Anticipatory Action Specialist, Nairobi, Kenya At United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Closing date: Sunday, 28 May 2023



My WFP Story

“A decision to join WFP could be one of the best things that happen to an individual pursuing career/professional growth in a humanitarian service which will also depend on an individual focus and determination”– Senior Programme Associate

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) seeks individuals of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles

WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status, physical or mental disability.


The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetime. 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.

The WFP Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa (RBN) is based in Nairobi and provides strategic direction, technical guidance, resource mobilization, and management support to WFP operations and activities in ten countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda.


The Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes (PRO-C) unit in WFP Headquarters and our Food Systems (Climate Action, Resilient Livelihoods and Gender) unit in Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa (RBN) provide guidance and support to WFP Country Offices (COs) and governments on activities related to climate risk management, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. These services can range from climate analyses to better understand climate change impacts on food security and nutrition, to supporting governments and WFP COs with technical advisory services as well as policy advice on risk reduction, financing and transfer. In the Greater Horn of Africa sub-region, the management of climate risk is a key entry point for reducing vulnerability to the climate shocks that disproportionately affect countries in the region, undermining development gains, and making humanitarian response late and consequently more expensive and inefficient

One of the largest climate risk programs WFP is implementing in the region is WFP’s Anticipatory Action (AA) programme that supports governments to strengthen early warning systems and establish linkages with prearranged financing. WFP’s AA portfolio in the region now includes 8 countries where together with national and local government partners WFP is operationalizing and integrating AA systems into national disaster risk management plans for critical natural hazards such as droughts and floods. Collaboration and partnerships with regional and national government institutions, humanitarian and development organisations, as well as research and science-based institutions is critical for the strengthening and implementation of AA at scale.

WFP´s vision for the next 5 years is to mainstream AA systems within the humanitarian program cycle, and support the implementation of the Regional Roadmap for Enhancing AA in the IGAD region with partner governments for the scale-up of multi-hazard AA systems across all countries in the region. In that aim, WFP is seconding an AA Specialist to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) to facilitate cross-country technical support , AA system development, and support the scale-up of existing AA programs. This will be an expert with skills in seasonal/weather forecasting, disaster risk reduction (DRR), Python programming, GIS based analysis and mapping, an in-depth understanding of the Greater Horn of Africa climate regimes, AA systems and their linkages with disaster preparedness/response to support partner governments and humanitarian partners integrate AA systems into their disaster risk management policies and operational activities


Education: Advanced university degree in Meteorology, Geography, Disaster Risk Management and Environmental Science and related disciplines or First University degree with 2 additional years of related work experience.

Experience: A minimum of 3 (three) years of professional working experience in a similar role.

At least 7 (seven) years of postgraduate work experience, in progressively responsible roles in weather or climate forecast development and application in disaster risk management, humanitarian, international development and/or public sector aid programs. (Desirable)

Languages: Working knowledge (proficiency/level C) of English. I ntermediate knowledge (level B) of another UN official language (Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian or Chinese) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages) is an advantage.


  •  Knowledge of seasonal/weather forecasting, Python, GIS and mapping
  •  An in-depth understanding of climate regimes in the Greater Horn of Africa
  •  Knowledge of anticipatory action is a strong asset
  •  Ability to work independently in a timely and organized manner
  •  Excellent oral and written communication skills
  •  Ability to work in a team and establish effective working relationships with multi-disciplinary teams


Under the supervision of WFP’s Regional AA Coordinator & ICPAC:

  •  Guide ICPAC’s work on impact-based forecasting (IBF) & its use in AA systems.
  •  Coordinate capacity strengthening, remotely and in-country, for National Meteorological Services (NMS), National Disaster Risk Management Authorities, and technical partners to support AA system development in the region.
  •  Develop guidelines for IBF development for AA systems (documenting process, results, learning and turning this into guidance for use by Met Services).
  •  Development of thresholds for various hazards and linkages with AA trigger evaluation methodology to support needed capacity strengthening of NMSs.
  •  Support joint programming of WFP and ICPAC works to advance innovative regional disaster risk management actions such as development of proposals, organizing discussion forums, among others.
  •  Development of partnerships and effective collaboration with technical partners, universities and private sector to support early warning system strengthening.
  •  Support the mainstreaming of AA triggers within ICPAC systems e.g. East African Hazard Watch and Disaster Operations Centre situation room and IGAD policies to support further scale up in the region.
  •  Coordinate with the various science initiatives in ICPAC to support the development of AA triggers in complex settings.
  •  Support the validation of multi-hazard AA triggers and thresholds for to be used in national AA Plans (AAP).
  •  Support the validation of early warnings that trigger AAPs.
  •  Any other duties as relevant.


  •  Development of an AA trigger evaluation methodology.
  •  Guidance notes for IBF development for use in AA systems development.
  •  Guidance notes for developing triggers for complex climate hazards.
  •  Successful support to the Regional AA RoadMap for the IGAD Region.
  •  Technical support to the development of EWS strengthening in the following countries in the region: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan South Sudan and Uganda.
  •  Validation of triggers/thresholds in AA plans and the early warnings that trigger them for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda
  •  Joint programming and proposals for implementation by WFP and ICPAC jointly.
  •  Development of a work plan that supports activities to mainstream AA systems within IGAD/ICPAC regional systems, and to support implementation of the AA roadmap in the region.
  •  Regular progress reports to the WFP & ICPAC AA Regional Coordinators.


Type of Contract:

Fixed Term Contract


RBN Programme, Food Systems Unit (Climate Action, Resilient Livelihoods and Gender)

Duty Station:

Nairobi Regional Bureau, Kenya

Contract Duration:

One (1) year, renewable


All applications should be received no later than 29th May, 2023.

WFP does not charge a fee at any stage of the process (Application, technical assessment, interview).

All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.


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