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FAO recruiting Senior Policy Expert


Rome, Italy, 28 September 2015

Background and context

Achieving food security requires that all of its different dimensions are adequately addressed (food availability, access, stability and utilization). Similarly, adequate nutrition depends on effective actions across sectors, including improving access to a diverse and nutritious diet, appropriate care and feeding practices, and adequate health and sanitation.

Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition cannot be resolved by intervening on a single sector. A country's policy framework must take into account how different sectors (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environment, health, trade, education, and social welfare) contribute to food security and nutrition (FSN), and ensure that each sector builds on and reinforces the efforts of other sectors in reducing malnutrition and food insecurity, rather than undermine them. In practice, however, governments pursue a wide range of policy objectives, not necessarily coherent among each other. Each sector tends to pursue its own particular objectives, and FSN concerns are usually not sufficiently factored into specific sector policies. Capacities to recognize synergies and resolve trade-offs among different sector policy objectives and instruments are also often limited at country level.

FAO is supporting the development of guidelines to assist national policy-makers, non-sector experts and other relevant stakeholders in working towards a coherent set of sector policies and cross-sectoral policy framework for FSN that together will improve the impact on food security and nutrition. The guidelines will comprise a series of sector-specific and policy domain-specific Briefs each one aiming at improving the focus of relevant policy instruments for food security and nutrition in addition to their sui generis value, and at identifying conflicts and trade-offs between sector-specific/policy domain-specific objectives and food security and nutrition ones. The different Briefs will help non-sector experts in facilitating policy dialogue on how to strengthen the policy focus of a particular sector or policy domain on food security and nutrition and overcome conflicts between different objectives.

Integrating a gender perspective in the FAO guidelines

Gender equality and women's empowerment is essential to improve food security and nutrition outcomes. There are multiple ways in which gender-based inequalities and discrimination affect FNS, at individual, household and macroeconomic level. If not adequately addressed, these "gender gaps" risk undermining the contribution of sector/policy domain-specific policy instruments to greater food security and nutrition outcomes. Among the other policy domains, also gender-specific policies and policy instruments need to strengthen their focus on food security and nutrition. Yet, gender policies often fail to make the link to food security and nutrition objectives and only few countries address gender equality issues systematically in agriculture-related sector policies and even fewer are equipped to factor gender in cross-sectoral approaches and governance mechanisms for FSN.

Therefore, the above mentioned FAO guidelines represent an opportunity to provide guidance to relevant stakeholders on the one hand, on how to incorporate and sharpen the focus on FSN in gender-specific policies and policy instruments and on the other, on how to effectively integrate the perspective of gender equality and women’s empowerment in sector and policy domain-specific policy instruments to enhance their contribution to food security and nutrition.

General description of tasks

Task 1: Develop a Brief on Gender and food security and nutrition as part of the “FAO guidelines on sharpening the policy focus of sector policies for greater impact on food security and nutrition outcomes”

Under the overall guidance of the Strategic Programme Leader (SPL) and Deputy-SPL of Strategic Objective 1 (SO1) and the direct supervision of the team leader of the FAO Cross Cutting Theme on Gender, the consultant will develop a Brief aimed to support gender experts and non-gender experts in facilitating policy dialogue on improving the focus of gender-specific policy instruments for food security and nutrition and to identify and help resolve trade-offs / strengthen synergies between gender equality objectives and FSN ones.
A detailed outline of the briefs will be provided at the beginning of the assignment to ensure consistency with the other sector and policy domain-specific briefs under development. The Brief should include the following components, supported by country examples and case studies:

  • Situational analysis: This part is expected to provide an analytical, albeit succinct overview of the major implications of gender inequalities in relation to FSN, i.e. why and how gender inequalities exacerbate hunger and malnutrition, and how achieving gender equality and empowering women can contribute to improved FSN.

  • Landscaping policies: This section focuses on the identification and description of key national and international gender policies and policy instruments.

  • Analysis of the policy framework: This section helps stakeholders with analysing the different gender policy instruments for their possible contribution to food security and nutrition and with identifying policy change options.

  • Overview of the political economy: This section will help stakeholders to better understand the political economy of the gender-specific policy processes (i.e. who the influential stakeholders are supporting /opposing policy change, who sets the policy agenda, what the governance mechanisms are, etc.). The objective is to influence gender-specific policies to enhance their contribution to food security and nutrition objectives. It will help identifying windows of opportunity for ensuring food security and nutrition objectives are better factored in gender policy instruments.

Task 2. Support the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment concerns into four sector-specific briefs

The Consultant will also support the FAO Gender Team in integrating the perspective of gender equality and women’s empowerment into four sector-specific briefs (namely: land tenure, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and food safety) with the objective to i) clarify what the main gender issues and implications are on FSN in that specific sector; ii) demonstrate how gender equality objectives and measures in sector policies and cross-sectoral approaches can contribute to improved FSN. These briefs will help users identify windows of opportunity to promote policy change and ensure that gender equality is factored in sector-policies and cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms to ensure greater impact on FSN.

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