Regional Staff Counselor

Johannesburg | Johannesburg

Position Title : Consultant - Regional Staff Counselor Duty Station : Johannesburg Regional Bureau, South Africa
Salary : USD 300 per day . Duration : 6 months, renewable (10 working days per month)


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. From its base in Johannesburg, the Regional Bureau (RB) for Southern Africa supports operations in 11 countries reaching 12 million beneficiaries. The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to support to save lives in emergency situations; to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people; and to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through conditional food for work and training programmes.

The challenges of working in difficult conditions to bring much needed food and support to our recipients can place a great deal of pressure and stress on WFP staff. The WFP Staff Counselling Unit is committed to preventing or alleviating stress and improving the overall health, performance, and morale of staff. We do this by identifying and addressing factors that contribute to stress in the workplace, promoting good employment and management practices, and providing counselling services that help to mitigate or avoid the negative effects of workplace stress.

The UN WFP RBJ is looking for a suitably qualified candidate to fill the position of Staff Counselor in support of the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg. A large emphasis is placed on engagement with staff and promotion of staff well-being.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Consultant reports functionally to the WFP Senior Staff Counselor at Headquarters in Rome, Italy and administratively to the WFP Regional Bureau in Johannesburg. The Staff Counselor will be responsible for supporting staff welfare and wellbeing in WFP operations in the South Africa Region (RBJ) performing the following duties:

  • Provide culturally sensitive counseling services to WFP staff; this may include assessment, treatment plans, individual sessions and referrals to other resources as required;
  • Develop and provide a range of trainings to improve morale, health, and team dynamics in such areas as stress management, team building, Crucial Conversations (as TOT) conflict resolution, harassment, and cross-cultural sensitivity;
  • Provide advice to the Country Directors and HR Officers, as necessary, on individual and/or group cases where an identified problem is likely to have adverse professional, vocational and/or health effects (e.g. work-related problems/stress, psychological problems, conflicts, other psychosocial problems);
  • Provide advice to other managers/supervisors, as necessary, or upon request, with the aim of improving the working atmosphere in their units and resolving problems work-related or personal problems that adversely affect job performance, health, and productivity;
  • Support the implementation of the RBJ 2015 Global Staff Survey Action Plan that focuses on wellness;
  • Participate in crisis response, provide crisis counselling to individuals and/or groups during emergencies and after critical incidents, and ensure follow up support. ;

  • Maintain the WFP Peer Support Volunteer Network (PSV) in the region through training and supervision; disseminate training materials and related protocols that already exist. Assist in the resolution of disputes by facilitating discussion between conflicted parties;

  • Develop outreach programs and services for staff in Country Offices; Identify and liaise with local regional mental health resources that can be used for referrals or in times of crisis.

  • Collaborate with the WFP Medical Office, the Security Office, the HR Office in order to provide supportive interventions and assist in some individual cases;Contribute to information and materials about stress and stress management through the Unit website or printed media.

  • Contribute to development of policies and guidelines, other written and visual materials to increase awareness regarding important themes and topics related to staff welfare and wellbeing

  • Complete administrative duties such as participating in professional conferences, planning budget and programs for the regions, completing reporting requirements, contributing to policy and guideline documents, etc. Maintain professional confidentiality at all times;

  • Perform other duties as required.

Travel: The Regional Staff Counsellor for the S. Africa Region (RBJ) is expected to travel at least one week per month with some of the remaining working days spent at WFP’s office in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.



Advanced university degree (Doctorate, Masters or equivalent) in Psychology, Psychiatry or psycho-educational studies. The candidate must be licensed/registered or equivalent as a mental health professional. Additional training or certification in a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, stress management, critical incident stress, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, mediation, trauma etc. will be an advantage.


Minimum five (5) years of progressively responsible professional post graduate experience relevant to the field is required. Experience in Employees Assistance Programs or Organizational Intervention would be an asset. Experience either working in a hardship location or providing counseling services to staff working under very difficult and insecure environments.

Knowledge and skills

Broad knowledge of all facets of the field of counseling and ability to provide an environment in which others can talk confidentially and act without fear or repercussions within a climate of established trust. Excellent communication skills (oral, written and presentations) including the ability to defend and explain difficult issues and positions to staff at all levels. Ability to identify clients' needs and suggest appropriate solutions. Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients. Very good working knowledge of technology tools such as PowerPoint, Excel and Word. Ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries and establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


Proficiency in writing and verbal communication in English is requisite. Working knowledge in another UN language such as French and Portuguese is desirable.

CLOSING DATE: 04 May 2016

Interested individuals meeting the above qualifications are requested to submit a cover letter together with a detailed curriculum vitae, via email to:,** quoting Announcement No: 005/2016.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Johannesburg | Johannesburg
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2016-05-04

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