Food Security and Nutrition Network

Resource Library

Core Competency Series

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The Core Competency Series, available by individual position and in a combined booklet, was developed by staff from The Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program with significant contributions from the various task forces of the Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Network.

The series intends to provide hiring managers, program managers, and program staff with explanations of the basic skills and knowledge senior technical staff may possess to carry out their positions effectively. These core competencies also may be used to assess gaps in staff knowledge and prepare capacity-building plans through discussion and review of the core competency areas or through use of The TOPS Program Self-Assessment Toolkit for Effective Development Food Assistance Programming. Please contact the appropriate task force via for access to the self-assessment tool in your technical area.

This booklet (Version 2 of the combined booklet) contains Versions 1 and 2 of the core competency lists for the following technical areas and position. Official job titles, functions, and requirements may vary based on organization and program.

  • Agricultural and natural resource management: Agricultural program manager
  • Commodity management: Commody manager
  • Commodity management: Warehouse manager
  • Gender: Gender advisor or specialist
  • Monitoring and evaluation: M&E manager
  • Monitoring and evaluation: M&E officer
  • Nutrition and food technology: Nutrition advisor or specialist
  • Social and behavioral change: SBC advisor or specialist

The core competencies may be updated in the future, or additional core competencies may be added for new positions. To contribute to existing core competencies or suggest new ones, please join an FSN Network task force at