Friday, April 18, 2014

Technical Advisor for Food Security and Agriculture - International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the leading providers of high quality programming for refugees resettling to the United States.  The mission of the IRC’s US Programs (USP) Department is to create opportunities for refugees to survive and thrive in America.  The IRC’s USP Department currently provides services in 22 U.S. cities and through the IRC’s Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in East Asia. The USP portfolio is built around six core program sectors: resettlement, economic empowerment, access and legal rights, education and learning, health and wellness and community integration and development. With over 600 staff and 3,500 volunteers in the US Programs department, IRC serves over 30,000 refugees and immigrants in the US each year, among them 8,750 newly resettled refugees.

The IRC’s New Roots program is currently active in 22 sites with its nutrition education program, and has gardening, farming or food marketing initiatives in 10 cities. Projects in these sites include nutrition education, community gardens, urban farming, local and regional farmers and agricultural employment.


The Technical Advisor for Food Security and Agriculture (FS&A) provides technical support to initiatives that bolster food security, promote healthy food choices and develop agriculture livelihoods for refugees and like communities across IRC sites in 22 US cities.  The Technical Advisor is responsible for helping USP field offices identify opportunities and build and monitor sustainable, quality food security and agriculture programs.  The Technical Advisor is part of the National Programs Unit which supports program quality, development and evaluation for IRC’s US Programs.  S/he will ensure that USP develops sustainable program models, and help the IRC increase the scope of its New Roots programs.

Major Responsibilities:

Technical Support

- Provide remote and on-site technical support and assistance in the design, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of New Roots FS&A programming and projects.
-  Develop and adapt tools, policy and curriculum to support standard delivery of New Roots programming.
-  Train USP staff and partners to implement and monitor New Roots program components effectively.
-  Monitor and report to IRC senior management on the successes and challenges of New Roots implementation.
-  Support and enrich the New Roots community of practice, a network of New Roots staff.
-  Support field offices in the recruitment and selection of new FS&A field staff.

Assessment & Evaluation

- Coordinate tracking, compilation and analysis of key program indicators and outcomes.
- Adapt and develop evidence-based tools for conducting local foodscape assessments and for FS&A program evaluation.
- Work closely with colleagues in Research, Evaluation and Learning unit and external research partners to develop and implement program evaluation tools and projects.
- Contribute new evidence, ideas and analysis to promote impact and cost-effectiveness in the  New Roots program model.
- Share and learn best practices gathered within FS&A and throughout the Technical Units to support robust evidence-based programming within IRC.

Business Development and Representation

- Advise efforts to attract funding and develop business for IRC’s New Roots FS&A programming.
- Contribute to or lead the development of concept notes and proposals for the provision of direct technical support projects.
- Provide technical review of FS&A proposals prepared by field offices.
- Build partnerships and cultivate donor relationships that attract funding and other resources to New Roots.
- Represent New Roots across the organization, serving as a resource to IRC staff seeking information about program activities, including external relations and advocacy departments.
- Respond to field queries regarding program activities.


- Masters/post-graduate degree in Nutrition, Agriculture, Public Health or related fields required;
- Minimum of five years of experience in a non-profit or social services agency, with increasing levels of responsibility), or a private enterprise with relevant skill set;
- Demonstrated experience in food security, urban farming, agricultural extension and policy, or community health programming.
- Demonstrated expertise in program design, monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action.
- Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining currency with best practices
- Excellent communication, teambuilding and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to think strategically and creatively.
- Strong organizational skills with ability to juggle multiple tasks, set priorities, effectively manage time and meet deadlines, and proven ability to work under pressure.
- Experience working with and understanding cultural sensitivities.
- Ability to travel 25-40% required.