UN YOUTH VOLUNTEER DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to
support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of
development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace
and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism
into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.
In most cultures volunteerism is deeply embedded in long-established, ancient traditions of sharing and
support within the communities. In this context, UN Volunteers take part in various forms of volunteerism
and play a role in development and peace together with co-workers, host agencies and local communities.
In all assignments, UN Volunteers promote volunteerism through their action and conduct. Engaging in
volunteer activity can effectively and positively enrich their understanding of local and social realities, as
well as create a bridge between themselves and the people in their host community. This will make the
time they spend as UN Volunteers even more rewarding and productive.
1. UNV Assignment Title: UN Youth Volunteer in Food Security Policy and Coordination
2. Type of Assignment: International UN Youth Volunteer
3. UNV Programme Strategy Outcome: Delivery of Basic Services (Outcome 2)
4. Project Title: Capacity Building of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research
5. Duration: 12 months
5. Location, Country: Islamabad, Pakistan
7. Expected Starting Date: Immediate
8. Brief Project Description:
WFP Pakistan has been collaborating with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR)
since its establishment in 2011WFP has been engaged with various activities for the capacity building of
the Ministry for more than a year. These activities include supporting the Ministry in preparing state of food
security in Pakistan, support for the food security and nutrition policy, capacity building of the Ministry staff
on food security analysis and policy, national zero hunger programme, staff secondment, proposed policy level exchange with Brazil and support on ICT. WFP, also in collaboration with other UN agencies,
particularly FAO, is now looking forward to enhanced support to the Ministry in 2014 and beyond, in areas
such as food security policy, coordination for food security and zero hunger programmes, and evidence
based food security monitoring system. In addition, Pakistan has been one of the countries participating in
SUN (Scaling UP Nutrition), a joint initiative by the UN organizations to scale up nutrition initiatives
together with the Government. It is expected that ongoing capacity building project with the Ministry will
provide the support and coordination for food security and nutrition.
The basis for such collaboration mainly started with the conclusion of the first national conference on food
security, organized by the Ministry and supported by WFP and FAO, when the Government of Pakistan
announced a national zero hunger programme aimed at reducing hunger and malnutrition in the country.
This was followed by signing of letter of intent between the MNFSR and WFP, and continued collaboration
The proposed position is supposed to serve as the focal person of WFP’s ongoing work on policy level
support to the MNFSR, also in coordination with other UN agencies, particularly FAO and UNICEF.
8. Host Agency/Host Institute: World Food Programme (WFP)
9. Organizational Context:
1) Youth Volunteering Strategy
On 25 January 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his Five-Year Action Agenda, which
includes an explicit reference to the importance of youth and volunteering as a theme and priority. In
response, UNV took this opportunity to engage with stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive review of its
youth volunteer initiatives with the intention to deepen and expand its activities in this area. This provided
the foundation for the UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy.
The focus of the strategy will be young people themselves as engaged actors and agents of change, as
well as on the communities they serve. As such, youth empowerment will be prioritized, with emphasis on
skills development, knowledge sharing and youth participation in decision-making. It will be guided by key
principles of inclusion, aiming to give young people of all backgrounds and orientations access to
volunteering opportunities. Further, it will actively promote South-South cooperation.
This specific Youth Volunteer position will be fund by the Brazilian Government through the Sergio Vieria
de Mello Scholarship launched in August 2013 with the purpose to fund the participation of young
Brazilian, recently graduated from university, in humanitarian actions for a period of one year.
2) WFP in Pakistan
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide. WFP is a specialized food
assistance agency helping achieve food security in countries where it is working. Thus WFP’s assistance
to the countries includes not only support to the vulnerable households through assistance to achieve
household food and nutrition security, but also collaboration with the host governments in building
capacities to address hunger and malnutrition. WFP has been working closely with the Government of
Pakistan, particularly with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research since its establishment in
2011. WFP has agreed to support the Ministry in policy level support including training on food security
analysis, policy level visits, staff secondment and support for food security policy and coordination.
