Policy officer – food systems and climate action (40 hours/week)

  • Contract
  • Belgium

European Centre for Development Policy Management


Are you interested in Africa-Europe relations and in contributing to global climate action and the transition to more sustainable food systems? And do you have experience in policy-oriented research and dialogue facilitation? We are looking for a policy officer to join our teams working on sustainable food systems and climate action and green transition.

Who are we?

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) is a leading independent think tank that wants to make policies in Europe and Africa work for inclusive and sustainable development. We have two offices: in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium) (https://ecdpm.org/contact-us/).

Our more than 60 staff members from over 25 countries worldwide (https://ecdpm.org/people/) provide independent research, advice and practical support to policymakers, advisors and practitioners in Europe, Africa and beyond. Our focus is on EU foreign policy and policies related to conflict, migration, governance, climate and green transformation, sustainable food systems, regional integration, digitalisation, business, finance and trade.

About the sustainable food systems team

Our food systems struggle to provide the growing global population with affordable, healthy foods. They also create livelihood stresses and damage our natural environments. Our sustainable food systems team wants to support transitions to sustainable, resilient, equitable and inclusive food systems. For more information, have a look at our team page (https://ecdpm.org/programmes/sustainable-food-systems/).

About the climate action and green transition team

The next two years will – and must – bring major changes in global climate action. Our climate action and green transition team wants to contribute to ambitious, fair and effective responses to the climate crisis, promote a green COVID-19 recovery and explore the European and African politics of green transition and renewable energy deployment. For more information, have a look at our team page (https://ecdpm.org/programmes/climate-action-green-transition/).

What will you be doing?

As a policy officer working on food systems and climate action, you will:

– Conduct policy analysis, based on thorough research, to feed into the relevant international and national policy processes, and write articles on topics related to food systems, climate action and green transition within the broader context of Africa-Europe relations.

– Facilitate debates and panel discussions, and take an active part in these types of events to share your insights.

– Communicate and discuss your and ECDPM’s work with a wider audience through social media, multimedia and media outlets.

– Manage project teams for delivery on projects and impact on policy processes.

– Supervise, coach and mentor junior staff.

– Build, expand and maintain relevant strategic networks and partnerships.

– Identify funding opportunities, develop funding proposals and secure project funds.

– Think strategically and identify (new) areas in which ECDPM can add value.

Depending on your experience and in accordance with the needs of ECDPM’s other teams, other activities may be assigned to your portfolio as well. You will report to either the sustainable food systems team or the climate action and green transition team based on the projects you are involved in. You can be based in our office in Brussels or our head office in Maastricht, but flexibility is envisaged with the possibility to work from home a few days a week.

Who are we looking for?

Our ideal candidate is an entrepreneurial, flexible and motivated mid-level professional with expertise in food systems and climate change, and gets excited at the prospect of working in a dynamic and impact-oriented ‘think and do’ tank. We are looking for someone who is willing and able to increasingly – in the space of a few years – assume more strategic and managerial responsibilities. More specifically, our preferred candidate:

– Has a master’s degree in economics (general, agricultural/food economics, environmental economics or other), political science, development or environment/climate-related studies.

– Has comprehensive knowledge and/or professional experience (at least five years) in the field of agricultural development, food security, food systems, and climate and environmental management (ideally with a focus on adaptation and resilience-building), preferably in an African and/or European context.

– Is able to quickly provide high-quality policy research and advice, and engage in multi-actor dialogue facilitation to influence relevant policy-making.

– Has at least five years of relevant professional experience or equivalent in development cooperation, policy processes or sustainable development processes.

– Contextual familiarity with or work experience in specific regions in Africa ( for instance, the Horn of Africa, West Africa/the Sahel or North Africa) is a plus.

– Has at least three years of experience in (project) management and supervision.

– Has a proven interest in global development and European international cooperation.

– Is fluent in (academic) English and has good knowledge of French. Knowledge of languages spoken in the regions ECDPM works on is a plus.

– Has demonstrable presentation, facilitation and (intercultural) communication skills.

– Has excellent people management skills, and the motivation to further develop these.

– Fundraising experience is desirable.

– Is committed to ECDPM’s vision and core values.

What do we offer you?

– A stimulating international work environment where you will have the autonomy to manage your work, and initiate and lead projects on topics you are passionate about.

– A one-year Dutch or Belgium contract for 40 hours a week, which will be converted into a permanent contract upon proven suitability and available budget.

– A competitive salary package commensurate with experience.

– A holiday and end-of-year allowance.

– A net homework allowance or market-related commuter allowance.

– Support with visa and resettlement for you and your family (if needed), including a resettlement package for those who are recruited out of the Netherlands or Belgium but will be based in either of the two offices.

– A 30% tax benefit under certain conditions for those with a Dutch contract. The Dutch tax authorities determine whether this will be granted.

– A very generous leave package of 47.6 days based on a 40-hour work week.

– An individual professional development budget of 0.2% of your salary.

– Flexible working hours with a hybrid working between home and the office.

– A strong and professional organisational support team (IT, communications, travel, administrative and finance-related support).

– A collegial working environment with centre-wide activities for staff and their families (COVID-19 permitting).

More information

We believe that diversity is good for our people and our business. We promote and value diversity and inclusion among our staff and candidates – irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, race, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or disability.

If you would like to receive more information about the position or working at ECDPM, please get in touch with Marleen Ackermans via [email protected]

For more information about ECDPM and our areas of work, please have a look at our website (http://www.ecdpm.org).

Privacy statement

We will treat the information you submit with respect. We will store your information on a confidential section of our cloud storage, which is only accessible by our human resources and ICT departments, as well as members of the sustainable food systems and climate action and green transition teams. After the vacancy has closed, we will keep your information in our system for one year. After this period, your details will be deleted. If you wish that we do not keep your details after the vacancy deadline has passed, you may indicate this in your application. For more information, have a look at our privacy policy (https://ecdpm.org/privacy-policy/).

How to apply

How to apply?

If you are interested in the position send (1) a completed ECDPM application form (https://ecdpm.org/wp-content/uploads/Application-form-Policy-Officer-food-systems-and-climate-action.docx) and (2) your CV to Marleen Ackermans at [email protected] before 4 July, 9:00 am CEST. The subject line of your application should read: ‘Application policy officer – food systems and climate action’. We will only look at applications that are on time, complete and in English.

Selected candidates will be invited for a video interview in July and possibly a second physical interview in either of our offices. If you are selected for the second phase of the selection process, you will also be asked to complete a written analytical assessment (three hours max).

Preferably we expect the successful candidate to start on 1 September 2022.

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where (unjobvacancies.com) you saw this job posting.