Senior Product Manager
World Food Programme (WFP)
Grade: Unspecified
Close on 28 Apr 2021
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Added 3 days ago
Job Description

WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and WFP is committed to

promoting diversity and gender balance


The WFP Corporate Planning and Performance (CPP) division was established as part of the restructuring of the Resource Management Department. CPP is responsible for management of resource allocations, providing technical support to facilitates all phases of the corporate performance management cycle (planning, budgeting, monitoring, reporting) as well as management of corporate supporting informed decision-making by providing consistent, evidence-based reporting on the effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of WFP operations. CPP aims to facilitate maximum beneficiary reach, value for money, improve planning, support data-driven decisions and report on results that demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of WFP operations.

WFP accountability commitments under Agenda 2030 are ambitious and long term. The organization needs to continuously adapt to the changing contexts for its programmes, policy and operations, and commensurate changes in performance management and technology. As technology innovations become available such as big data analytics and machine learning capabilities, CPP needs to focus on ensuring that the best technology, or combination of technologies is leveraged to ensure that stakeholders are supported with timely, accurate operational data to optimize performance across key strategic objectives.

The primary legacy component of the CPP Product portfolio is the Country Office Tool for Managing (programme operations) Efficiently (COMET). COMET remains the only digital system at WFP that has the depth and breadth to track business processes critical for the implementation of its programmes. As the central corporate performance management system, it reflects corporate business processes in line with the WFP Strategic Plan (SP) 2017–2021, the Corporate Results Framework (CRF) 2017–2021, the Financial Framework Review and the policy on Country Strategic Plans (CSPs).

The new Strategic Plan (2022-2026) and Corporate Results Framework, as well as pending business requirements, will have an impact on performance planning, management and reporting platforms, including COMET, and will call for system adaptation. The practical and short-term achievements will address business requirements with improvements based on current platforms or on pilots focused on new solutions that are systems agnostic and best fit business needs. The more transformational outcomes over the longer term will support CPP Business Objectives within the new Strategic Plan (SP) and Corporate Results Framework (CRF).

The performance management cycle includes an annual reporting platform called SPRING, which is WFP’s corporate web-based reporting platform. SPRING supports the Annual Country Reporting (ACR) process from drafting to reviewing through to approval. SPRING streamlines the production of ACRs and improves their consistency and quality by obtaining verified data from COMET and WINGS automatically and by ensuring standardized reporting (narrative, structure, layout). SPRING serves as a platform for authoring (CO level), reviewing (CO, RB, and HQ level) and approving ACRs (CO and RB level) and thus also strengthens the accountability and transparency of the ACR process. CPP is responsible for ensuring that SPRING functionalities are in place, system enhancements are identified, and that dataflow works between the various systems.

CPP will also be called upon to develop new products in line with emerging priorities and identify ways to improve business processes in line with corporate priorities on digital transformation, greater demand for data analysis for decision support and data visualization. This includes more focus on the inter-operability of systems and reporting at all levels to ensure alignment between WFP second generation CSPs, UNSDCF and overall system-wide reporting on Agenda 2030 through platforms such as UN-INFO.

To that effect, CPP is seeking a Senior Product Manager focused on programme design, needs-based and implementation planning, and annual reporting, and overall, the key components of performance management within WFP. A product team (CPP/TEC) for the design and development of new solutions and the maintenance and management of legacy systems will be formed. The Product Manager will be expected to establish and coordinate a cross-divisional Working Group, whose objective will be to provide holistic views of products and associated business requirements, as well as advise and support the management of associated funds.