Learning from Brazilian experience is of particular interest in Pakistan because of remarkable progress
made by Brazil in achieving food security. Thus, WFP has also been in consultation with Centre of
Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil, which was valuable in the Brazil-Pak seminar on food security and
poverty alleviation held in December 2012.
WFP is also the convener of the strategic priority area (SPA-6) on food security and nutrition, which is a
joint initiative by the United Nations to support the Government under One UN. The proposed flagship
programmes being suggested includes integrated programme to increase household food and nutrition
security, as well as policy level support on nutrition (specifically SUN) and food security.
Given this context, it is expected the proposed position shall play a key role in providing effective support
to the Ministry for policy and coordination on food security and nutrition.
10. Type of Assignment Place: Assignment without family
11. Description of tasks:
The proposed candidate shall serve as the focal person for WFP’s ongoing efforts on capacity
building of the MNFSR on food security and nutrition. Under the direct supervision of the Head of the
Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit and in close consultation with the nutrition unit, the
UN Youth Volunteer will undertake the following key tasks:
Conduct mapping of the existing capacity of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research
(MNFSR) in terms of policy, food security analysis, and coordination; identify the gaps and prepare
the way forward for consideration by MNFSR and WFP;
Prepare a work plan for the capacity building of the MNFSR and the support from the WFP in
collaboration with FAO for the same;
Provide policy level inputs on food security and nutrition to the Ministry as desired ;
Make recommendations for effective linkage for implementation of food security and nutrition
between the federal, provincial and grass root levels.
Assist in coordination of food security and nutrition related activities within the Ministry, with other
institutions within the Government, and with WFP and other development partners;
Support the Ministry for food security monitoring system with support from WFP and FAO;
Provide technical support to food security and nutrition working groups, as part of Strategic Priority
Area (SPA) - 6, chaired by WFP, under the One UN Programme;
SPA-6 Food security and nutrition working group
Assist in the planning and implementation of policy level visits and trainings of relevant officials as
agreed between MNFSR and WFP, and also in coordination with FAO, where applicable;
Assist the Ministry in providing coordination between food security and nutrition related activities and
provide inputs to SUN (scaling up nutrition activities) as needed;
Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to:
Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant
UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities;
Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in
ongoing reflection activities;
Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences for publications, websites, newsletters, press
Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UNV volunteers;
Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local
individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically
Produce, as much as possible, communication materials that reflect their period of assignment such
as multimedia items (photos, videos, audio recordings, etc).
12. Results/Expected Output:
Mapping of the existing resources at the Ministry for food security analysis and monitoring, and for
policy and coordination on food security and nutrition; and identification of gaps;
A plan of action for the capacity building of the Ministry in terms of policy level support, coordination
and staff training in consultation with the Ministry and WFP;
Inputs to food security and nutrition policy as required, and a food security plan of action in
consultation with the Ministry and WFP;
A system for coordination between the Ministry and related government institutions for food security
and nutrition and documentation of the same;
A proposed mechanism for linkage between the federal, provincial and grass roots level for food
security and nutrition;
Joint publication of policy briefs, food security bulletins, crop updates by the Ministry, WFP and FAO
Report and documentation on policy level visits and the way forward
A final statement of achievement covering the period of assignment
University degree in food security, agriculture, economics, social science and other related discipline;
At least two years of progressively responsible experience in food security and nutrition, policy and
coordination, preferably with at least one year of international experience;
Good knowledge of WFP’s mandate, particularly in relation to food and nutrition security;
Good analytical and drafting skills;
Good communication skills;
Fluency both in oral and written English
14. Living Conditions:
Pakistan is situated in South Asia. Located along the Arabian Sea, it is surrounded by Afghanistan
to the west and northwest, Iran to the southwest, India to the east, and China to the northeast.
