Position title
Risk Officer (Environmental and Social Sustainability)
Employment Type
Humanitarian & Agriculture
Job Location
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Valid through
June 20, 2023

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.


This position is located in the WFP Ethiopia Country Office in Addis Ababa. WFP Ethiopia operations being extremely complex in nature with risks with high reputational impact, regular internal oversight of the operation is required to ensure that WFP corporate rules, regulations and locally developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), as well as requirements from third parties such as donors are adhered to by all concerned. The risk management and compliance team provides specialised cross-cutting support to the operation to assist Management and Heads of Units in identifying, monitoring and responding to current and emerging risks in their areas of responsibility, as well as understanding and executing their various compliance obligations.

In pursuit of its goal to be a leader in environmental and social sustainability within the UN system, WFP adopted a new Environmental Policy in February 2017, and an Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework (ESSF). The Policy and accompanying Framework commit the organization to avoid unintended harm to the environment, its beneficiaries, or any other affected populations because of its operations and programs, and to maximize environmental and social benefits. The ESSF contains three tools: a set of environmental and social standards, risk screening of activity design and mitigation/management plans (safeguards), and an environmental and social risk management system.

WFP Ethiopia Country Office seeks an experienced Risk Officer (Environmental and Social Sustainability) to assess and determine potential social and environmental impacts of WFP activities on-ground and develop and monitor (implementation of) appropriate risk management measures using appropriate knowledge of WFP, the national government, and its relevant donor partners’ safeguards policies.

In addition to their environmental and social safeguards specialization, the Risk Officer (Environmental and Social Sustainability) will support the Risk Management & Compliance Officer in conducting risk management and compliance advisory work. They will help identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, potential fraud and corruption, risk management and performance management issues, within the operation. Additionally, they will support the identification of areas for improvements across all offices and functional areas and recommend improvements and enhancements to ensure efficiency of operations and optimization of WFP resources in Ethiopia.


Under the direct supervision of the Risk Management & Compliance Officer Ethiopia Country Office, the Risk Officer (Environmental and Social Sustainability) will be responsible for the following duties:

  1. Tactical and operational leadership in the screening, development, review, and implementation of environmental and social safeguards for the Country Office, ensuring compliance with relevant WFP policies and procedures, as well as those of donors, government, and partners.
  2. Conduct strategic assessments of environmental and social risks for all identified current and emerging interventions, including as part of the forthcoming Country Strategic Plan.
  3. Supervise, analyze, and monitor the timely and effective implementation of environmental safeguards, as well as developing and proposing corrective measures to address the bottlenecks impeding the execution of these safeguard measures.
  4. Collate alerts and follow-up resolutions, including detailed reports, when necessary, on incidents occurred that could potentially result in WFP reputational risks by jeopardizing the environment, beneficiaries, and/or affected communities for planned or existing interventions.
  5. Prepare and deliver trainings to internal and external stakeholders for increased capacities to ensure adherence to environmental and social standards, with particular attention to risks associated with labor management, gender-based violence, occupational health and safety, waste management, and disaster and climate change impacts, among others.
  6. Provide presentations to donors, government, partners, and other relevant stakeholders on the environmental and social risk management performance of WFP’s Changing Lives portfolio.
  7. Provide overarching advice and guidance to the Country Office on the application of environmental and social standards for operations on-ground as well as specific proposal development processes.
  8. Liaise with functions and Sub-Offices on the completion of periodic checklists on risk management and compliance, and other periodic risk management activities.
  9. Assist in the preparation of reports and recommendations on required actions in the areas of risk management and compliance, as well as handling of routine risk management and compliance matters, such as handling of reporting, noting of risk events and management of routine compliance processes. Provide regular reporting on the implementation of environmental and social standards for various interventions. Updating of Country Office risk management documentation, as well as engaging Units on submissions made and follow up on actions committed by units.
  10. Participate in oversight missions to the field to identify risk areas and monitor compliance with WFP rules, regulations, policies and procedures & prepare comprehensive reports on findings and recommendations with the relevant managers.
  11. Any other related assignments deemed necessary by the Risk Management & Compliance Officer.

Education: An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) or university degree with relevant working experience in one of the following areas: Environmental Studies, Environmental Management, Agriculture, or related field. Risk Management or internal control certification is highly advantageous.

Experience: At least 3 years’ progressive professional experience in environmental and social safeguards (ESS) or environmental social and governance compliance (ESG) with experience in internal controls design or operation being highly advantageous.

Knowledge & Skills:

• In-depth understanding of risk management and compliance principles, practices and approaches.
• Resourcefulness, initiative, maturity and the ability to work with minimum supervision;
• Highly developed judgement, communication and interpersonal skills to deal with internal and external stakeholders on difficult and sensitive matters;
• Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and proven ability to apply these in complex research and operational tasks, identifying issues, presenting findings and recommendations, and contributing to resolution of possible environmental and social risks to planned and upcoming interventions.
• In-depth understanding of environmental and social sustainability, contemporary policy and compliance issues, and linkages with food security and humanitarian operations. Demonstrated experience and knowledge of environmental and social safeguards policies in Ethiopia.
• Prior work experience within UN, other international organizations or development finance institutions would be an advantage.
• Strong client orientation and proven capacity to work across multiple internal and external stakeholders, including civil society and community-based organizations.

Language: Excellent written and spoken English is required.

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