FSP Agriculture and Market Systems Development - DRC
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 been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 450 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations.
Mercy Corps is currently implementing a Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in Kabare and Kalehe territories, South Kivu province, funded by the USAID Office of Food for Peace. The USAID-South Kivu Food Security Project (FSP-Enyanya) covers a 5-year period (October 2016- September 2021) and is positioning for a 2-year extension until 2023. FSP is implemented by a consortium of five NGOs for which Mercy Corps is the prime. The program aims to ensure that households and communities in the targeted areas improve their food and nutrition security and economic well-being. The program works across the three purposes of agricultural livelihoods and market integration (P1), maternal and child health and nutrition-MCHN (P2), and effective governance (P3), with a primary focus on women and youth. FSP will reach more than 200,000 participants and has built very solid acceptance within its targeted communities.
The agricultural component of the program is in an important transition phase and has begun to reorient its initial activities from production on household agricultural plots to marketing, structured within producer organizations.
General Position Summary
Since 2019, FSP has launched an ambitious program to support 72 smallholder farmers producer organizations. The initiative aims to improve their performance and growth through capacity building in the key areas of administrative and financial management, use of extension services, quality inputs, access to finance, and application of best production and storage techniques. The integration of these organizations into the bean, maize, cassava and onion value chains in local markets is supported by a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening their links and facilitate collaboration with the other actors in the value chains.
This strategic agenda for improving market systems is complemented by other activities that strengthen agricultural dynamism, such as the technical support and mentoring of 300 VSLAs and three business incubators for youth, natural resource management activities to protect watersheds against erosion, the technical support through agricultural and veterinary extension agents of several thousand households practicing small-scale animal husbandry and resilient agriculture (permagarden), in order to support nutrition.
The Agriculture and Market Systems Development Manager will lead, coordinate and manage all activities related to the implementation of the program component in the rural area of Miti Murhesa and Katana, ensuring the activities are on time, on scope and on budget. S/he will provide technical leadership and ensure monitoring in the rural area of Kalehe, where World Vision implements the same programming.
- Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of the program’s implementation and ensures understanding and ownership by the team
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and impact
- Leading the day-to-day activities of the program, including liaising with key program and consortium partners as well as local authorities to support its successful implementation
- Value the role of youth and women in development by maximizing their participation and contribution in the Program's activities.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome among program team members and other stakeholders
- Develop partnerships and organize activities to influence stakeholders for ownership and support
- Maintain strong and transparent communication with consortium partners and across technical Teams
- Provide management oversight over the implementation team (including consortium partners), including development of work plans, sector result chains, intervention designs, sustainability, monitoring implementation and impact, ensuring that program deliverables are completed on budget and on time
- Coordinate agriculture and market system development activities with those of the Health/Nutrition and Good Governance sectors to promote integration based on the Theory of Change
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan
- Manage and coordinate with the team all program activities design and implementation, including Market System Development interventions (capacity building and market-oriented support interventions for 72 Producers Organizations), protection and restoration of soil fertility on eroded hillsides, small-scale livestock farming, income generating activities development and strengthening, resilient agriculture on small plots (permagarden)
- Provide strategic support to the team and key market players, including the development of linkages, business models and capacity building that best meet the needs of POs in the areas covered by the program
- Integrate community approaches, Gender and Youth sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate
- Provide technical insight on FSP partners report reviews
- Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards
MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING (MEL)
- In collaboration with the MEL Director and Strategic Learning Manager, ensure monitoring, evaluation and analysis are integrated into program implementation to promote adaptive management and a culture of constant program improvement
- Support the design and implementation of relevant surveys, need assessments, data and information collection for on-going monitoring and learning
- Work with the MEL team to ensure high quality measurement on quarterly key performance indicators for Market Systems Development (MSD)
- Develop and nurture culturally sensitive internal and external relationships and networks to ensure optimum communication and program success
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with donors, government partners, consortium partners, sub-grantees, and other stakeholders
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Participate in relevant strategic fora to share Mercy Corps’ experience and promote thought-leadership
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Lead capacity development initiatives for project team members through trainings, mentoring and coaching to ensure there is a cohesive understanding of market systems and project implementation approaches
- Maintain a focus on achieving results and meeting the agreed objectives, and proactively solve problems
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
- Maintain/upgrade systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures
- Work closely with support functions in Mercy Corps DRC to ensure highest compliance and adherence to Mercy Corps policies and procedures
- Work with Finance Team on proper budget management, including, budget development, forecasting and procurement planning, as well as monthly financial reports reviewing
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure the well-being of team members and ensure they are aware of policies to help manage insecure environments.
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.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PARTICIPANTS AND STAKEHOLDERS
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 projects.
Supervises a team of about 20 Team members, including three Team Leaders and Officers in the areas of MSD, crops production, small animal husbandry and income-generating activities/VSLA. (indirectly supervising consortium team members)
Reports Directly to: Deputy Chief of Party
Works Directly With: FSP Program team and Consortium partners, HQ Technical Support Unit and works closely with Operations, Finance and Human Resources functions.
- BA/S or equivalent in economics, agri-business, rural development and a relevant field; an advanced degree is preferred
- 5-7 years agriculture/livelihoods program implementation and management experience using market-based approaches
- Demonstrated experience in managing and implementing market systems development programming
- Experience working in consortiums and coordinating and leading partners and stakeholders
- Experience managing and empowering teams in Market Systems Development with demonstrated evidence of continued learning and adaptation
- Strong communication, writing and report development skills
- Must be able to work independently while being a strong team player
- Experience working effectively with local and national governments and local partnering structures
- Advanced spoken and written French is required, with English preferred to intermediate level
The successful Agriculture and Market System Development Manager will have an excellent understanding and experience with the particular challenges of agriculture production and market development in rural areas of Eastern Congo. S/he will have a strong combination of team leadership, coordination, and program implementation skills with the ability to work across a wide range of stakeholders. S/he will have familiarity with the procedures of the MSD approach, and the capacity to manage relationships with different levels of value chain actors, supporters and influencers including farmer organizations, inputs providers, microfinance institutions, traders, parastatal and civil society organization as well as government ministries and institutions on a local level. The Manager will have the ability to communicate the program’s vision to a wide audience and play a critical leadership function to the technical team as well as bring a positive approach to the job, embracing challenges as opportunities to innovate. S/he will work well under pressure in a program that is complex in its scope and is an experienced professional in adaptive learning.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Bukavu, South-Kivu (DRC) and requires up to 30% travel to field locations in Kabare and Kalehe territories. The position is unaccompanied. Shared accommodation will be provided in Bukavu. The position is eligible to R&R.
Bukavu is a provincial capital of approximately 1,200,000 inhabitants. Living in Bukavu is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Bukavu, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.
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.