Programme Policy Officer (Strategy Development), International Consultant WAE, Level II

negotiable / YEAR Expired 2 months ago
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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 or disability.


The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity, and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. In 2022 WFP supported 711,635 people in Iraq. Through providing food for vulnerable people, skills to build futures, and enhanced social protection, WFP is helping the Government of Iraq build people’s food security and resilience. For more information, see and


WFP corporately has embraced a stronger and more proactive stance on social protection, which is now a key pillar of WFP’s ‘changing lives’ agenda and will be prominent in the new Strategic Plan, as well as being a top priority for most regions and countries. The Social Protection Unit of the World Food Programme prioritizes implementation of social protection strategy through embedding and mainstreaming social protection in regular programmes and projects while initiating specific social protection initiatives.


While Iraq is emerging out of decades of conflict, sanctions, and political instability, sustained socio-economic development continues to be threatened by structural weaknesses in Government capacities to provide adequate services to its citizens. Youth unemployment is a clear reflection of this: while youth comprise 60% of national population, unemployment rates among them reach up to 36%. Female rate of unemployment is generally higher than the male rate for virtually all age groups, and this is particularly true in the age range between 15-25 years old. Successive governments have relied on politically popular solutions by expanding both the Social Safety Nets (SSN) payments and jobs in the public sector, which account for approximately USD 40 billion or 50% of the national budget.

The social protection system remains complex, fragmented, and vulnerable to shocks. Consequently, it has a high administrative cost and is unable to cover the entire vulnerable population. However, there are opportunities for decent job creation in the economy (particularly the private sector) and to strengthen national systems to enable a transition from social assistance to livelihoods opportunities for the most vulnerable people in working age.


A proposed National Graduation Pathway Strategy will have aim to officially articulate the GoI’s commitment to develop and sustain the Graduation approach through amending the law and supporting the transition of eligible and capable Social Safety Net (SSN) beneficiaries from social assistance to economic empowerment and self-reliance. The transition will be carried out through various pathways including entrepreneurship services, vocational training, access to employment and access to finance. Additionally, the strategy aims to pave the way for amending Iraq’s Social Protection Law No. 11/2014. Firstly, it will commit the GoI and all of its branches to source and implement the program in a high-quality, efficient, effective, and sustainable manner. Secondly, it will outline available resources, initiatives, and programs to develop holistic graduation programs. Furthermore, the strategy will offer strategic guidance and criteria to shape the form and size of the program. For this, the strategy must set a clear and holistic vision, goal, and objectives for the Graduation Pathway in Iraq, and be responsive to the government priorities and the Iraq Vision 2030.

The implementation of the strategy will include a range of stakeholders, including line ministries such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Planning (MOP), Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR), Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), Prime Minister Advisory Commission (PMAC), Higher Coordination Commission among Provinces (HCCP), the Prime Minister (PM) Office, and the Investment Commission (IC) as well as the Iraq Parliament, Governors and Provincial Councils. WFP and other sister UN agencies, including ILO and UNESCO, will be consulted as well. The strategy will also detail the roles and responsibilities of all these stakeholders.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The consultant will be responsible for drafting the strategy, convening technical consultations with government counterparts and other key stakeholders, seeking government endorsement, and finalizing the following points:

1- Outlining the vision of the Graduation Pathway Strategy in Iraq:

Review the current social protection systems, programmes, law, and policies, and identify the current challenges and gaps in the system with regards to graduation. Provide a clear vision to address the gaps and prepare a capacity-building plan to support MoLSA in enhancing their ability to implement the graduation pathway strategy. Formulate a draft of the amendment to the social protection law, including the proposed National Graduation Pathway Strategy.

2- National Graduation Pathway Strategy:

The proposed National Graduation Pathway Strategy should include the strategy aims and objectives, making a case for graduation/economic empowerment of SSN beneficiaries. The strategy will also outline different graduation pathways including a description of economic empowerment programmes and how they can be linked to the social protection system and the eligibility criteria for participation of SSN beneficiaries in these programmes (i.e. the graduation threshold). The strategy should include a Theory of Change, a Results Measurement Framework, and outline processes for quality assurance, scale-up and sustainability.

3- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):

Based on the Social protection Law No. 11/2014 and the Graduation Pathway Strategy, standard operating procedures (SOPs) will describe the specific details of the tasks of each stakeholder involved in the Graduation Pathway. It will provide tools and formats required to carry out these tasks and establish a detailed monitoring and reporting plan. These SOPs will then form the basis of specific training and standing support platforms for management and implementation actors and design a roadmap for the implementation of the strategy.


MoLSA will adopt a participatory approach in formulating the strategy to enhance ownership and facilitate endorsement by all political factions. Therefore, it is essential to consult and involve all key stakeholders related to the Graduation Pathway in the strategy development process. This includes national stakeholders, primarily various sectors of the Government, as well as international partners who can contribute knowledge and expertise to ensure a high-quality programme.

With this overall approach, the Consultant, supported by WFP Iraq, will carry out the following tasks:

  • Undertake a desk review of the available literature and documents in English (documents and literature in Arabic will be translated into English, to establish the prevailing strategy context, the sectoral support to graduation pathway already available and identify gaps in current capacity).
  • Develop jointly with WFP Iraq a list of stakeholders to be consulted during the strategy formulation process and proposed approach for consultations.
  • Conduct bilateral and multilateral consultations with identified stakeholders, jointly with the WFP Iraq, to explore their views on the Graduation Pathway in general and specific issues related to it. Obtain guidance for the drafting of the strategy document, e.g., through a debriefing workshop with the relevant stakeholders.
  • Elaborate a first draft strategy document based on this guidance for circulation to stakeholders for comment and formulate a draft of the amendment to the social protection law.
  • Incorporate comments received from stakeholders into a final draft document, which will then be submitted to the MoLSA and MoP for approval.
  • Draft SOPs that will outline how the strategy will be operationalized and provide guidance on the next strategic steps, including a a proposed workplan of activities and milestones to be undertaken, which should highlight capacity building initiatives.


Education: Advanced University degree in Political Science, Law, Economics, Sustainable Livelihoods, Social Science, or similar.

Experience: At least 10 years of experience in international development, including high-level government engagement on strategy and development issues.

Languages: Fluency in English is required, knowledge of Arabic is preferred.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • At least ten years of professional experience concerning economic empowerment/ productive social protection programmes.
  • Capacity to engage with multiple stakeholders at both technical and political levels.
  • Ability to analyze strategy and technical documents.
  • Ability to prepare and facilitate bilateral and multilateral stakeholder discussions.
  • Ability to communicate clearly in English (Arabic is an advantage, but not considered essential).


Position Title: Programme Policy Officer (National Graduation Pathway Strategy Development)

Type Of Contract: International Consultancy – WAE (CST II)

Contract Duration: 3 months

Unit: Social Protection Unit

Duty Station: Remote based with missions to Baghdad, Iraq

Medical Plan: Medical plan for the employee only


Applications close on 07 April 2024


WFP has a zero-tolerance approach to conduct such as fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to WFP’s standards of conduct and will therefore undergo rigorous background verification internally or through third parties. Selected candidates will also be required to provide additional information as part of the verification exercise. Misrepresentation of information provided during the recruitment process may lead to disqualification or termination of employment

WFP will not request payment at any stage of the recruitment process including at the offer stage. Any requests for payment should be refused and reported to local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

Baghdad, Iraq
This job has expired.