  1. Establish, coordinate and facilitate a cross divisional Working Group, whose objective will be to provide holistic and coherent views of the business requirements, that will include functions such as Programme, Budget and Programming, Supply Chain, Partnerships, Monitoring and Cooperating Partners Management, in the field as well as Stakeholders in Regional Bureaux, Country Offices and Headquarters.
  2. In collaboration with the Working Group and with input from Stakeholders, establish, categorize and prioritize business requirements.
  3. Conceptualize, create and manage CPP Product Portfolio and Roadmap focused on programme design, needs-based and implementation planning, and reporting, and ensuring that products and services are integrated, compatible, and efficient with proven user-reliability.
  4. Identify new corporate needs within the CPP Product Portfolio, through consultation at all levels in the organization.
  5. Establish and manage a product team of experts to oversee the design and development of new tools and products, and the maintenance and management of legacy systems.
  6. Develop a plan and a communication strategy on how to introduce the new business processes and the implementation and delivery of the related change management activities.
  7. Collect post-implementation user feedback and ensure this is translated into new business requirements or worked into the roadmap as applicable.
  8. Manage the overall portfolio and product budget, including support and maintenance costs.
  9. Identify and categorize stakeholders, customers, users, subject-matter experts and tailor communication accordingly.
  10. Provide periodic reports inclusive of quantitative data from usage metrics and qualitative data from user research and feedback.
  11. Report periodically on progress, informing Director and Deputy Director of any issues or risks requiring attention, and identify and escalate issues that could affect the product outcomes, timeline or budget.
  12. Represent CPP at internal and external meetings, as required and as relevant.
  13. Any other duties as required for the successful delivery of the product(s).


Under the overall supervision of the Director, CPP, and under the direct and daily supervision of the Deputy Director, Performance Management (CPP), and working in close collaboration with all CPP Unit Chiefs, particularly the M&E (COMET) and Reporting (SPRING) teams in CPP), TEC, other relevant functions, Country Offices and Regional Bureaux, the role and responsibilities of the Product Manager as follows:

  1. The CPP Product Manager is responsible for maximizing the value brought by the IT solutions by understanding business and end-user requirements and prioritizing the work to be done within the division as it relates to programme design, needs-based and implementation planning, and reporting.
  2. The CPP Product Manager aims for IT solutions which achieve the highest quality in terms of technical usability, user acceptability, and domain suitability, as well as an overall IT solutions strategy to facilitate the effective and efficient delivery of CPP tools and products. This role requires a strong knowledge of planning and performance business processes and the Programme Cycle, and an ability to work with different technologies and products to achieve business objectives.
  3. The CPP Product Manager ensures that the WFP Data system is enhanced to deliver inter-operable service for quality, consistent, timely, robust, cooperative and transparent data, providing a unique corporate operating picture, for decision making, planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  4. The CPP Product Manager is responsible for liaising with the TEC community, and will need to be able to convey and coordinate with all relevant stakeholders in order to drive the cross- functional business team.
  5. The CPP Product Manager participates in external and internal meetings, on systems inter-operability, including at the inter-agency level, as required and as relevant.



Advanced university degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, or other relevant field, or First University degree with additional years of related work experience or trainings/courses. Certifications from top tech companies or universities is a plus.


11 years or more of relevant progressive work experience in data management, data architecture, data governance, and/or data analysis.

Proven experience in negotiating and managing teams, coaching and mentoring.

Extensive experience in project management, project management tools for collaboration, and in effectively managing the demands of multiple complex projects simultaneously.

Proven track-record of successfully delivering large-scale (multiple-team and/or multiple-year) products or projects, preferably in humanitarian or nongovernmental context.

Proven experience in a Field context.

Knowledge of traditional and agile IT development methodologies.

Familiarity with Human Centered Design.

Experience in another UN Organisation a plus.

Knowledge & Skills:

Established use and understanding of monitoring and reporting activities, demonstrating knowledge of results hierarchy, performance metrics and

measurement, of statistics and quantitative methodologies, and of linking those to qualitative analysis.


Fluency in oral and written English.

Intermediate knowledge of another UN language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) or WFP working language of Portuguese.


WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Please visit our website for more information on working with WFP: (click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations).

Deadline for applications: Wednesday, 28 April 2021, midnight Rome time

Ref.: VA 141712

Qualified female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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