Sustainable Food Systems Thematic Referent (m/f/x)

Louvain Coopération

General Context: Louvain Coopération au Développement (LC) is the development cooperation NGO of UCLouvain. LC is accredited by the Belgian Cooperation and employs around fifteen people at its headquarters in Louvain la Neuve (Belgium) and around forty in its regional offices in Africa, South America, and Asia. LC develops lasting partnerships with local organisations, thanks to its teams and the support of its various donors (joint UNI4COOP programme with the Belgian Development Cooperation, EU, various foundations, etc.).

What makes LC unique is that it contributes to this vision of development by mobilising the human and scientific resources of the university community. LC supports actions that are linked to different themes, including agroecology, sustainable management of natural resources, entrepreneurship, socio-professional integration, social protection, non-communicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension and mental health), global citizenship and service learning. LC manages a budget of around €8 million per year.

Louvain Cooperation’s actions in relation to agroecology are based on an integrated approach combining ecological and social principles to optimise interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment. This approach aims to develop sustainable and equitable food and farming systems. LC’s actions are based on co-creation and the exchange of knowledge, with model farmers or farmer school fields. The territorial processes we support promote the autonomy of producers and organisations in the form of groups or cooperatives, with an emphasis on the rights of women, young people, and indigenous peoples.

Main mission:

Under the supervision of the head of the Research and Development service, which brings together the referents for other themes, you will strengthen the quality of LC’s actions and intervention strategies in the field of sustainable food systems. You will develop a network of cutting-edge expertise in the academic world and in the development sector, which will be useful for this strengthening. Working closely with the teams in the field, you will provide support for ongoing projects and make a significant contribution to the design of future projects.

Role and Responsibilities:

In relation to the knowledge management on sustainable food systems, you will:

  • Actively participate in knowledge monitoring,
  • Develop and maintain a network of academic contacts and resource persons,
  • Updating the in-house knowledge of LC members (head office and local staff),
  • Regularly monitor the progress of capitalisation and research work on sustainable food systems and provide technical support to field teams in related work.
  • Contribute to their documentation and publication, as well as to the summaries and lessons learned for the LC teams and actions,
  • Participate in the dissemination of publications with the R&D and the Communication & Marketing managers.

In relation with the activities on sustainable food systems and the Operations Service, you will:

  • Contribute to the formulation of strategic reference frameworks; consolidate and validate the technical aspects of these strategic frameworks,
  • Produce and disseminate methodological notes aimed at strengthening LC’s action,
  • Develop and mobilise its network of expertise and resource persons to provide the necessary technical support for LC projects,
  • Advise and train local staff,
  • Participate in the formulation of the technical aspects of new programmes,
  • Answer technical questions from donors, partners and staff involved in this field,
  • Validate technical reports to donors.

With the Communications and Marketing Service, you will:

  • Participate in events, representation or lobbying activities with donors organised by the Communications and Marketing Service,
  • Working with this service to disseminate publications widely,
  • Help formulate the technical aspects of new projects.


  • Bioengineer or Master’s degree in natural sciences or in a field related to sustainable food systems,
  • Ideally at least 2 years’ professional experience in the development cooperation sector, including abroad experience.

Knowledge and skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of sustainable food systems,
  • A thorough understanding of the issues at stake in the contexts in which we operate
  • Fluency in languages: French (C2 or C1 level) and English (C1 or B2 level), knowledge of other languages (Dutch and Spanish) is a plus,
  • Ability to mobilise academic skills (within UCLouvain and other universities in Europe and elsewhere) and to work with the academic world,
  • Research experience on a subject related to sustainable food systems is an asset.
  • Proven writing skills,
  • Excellent synthesis skills,
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills,
  • Long-term vision, broad point of view,
  • Pedagogical skills and ability to popularise,
  • Intellectual curiosity, sense of humour appreciated,
  • Great openness to interculturality.

Our offer:

  • An exciting challenge with real meaning,
  • An innovative NGO where your personal investment will have a concrete and direct impact on our work in sustainable food systems,
  • A team of dynamic, friendly and committed professionals,
  • Full-time permanent employment contract (APE required)
  • Attractive salary package compared with the average for the NGO sector (scale 4.2 CP 329.02, employer-paid group and hospitalisation insurance, €8 meal vouchers, 100% reimbursement of public transport costs, teleworking allowances, additional family allowances).
  • Inspiring and collaborative workplace at Mundo LLN and the possibility of teleworking (10 days a month) with regular travel abroad,
  • Desired starting date: 18 March 2024.

How to apply

Do you really want to join us?

Send us your CV, a trenchant covering letter and a video presentation (maximum 180 seconds) to [email protected] by Monday 12/02/24 before midday (CET).

Louvain Cooperation supports a genuine human resources policy of diversity and inclusion. We are looking for talented and skilled individuals, regardless of gender, age, origin, cultural background, sexual orientation and religious or philosophical beliefs.

Deadline: 12 Feb 2024