Position: Resilient Livelihoods and Markets Team Lead – Nairobi, Kenya
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
The 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.
The Resilient Livelihoods Team Lead will be responsible for guiding, supporting and overseeing all Nawiri Program team and activities related to strengthening resilient livelihoods from a “push” perspective, ensuring marginalized, underserved, ultra-poor households are able to practice market-oriented, sustainable, and resilient livelihoods that support nutrition in the last mile. The position will be responsible for technical and program quality in implementation across all resilient livelihoods components, including livestock and agricultural production, financial services, and off and non-farm oriented activities in particular graduation models (REAP4 Nutrition). S/he will be responsible for driving strategies that identify and strengthen the capacity of private sector actors across all levels of the program. S/he will provide direct technical expertise in market-oriented livelihood activities and lead local private sector engagement and partnerships in the last mile, while ensuring appropriate technical quality and aligning support as needed across all resilient livelihoods components. S/he will have a strong understanding of integrated approaches, and how to complement, layer and integrate resilient activities into other program activities, including peer-to-peer support groups focused on nutrition, care, and reproductive health. S/he will guide the resilient livelihoods team in technical excellence and program quality, and ensure all program targets are met in line with BHA requirements and standards. S/he will be responsible for meeting all BHA and Nawiri program requirements related to work planning, reporting, and results measurement. S/he will oversee partnerships related to resilient livelihoods and private sector engagement across the program, including linked to water and health.
Essential Job Responsibilities
TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP AND PROGRAM QUALITY
- Lead and/or update existing high quality market and livelihoods assessment across underserved communities in project implementation areas, providing a foundation for designing and layering resilient livelihood activities across the programs’ peer support groups.
- Train and lead the technical teams and partners in the design and implementation of appropriate market-based approaches or resilient livelihoods that can support income generation in last mile communities, and ultimately connect to nutrition pathways. This can include through voucher and viable smart-subsidy approaches.
- Lead strategies in strengthening the capacities of market actors.
- Introduce and facilitate access to appropriate technology to support market-based approaches, including digital vouchers, solar, etc.
- Regularly guide and mentor resilient livelihoods and implementation team in identifying effective business models, and assessing the viability of income generating and return on investment across all livelihood activities.
- In partnerships with the technical leads and Implementation Lead ensure consistency of high quality, technical approaches across all resilient livelihoods components – production, financial services, entrepreneurship and employment, and identify additional technical support where required.
- Review all income generating and market activities from a resilience perspective, ensuring appropriateness to changing climate conditions, agro-ecological landscape, and conflict. Seek and receive additional technical guidance in these areas as required.
- Ensure effective sequencing, layering and integration of market components with other critical activities, particularly natural resource management, water security and psychosocial support.
- Regularly monitor and review the quality of implementation, and work with the Implementation Lead to scale what works or take corrective measures.
PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS
- Lead the process of developing partnerships with and growing a vibrant network of key ‘Lead Firm’ actors, such as large businesses and government partners who will contribute to promoted business models
- Develop guidance and protocols for identifying and partnering with private sector actors at all levels, including local service providers/last mile agents, suppliers, buyers, processors, transporters
- Identify appropriate modalities for engaging with and supporting private sector actors to build out businesses and local food systems in the last mile, including through vouchers, cost share arrangements, trainings, exposure visits, and business-to-business connections.
- Represent and clearly articulate market-based approach to resilient livelihoods, and private sector partnerships to government counterparts, as needed.
- Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
- Ensure effective management of the resilient livelihoods component, including adhering to all established program management process related to work planning, implementation, review and reflection meetings, adaptive management and reporting.
- Ensure all required submissions from the resilient livelihoods team are on time and of high quality.
- Facilitate effective sequencing, layering and integrating of activities within and across the program components.
LEARNING, ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT AND REPRESENTATION
- Monitor and report on implementation progress of resilient livelihoods activities.
- Regularly partner with the MEL Lead and Strategic Learning Advisor to identify and track progress against results pathways.
- Ensure team is effectively supporting data capture and monitoring of activities, in line with MEL and SLA plans and systems.
- Regularly support team to reflect on progress of resilient livelihood activities and progress against outputs, outcomes and milestones
- Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in last mile market-based approaches to resilient livelihoods.
- Present concepts and ideas to program leadership, partners, and peer organizations that influence them to drive innovation and positive change.
- Build effective relationships with the resilient livelihoods team, based on mutual trust, collaboration, urgency and curiosity
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives. Regularly conduct performance reviews and provide constructive feedback.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Adhere to all principles related to gender equality and social inclusion, and create an inclusive team environment.
- Model Mercy Corps key leadership competencies, including “be curious,” “be collaborative,” “listen actively,” and “be inclusive.”
- Ensure data protection policies are adhered to, establishing security controls for software, hardware and archive beneficiary databases
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies
Climate-resilient Agriculture Advisor, Alternative Livelihoods Advisor and Markets advisor,
Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party or Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Director of Implementation, Water Technical Lead, Health Technical Lead, BOMA Team Lead, governance lead, MEL and learning leads
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.
Sensitize communities on Apolou’s CARM system and encourage them to share feedback through the promoted channels
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- The ideal candidate, should hold an advanced degree in Business Management, Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, or Economics with major focus on rural livelihoods, resilience and/or livestock
- A minimum of 8 years’ experience in agribusiness, livestock production or marketing, or agri-enterprise development especially in a rural or pastoral community. Direct experience working in the private sector in development program is
- Demonstrable experience in developing business financial models and evaluating common business analysis tools required.
- Working knowledge of Kenya’s economy and business environment, particularly in the context of rural development, Turkana and Samburu
- Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with a wide range of partners; private sector, banks, government and civil society;
- Demonstrable quantitative skills, including familiarity with database management and analysis
- Proven skills in networking, assessing information needs and developing appropriate tools
- Proven skills in team work, holding community consultations and organizational development
- Excellent English language skills (written and verbal) for reporting, communication and representation
- Fluency or working knowledge in Turkana is an advantage
The successful candidate will combine exceptional technical and management skills and strong experience in program delivery and partnership building in market systems. The candidate will have a strong understanding of strengthening inclusive market opportunities in remote, underserved areas. The candidate will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs. The role will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. 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 in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and it requires up to 40% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.
How to apply
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