Pakistan has an extremely varied geographical outlook, including mountains, deserts, major rivers
and the sea. Pakistan experiences frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe, especially in north
Climate: The climate is generally characterized by hot summers and cool or cold winters. From
June to September, most of the country is lashed by the South West Monsoon, which leads to
heavy rainfall and high humidity. Islamabad has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers
accompanied by a monsoon season followed by fairly cold winters. The hottest months are May and
June, where average highs routinely exceed 38 °C (100.4 °F).
Security: Pakistan is a non-family duty station and is currently under Security 3 and 4. An NOC is
required to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa areas which should be applied at least 2 weeks in advance. A
police escort is required to travel to all the flood affected areas. Petty crimes and muggings are fairly
common though less in Islamabad. Use common sense. Registration with home embassy is highly
Respect: Pakistan is a conservative country and it is advisable for women to wear long skirts or
trousers in public (Pakistani women wear the traditional shalwar kameez, but in the big cities,
women wearing jeans and khakis is not very uncommon sight, especially in casual settings,
shopping malls and around picnic spots). Dress codes for men are more lax, though shorts are
uncommon. Men should never shake hands with or touch a woman they don't know very well. As
with most of South Asia, the right hand is used for eating, shaking hands and giving or receiving
everything (including money), while the left hand is reserved for handling shoes and assisting in
toilet duties. Discussion about religion and Islam should remain respectful and positive.
Health: State of the art health facilities are available throughout the country and especially
Islamabad. Dental care facilities are also available. There are no mandatory vaccines required to
travel to Pakistan. Currently dengue fever is on the rise in Pakistan especially in Punjab. Mosquito
repellents are recommended.
Diet, Food and Water: Most staple foods can be found in the markets, including rice, meat,
vegetables, cooking oil, salt and sugar. There are many local markets around Islamabad as well as
various supermarkets that are stocked with imported goods. Islamabad has a large number of
restaurants and cafes. There is a variety of food ranging from Western to South Asian fare. You can
also find several local dhabas with less expensive meals. The price range for a meal can range from
$3 to $20+. Tap water is not advisable and bottled water is available almost everywhere. Using
alcoholic drinks in public is illegal in Pakistan.
Telecommunications: There is one major fixed line provider (PTCL) and 5 cellular companies
(Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid and Zong). Call rates vary but are extremely cheap for some
Western countries. All cellular operators in Pakistan use GSM platform. Cybercafés can be found on virtually every street corner and the rates are as low as Rs.15-20 per hour. Most of the cafes have a
decent speed internet connection, but not always fast operating systems.
Guest Houses: The UNV Field Unit will help arrange your initial accommodation, at your expense
(Settling-in Grant is foreseen for this). Most of the guest houses in Islamabad are aimed at
internationals and offer a good level of comfort with air-conditioned rooms and en-suite bathrooms.
Average cost is US$ 50 to 80 per night.
Permanent Accommodation: International UN volunteers are required to reside in a MORSS
compliant residence. Secure and comfortable accommodation can be found in Islamabad but cost
will generally depend on distance from the city centre and number of rooms. Sharing an
accommodation with another international colleague is also possible. Rent may start from US$ 800
onward. Power outages are frequent and installation of electricity generator is required as per
MORSS. Generally there is no water shortage in Islamabad.
Money/banking: Current US dollar exchange rate is 1 USD = PKR 107. In order to receive
payments locally, UNV unit will help you open a bank account with Standard Chartered Bank. This
will be a paired account where you can use it both for US dollar as well as Pak Rupee. ATM
machines can be found throughout the country.
15. Conditions of Service
The contract is issued for 12 months and is not renewable. A Settling-In-Grant is provided as well as a
monthly UN Youth Volunteer living allowance (intended to cover housing, utilities and normal cost-of-living
expenses). Life, health and permanent disability insurances are included, as well as return airfares.
Description of Assignment prepared by the Project Manager/UN Agency:
Krishna Pahari, Head, Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Unit, WFP Islamabad