Consultant-Sahel Climate Strategy & Business Development-Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, UK, EU

Information Technology Africa - Various Locations, Kenya


About Mercy Corps

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.


Mercy Corps has a deep history of climate change related work across Africa. As the challenges of climate change continue to grow, and the Sahel in particular continues to feel the negative implications, Mercy Corps seeks to update its strategies and approaches in order to grow our impact. 

Purpose / Project Description:

The Consultant will be tasked with working closely with Mercy Corps country teams in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and relevant regional and HQ teams to inform and help establish the strategic direction for Mercy Corps’ climate change related work in the Sahel. The Consultant will lead a process to develop country specific climate action plans and business development strategies, and will be tasked with articulating areas of distinction at the regional level to feed into Mercy Corps’ Sahel regional strategy and positioning. 

The Consultant will be supported by the Deputy Regional Director, the Director of the Environment Technical Support Unit, the Global Resilience Director and will work closely with country focal points.   

Consultant Objectives:

The work produced by the consultant should help Mercy Corps:

  1. Develop an updated understanding of the primary climate challenges needing to be addressed at the country and regional levels. 
  2. Understand the priorities of donors investing in climate action, and strategies to influence them. 
  3. Analyze and prioritize which climate challenges are most pressing for Mercy Corps’ attention at country and regional levels considering their influence on Mercy Corps’ strategic objectives in the Sahel related to food security, economic opportunity and youth development, and donor priorities.
  4. Refine a vision for country teams’ climate niche, and the priority partnerships which will elevate business development opportunities
  5. Develop draft strategies to adapt existing work and undertake new programming, in line with donor priorities and existing funding opportunities. 
  6. Develop a vision for climate action at the Sahel regional level and strategic business development positioning recommendations, to be incorporated into a newly updated Sahel regional strategy for Mercy Corps

The consultant will also be expected to work closely with country leadership, and their leadership teams, to secure important remote meetings, undertake in-person key informant interviews, and secure endorsement potential partner institutions. 

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will lead the overall process of developing country scale climate action plans and a vision for the Sahel regional strategy. This work will be done in partnership with country teams, will require significant communication and facilitation via phone calls, workshops and meetings throughout the process. This work will include 

  • Host and organize various discussions and capacity building opportunities for country teams, in collaboration with regional and HQ technical experts. In particular this will include: 
    • (1) country-level kick-off conversations to identify key priorities, objectives and outcomes for each team. 
    • (2) a series of country level workshops and complementary one-on-one discussions which seek to ensure all members are operating with the same basic climate knowledge related to challenges, and possible climate actions. 
    • (3) 1-2 regional level discussions for vision setting and distilling specific technical pillars for regional level positioning and programming.  
    • It is expected that these sessions will be conducted remotely, with the possibility of an in-country workshop if agreed between the consultant and Mercy Corps.  
  • Develop and maintain a cooperative workplan with individual country teams laying out responsibilities and timelines for joint efforts. 
  • The consultant will review and synthesize existing reports and literature about climate challenges in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and current climate-related government policies and priorities.  
  • Conduct donor landscape studies to understand priorities and upcoming opportunities, and lead discussions with country teams to discern positioning priorities and update existing country level business development plans 
  • Identify potential technical partnerships, including both local and international organizations, necessary to expand climate programming. Organize manage meetings with the most promising technical partners, donors and other key stakeholders that align with business development priorities.  
  • Work with country teams to identify a prioritized set of strategies and concept notes, which address key climate challenges and are aligned with donor priorities and funding opportunities. 
  • Lead the development of a 2 page brief for each country articulating Mercy Corps’ climate change distinctive that summarizes the set of strategies and concept notes 
  • Lead the development of a document (2-4 pages) articulating Mercy Corps’ climate change vision and approach in the Sahel. 

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will develop the following deliverables:

  • A workplan, by country, which articulates the process the strategy development process will take and the rolls of various individuals and teams. Each workplan should be agreed upon with country leadership.
  • A synthesis of the climate related challenges facing Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso which draws out the implication for Mercy Corps’ existing strategies, goals and objectives. 
  • A donor landscape and strategy report for the same countries which outlines the key priorities and upcoming opportunities by donor for each country, and makes recommendations on how to leverage existing country impact and capacity. 
  • Partnership and engagement strategies, by country, to inform country team engagement with relevant institutions with the intention of facilitating greater visibility and fostering portfolio growth. 
  • Brief guidance for the consultant and country teams to use when speaking with donors and technical partners in US, UK, Europe as well as face-to-face meetings in country. 
  • Two to three short (1 page) concept notes per country (total: 6 to 9) articulating key strategies for addressing climate change 
  • A three-page approach/capacity statement for each country for use with external audiences articulating Mercy Corps’ climate change distinctive that summarizes country teams’ capacity, and future climate priorities.  
  • A document (to be defined in consultation with the consultant) which lays out a vision and objectives for addressing climate change across the Sahel to be incorporated into Mercy Corps’ new Sahel Regional strategy. 

Timeframe / Schedule:  

This contract is for a maximum of 70 days, starting in March with an anticipated end date of May. All activities and deliverables (listed above) must be completed or submitted by the contract end date.

The Consultant will report to: 

Director, Environment Technical Support Unit 

The Consultant will work closely with:

Deputy Regional Director, Africa 
Global Resilience Director
Country Directors in the Sahel 

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of relevant experience 
  • Familiarity with climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and natural resource management sectors and associated strategies
  • Strong understanding of existing and future climate finance structures and opportunities at country and regional scales. 
  • Demonstrated experience with business development and/or strategy development 
  • French oral fluency highly desired
  • Experience working with teams to strengthen knowledge related to climate change or other relevant topics  
  • The ability to work closely with, and motivate, multiple teams remotely

Mercy Corps Diversity Statement 

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 Statement

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.