Anna Tallant – Consultant – Capacity building in food security

Snapshot date 6, June, 2012



Author: Anna Tallant

Job title: Consultant - Capacity building in food security

Organisation: UN World Food Programme

Location: Mbabane, Swaziland

Organisation Description:

The World Food Programme is the UN organisation that provides food assistance to those in need.

Job Description:

Assist the Ministry of Agriculture to establish a Food and Nutrition Security Forum. This forum will work to coordinate food and nutrition security agencies and activities in the country; review and suggest policies and legislation; and collate and disseminate information relating to interventions in food and nutrition security.

In addition, write the new Development Project for WFP in Swaziland, write proposals and develop the UN Disaster Preparedness Guidance Note for the country.

How long have you worked in your current job?

6 years

Route to current job:

  1. MSc Public Health Nutrition, University of Southampton
  2. Research Assistant, University of Southampton. Writing system reviews relating to maternal health and nutrition
  3. Research Assistant, North-West University, South Africa. Assisting with research into farm workers' food security
  4. VSO Volunteer, WFP Malawi. Intern Programme Assistant for School Feeding Programme
  5. Capacity Building Consultant, WFP Malawi. Assisting Government to design their own school meals prgramme
  6. Consultant, WFP Malawi. Nutrition Focal Point
  7. Consultant, WFP Swaziland. Capacity Building for the Food and Nutrition Security Forum

Previous jobs:

As listed above

Voluntary experience:

VSO volunteer enabled me to gain experience in WFP Malawi and lead to a consultancy position with the organisation.

Education and Training:

I have an MSc Public Health Nutrition

Best bits:

- Working with Government – this is both challenging and rewarding at the same time.
- Influencing policy – my job enables me to directly influence Government policies and strategies.
- Working within a team
- Working with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures

Worst bits:

It can take an incredibly long time to develop policy and initiate change. Dealing with Government systems and procedures often serves to slow progress, but at the same time it essential to work through the proper channels.

As a consultant I work on short term contracts, which don’t allow for longer term planning and means life is very unsettled.

Advice for people looking for similar job:

Interning at UN organisations; having a second UN language is essential, even for consultants although at basic level; have a Masters degree as often a degree alone is not enough

Will you continue to do similar work in this sector in the future?

Yes, so long as funds and grants can be found to keep me employed!