Program / Department
Mercy Corps is currently implementing a five-year USAID-funded Kenya Feed the Future (FtF) Livestock Market Systems (LMS associate award 2) Activity for northern Kenya. The associate award 2 is supporting the Strengthening Community Capacities for Resilience and Growth component. This activity contributes to USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and specifically aimed at improving households’ income, productive assets and resilience to drought and other shocks. Specific areas of focus include strengthened and sustained rangeland and water management; strengthened drought risk management; strengthened conflict management; improved and sustained health, nutrition, and hygiene practices; improved literacy, numeracy, and life skills; and collaborative action and learning for community empowerment.
The Position Summary
The DCOP will assist the COP in project oversight, managing for results technical, administrative, operational, and logistical management of the project. In absence of the COP; the D/COP will undertake some of the CoP responsibilities. The D/COP with the assistance of other personnel will provide technical assistance and oversight of all the project objectives. The DCOP will also have direct oversight of program operations and M&E functions.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Support COP to provide strategic vision, leadership and overall responsibility for all aspects of the program’s development, implementation, and management.
- Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities at county level, including finalizing target areas/activities
- Support COP conduct periodic review program approaches based on international best practices and lessons learned
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND NEW INITIATIVES
- Provide leadership and strategic vision to the ward development planning process, Girls Improving Resilience through Livelihoods, Geographic Information System roll out by the counties, WASH infrastructure rolls out and social behavior change communication, co-creation of work plans and co-implementation with local actors, and capacity building of local partners, including work plan development, market analysis, partnership selection and management, and overall sector strategy.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations. Oversee performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees.
- Coordinate with program and finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities including logistics (transport, warehousing and asset management), procurement, security, administration and human resources.
- Support project filed teams develop customized program annual work plans and ensure consistency with approved budget
- Support COP and MEL monitoring project implementation and documenting lessons learned and recommend strategic shifts.
- Organize and facilitate quarterly learning and reflection workshops in close coordination with COP
- Support COP and Finance teams conduct periodic review of budget expenditure against project activities and outputs
COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, private sector, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Chief of Party
- Ensure project activities are in line with and integrated with county development priorities, policies and framework
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners at implementation level in the field and ensure integration and layering of activities to leverage impact
MONITORING & EVALUATION, LEARNING (MEL) AND REPORTING
- Facilitate the achievement of program targets and objectives and lead efforts to design effective M&E systems. Evaluate program results and make recommendations for improvement in program implementation.
- Assess and analyze impact and adaptively manage the project to meet results.
- Oversee the scheduling and production of formal and informal reports and work plans on all aspects of the program in a timely and efficient manner.
- Ensure that M&E staff focus on assisting programs to generate practical information that can be used for ongoing program decision-making while also capturing results at the impact level.
- Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team and the country to ensure that monitoring and evaluation of livestock based programs is practical and reflects best practices.
- In close partnership with the COP, create a work atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
- Implement, and ensure all staff are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback.
- Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees, and ensuring that supervisory staff do the same in a timely manner.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
- Ensure that Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) is operationalized within the LMS program. Designate a CARM focal point for program.
- Develop a CARM sensitization plan for feedback channels, in coordination with CARM and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) teams, to ensure the harmonization of messaging.
- Ensure that program stakeholders are proactively informed of the program CARM feedback channels.
- Ensure that appropriate action is taken for all programmatic feedback Grades 1-4 and that it is appropriately incorporated into program activities and overall implementation strategy.
County Program Coordinators, MEAL Manager, WASH Engineer, Communications Coordinator and NRM Advisor
Reports Directly to: AA2 Chief of Party
Works Directly with: Project team, MC Kenya operations, finance and HR team, LWA lead and partner organizations, program leads in Livestock based contexts and sectors, Director of Programs, Country Director, Local partners, LMS Consortium partners
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- MA/S in international development, livestock, agriculture, business, economics, or related field of study
- 5-10 years of overseas experience including five years in a senior management position
- Strong understanding of U.S. government compliance issues
- Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing and editing
- Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues
- Proven experience managing a large, complex team in multiple field offices.
- 5+ years’ experience in Kenya or the Horn of Africa preferred
- Knowledge of Kiswahili and relevant local dialects (e.g. Somali, Borana, Turkana etc) is preferred.
The successful candidate will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, M&E skills. S/he will be able to establish good inter-personal, cross-cultural relationships, communication skills, a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams, and have already established relationships with and/or substantive knowledge of key players in the drylands of Kenya. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.
