Helen Keller Intl
Technical Advisor, Food Systems
USAID Advancing Nutrition
(Arlington, VA; currently working remotely due to pandemic)
Helen Keller Intl is a global health organization dedicated to eliminating preventable vision loss, malnutrition and diseases of poverty. Cofounded by Helen Keller – and guided by her fierce optimism and belief in human potential – the organization delivers life-changing health solutions to vulnerable families where the need is great but access to care is limited. In the U.S., Africa, and Asia, Helen Keller’s proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting change.
Helen Keller is a partner in USAID Advancing Nutrition, USAID’s flagship nutrition project, led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners.
Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition implements and provides technical
support to nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. The
project’s multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design,
implement and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. Committed to
using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by
building local capacity, supporting behavior change and strengthening the enabling environment
to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity and advance
The Technical Advisor is a member of the Food Systems team and is responsible for ensuring high quality design and implementation of the USAID Advancing Nutrition portfolio of interventions to strengthen food systems for healthier diets. They will work closely with the multidisciplinary team of USAID Advancing Nutrition and the USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) to manage and support a portfolio of food systems activities aiming to improve diet quality globally and in specific country contexts. The ideal candidate will have a strong foundation in food systems or nutrition sensitive agriculture and be well grounded in realities of working on nutrition and dietary improvement in low and middle-income country settings. The ideal candidate will also have experience with USAID programming and food system metrics. They will drive implementation of food systems activities aiming to improve diet quality globally and in specific country contexts through research, technical assistance and capacity strengthening. They will work under the Director of Food Systems in close collaboration with Senior Technical Advisors on the team. This position will engage with USAID Advancing Nutrition’s cross-cutting areas of gender, monitoring and evaluation, social behavior change, capacity strengthening and knowledge management. They are based in Arlington, VA and will report to the Director of Food Systems. Please note the JSI office is closed due to the ongoing pandemic and that all project staff are working remotely until the office reopens.
This position is advertised through multiple USAID Advancing Nutrition consortium partners and is fully seconded to the project. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply through the single (1) organization they are most interested in working for. Submitting applications through more than one (1) consortium partner is prohibited and could result in disqualification.
The Technical Advisor will:
• Lead program design and development of activities and tools through engagement in the work planning process by contributing strategic thinking as well as detailed implementation planning and budgeting of activities ensuring consistency with project direction and strategy.
• Provide technical assistance to priority countries in support of food systems nutrition-sensitive programming, especially related to the food environment, consumer demand, private sector engagement and/or food policy.
• Collaborate with Senior Advisors on diet quality, consumer, and food environment research design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of results.
• Collaborate with global, regional and county colleagues and stakeholders in the development of quality, evidence-based technical tools and guides used to increase capacity of and support to USAID’s efforts to improve diets through food systems.
• Collaborate with the project’s monitoring and evaluation staff to carry out, document operations research and learning activities related to program delivery, and contribute to other research efforts as needed.
• Produce up-to-date, evidence-based technical and policy briefs, and develop and manage the creation of evidence-based program standards with key stakeholders.
• Supervise and mentor Program Officers to facilitate professional growth and development.
• Provide technical assistance support to country program design and/or implementation, as assigned.
• Other duties as assigned.
- Education: Master’s degree in nutrition, food policy, public health nutrition or related field; plus
- Required Experience: 8-10 years of experience in international public health nutrition with an emphasis on food systems, nutrition sensitive agriculture and agriculture-nutrition linkages, or a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Required Skills/Experience:
- Experience working with USAID Headquarters and/or Feed the Future Missions.
- Experience with food systems activities and demonstrated work on one or more food systems domains (food supply, food environment, private sector engagement for nutrition, consumer behavior, diet quality).
- Experience working with government and NGO stakeholders on food systems, with a preference toward food system and nutrition program design and implementation and/or policy.
- Experience conducting dietary intake or market-based research including design, data collection, analysis and manuscript preparation.
- Strong interpersonal skills and social-emotional intelligence; experience working effectively in teams and cross-cultural settings.
- Preferred Skills/Experience:
- Experience undertaking qualitative research design, data collection, analysis and manuscript preparation.
- Experience translating complex technical material and research findings into tools that support evidence uptake.
- Capacity building and training experience in the area of food systems.
- Excellent time management and personal organization skills.
- Comfortable working in a matrixed, integrated work environment.
- Ability to develop and apply monitoring and evaluation plans to determine activity results and monitor impact.
- Travel: Ability to undertake field travel (approximately 30%, once travel is advisable).
- Languages: English fluency required. French, Portuguese or Spanish preferred.