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Strategic Learning and Capacity Development Advisor - Food for Peace (FFP)

Scope and Objectives

The Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) Activity is a five-year Leader with Associates Award (LWA), funded by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) and implemented by the consortium of Save the Children (lead agency), the Kaizen Company (Kaizen), Mercy Corps and TANGO International (TANGO). IDEAL’s goal is to strengthen food and nutrition security among FFP-target populations through the promotion of systems-level approaches to improving the design, implementation and overall effectiveness of emergency and development food security activities; IDEAL has three purposes:

  • Purpose 1: Sustainable mechanisms for strengthening implementing partner/community of practice (IP/CoP) capacity in essential elements of quality programming established.
  • Purpose 2: Meaningful analysis for adaptive management of food security activities consistently developed, applied, and shared by IPs/CoPs.
  • Purpose 3: Sustainable linkages between IPs, FFP, and other stakeholders developed to improve collaboration, coordination, and efficient action around common goals.

This will be achieved by connecting with implementing partners (IPs) through four pathways: capacity strengthening, peer-to-peer consultative learning, small grants and stakeholder consultations. These mechanisms will enable IPs to actively identify their own institutional strengths and capacity needs, and link with networks and resources so that emergency and development activities can be more evidence-driven, more effectively implemented and more sustainable in impact.

While IDEAL will determine priority themes based upon implementer feedback, the activity will be informed by seven content focus areas that are critical to strong food security and nutrition programming; these are:

  • Strengthening the quality and impact of emergency programming;
  • Data collection and analysis for improved program design and impact;
  • Adaptive management and application of learning;
  • Integrated activity design and implementation;
  • Sustainability and planning for exit;
  • Social and behavior change; and,
  • Equity, empowerment, inclusion and accountability.

The Strategic Learning and Capacity Development Advisor (SLCDA) will provide vision and strategic leadership for IDEAL efforts to improve peer-to-peer learning, knowledge sharing and application, capacity strengthening, and stakeholder consultation, through design and management of direct interventions under IDEAL. The Advisor will also work to strengthen capacity in the implementer community around implementer-led, activity-based capacity strengthening, evidence and data utilization, and collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA). 


The SLCDA is a member of IDEAL’s Senior Management Team helping provide strategic leadership and decision making regarding the activity’s priorities, ensuring that it remains ever-responsive to the needs of the implementing partner community. The SLCDA will provide leadership to Kaizen’s other staff members on IDEAL, helping to set and monitor both Kaizen’s organizational work plan and individual staff members’ contributions to ensure workstreams are integrated to achieve IDEAL’s overall objectives. Specifically, responsibilities for the SLCDA will include:

  • Manage the adaptation and testing of Kaizen’s organizational capacity assessment tool;
  • Provide leadership on other elements of capacity strengthening, including the scan of current capacity strengthening approaches used by IPs, maintenance of tools repository, facilitating input on capacity gaps and priorities from partners and connecting IPs with resources as needed;
  • Development and implementation of strategies to engage, support and – where demand driven - develop communities of practice and thematic groups in the field of food and nutrition security;
  • Provide leadership on other peer-to-peer learning approaches, such as staff exchange visits;
  • Facilitate the design, implementation, and after-action reviews of critical food security events such as Refine and Implement (R&I) workshops, stakeholder consultations and listening sessions, in coordination with other senior team members;
  • Ensure that IDEAL’s activities are responsive to IP priorities through application of listening tour findings and facilitation of active interaction with development and emergency implementers, including via field visits;
  • Provide leadership on internal learning mechanisms for the activity itself to ensure that IDEAL is modeling what it hopes IPs will implement in terms of CLA;
  • Work collaboratively with Kaizen so that IDEAL benefits from Kaizen’s institutional strengths while ensuring that IDEAL’s accomplishments and lessons learned benefit Kaizen;
  • In close collaboration with Kaizen’s Home Office, oversee narrative and financial reporting to Save the Children for the sub-award, and contribute to IDEAL’s achievement of its targets;
  • Represent IDEAL as needed with donor, implementing partners, academics, and other stakeholders, and;
  • Contribute to the success of the IDEAL consortium through active collaboration with leadership and staff of all participating organizations.


  • Advanced degree (Master's or PhD)
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience is required
  • Demonstrated experience in food security, knowledge management, organizational learning and capacity strengthening
  • Proven track record of thought leadership and ability to operate independently and proactively to identify new opportunities for creative problem solving
  • Experience working on developmental and/or emergency Food for Peace-funded activities 
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