World Food Programme - Product Consultant

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency fighting hunger. WFP reaches more than 80 million people every day - delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with smallholder farmers, communities and governments to improve nutrition and build resilience.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator has been named one of the top 10 innovative companies 2017 by FastCompany for operating a real startup accelerator to disrupt global hunger at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

It identifies, supports and scales high potential solutions to hunger worldwide - both WFP innovators and external start-ups with $50-100K cash (equity free), hands-on support by the WFP Innovation Accelerator team and access to WFP's global operations in developing countries in a 3-6 months sprint programme. The most promising innovations are supported in scaling further. More information here: http://innovation.wfp.org and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap-XCqotJl4&t=5s

Based in Munich, Germany, we are currently a team of 35 innovators, with over 20 different nationalities and a diverse background, e.g. as serial entrepreneurs, startup accelerator managers, management/human centered design (HCD) consultants, entrepreneurs-in-residence focused on building businesses or experts in developing country innovation. Lean start-up and HCD approaches are at the core of everything we do.

We have built partnerships with leading innovation organisations such as Singularity University, XPRIZE and the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). Several private sector partners and high-net-worth individuals support WFP in their work in disrupting global hunger, such as Google and others.

We support the next-level innovation for WFP’s operations, such as Building Blocks, using blockchain technology for e-wallets for people receiving cash-transfers; EMPACT, connecting refugees to online work after a 12 week training H2Grow (Hydroponics), helps refugees grow food in desert areas or camps; Farm to Market Alliance – an alliance between WFP and 7 private sector entities purchasing food from smallholder farmers and providing credit, and agricultural inputs as for profit business model, or new startups that could help make a difference to end hunger.

As the Accelerator team, we support other entrepreneurs (could be WFP innovators or external startups, NGOs, companies) to take their innovations to the next level – either getting ideas to the first proof of concept or already implemented solutions to the next scale-up.

Reporting to the Scale-up Enablement Manager, the Product Consultant will oversee the building and maintaining efforts of a mobile/web application for EMPACT, one of the innovation projects supported by the innovation accelerator. EMPACT is now entering the scale-up phase, and it support the people we serve in getting access to key skills that would allow them to work remotely online, on varying levels of job complexities (data entry to coding). With this application, WFP wants to enable a more efficient scaling of the programme across countries, train and guide coaches, students and project managers. The application will be also used to collect various data related to skills assessment, cognitive abilities and tracking of performance of trainees on microwork / freelancing platforms. (more information about the WFP project can be found here:

Most of the team is based in Munich, Germany but is also expected to travel to developing countries for shorter business trips. The countries where we operate could be any of the 83 countries where WFP operates and has included Lebanon, Jordan, Tanzania, Iraq, Uganda, Kenya, Cambodia, El Salvador, Colombia and others in the past.

WFP offers a competitive compensation package, including an honorarium and living allowance - the total net package is expected in the range of USD6,000-USD 7,500 per month[1],[2].

ACCOUNTABILITIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

The incumbent, reporting to the Scale-up Enablement Manager, is expected to:

  • Define and implement technical product development for web and mobile-based projects from pilot phase to scale up in multiple countries, including:

    • Conduct requirement analysis studies.

    • Research and recommend off the shelf solutions that can be integrated into the application to expedite or facilitate delivery.

    • Design solution to fit project requirements, taking into consideration end user, timeline and budget available.

    • Make technical and architectural decisions in order to ensure that products are delivered efficiently and with clearly explained technical rationale, from logical and infrastructure perspectives.

    • Develop and maintain the application with varied use cases.

    • Work with internal and external partners to hand over projects at suitable points in the product life cycle. Manage relationships and communication with any contracted vendors or partners.

    • Demonstrate and lead agile methodology by rapidly prototyping and iterating on functional prototypes for validated learning, working in conjunction with interaction designers at the Innovation Accelerator.

    • Take ownership over project timelines and deliverables. Willing to learn new skills and frameworks as required.

    • Generate new and complete technical solutions to complex problems.

  • Ensure digital solutions meets the needs of stakeholders

    • Supervise development and delivery of high-quality code through all layers in a web application stack.

    • Collaborate on a day-to-day basis with the project team to advance project priorities and ensure achievement of objectives.

    • Work with internal and external stakeholders on expected delivery timelines and feature scoping.

    • Communicate expected trade-offs and technology decisions.

  • Support other accelerator activities

    • Assist in WFP procurement processes and procedures for contracting goods and services from external vendors.

    • Be able to travel in multiple countries to support the scale-up of projects in the different WFP country offices.

    • Provide analysis & content preparation (data on projects, powerpoint presentations, briefs, etc) for corporate priority topics and executive management meetings, as needed.

    • Support the Head of the Innovation Accelerator and the Director of Innovation with any other activities as required.

DELIVERABLES AT THE END OF THE CONTRACT:

  • Ensure that all the documents, technologies and the codes developed during the contract are well documented and available for the project supported by the WFP Innovation Accelerator.

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:

Education:

Bachelor’s degree (preferred in software engineering, computer science, UX design), Master’s degree a plus

Experience:At least 5 years of experience in a technical implementation position with one or more of the following:

  • Experience in designing and implementing a technical software development team or product development

  • Experience in a full-stack development position

  • Experience with building integration applications for operations between companies or offices, demonstrated ability to work different application integration architecture

  • Previous experience in back-end systems in e-learning, freelancing platforms, online payments or microwork strongly preferred

  • Experience with project transition and coding reorganisation, from agency development to in-house development.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Strong knowledge of mobile technology and cloud computing.

  • Understanding of AI, Human-in-the-Loop Machine Learning and data science

  • Solid experience with either PHP / Python / Node.js / MySQL / React.js / CSS / React Native / iOS / Android

  • Highly proficient with HTML, CSS, Javascript

  • Familiarity with AWS and API required

  • Experienced with agile methodology and user-centred design and its practical applications

  • Demonstrate strong understanding of latest frontend techniques and frameworks

  • Experience with container technologies such as Docker or Kubernetes

  • Startup experience and comfortable with uncertainty a plus

  • Some familiarity with enterprise technologies helpful

  • Experience on working for innovations in collaboration with large organisations helpful

  • Able to interact with a broad range of stakeholders and external audience with maturity and tact

  • Comfortable with a variety of responsibilities – we are a social impact accelerator, so we all have to roll up our sleeves!

  • Collaborative spirit, able to partner with a wide range of people at all levels and across different cultures and to act with credibility and diplomacy

  • Self-motivated and able to work with a high degree of autonomy

  • Sets high-level of ambition for the project and own work to achieve impact for the hungry people we serve

  • Fully committed and motivated to achieve the aims of the UN World Food Programme

Languages:Fluency in oral and written English mandatory. Intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages) is a plus.