Dietary Assessment Specialist - Tenders Global

Dietary Assessment Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization




The Vision and Strategy for FAO’s Work in Nutrition describes five action areas for implementing FAO’s mission in nutrition to address all forms of malnutrition through accelerating impactful policies and actions to enable healthy diets for all.  As part of FAO’s mandate as a normative agency, the first action area is on data and the second on evidence.  The implementation of the action areas of FAO’s work in nutrition requires an agrifood system approach to addressing all forms of malnutrition.  There are currently large gaps in the evidence base on dietary intake globally, due to a lack of dietary survey and food composition data.   

The objective of the Call of Interest is to identify skilled professionals to support various activities focused on dietary assessment, encompassing dietary surveys, food composition and data on diet quality/diversity metrics, to support the expansion of the evidence base and knowledge on agrifood systems approaches and their impact on diets and nutrition.  

Reporting Lines:

The Consultant will work under the overall guidance of the Director of ESN and the direct supervision a senior Nutrition Officer within the Food and Nutrition Division.

Technical Focus: 

ESN is involved in the collection, collation, compilation, harmonization, dissemination, analysis, use and interpretation of different forms of data related to food, diets, nutrients and nutrition. Data on dietary surveys, food composition, food fortification, and diet quality/diversity metrics, are included in this remit. The goal is to enable Members to integrate data on nutrition into national and regional information systems, and to use such data to facilitate decision-making in policy and programming, thus supporting international efforts to promote healthy diets. 
Several knowledge sharing sites are hosted by FAO to support survey designers, policy makers and programme planners to collect, analyse, interpret and make full use of high quality diet-related data. The focus is to provide data and information through these knowledge sharing sites, and build capacities on the collection, collation, compilation, harmonization, dissemination, analysis, use and interpretation of diet-related data. Other activities include contributing to the drafting of reports, proposals, and other outputs through provision of technical input to documents. The consultant will also provide technical expertise for meetings, briefs, speeches, and similar deliverables. 

Tasks and responsibilities:

The Consultant/ PSA will provide support to FAO’s work in one or more of the following technical areas: dietary assessment; dietary surveys; food composition; diet quality/diversity metrics. The tasks and responsibilities will be specified in the Terms of Reference for each appointee. Assigned tasks and responsibilities will normally include more than one of the following areas:
  • Provide technical assistance to Member countries, decentralized FAO offices and other institutions including academic institutions, Ministries, etc involved in or undertaking diet-related data collection, collation, compilation, harmonization, analysis, and interpretation, including technical support for field project implementation;
  • Provide technical input to documents focusing on diet-related data, for example technical protocols, project proposals, reports, and articles;
  • Support the development of methodological approaches to estimate nutrient availability and consumption from national, household, individual, and modelled data, with multiple considerations including bioavailability, edible portions, food fortification;
  • Undertake diet-related database management, data cleaning, and statistical analysis in line with FAO best practices and standards;
  • Assist in capacity development through knowledge sharing on collection, collation, compilation, harmonization, analysis, and interpretation of diet-related data for informing policy and programmes, through meetings, seminars, workshops, and/or project implementation;
  • Contribute to materials and content for knowledge sharing;
  • Publish peer-reviewed and other technical publications for the dissemination of results;
  • Provide general support to the ESN Division and perform other related duties as required.
Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Advanced University degree (Masters) in nutrition, public health, food technology, food chemistry, food science, agricultural or natural sciences, biostatistics, statistics, epidemiology or similar. Doctorate is considered an asset.
  • For a junior level, 1-5 years of relevant experience in dietary assessment, dietary surveys, food composition, nutritional epidemiology, statistical analysis of dietary intake data, and/or diet quality or diversity metrics. For a mid-level, 5-12 years of relevant experience is required. For senior level more than 12 years of relevant experience is required. 
  • Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of another of the UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) are required for COF. For PSA only working knowledge of English is required.
Technical/Functional Skills:

Working experience in one or more of the technical fields:

  • Extent and relevance of experience in the design and implementation of dietary intake or epidemiological surveys;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the chemical analysis of foods for food composition tables;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in compilation and management of data for food composition tables;
  • Extent and relevance of experience related to analysis of food fortification data;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in nutritional epidemiology or nutrition; 
  • Extent and relevance of experience in food classification and description systems (e.g., FoodEx2);
  • Extent and relevance of experience in food matching and use of different food composition tables;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in development, management, cleaning, and statistical analysis of large databases through Excel, R, SAS and/or Stata (or similar);
  • Extent and relevance of experience in formulating project proposals on dietary assessment (including project design and funding proposals), progress reports, and end of project reports. 
  • Extent and relevance of experience in collaborative work and liaison with partners, including country government institutes, international organisations, research institutes and academia; 
  • Extent and relevance of experience in capacity development and preparation and delivery of training on dietary surveys and food composition;
  • Strong written communication skills and peer-reviewed publications in dietary assessment methodology, dietary surveys, food composition, and/or diet quality/diversity metrics is desirable; 
  • Previous experience in international organizations is considered an asset. 
  • Additional competencies may be required for specific assignments.




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