Innovation Officer, Service Contract, Level9

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Application deadline 11 days ago: Wednesday 10 Apr 2024 at 00:59 UTC

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


Job Title: Innovation Officer Type of Contract: Service Contract, level 9 Unit/ Division: Programme Unit Duty Station: Kigali, Rwanda Duration: 12 months (with possible extension subject to successful performance and availability of funds)

Application Deadline: 9th April 2024


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency fighting hunger. WFP reaches more than 80 million people every day - delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with smallholder farmers, communities and governments to improve nutrition and build resilience. As conflict, climate change and the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on global supply chains and food prices drive up the number of hungry people in Eastern Africa, finding innovative solutions to the complex humanitarian & development challenges in the region is essential, now perhaps more than ever.

Brief Description of WFP in Rwanda The WFP Rwanda Country Office is currently implementing its Country Strategic Plan (CSP) 2019-2024 and in the process of developing the next CSP 2025-2030. WFP Rwanda is also supporting the Government to transform the national food system to ensure equitable access to healthy and nutritious diets for all, in line with the outlined priorities in the post-food systems dialogue National Strategic Pathways, elaborated in 2021 following the conclusion of the UN Food Systems Summit.

The position is based in the WFP Rwanda Country Office, Kigali. The incumbent will be reporting to the Head of Programme for Rwanda and will be working with across all functional units in Rwanda including Programme, Research, Assessment, and Monitoring (RAM), Partnerships, Supply Chain, TEC, Management Services and Field Offices, as well as stakeholders within the external innovation ecosystem. The incumbent will also be expected to liaise frequently with the WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa as well as WFP’s Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany, for technical support.

The Government of Rwanda made the deliberate choice to prioritize innovation as a crucial component of the nation’s development agenda and WFP is supporting to maintain and improve this enabling environment through projects and initiatives.

The WFP Rwanda Country Office, already in close collaboration with the Government, started to work closely with WFP’s Innovation Accelerator and to develop an internal innovation culture.

WFP Rwanda is tapping into the support of the WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa which identifies, supports, and scales high potential solutions to end hunger – based in Nairobi. The key objective is to facilitate and foster innovation in the context of WFP Rwanda activities, help innovation projects to scale, develop local innovation ecosystems, without compromising country- and department-specific initiatives while ensuring an orchestration of efforts, and the creation of synergies between projects. Ultimately, the goal is to bring to scale innovative solutions that can help us get closer to a world without hunger.


We are seeking a qualified individual for the position of Innovation Officer (SC9) to be based in Kigali, Rwanda, for a period of 12 months, with the possibility for extension. The role will be responsible for the development and growth of impactful and sustainable innovations by leveraging WFP’s brand, public and private partners, deep field access, and expertise to develop, nurture, and scale sustainable innovations to increase food and nutrition security in Rwanda.

The incumbent will work across all units to scale up the innovation process in the Country Office, identify problem statements or opportunities, source innovations, manage innovation programme implementation and events with the support of the WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa, and support the scale-up of innovations through the various divisions and in close coordination with relevant WFP and external stakeholders.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Programme, the innovation Officer will be responsible for the following:

1) Support WFP Rwanda CO to lead innovation country office innovation agenda • Become a lead focal point for all innovation related matters for WFP Rwanda. Provide regular updates, advisory, technical inputs, and strategic inputs to the deputy country director and country office senior management for innovation related matters. • With support from the regional bureau and your supervisor, finalize efforts in formulating an innovation strategy that aligns with 1) WFP Rwanda CSP, and 2) WFP Regional Bureau Innovation theory of change. • Provide guidance, mentorship, training, and leadership to other innovation staff who are part- or full-time innovation officers so they can improve their ability to manage and run innovation programs. • Manage the country office innovation budget and with your supervisors’ support assess and pursue fundraising opportunities. • Manage communications with key innovation donors, government, and stakeholders by preparing regular reports, fact sheets, briefs etc • Ensure coordination of country office innovation activities visibility to internal and external audience as per WFP communication guidelines. • In close collaboration with the Head of Programme and innovation focal points in each units and FOs, contribute to the CSP development process to ensure the mainstreaming of innovation.

