Consultant on Food systems

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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In 2021, the United Nations Resident Coordination Office in Bahrain (RCO) will lead an exercise with the UN system to update the country’s latest Common Country Analysis (CCA), produced in 2020. Multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral in nature, the CCA seeks to engender integrated, cross-pillar thinking, summarizing the interlinkages and integrated nature of the SDGs and the linkages with the human rights framework; human rights spectrum; relevant regional, sub-regional and cross-border dynamics; the country’s legal, institutional, policy and financial landscape as it pertains to the 2030 Agenda; and the root causes of crises – potential or actual – in order to prioritize UN support for prevention. The 2021 update of the UN CCA is an opportunity for the UN system to review its independent, impartial and collective assessment and analysis of trends that shape the context for sustainable development in Bahrain. The 2021 update will inform the development of the next UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, which traces a path for how the UN system as a whole will contribute to helping achieve the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, the Government Action Plan 2019-2022, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of the CCA update, the RCO seeks to produce two thematic diagnostic papers of Food Systems and Social Protection, which have become increasingly relevant in 2020-2021 due to the country changing environment. The country-specific diagnostic papers will provide a deeper understanding of the topics, and will support the UNCTs inputs to the CCA. The RCO seeks to recruit a consultant who will support the UN country team in Bahrain (UNCT) in producing a diagnostic paper on food systems in Bahrain as a key input to the updated CCA. The paper will review and analyze food systems and assess the drivers and trends of change, factors of vulnerabilities, as well as dynamics and impacts of the food systems in Bahrain. It will identify related sectoral and cross sectoral policy instruments in place and recommend possible change opportunities, as well as interlinkages with different development issues in the context of the SDGs. The Covid-19 crisis and the disruptions it caused to the global supply chains have put in evidence the vulnerabilities of countries reliant on food imports. The Kingdom of Bahrain has acknowledged the risks and are revamping their own efforts to strengthening food security. However, it is important to take a food systems approach comprising multiple functions that extend to cover the environmental aspects of food production, food handling, storage, processing, food loss and waste; food trade and marketing, including the logistics of food supply chains; consumers’ demand and preferences, as well as the social aspects and economic dimensions of business working within the food systems, and the linkages and coordination of interventions across these functions to deliver healthy diets (available, affordable, accessible and safe) and raise levels of nutrition for the population. A multidimensional risk analysis framework with particular focus on effective, inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems, will examine cross-cutting dynamics that could impact Bahrain’s development trajectory and potentially hinder national efforts to achieve SDGs, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and meet the country's obligations under international law, standards and norms.

Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities: The overall objective of the consultancy is to contribute to enhancing UNCT analysis of the development challenges in Bahrain, through the lens of food systems and their contribution to the SDGs. Specifically, the consultant will be responsible for: Facilitating a constructive dialogue within the UNCT about food systems in Bahrain, by contributing to a CCA framework of analysis for inquiry that includes background data and research, stocktaking of current knowledge, governance and policy landscape, Drawing and synthesizing secondary and primary data and add to existing reviews, research, studies and resources from within and outside the UN system on food systems in Bahrain and the sectors that contribute to it. Analyzing drivers of change, factors of vulnerability and factors that affect the resilience of food systems in Bahrain Contributing with research and data, including by compiling the key data tables referenced in the diagnostic papers, to be incorporated into the Data and Analysis Repository and the CCA statistical Annex; and Drafting a diagnostic paper on food systems in Bahrain, based on an outline and expected focus areas developed jointly with the CCA lead consultant, in consultation with the identified lead UN agency.

Deliverables: Output I: Draft a diagnostic paper synthesizing existing research, setting the national context, and identifying policy gaps with recommendations for future research. The length of the final document should not exceed 10 pages/3500 words. Under the guidance of the CCA lead consultant, and in close collaboration with the identified lead UN agency, draft and review an outline and proposed methodology, including expected focus areas for a diagnostic paper to be produced jointly by the UNCT, for review and approval by the identified lead UN Agency , Conduct a situation analysis by examining the current status of food systems, (including production, processing, distribution, trading, marketing, selling, preparation and consumption of food, taking into consideration food loss and waste) and the way they are set up to sustain food supply chains and deliver healthy diets for the population, assessing food systems resilience to shocks (e.g. Covid-19). The analysis should consider the environmental, social and economic dimensions and how they relate to the SDGs. The diagnostic paper should cover the following areas: i. Country context ii. Drivers of the current situation, emerging and likely future trends iii. The elements of food systems that result in less desirable vulnerabilities iv. Multi-dimensional risks v. Financial players and institutions as well as flows contributing to food systems vi. Critical gaps in policy, partnerships, and research to inform potential change opportunities Produce a first draft of the diagnostic paper for review and comments by the UNCT; Facilitate working sessions with the UNCT on the topic of food systems, and provide technical support to the Resident Coordinator Office and the CCA Lead Consultant in the form of complementary data and evidence that advances convergence around a common reading of those topics within the UNCT Produce a final draft of the diagnostic paper and facilitate a debriefing with the UNCT heads of agencies to discuss findings and recommendations Output II: Provide inputs to the RCO Data and Knowledge Repository: Compile and submit all research sources, and data sources used for the diagnostic paper to support the RCO Data and Knowledge Repository Provide the necessary data tables and graphics relevant to the diagnostic paper for their incorporation in the CCA statistical annex At the conclusion of Output II, provide a list of identified data gaps


  • Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis on sustainable development topics. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: Advanced (Masters) degree in social and environmental sciences, agriculture and food sciences, food security, nutrition, public health, or a related field. A PhD degree is an asset. Experience: At least 5 years of relevant professional experience conducting research in a field related to sustainable development, particularly around issues related to food systems and/or food security, at national or international levels is required. Previous experience in the topic within the context of GCC / Bahrain is required. Previous experience in academic research and/or policy writing an in academic institution, think tank, consultancy firm, international organization or a similar environment is an asset. Previous experience in data collection and analysis is an asset. Experience with conducting seminars, trainings, briefings and consultations with development agencies is an asset. Language and other skills: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required, and knowledge of Arabic is required. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required. Computer skills, internet communication and command of MS Office are required.

Applicants are requested to compile and submit the following documents (preferably as one PDF file) when submitting proposals: 1. Cover letter confirming interest and availability, highlighting abilities in the required areas 2. Achievement-based CV 3. Contact details for at least three professional references 4. Technical proposal of one page specifying proposed methodology and approach to undertake the assignmentprice

5. price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP, the Offeror must indicate this and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. The consultant should be aware that the contract price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components. Application shall be online. All supporting documents to be email to: [email protected]

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