Programme Officer, Social Protection and Employability, Baghdad, Iraq – International Consultant


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 2021 WFP supported 652,800 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


Social protection is an increasingly popular strategy for governments to reduce extreme poverty, hunger, and inequality. Virtually every country in the world has at least one social protection scheme in place, and 2.5 million people are already covered by some type of social protection program.

As a global leader in fighting hunger and malnutrition worldwide, often in very difficult contexts, the World Food Programme (WFP) is increasingly called upon by governments to support national social protection systems. In 2019, WFP partnered with governments in 75 countries to support their national social protection systems, making support for social protection an integral part of WFP’s activities in most of the countries where it operates.

Through its triple role as a technical advisor, service provider, and complementary actor, WFP is supporting these efforts, as it works with governments to extend the coverage, comprehensiveness, adequacy, and quality of national social protection systems, to ensure that all people have access, throughout their lives, to strengthen national social protection systems that safeguard and foster their ability to meet their food security, nutrition, and associated essential needs, and to reduce and address the risks and shocks they face.

Jobs, participation in the labour market, is an important component of social protection as well as developing human capital. Social protection helps people join the job market through equipping them with required skills and capacities.


In Iraq, there has been a growing demand for WFP to support the national social protection system. Through a program funded by European Union, ILO, UNICEF, and WFP aim to support the Government of Iraq to catalyse a more effective social protection response in the short-term and to support Iraq to accelerate reform in the medium- and longer term to build a coherent and sustainable national social protection system.

The joint program will contribute to social protection reform in Iraq by adapting, expanding, and innovating social protection responses to address the immediate needs of households in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as effectively reduce the negative implications of the crisis, in the short and long-term, on human development. The reform aims to improve the public policy environment for the sustainable and inclusive expansion of social protection, and to reinforce the capacities of federal and regional authorities to deliver quality child, age, and disability sensitive, and gender-responsive social protection programs and services, fill in gaps in employment-related social insurance and assistance, and make social protection schemes food security sensitive and nutrition-sensitive. The UN agencies aim to align existing safety nets with the wider social protection system, complementing and strengthening government support.

WFP leads a list of activities to achieve these goals, including the activities to support the capacity strengthening of government of Iraq (GOI) to develop a skills enhancement and employability support manual to improve employability of graduates of universities and higher academic institutes to better link the graduates to the workforce.


To deliver the above, the Country Office (CO) is hiring a consultant to provide technical support to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) to have sufficient capacity to design and implement skills enhancement and employability programs for targeted population. The consultant will guide and advise MOHESR to develop a Skill Enhancement and Employability Support (SEES) manual and to implement a pilot with selected universities. The incumbent will operate under the direct supervision of the Programme Policy Officer and consultation with the Social Protection Advisor at the CO. The incumbent will be responsible for carrying out the following tasks and responsibilities according to the workplan the final output achievement by end of the consultancy.


1. Undertake a scoping study of the capacity of universities for the post-graduation skills enhancement and employability program to identify gaps, list and evaluate the current status and quality of existing SEES programs at universities and higher academic institutes.

2. Undertake stakeholder analysis and capacity analysis of MOHESR jointly with MOHESR to enhance SEES at universities and higher academic institutes.

3. Present the findings of the scoping study and capacity analysis with MOHESR and other relevant government counterparts through a workshop to fine tune the workplan and the project logical framework based on the results of the analyses.

4. Facilitate or conduct training for government officials on how to advance SEES program and establish partnerships with universities as needed based on the capacity analysis results.

5. Provide technical guidance and hands-on support to MOHESR in drafting the SEES manual to ensure a quality product.

6. Advise and support MOHESR on the selection of and the establishment of partnerships with universities to pilot a post-graduation SEES through the job training centers at the universities.

7. Advise and support MOHESR and the partner universities to implement the pilot based on the SEES manual to ensure quality project execution while modelling and learning from WFP’s EMPACT program.

8. Advise and support MOHESR to update the manual reflecting the learning from the pilot. Ensure a quality product, the second draft of SEES manual as the final output of the project.

9. Coordinate with the agencies in the joint program in the execution of activities under Outcome 3 of the program as needed.

10. Keep track of activities and accomplishment of milestones according to the workplan.

11. Draft analytical and critical reports, publications, and a variety of knowledge products or concept notes for internal or external use related to SEES and capacity building of MEHSR as needed.

12. Initiate and coordinate learning opportunities for the CO staff on SEES, labour market policy and social protection.

13. Other as required.


Education: Advanced University degree in Public Policy, Social Protection, Public Administration, International Development, International Relations, Sociology, or other fields relevant to social protection, or a First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or trainings/courses.

Experience: For holders of an advanced degree, a minimum of six (6) years of relevant professional work experience in social protection, labour market policy, preferably contributing to food security and/or nutrition objectives; For holders of a First degree, a minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional work experience as described above.

Language: Excellent skills in the English language both spoken and written. Knowledge of Arabic would be an asset.


Experience in working across various programme types relevant to social protection and labour market policy.

Experience in capacity building of the government counterparts.

Experience in developing or supporting the development of skills and employability enhancement curriculum at higher educational institutes.


  • Understanding of Agenda 2030 and respective targets particularly SDG1, SDG2 and SDG17 – and how the work of WFP can contribute to achieving them.
  • Understanding of WFP’s mandate, Country Strategic Planning process, intervention modalities, programme and project lifecycle tools, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation desirable.
  • Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the field of social protection and public policy as well as country capacity strengthening.
  • Knowledge of key national and regional contexts and issues.
  • Problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders, conveying an informed and professional demeanour toward internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  • Ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative information to understand current and future social protection needs and identify solutions.
  • Learning agility, and appetite for exploring and experimenting with new ideas and approaches.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality written outputs and ability to present in English.
  • Ability to work independently in a timely and organised manner.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, participating in open dialogues and valuing diverse opinions of others, regardless of gender, culture, background, experience, or country assignment.
  • Moderate to proficient computer literacy.


Position Title: Programme Officer, Social Protection and Employability

Contract: Type: International Consultancy (CST II)

Unit/Division: Programme Unit

Duty Station: Baghdad, Iraq

Medical Plan: Medical plan for the employee only

Contract Duration: 6 months with the possibility of extension


Applications close on 28th September 2022

How to apply

How to apply

  1. Click on “Apply” on the link highlighted below
  2. Click on Create an account (if not created already)
  3. Create your online profile and make sure to answer all mandatory questions accurately
  4. Attach your updated CV in English (recommended length 1-3 pages)