Oxfam GB - International Division
Job Description -
Job Title: Afghanistan Drought Response Food Security Advisor

Oxfam Purpose:

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.


Division Purpose:

To act with poor people as a force for change in addressing the causes of poverty, suffering and injustice and alleviating their symptoms.


Job Purpose:

To strengthen Oxfam's response to humanitarian emergencies through support to country staff and emergency programme staff in strengthening food security monitoring systems and researching food security in the drought affected areas.


Reporting Lines: 

Reports to Programme Manager South/West


Staff Reporting:

Nutrition survey team, (support monitoring officers x2)



Herat/Kandahar (possibly Panjoa)



6 months


Oxfam has been operational in Afghanistan since 1992.  In 1995 a country office was opened in the capital, Kabul. However, there is still fighting in a number of parts of the country it is therefore crucial that the postholder has a flexible approach to the job, with the ability to take opportunities as they arise whilst at the same time keeping hold of the aims of the role.

Administratively and in programme terms Afghanistan is part of the Oxfam South Asia region. Other countries in the region are Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.  Oxfam has a large operational programme in Hazarajat, one of the poorest parts of the country, and another smaller programme in Badakhshan.

Afghanistan has been severely affected by the drought in South Asia and many parts of the country and in crisis.  Oxfam is involved in a drought response programme to around 300,000 people, with a significant part of this in the Centre, South and West.  The first phase of this is almost complete and is principally a food relief operation with some seed and livestock component.   This response has necessitated an increase in the scale of Oxfam’s operations both in terms of geographical coverage and staff employed.  The type of work has also required a substantial increase in infrastructure such as radios, vehicles and goods and equipment in the country.

There is little information on the food security situation in Afghanistan as a whole.  Given the limited resources that the international community has, it is imperative that these resources are allocated in the most effective way.  Therefore a reliable and robust monitoring system in Oxfam project areas is extremely important.

Priorities for Oxfam’s work in Afghanistan are education, health and livelihoods (particularly looking to address problems faced by women within the restrictive framework that exists). All of Oxfam’s work in Afghanistan follows what the organisation terms a ‘one programme approach’, by which is meant a combination of development, emergency and advocacy work, and emergency and development are very much intertwined.

Because of the chronic insecurity problems in Afghanistan, leading to frequent evacuations of expatriate staff, Oxfam believes that the only way to maintain operational capacity even in difficult times is to invest heavily in capacity building of our local staff teams, and all of our programmes have Afghan programme managers.  This has proved its value on many occasions and has enabled Oxfam to continue functioning when other agencies have had to suspend work. However, there is still a lot of work to do in improving capacity and this will be a key function of this post.

Key Activities:

The primary aims of this component of Oxfam’s programme are to continue and improve the monitoring system that will allow the programme manager and CR to assess and improve the effectiveness of Oxfam’s interventions.  To research and provide information on the livelihoods situation of specific groups, particularly women, to enable them to develop the next phase of the Oxfam programme.

1)       Continue and improve the on-going monitoring of the local situation to allow Oxfam to;

a)      allow us to assess the impact and effectiveness of the programme activities.

b)      gain a good understanding of the socio-economic and food security situation to feedback into/ inform our programme planning and implementation.

This will include refining the data collection and monitoring process, as well as training and support monitoring and programme teams as they develop impact measurement analysis and reporting (also training for other organisations).

2)      Analysis and research on specific topics and population groups, as needed by the programme (eg. vulnerability of  ‘IDPs’, female headed households; specific topics- rural/ urban populations, social change in rural areas etc).

3)      Recruit, train, supervise and support a rural nutrition survey team

4)      To undertake technical support visits to other areas where Oxfam is undertaking food security work in order to improve the quality of their monitoring and ensure some consistency across the programme

5)      To input to and support the development of a sustainable livelihoods strategy in Afghanistan, the next phase of recovery programming and the management of the current program.

6)      To undertake assessment visits at the request of the CR to any new programme areas Oxfam is asked to consider

7)      To specifically support the programme manager in monitoring and supporting Oxfam’s projects with women.

Key Competencies:

·    A minimum of 3 years previous overseas work experience with non-governmental organisations in nutritional surveys and food security related areas are essential.

·    Technical qualifications and or equivalent experience in nutrition impact measurement and food security.

·    Well developed interpersonal and team skills and proven ability to be flexible in demanding situations.

·    Substantial experience of non-formal, participatory training, recruitment and staff development

·    Experience of management/supervisory responsibilities.

·    Experience and demonstrable understanding of working in insecure and/or rapidly changing security situations.

·    Excellent verbal and written communications skills and the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds. Good written and spoken English is essential. Knowledge of Dari or Pashtu would be an advantage.

·    Sympathy with the aims and objectives of Oxfam and commitment to humanitarian principles and action.

·    Commitment to Oxfam’s equal opportunity and gender policies.

This job description is not incorporated in the employment contract.  It is intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be varied from time to time in the light of strategic developments and following discussion with the post holder.

Contact :

Humanitarian Department - Oxfam
Miss Elham MONSEF :
Email : emonsefatoxfam.org.uk
Tel: 0044 (0) 1865 312 496