key questions associated with dietary quality, diversity and micronutrients; and, 4) supporting efforts to strengthen programs to address micronutrient deficiency through improving diet and consumption.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Lead in the development, content and completion of technical documents supporting the agriculture and nutrition linkages evidence base, with a focus on diet quality. Research and publication topics will be determined in collaboration with the SPRING agriculture and nutrition team.
  • Establish technical collaborations with key multi-lateral and bilateral partners, and in-country stakeholders to support and lend credibility to SPRING’s agriculture and nutrition agenda/strategy.
  • Oversee and ensure completion of research activities that contribute to the agriculture/nutrition linkages or food security evidence base.
  • Work with the Agriculture Advisor, Micronutrient advisor and Knowledge Management Manager to lead and/or moderate online technical discussions linked to his/her areas of focus and planned deliverables.
  • Help to identify qualified consultants to undertake work/requests from USAID that SPRING staff may not be able to complete in a timely or quality way.
  • Participate in, attend and present SPRING’s work at relevant meetings in Washington, DC and internationally to build SPRING’s visibility and promote learning across the team. 
  • Provide regular and as-needed updates and reports to the FSN Director on work plan activities.

REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field.
  • At least 10 years of experience in a role responsible for multisectoral programs. With prior experience working with programs that link agriculture and nutrition.
  • Experience with nutrition program design, technical assistance provision and capacity building.  Experience interacting with and knowledge of key programs/priorities of U.S. Government agencies and USAID Missions, host country governments, partners, universities and other relevant stakeholders. Knowledge of Feed the Future and USAID’s Bureau of Food Security, a plus.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and partnering skills.
  • Previous experience and success in publishing technical research papers.
  • Strong initiative and self-motivation required, with a commitment to teamwork and effectiveness within a nonhierarchical, participatory management environment.
  • Knowledge of USAID and other donor policies, strategies, and program priorities preferred.
  • Authorization to work in the United States.
  • Some international and domestic (within U.S.) travel will be required (approximately 15-20% time).

 

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