2) Understand the key internal gaps and opportunities where innovations can play a role: • Lead internal consultations to identify WFP-related innovation needs in Rwanda, what has been tested as well as current innovation plans and pilots. • Capture learnings from other WFP country offices and its partners in running an internal innovation challenge and WFP Accelerator for the WFP Innovation Challenge. • Understand the innovations that have been tried across WFP and what could be replicated in Rwanda. • Ensure an alignment between innovation programs and WFP Rwanda CSP • Collaborate with colleagues in other divisions and/or external stakeholders on topics related to innovation. • Coordinate country office engagement with the regional bureau innovation team and be a focal point for all key conversations and updates.

3) Source, select and support external innovations with SDG 2 focus: • Identify key opportunities for innovation to enhance WFP Rwanda’s impact and programmes, bringing bespoke support to develop pilots. • Build a network with local innovation entities (innovation centres, incubators, accelerators, etc.) to understand partnership opportunities and latest innovations. • Recruit, review and select innovative ventures and projects to attend innovation programmes and bootcamps and support WFP’s mission in the country. • Oversee WFP’s sourcing, onboarding and management of program implementing partners. • Liaise with the Regional Bureau and HQ in coordinating regional or global programs with focus in Rwanda. • Facilitate strategic connections to actors in the regional innovation ecosystem (private sectors, other UN agencies, government, and other key stakeholders). • Lead external consultations to better understand needs of local innovation ecosystems as well as challenges and opportunities overlapping with WFP positioning and key priorities.

4) Partnerships, Communication, and knowledge management: • Lead preparation and writing of all fundraising proposals and scout innovation funding and partnership opportunities. • Provide analysis and prepare content (data on projects, PowerPoint presentations, briefs, etc.) for priority topics and WFP Rwanda and Programme Management Team meetings. • Participate and carry out discussions with colleagues in other divisions and offices on topics related to innovation to ensure best practices & knowledge sharing. • Support the Country Office with innovation knowledge management and work with the regional team to standardize evaluation and knowledge management practice. • Ensure coordination of country office innovation visibility to internal and external audience as per WFP communication guidelines. • Represent WFP in Rwanda in country and regional innovation forums, events, workshops, etc and build a stable network for collaboration.


Education: - Advanced University degree in business, innovation, design, technology, international development or other related fields, or a bachelor's degree with additional years of relevant work experience.

Experience: - A minimum of 4 years of post-graduate professional, progressively responsible national or international experience in an innovation function in a private business or start-up and/or in innovations in the humanitarian or international development sector. - Experience working in the humanitarian or international development sector and/or in the start-up or innovation world with a focus on humanitarian and/or development issues in Rwanda. - Experience owning and building strategies to develop new concepts. - Experience navigating a complex network of stakeholders. - Experience in lessons learnt exercises and documenting programme experiences - Experience managing teams is an asset.

Knowledge & Skills: - Curious, motivated to learn, and comfortable asking questions and proposing new ideas; - Self-motivated, proactive and able to work with a high degree of autonomy and sense of ownership. Able to ask for help when needed; - Collaborative spirit, able to partner and empathize with colleagues across professional levels and cultures, able to act with patience, credibility, diplomacy and tact; - Proven facilitation skills with the ability to bring stakeholders from different sectors/units together; - Highly organized and able to effectively manage multiple projects and stakeholders, effectively leveraging tools (GANNT, excel etc); - Able to collect, analyze and synthesize programmatic performance data; - Strong time management skills with an ability to plan ahead, anticipate requirements, problems and obstacles, and an ability to juggle competing priorities successfully, and to work to tight deadlines; - Excellent communication/presentation skills, with the ability to write reports, develop guidance documents, and present findings clearly and concisely to a range of different audiences; - Committed to achieving the aims of the UN World Food Programme and the Sustainable Development Goals; - Network of actors in African innovation ecosystems and a nuanced understanding of the sector and its development over the past decade is beneficial

Languages: - Fluency in oral and written English is mandatory. Kinyarwanda and French is an asset.


The position is open for Rwanda Nationals only.


9th 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.

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