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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
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ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Gender Inclusive and Transformative Service Development for Women Smallholders
- Take leading role in developing program learning in best practices and innovation in digitally enabled financial services for women, leveraging and augmenting the Gender Transformative Toolkit, to ensure that the full program team across all countries are informed and working optimally toward gender targets 40%;
- Support the external learning, impact evaluation and communications agendas around gender inclusive/transformative services best practice and innovations for partners and ecosystem players, actively engaging in relevant communities of practice, including FinEquity;
- Conduct ongoing desk review of global best practice in gender inclusive/transformative approaches, as well as ongoing learning meetings with program partners, donors and stakeholders related to gender inclusive/transformative services, working in coordination with the Technical Team, country-based consultants and the MERAL Team.
- Prepare field/partner reports, blogs and other learning outputs for mass communication regarding gender inclusive/transformative aspects of the program.
- Engage in the development of new partnerships, relationship building, and product roadmaps related to gender inclusive/transformative development.
- Provide technical support to develop gender transformative aspects for all engagements across all program countries, liaising directly with the Deputy Program and relevant managers.
- Draw on rapid product iteration approaches and support Country Managers to identify technical consultants as needed in this area and provide support and oversight for consultants as required.
- Assist in development of partner business and work plans with a gender-lens, leveraging the Gender Transformative Toolkit related to gender inclusive/transformative elements, reviewing research, operational manuals, product and technology specifications and financial statements to do so.
- Engage with program partners to ensure that adequate marketing strategies and resources are in place to drive active adoptions and use of service by women, including go to market plan, market entry & scaling, customer acquisition branding, incentive & commission structures, advertising, and risk mitigation strategies.
- Support the initiative to identify alternative data sources to drive the gender inclusive development and expansion of products and services, including conducting research, identifying, and selecting prospective data partners and framing and implementing pilot tests of alternative data with partners.
- Work with relevant team members to structure and implement market assessments to drive meaningful financial product and service development for women, including agricultural value chain payments.
- Ensure that market assessments focus on the “pain points” and market segmentation of women small holder farmers and to guide product and service development and overcome the barriers for the small holder farmers so they can increase their access, usage and utility of services.
- Work with the Sprout team to ensure that the evolving global public good platform is gender inclusive.
- Support the work of the MERAL Director around implementation of the learning agenda and relevant learning outputs and impact studies.
Program Representation and Stakeholder Engagement:
- Serve as a representative for the program in matters related to gender inclusive/transformative services for SHF.
- Proactively engage with program stakeholders to inform coordination and collaboration.
- Develop and maintain relationships with service providers related to gender inclusive/transformative approaches and link relationship management to country management.
- Engage in internal Mercy Corps communities of practice on gender as it relates to financial services, climate, market systems, etc. and share information actively about AgriFin programming, learning and results.
- Actively support program planning, fundraising and reporting efforts related to gender inclusive/transformative delivery for SHF.
- Provide partnership recommendations on gender both within and outside Mercy Corps programming.
- Lead in designing, implementing, and coordinating communications and knowledge management campaigns and activities, including social media, information dissemination, tools, and learning events on gender and women’s empowerment issues in gender programming.
- Ensure that programming works within Mercy Corps’ M4P rubric for inclusive service delivery.
- Provide technical leadership within the team in gender inclusive/transformative approaches, including regular trips to the radial offices to support Country Managers and Program Officers to build their capacity.
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 Beneficiaries
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.
Direct supervision of country-based consultants across gender activities, as agreed with Deputy Program Director
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Program Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Technical teams, MERAL team, Country Managers and Program Officers, Consultants, Finance and Operations staff.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- MA/S or equivalent in gender, finance, business, international development, accounting, or related field of study
- At least five years’ experience in gender inclusive/transformative approaches including three years in a management position, ideally with an organization engaged in agriculture, technology, financial services or other direct service provision to smallholder farmers.
- Strong understanding of the application of gender inclusive/transformative approaches in Eastern and Southern Africa and/or India, including commercial banks, MFIs, insurance companies, and others.
- Demonstrated experience in thought leadership related to gender inclusive/transformative approaches
- Demonstrated experience in gender-lens product design and implementation
- Demonstrated experience working in and leading collaborative teams
- Understanding of and experience with improving gender inclusive/transformative approaches for smallholder farmers
- Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing, and editing
- Terrific sense of humor and of self
- Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task across a range of projects
- Experience in Kenya, Ethiopia and/or Nigeria preferred.
SUCCESS FACTORS: The most successful Mercy Corps members possess: a positive, flexible attitude; a
strong commitment to teamwork, impact, and accountability; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a nearly fearless devotion to building a better world.
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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.