Job no: 569310
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Lilongwe
Level: P-4
Location: Malawi
Categories: Nutrition

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a chance…

The UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2024-2028) works through a One-UN approach based on the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSCDF) Strategic Priorities. 2024-2028).  All four strategic priorities of the UNSCDF2024-2028 hold significance to UNICEF and the priorities identified for children: i) Economic Development, ii) Governance, iii) Human Capital Development, and iv) Climate Change. UNICEF co-leads the further elaboration and results in developing the Human Capital Development strategic priority. The intent of the UNICEF CPD 2024-2028 is fully aligned with these priorities, which are also directly linked to the pillars of Malawi Vision 2063, and the Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP, 2030). To this extent, UNICEF’s strategy for the CPD includes Child Survival and Development (Health, Nutrition and WASH), Education, Learning and Child Protection, Social Policy (Social Protection and Public Finance for Children), Gender Equality, Inclusion and Innovation within a robust evidence-informed environment. These are focus areas under the Human Capital Development Enabler of the MIP (2030). The Country Programme envisages the progressive fulfilment of the rights to survival, development, education, protection and participation of all children, including adolescents, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of being left behind, in an inclusive, resilient and protective environment. Besides Malawi’s 2063 vision and 2021–2030 implementation plan (MIP), the African Union’s Agenda 2063; UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, Gender Action Plan III, Innovation Strategy; and the SDGs. The country programme includes child survival and development, learning, skills development and protection, and social policy. The programme and operational effectiveness and efficiency imperatives support all components. Risk-informed programming across the humanitarian and development nexus in all three outcome areas will strengthen disaster preparedness, enhance climate adaptation/mitigation and response, and increase the resilience capacity of institutions, communities and young people. Programming aligns with UNICEF Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Transformative Agenda.

Malawi’s new Nutrition programme (2024-2028) focuses on strategic partnerships with various systems such as food system transformation and nutrition-sensitive social policy, education, health, WASH and social policy to support a multisectoral approach to addressing nutrition issues; technical support of food system transformation to improve dietary practices and services; system strengthening at both central and decentralized level to build capacity and improve accountability; collaboration and coordination with key stakeholders for complementarity and cross-sectoral linkage; advocacy for policy reforms and public financing for nutrition; risk-informed planning and quality service delivery; policy and strategy development to guide implementation; community engagement, and social behaviour change.

As Chief Nutrition, the office will rely on your strong management skills, strategic thinking and experience in nutrition programming with a focus on system strengthening, food system transformation, and nutrition-sensitive social policy and protection to work with key stakeholders in Government, Civil Society, Academia, and Development Partners to leverage partnerships, resources and most importantly, results for children.  Malawi is a dynamic country where you can also contribute your skills in responding to nutrition emergencies, which are more prominent due to polio, cholera, the impact of climate change such as floods, food insecurity and increased poverty due to economic shocks. Your experience working at the managerial level and hands-on at a decentralized level will greatly benefit us.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic nutrition team, where you will manage and lead all stages of nutrition programmes, from strategic planning and formulation of annual workplans to key strategies to deliver results for children. You will use your core competencies in effective interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, drive for results, ethics and integrity, and person-focused and care-driven management approaches to motivate the nutrition team to achieve concrete and sustainable results. In your role, you will be under the overall guidance of the Deputy Representative Programmes.

This position, therefore, offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, vibrant, motivated, and committed person to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, summarized as follows, but not limited to:

  1. Strong and responsible managerial leadership focused on fostering teamwork and nurturing staff morale.
  2. Programme development and planning through critical and strategic thinking, system strengthening and sustainability.
  3. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results through establishing clear accountability frameworks adaptable to emergencies.
  4. Advisory services and technical support to the Government and all other Development Partners, as well as internally, to ensure effective cross-sectoral collaboration to bring meaningful change.
  5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building, ensuring a responsive and dynamic UNICEF presence on the ground that responds to the needs of the communities we serve.
  6. Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building will elevate our programmes to new heights of efficiency and share the invaluable lessons we have learned.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Download File Generic JD – P4 Chief Nutrition.pdf to view the full role and its requirements.

To qualify as a champion for every child, you will have…


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Public Health, Medicine, Nutrition, Dietician, Pediatrics, or any other relevant field.


  • A minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience is required in developing and implementing nutrition programmes within an international context with a focus on the humanitarian/development nexus.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered a vital asset.
  • Experience in emergencies is required.
  • Experience in system strengthening and decentralized service delivery strengthening is required.
  • Experience in managing a team of professionals and large-scale nutrition programmes with multiple partners is required.
  • Experience in evidence generation and data analysis is critical.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Nutrition Science: Deep understanding of nutrition principles, including macronutrients, micronutrients, dietary requirements, and the impact of nutrition on health and development. A good understanding of current global nutrition priorities in development programmes, including food systems transformation, is expected to possess a diverse skill set and a comprehensive understanding of nutrition’s complex challenges, especially in emergencies.
  • Public Health Nutrition: Deep knowledge of public health approaches and evidence-based strategies to address the population’s malnutrition, stunting, and other nutrition-related issues.
  • Programme Design and Planning: The ability to design evidence-based and context-specific nutrition programmes, that are context-specific and culturally sensitive.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Proficiency in building robust monitoring and evaluation systems to measure programme effectiveness, identify gaps, and ensure accountability.
  • Budgeting and Resource Management: Skills to allocate resources efficiently, optimize budgets, and ensure cost-effective implementation of nutrition programmes.
  • Policy and Advocacy: Understanding of nutrition policies and the ability to advocate for policy changes and resource allocation to support nutrition initiatives.
  • Research and Data Analysis: Capacity to utilize data and research findings to inform decision-making, improve programme strategies, and contribute to the nutrition evidence base.
  • Emergency Nutrition Response: Familiarity with emergency nutrition protocols and the ability to coordinate and manage nutrition interventions in emergencies.
  • Cross-Sectoral Collaboration: Skill in fostering collaboration with other sectors like health, agriculture, and education to address nutrition issues comprehensively.
  • Capacity Building and Training: Experience in developing and delivering training programmes to enhance the capacity of staff and partners in nutrition-related topics.
  • Partnership Management: Competence in building and maintaining relationships with government entities, NGOs, donors, and other stakeholders to enhance programme impact.
  • Communication and Advocacy: Effective communication skills to convey complex nutrition concepts to diverse audiences and advocate for nutrition-related issues at various levels.
  • Leadership and Team Management: Strong leadership skills to inspire and guide teams, foster a positive work environment, and achieve programme goals collectively.
  • Innovation and Adaptability: Willingness to embrace new technologies and innovative approaches to improve nutrition programme efficiency and adapt to changing circumstances.


  • Fluency in English, both strong verbal and written skills, are essential.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: https://uni.cf/UNICEFValues

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others and (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


The position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates and suitable persons living with disability are encouraged to apply.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID).

Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF.

Without compensation, UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained or necessary inoculation requirements are not met within a reasonable period for any reason.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/.

The vacancy announcement is a re-advertisement and is open to both internal UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed term appointments and external candidates.  Previous applicants need not to reapply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

To effectively contribute to the delivery of results for the children of Malawi, the UNICEF Malawi Country Office operates within a dynamic and results-oriented setting. We foster an environment characterized by creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a commitment to professional growth, and a safe workspace. Consequently, we are actively searching for individuals who are driven to enact tangible change and dedicated to serving Malawi’s children with resourcefulness, resilience, agility, and a commitment to professional excellence.

Advertised: 31 Jan 2024 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 13 Feb 2024 South Africa Standard Time