Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps’ Nawiri Program is leading a consortium of Kenyan and international partners on a five year journey to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Mercy Corps’ consortium brings together the global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.
General Position Summary
Reporting to the Field Director, the Senior Private Sector Engagement & Financial Inclusion Officer will be responsible for assisting in the implementation and support of facilitation projects that make beneficial products and services accessible to households within the geographic focus of the program as well as improving access to financial services to producers, agribusinesses and enterprises in the project areas. These activities will work almost exclusively through private sector actors, seeking to crowd in provision rather than displace or replicate private actors with donor-funded services. S/he will assess the existing capacity of Financial Institutions, conduct assessments and research regarding service delivery, product appropriateness, extension needs, institutional arrangements, markets for financial services, accessibility of services and new opportunities and models, among other responsibilities, across the financial sector in the project area. The Senior Private Sector Engagement & Financial Inclusion Officer will work closely with the Technical Team to better address and improve the economic future and quality of life of its program participants.
Mercy Corps implements high-quality, analytical development work in very difficult places. Nawiri aims to support the immediate needs of program participants while promoting long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors. The Senior Private Sector Engagement & Financial Inclusion Officer will participate in the daily implementation of the development programming through support of key business partners including commercial banks, MFIs, SACCOs, agro processors, traders, transporters, input sellers, pharmacies, animal and human healthcare providers, consumer goods retailers, and a host of other actors. As capital constraints are important underlying challenges in Turkana/Samburu, financing to avail access to products and services at the household level is critical to grow and to scale business ventures.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Contribute to team work plans and guide successful implementation of program activities, ensuring teams and partners activities are on track and in alignment to achieve desired impact;
- Within Turkana/Samburu, take the lead role in identifying private sector partners and credible financial inclusion services.
- Work with stakeholders and Mercy Corps technical staff in order to develop potential projects including detailed work plans and business plans.
- Identify the capacity gaps of financial services actors, design and implement most feasible capacity building activities based on identified gaps and support the delivery of tailored financial services.
- Conduct light due-diligence on potential partners and support the negotiation process, as requested, in finalizing teaming and partnership agreements.
- Provide continuous support and oversee activities of the local financial institutions identified for capacity building support.
- Work closely with all other program teams at local level to identify clients for financial services and to support service extension and financial inclusion as well as development of suitable products and services.
- Actively participate in the periodic program planning, review and reflection meetings and sessions.
- Prepare accurate and timely reports and other project documentation and communication that contribute to a learning organization.
- Coordinate with other Mercy Corps programs and local government bodies to ensure coherent program implementation and to capitalize on business opportunities in Mercy Corps’ target communities.
- Support research, assessments, evaluations and monitoring surveys in area of operation. This will entail development of Scopes of Work, development of survey tools, trainings and management of data collectors, report write and facilitating results discussion;
- Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mission.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate including certifying all interventions to adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards;
- Conduct community mobilization and sensitization meetings that are inclusive and to help prioritize the economic needs of target communities.
- Support with collaborative partnership with other development partners and identify potential opportunities for linkages
- Engage and support Nawiri Team with REAP and Ward Development planning as required.
- Link private sector and financing to REAP participants and Ward Planning Committees.
- Coordinate activities with international and local NGOs, and private sector businesses, to ensure strong linkages between economic development programs.
- Work with team leader(s) and Mercy Corps technical staff in order to develop potential projects, implement and closely monitor selected economic development projects including detailed work plans and business plans.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Assist Field Director coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs
- Support the facilitation of planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in;
- Ensure close coordination and sharing of information with relevant stakeholders such as local government departments, NGO’s and local authorities, as appropriate and advised by the line manager.
- Facilitate planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in;
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
- Other duties as assigned.
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Participants and stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: N/A
Reports Directly To: Field Director with a dotted line to the Technical Support team’s Alternative Livelihoods Advisor & Inclusive Markets Advisor
Works Directly With: Technical Advisors/Leads, Learning Coordinators, Gender Officer. M&E Coordinator, field level finance and operations teams,
Minimum qualifications and transferable skills
- University degree, preferably in a related field (Business Administration, Economic, Finance) and at least 3 years’ hands on work experience ;
- Minimum of two to three years working with a formal financial institution with orientation to mass markets or within the private sector is required.
- Experience with market facilitation, supporting systemic change and promoting business or market/economic development, private sector or related industry is preferred.
- Experience in agricultural, rural enterprise and employment markets will be an advantage
- Ability to evaluate businesses and business plans;
- Superb networking and negotiation skills required.
- Understanding of local business environment and commitment to private sector solutions:
- Commitment to working in the ASALs – knowledge of Turkana or Samburu required;
- Excellent attention to detail and ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
- Excellent teamwork abilities and interpersonal skills.
- Familiarity with M&E, information, communications and knowledge sharing technologies and use of innovative approaches on digital financial services.
- Demonstrated computer competency of Microsoft Excel/Word and knowledge of data management software;
- Strong analytical and quantitative skills as well as familiarity with financial accounting required.
- Demonstrated flexibility, creativity and enthusiasm as well as a willingness to learn and to be continually adaptive within a dynamic and often self-directed working environment mandatory.
- Ability to focus on day-to-day tasks at hand while also working towards longer-term objectives with an understanding that these will change continuously;
- Ability to work without constant supervision and as part of a diverse team;
- Good reporting, communication and representation skills;
- Good problem solving, written and oral communication skills;
- Confident, sound training facilitation and representation/relationship skills;
- Strong written and spoken English and Kiswahili
- Local language skills required;
- In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
- We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
- Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
- We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
- Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis
S/he will combine exceptional facilitation skills and capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders at County, Sub-county and Ward levels. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving economic opportunities that can sustainably reduce persistent malnutrition. The Senior Private Sector Engagement & Financial Inclusion Officer will have the capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming by connecting private sector interests to public sector needs that will result in high quality programming. S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community and business levels. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.