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27 Jan 2023

Regional Technical Advisor: Scalable Safety Net at Oxford Policy Management (OPM)

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Job Description

Oxford Policy Management Limited (OPM) is one of the world’s leading international policy development and management consultancies. We enable strategic decision-makers in the public and private sector to identify and implement sustainable solutions for reducing social and economic disadvantage in low and middle-income countries.

We seek to bring about lasting positive change using analytical and practical policy expertise.

Building Resilience in Ethiopia (BRE) Programme
This programme will support ‘the Government of Ethiopia in leading and delivering an effective, more self-financed and accountable response to climate and humanitarian shocks. Funded by DFID (UK) for over three years (2019-2023), the programme will deliver high-quality technical assistance in three key areas: Health, Disaster Risk Management and Shock Financing.


The PSNP has been operational since 2005, and the design of the PSNP is based on livelihoods and food security analysis in the highland areas of Ethiopia. The PSNP aims to address the symptoms and causes of food insecurity by providing predictable transfers in cash or food each month to poor households during the six-month lean season, in exchange for a labor contribution from the household to build community assets. A smaller number of households benefit from ‘direct support’, offered for 12 months to those with no able-bodied adults. The focus of the community asset building is on restoring natural resources within watersheds. The PSNP has benefitted from multiple impact evaluations and assessments in multiple disciplines, assessing progress towards development goals over time.

The PSNP has mechanisms for managing risk, internal to the programme. These mechanisms allow the programme to temporarily ‘scale’ up – or expand – its reach, when there is a drought. At various times during implementation, PSNP contingency budgets were held at woreda level, regional levels and at federal level. The pre-positioned budgets allow rapid responses to be made to increase transfers in cash or food to households affected by drought. Other procedures are consistent with the regular programme.

Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA) is delivered across Ethiopia, whenever and wherever food needs are identified. HFA is a complex network of agencies providing food assistance using a common analytical framework on livelihoods and food security. HFA attempts to address the symptoms of food insecurity by providing food (and increasingly cash) transfers to transitory food insecure households to meet immediate food needs. While there are data on the outputs of agencies, there are no data to measure impact on the lives of food assistance recipients. HFA is provided in many woredas across the east and south of Ethiopia, usually repeatedly across many years, and often in the same woredas where PSNP support is provided.

In theory, PSNP and HFA stakeholders work together often with the same communities to provide support to meet the chronic and transitory needs of food insecure households. The more that the systems for delivering support can be common, the more efficient (and effective) the support will be.

In practice, despite years of investment, it has proven challenging for the stakeholders to assess, plan, deliver, monitor and evaluate how their support is delivered under one common system, who is receiving the expected support, what support is being delivered etc.

The Role: Regional Technical Advisor (RTA)

To lead its work in the Regional Scalable Safety Net and DRM activities, BRE is seeking to recruit an experienced Ethiopian professional with expertise in Food Security and Disaster Management. Reporting to the Shock Responsive Safety Net lead, and supported by the junior Advisor, the post holder is responsible for coordinating, consolidating, and ensuring smooth implementation of BRE regional activities through support to the regional Food Security Bureaus and ensuring adherence to OPM and donor guidelines and standards. The RTA will be embedded into Government offices and is in charge of building the capacity of the relevant regional and woreda Food Security sector teams through targeted technical assistance and delivered through a range of national and international consultants. The RTA is expected to work with the BRE regional staff to ensure complementarity.

The RTA is responsible for establishing and maintaining excellent working relations with government counterparts; networking with other stakeholders; channeling and sequencing the technical assistance in the most appropriate and effective way; and providing technical and managerial oversight as well as quality control to BRE technical advisors at woreda level.


The RTA will be the lead in providing BRE internal and external representation and coordination at the regional level on shock responsive safety net sectoral activities and will be working closely with BRE team members based in Addis Ababa. S/he will perform tasks and undertake responsibilities as follows:

