Nutrition specialist (Diet Diversity and CMAM), P4,TA, Amman, Jordan – UNICEF MENA Regional Office,

Categories: News / Vacancies / No CommentsPosted on: March 25, 2019

Job Number: 519722 | Vacancy Link
Locations: Middle East and North Africa: Jordan
Work Type : Temporary Appointment

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, 

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a triple burden of malnutrition: under nutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overweight and obesity. It is still home to 9.5 million stunted children. Most of the stunted children are in eight of MENA region 20 countries (Sudan, Syria, Yemen, State of Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Djibouti). While the number of stunted children globally has reduced from 169 million in 2010 to 151 million in 2017, in most countries in UNICEF MENA region, the number of stunted children has shown slow reduction (13 million in 1990 – 9.5 million in 2015). Progress in most countries is slow and below what is required to keep pace with population growth and to achieve a 40% reduction in the number of stunted children by 2030. The prevalence of wasting is 8.4% and overweight is 4.8% in MENA region.  Although improvements have been made over the past 2 decades, several countries are experiencing food insecurity as a result of the Syria Conflict as well others who are at risk such as Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, and Djibouti.  There has been no significant positive development in the nutritional status of children under 5 in some MENA countries despite improvements in the health situation of children and the drop in infant and child mortality rates.


Additionally, nearly four million children under five years old in the region are estimated to be acutely malnourished, with over half of these living in Sudan and Egypt. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate in Yemen, Sudan, and Djibouti is above the emergency threshold of 15%.


According to the 2017 State of the World children, rates of exclusive breastfeeding in children 0-5 months have shown little improvement where the regional average stands at 35% for MENA region, and complementary feeding practices are sub-optimal as only one in three children 6-23 months (38%) are fed a diversified diet. Although many countries in the region are able to report high rates of timely introduction of complementary foods, the quality of these complementary foods are usually inadequate to address nutritional needs of infants and young children.  The proportion of children 6-23 months who meet the minimum acceptable diet in MENA stands at 21%.

Food security in the region is fast deteriorating, driven by conflict and leading to a widening gap in well-being between conflict and non-conflict countries. The level of undernourishment in the conflict countries is now six times larger than that in non-conflict countries, and the level of severe food insecurity in the conflict countries is twice that in others. To get an understanding of the significance of the gap between the two sub-regions, the prevalence of undernourishment in the conflict countries is similar to that in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of the world, while that in the non-conflict countries is under 5 percent, on the level of developed countries (FAO, 2017). Food insecurity directly impacts IYCF practices and the nutritional status of children.


It is with this background that UNICEF MENARO has identified two sets of priorities for support to countries: 1) accelerate interventions aimed at improving the diets of young children to reduce stunting; and 2) support integration of care for children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in routine services in countries with high prevalence of SAM.

How can you make a difference?

Eight countries in MENA region have identified Complementary Feeding and specifically Diet Diversity as an area where the needs are greatest and by investing in improving diet diversity, an improvement in overall nutrition status of children under two could be achieved.


Five countries continue to scale up the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition as a life-saving intervention.  More work is needed to ensure that the care for children with SAM is provided as part of an essential package of regular health and nutrition services.


Under the supervision of the Regional Senior Nutrition Specialist, the nutrition specialist will support countries in MENA by providing technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the formulation, design, planning, and monitoring for the achievement of concrete and sustainable results in Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition and complementary feeding in line with global guidance and in close collaboration with partners.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Support to programme development and planning
  • Support countries in the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for Complementary Feeding/Diet Diversity and CMAM to ensure comprehensive and current data are available to guide policy development, and the design and management of the programme.
  • Keep abreast of recent developments to better inform programme design, and implemtation. Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of Complementary Feeding and/or CMAM programmes/projects.
  • Provide guidance in the formulation, design and preparation of the Complementary feeding/Diet Diversity and/or CMAM programmes as applicable ensuring alignment with UNICEF strategic Plans, Country Programme, and coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies, as well as national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Provide technical support in the establishment of specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans based on results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Provide technical support in the preparation of required documentations for programme review and approval.
  1. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  • Support countries with the establishment of monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for Complementary Feeding and CMAM programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action and interventions to achieve results.
  • Actively monitor programmes and projects through field visits, exchange of information with country offices to assess progress.
  • Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources) ensuring compliance with organizational rules, regulations, procedures, donor commitments, and standards of accountability. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
  1. Technical and operational support to complementary feeding and CMAM programme implementation and capacity building
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to country office staff and government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on nutrition and related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation, and delivery of results.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of staff and stakeholders to promote sustainable results on Complementary Feeding and/or CMAM programmes.
  1. Innovation, knowledge management
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting-edge practices in nutrition management and information systems. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Support UNICEF Regional and Country Offices on knowledge management in the area of Complementary Feeding and CMAM.
  • Help address knowledge gaps on the drivers of young children diets in the MENA region and use this information to inform the development of strategies and programs.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Education:

An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required:  nutrition, public health, nutritional epidemiology, global/international health and nutrition, health/nutrition research, policy and/or management, health sciences, nutritional epidemiology, or another health-related science field.  An advanced degree in social science/humanities with more than 8 years of experience at a senior level in nutrition-related programming in a reputable NGO or international organization will be considered.

  • Experience:

A minimum of eight years of professional experience in a developing country in one or more of the following areas is required: Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition, public health, nutrition planning and management. Experience in complementary feeding/Diet Diversity project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset

  • Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is required.  Knowledge of Arabic is considered as an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The competencies required for this post are….

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.



Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Opening Date Mon Mar 25 2019 08:00:00 GMT+0100 (Central European Standard Time) Jordan Standard Time
Closing Date Mon Apr 01 2019 22:55:00 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time) 

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Nutrition specialist (Diet Diversity and CMAM), P4,TA, Amman, Jordan – UNICEF MENA Regional Office,
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