Abuja, Jobs, Nigeria

Nutrition / Food Systems Advisor at Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International 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 US, Africa, and Asia, Helen Keller’s proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting change.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Nutrition / Food Systems Advisor

Location: Abuja (FCT)


  • We are seeking a Nutrition/Food Systems Advisor to provide technical guidance on the design of program strategies and activities as well as on-the-ground support to program implementation through which the USAID-funded Advancing Nutrition project can make the most significant and sustainable positive impact on nutrition and food security.
  • The project will strengthen systems, programs, and platforms; applying evidence and innovation; and bringing multi-sectoral actors together to build country-level commitment and capacity to scale up what works. This project will also strengthen the enabling environment for innovation, commitment, capacity strengthening, coordination, collaboration, and support for multi-sectoral nutrition policies and programs among government, donors, civil society and private sector stakeholders in Nigeria.
  • The overall purpose is to provide technical support to the Government of Nigeria, and other nutrition stakeholders and generate evidence to enhance nutrition programming toward achieving the overall goal of improving nutrition for a healthy, productive, and resilient NigeriaThe project will provide technical assistance, and in some cases will undertake direct implementation at the community and/or state level, to enhance nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programming to improve diets, nutritional status, and resilience of vulnerable populations, especially women, adolescents, and children aged 0-59 months.

Scope of the Position

  • The Nutrition/Food Systems Advisor will provide collaborative technical leadership for the project in Nigeria. The position will work under the direct management of the Chief of Party and provide technical support to the members of the project team, government and other partners.
  • This position is based in Abuja, with frequent travel to the project states – Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto (up to 50%).

Specific Responsibilities
The Nutrition/Food Systems Advisor will be responsible for the following

  • Provide technical guidance and support to achieve timely, high-quality project deliverables and meet project objectives and donor requirements, in a manner conducive to professional growth and development for everyone.
  • Develop and maintain a detailed understanding of the health and nutrition issues in Nigeria including national policy development, key players in government, INGOs, UN and national/regional and local civil society organizations.
  • Guide the technical aspects of the project. Ensure that activities are implemented in compliance with the requirements of the donor and with best practices. Develop work plans and activity budgets for the project.
  • Ensure accountability to project participants, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
  • Model collaboration within the team: effectively consult with and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from other subject matter experts and technical advisors in the global organization to optimize project designs and outcomes.
  • Participate or lead the development of training manuals, tools, procedures, materials in nutrition management and dietary diversification practices. Work with the technical team to organize and conduct training programs on best practices and innovations in nutrition and provide technical support to ensure effective nutrition messaging.
  • Integrategender transformative and socially inclusivestrategies to food system interventions to increase leadership, income generating opportunities, and access to/utilization of nutrient-rich foods by women, adolescents and children.
  • Engage with the private sector (including the Scaling Up Nutrition Business group) to leverage expertise, and resources to deliver sustainable and scalable access to locally available ingredients, such as high-quality grains, aflatoxin-free peanuts, soy beans, milk powder, premixes and micronutrient supplements.
  • Engage with the Government of Nigeria and relevant partners to support local production at scale, of affordable, and locally available formulation (when and where possible), to RUTF and RUSF for the sustainable management of children with wasting.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with technical partners in-country. Interface with government official’s other nutrition value chain stakeholders; Represent the project in technical forums, as needed.
  • In conjunction with the Chief of Party, provide thorough and timely reports to the USAID on project activities. Ensure regular communication and sharing of lessons learned and challenges with the program team and partners
  • Support the MEAL team to collect and analyse the data related to the project. Conduct regular monitoring of activities, document findings and provide recommendations to inform improvements in program implementation
  • Travel domestically and internationally as needed.
  • Other duties as required by Chief of Party.


  • Education: Degree in Agriculture, Agribusiness, Food Systems, Public Health Nutrition or a related field and a minimum of 8 years work experience or equivalent combination of skills and experience.
  • Experience: Prior experience working in complex nutrition programs, preferably with direct experience in Nigeria
  • Knowledge of agricultural and/or market systems with experience enhancing the diversity, productivity, nutritional-value, income-producing potential and sustainability of agricultural production and/or leading the development of nutrition-sensitive food systems enterprises
  • Demonstrated experience working and/or collaborating with government ministries and other development partners in multi-sectoral nutrition programming.
  • Substantial institutional and staff expertise in implementing complex capacity building programs, in resource-constrained environments.
  • Strong experience and demonstrated success in coordinating activities with multiple stakeholders to optimize use of limited resources, including development of joint work plans.
  • Excellent capacity building and coordination skills. An ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor staff from different cultures.
  • Ability to respond rapidly to shifting implementation scenarios. An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions; an ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Experience working effectively in partnership with staff, collaborating organizations, international donors and agencies, U.S. Government agencies, host country governments and ministries and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft software packages: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken with strong presentation skills. Ability to prepare and disseminate project findings, success stories, and other documents effectively.
  • Willingness and ability to undertake travel outside Abuja (up to 50%).

Required Competencies:

  • Superior technical knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: food systems for nutrition (including post-harvest processing, value chain enhancement, horticulture and small-animal raising, market systems, and income-oriented production of nutritious foods) and/or public health nutrition (including prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition, adolescent health and nutrition, maternal/infant/child health and nutrition).
  • Superior leadership, management and communication skills–this includes professional experience interacting with US Government agencies, host country governments and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working effectively in teams and cross-cultural settings.
  • Excellent time management and personal organization skills.
  • Ability to respond rapidly to shifting implementation scenarios.
  • Comfortable working in a matrixed, integrated work environment.
  • Confident giving and receiving feedback in a direct, professional manner.
  • Capacity to direct multiple long and short-term activities simultaneously with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to work effectively with local government and NGO stakeholders.
  • Skilled in fostering new and effective partnerships facilitating meetings, and effectively participating in technical working groups.
  • Knowledge of USAID regulations, policies, strategies, and program priorities.

Terms & Conditions

  • This is a local posting in Nigeria, and as such, is subject to local terms and conditions.

Application Closing Date
22nd October, 2021.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Resume and Cover Letter to: nigeria.recruitment@hki.org using the Job Title as the subject of the mail.


  • Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is fully valued.
  • We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.
  • We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above.