Social Protection Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Lusaka


Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and malnutrition. The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner.
FAO has recognized Social protection as a critical pillar to accelerate progress in the fight against hunger, food insecurity and rural poverty. Notably, social protection interventions have the potential to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction and economic growth. FAO has been strategically involved in Zambia to support the national social protection systems.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the Representative of FAO in Zambia, and direct supervision of the Assistant FAOR in charge of programmes and in close collaboration with the FAO projects, and relevant government entities, the Social Protection Specialist will be responsible for the following tasks and responsibilities.

Technical focus

  • Technical contribution to monitoring activities for social protection interventions, including development of tools and methodologies
  • Stakeholder engagements
  • Represent FAO Zambia in technical Working Groups on Social Protection as well as other institutional coordination mechanisms
  • Regular participation in Technical Working Groups on social protection as well as other institutional co-ordination mechanisms
  • Concept notes and proposals for resource mobilization developed and submitted, donors approached, pilot pitched
  • Participate in and support activities of relevant UNCT Results Group reports written and submitted on time
  • Support government in implementation and development of the electronic version of the Food Security Pack (FSP)
  • Progress reports are submitted on time
  • Research outputs

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Effectively coordinate the overall implementation of social protection interventions supported by the country office, including provision of technical support to the rollout of projects supporting the most vulnerable households in the context of emergency or crisis response situations
  • Facilitate dialogue and linkages between social protection and resilience/livelihoods, agriculture/natural resource management programmes/projects
  • Support the roll out of the FSP pilot programme, as designed by FAO in collaboration with the Government of Zambia
  • Liaise with potential donors and explore internal opportunities in order to mobilise resources for the implementation of the FSP
  • Explore resource mobilisation opportunities, as well as take lead on development of project proposals for funding of national social protection priorities in Zambia
  • Provide follow-up support to the implementation of action plans from the RAF-led Capacity Development Programme on “Strengthening the use of Poverty Analysis for reaching SDGs 1 &2”. In particular, the multi-sectoral Cash Plus efforts in Zambia, led by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS), by;

– Participate in and provide support in policy dialogue on social protection policies, legislation, and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of social protection and contribute to strategic (internal and external) processes of Cash Plus interventions, including development of documents
– Support strengthening closer collaboration between participants of the Capacity Development Programme (CDP), from various ministries, as part of the efforts to enhance the cash plus initiatives and cross-sectoral collaboration in Zambia.
– Facilitate capacity building efforts for the multi-sectoral cluster advisory group (CAG) members to be involved in the implementation of the cash plus initiative on coherent, multi-sectoral approaches for poverty reduction

  • Establish effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society, and other UN agencies to support sustained commitment towards the nexus between agriculture and social protection among the rural communities
  • Support in developing a social protection strategic engagement document for the FAO Zambia Office through consultations with the key stakeholders in the agriculture and social protection sector as well as review of key social protection and agriculture policy and Programme documents as well as FAO led research products.
  • Represent FAO in sectoral coordination mechanisms, such as the Cluster Advisory Committees, Co-operating Partners Group-Social Protection, the Co-operating Partners Group-Agriculture and within and across these fora to promote and contribute to discussions on linkages between agriculture and social protection
  • Contribute to the preparation of accurate and timely reporting on programme and activities that enable informed decision making and consistence of information
  • Liaise with internal counterpart to ensure effective collaboration, and monitoring of ongoing social protection projects and other projects as needed
  • Research and analyse policy and operational issues to support colleagues in the development of policies, programmes and activities ensuring alignment with wider CPF.
  • Perform other duties as required


Minimum Requirements

  • A degree in the field of socio-economic policy or agricultural economics or rural sociology or equivalent.
  • Master’s degree in the relevant field with experience in social protection is preferable.
  • Five years of relevant experience in sectoral coordination, research and policy analysis and stakeholder engagements is cardinal.
  • Working knowledge of the English language [ie. spoken and written]
  • Zambian National

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent and relevance of experience in supporting, advising and guiding the implementation of complex, multi-stakeholder projects;
  • Ability to develop plans for the implementation and coordination of project operations in developing countries, in partnership with UN agencies, NGOs and other concerned actors;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in programme/project formulation, analysis, planning and implementation
  • Understanding of FAO policies and programmes is considered a strong asset;
  • Extent of experience in formulation, implementation and monitoring of projects;
  • Familiarity with UN administrative, operational and financial procedures is an asset.


  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing)
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help please contact: [email protected]
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
  • For additional employment opportunities visit the FAO employment website:
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.