  • Establish and maintain excellent working relations with regional government partners, ensuring BRE’s technical assistance meets its needs,
  • Keep abreast of Scalable Safety Net sector developments in the region and network extensively with other stakeholders, including UN agencies, and, local and international NGOs.
  • Identify and then sequence technical assistance according to the BRE objectives and work plans, ensuring the workstream keeps on track in terms of time and budget,
  • Collate information from woreda on shock responsive safety net and report to shock responsive safety net workstream lead and work with junior Advisor to identify opportunities to use information strategically, and ensure woreda–to-regional communications flow effectively.
  • Identify geographical areas or woredas that are of interest to BRE planned interventions according to humanitarian needs and vulnerable population context.
  • Play a proactive role in the development of appropriate targeting criteria and mechanisms to ensure the needs of identified vulnerable groups are met.
  • Ensure technical guidance of programme implementation in operational areas through regular field visits to the woredas (30-50% of the time) according to BRE internal procedures and programme standards
  • Facilitate series of training & familiarization of SSN with the humanitarian community
  • Support monitoring, learning and evaluation (MEL), working with specialist MEL colleagues
  • Produce and submit clear and precise regular reports (as needed) based on BRE internal standards and donor requirements

In completing the above responsibilities, the Regional Technical Advisor will need to systematically review and record and report a number of critical shock responsive and PSNP processes at Regional and woreda levels. The processes to be reviewed and recorded include (but at not limited to):

  • how social protection and DRM policy and strategy is mainstreamed among regional government structures,
  • how vulnerable/emergency caseloads are targeted through PSNP contingency and HFA resources,
  • how the planning, budgeting & delivery systems work at local level, including the local level implementation of the Drought Response and Action Plan (DRAP), application of Payroll & Attendance Sheet during scalable periods, registration of household profiles prior to/during scalable periods, enhancing the efficiency of emergency nutrition pipelines, early warning data collection & analysis, downward/upward accountability mechanisms, etc,
  • how the Drought Response and Action Plan (DRAP)is working in practice, identifying practical gaps & challenges in the system, with a view to documenting & learning how to further improve the DRAP process & plan, year on year,
  • how data and information is managed, how local decisions get made, what information is used, where decisions get made, how much of the decision-making is based on evidence, where and how data and knowledge are stored, what the processes are for analyzing data, etc.
  • how assessments & planning are undertaken, managed & analyzed. The ongoing, real-time review at local level will determine the nature, focus, extent, of assessments & planning, who is engaged, whether the assessments & planning are timely, etc.
  • the frequency, timeliness & predictability of transfers frequency, timeliness & predictability of PSNP and ‘rounds’ of assistance provided to vulnerable households through the HFA.
  • the performance of institutional arrangements, their utility and functionality, both horizontally & vertically,
  • the current ways of ensuring accountability in PSNP and HFA, identifying improvements in ‘how to’ harmonize PSNP & HFA accountability mechanisms, & ‘how to’ unify PSNP & HFA accountability structures & processes to form one accountability framework at local levels for one scalable safety net,
  • gaps in processes, administrative systems and human skills that enable effective delivery will be assessed, having reached agreement with Government and non- Government stakeholders regarding indicators for an accountability framework,
  • any other business processes for both the PNSP and for the HFA, to be agreed with the Scalable Safety Nets workstream lead and other members of the BRE team
  • Gender and inclusion issues will need to be considered and reviewed particularly in relation to how planning and delivery is influenced by gender norms and whether there are issues within the planning-delivery cycle that need to take dedicated account of gender dynamics.

Job Requirements


  • A minimum of Masters degree in food security, disaster risk management (DRM) or social Science or in related discipline,
  • Significant work experience in shock response, scalable safety net, disaster management roles,
  • Experience of working in (or closely with) government, international organizations or NGOs engaged in humanitarian or development practice,
  • Good experience in working with teams, managing work flows and strong performance skills,
  • Experience in working on shock response, scalable safety net systems
  • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills with an understanding of local and international working cultures,
  • A team-player, capable of seeing the ‘bigger picture’, and working strategically towards programme-wide objectives,
  • Ability to adapt or change priorities according to the changing situation within a mission or the organization itself,
  • Ability to take initiative where appropriate to deal with difficulties encountered in daily work,
  • Written and spoken fluency in English, Amharic and local language,
  • Knowledge and experience of a range of capacity-building techniques and practices,
  • Able to support the development of plans and budgets, to track progress and make necessary adjustments,
  • Strong computer skills e.g. MS Office,
  • Willingness to work in environments and situations with limited infrastructure and conduct field visits in remote areas when needed

Qualifications – desirable

  • Experience of documenting processes and assessing the relative strengths and identifying gaps
  • Experience in policy advocacy and mainstreaming
  • Experience in working with humanitarian agencies and in humanitarian contexts
  • Ability to capitalize on past experience and information available within the organization,

Method of Application

Submit your CV, copies of relevant documents and Application to  [email protected] Use the title of the position as the subject of the email

Closing Date : 6 February. 2023


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