Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Director - USAID-Funded Integrated Nutrition Activity

Programs Kathmandu, Nepal


This position is pending funding

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.

In Nepal, Mercy Corps  began  operations  in  2005,  and  since  then  has  implemented  projects  in  the  sectors of agriculture, food security and nutrition, financial services, youth engagement, and disaster risk reduction/ climate change adaptation. To date, this programming has reached over 900,000 people in 23 districts. We work with a range of donors in Nepal, and have been a trusted prime partner of choice for USAID for decades. 

The Program / Department / Team 

Mercy Corps is seeking a qualified Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Director to provide GESI technical leadership and support to the implementation of the anticipated, five-year, USAID-funded Integrated Nutrition Activity (INA) in Nepal. The purpose of this Activity is to reduce malnutrition among women, children and adolescents in Nepal’s underserved and marginalized communities. 

The Position

The GESI Director is a member of the program’s senior management team and will be responsible for designing, leading, managing, and implementing INA’s GESI approach. The GESI Director will design and implement a strategy to ensure the program appropriately addresses the varied needs of women, men, girls, and boys, and that program staff are sensitive to gender, age, caste, ability, and other social identity considerations. The GESI Director will ensure that the social dimensions of nutrition and health are effectively addressed across all activities and components as well as the operational aspects of the program. S/he/they will manage staff and coordinate closely with partners to fulfill the gender equality and social inclusion goals of the program. The GESI Director is responsible for capacity building and mentoring program staff on GESI related to program design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), safety and security, and operations. It is our expectation that a successful approach to integrating gender and social inclusion in this program will require both direct, stand-alone GESI activities to address social-cultural barriers to integrated nutrition interventions, as well as cross-cutting applications of GESI in all technical components of the program. 

Essential Responsibilities 


  • Design formative research for a gender and social inclusion analysis, manage data collection, lead data analysis and develop recommendations based on findings. Work closely with the program team to integrate the findings from the gender analysis into the project’s workplan and milestones.
  • Develop the program’s GESI Strategy to guide gender and social inclusion integration and priorities across the life of the program, based on the formative research.
  • Advise the program team, including local partners, on GESI integration, including designing and conducting capacity building and training based on identified needs and program objectives.
  • Support integration of gender and social inclusion into the program’s M&E to ensure that gender and social inclusion are reflected in output, outcome and impact level indicators and that sex and age disaggregated data is regularly collected and reflected upon to inform adaptations.
  • Contribute to program research conducted, including the overall learning agenda, to ensure gender and social dynamics are represented.   
  • Conduct regular community consultations to ensure programming remains gender, age, and socially sensitive and on-track.
  • Collect and share learnings and best practices on gender and social inclusion integration.       
  • Represent the program’s GESI strategy, analysis, research and learnings with internal and external stakeholders including at workshops, conferences and annual learning events.
  • Work with program teams to ensure a do no harm approach to gender-focused and inclusive programming is implemented and that appropriate protections are in place for participants.
  • Ensure all Mercy Corps GESI minimum standards are met throughout the program.
  • Proactively work with Mercy Corps’ headquarters Technical Support Unit (TSU) to contribute to learning and gain insights from global best practice and experience.


  • Identify and recruit qualified team members to ensure implementation of the program’s GESI approach.
  • Directly manage staff in day-to-day GESI activities and integration, providing technical oversight and support.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, including partner GESI staff, deepen understanding of their roles, and assist with career development.
  • Work closely with the Human Resources team to ensure GESI accountability is incorporated into the position descriptions of all program team members.
  • Ensure that program and country staff understand and adhere to Mercy Corps’ GESI Minimum Standards for programming.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


  • 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, bringing a GESI lens. 
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies. 

Supervisory Responsibility

Expected to supervise several direct reports. The number of direct and indirect reports will be determined at a later stage.


Reports Directly To: INA Chief of Party

Works Directly With: INA Deputy Chief of Party, INA Technical Leads, Mercy Corps Global GESI team, Mercy Corps Nepal Country Director, Director of Programs

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 field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills 

  • 7-10 years of professional experience in GESI, with a minimum of 3 years in a senior leadership role. 
  • BA/S in relevant academic area such as gender, social sciences, public health or related field; MA/S or advanced degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience with gender and social inclusion on a USAID project preferred.
  • Demonstrated technical experience leading gender equality and social inclusion integration into nutrition and/or health programming.
  • Previous experience as a supervisor and managing staff required.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Experience in Nepal and an in-depth understanding of gender, age, caste and other locally significant socio-cultural factors in the context of nutrition programming preferred.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis, and utilization of information from a broad range of sources and write high quality reports.
  • Skills in participatory learning and action and facilitating collaborative problem solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster commitment and build capacity among program staff and in-country actors to ensure gender and social inclusion integration and empowerment.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

Success Factors 

The successful GESI Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement, and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity strengthening, 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. He/she will also see the program as part of wider Mercy Corps Nepal and Mercy Corps global programs, and be excited to engage at a country office and organizational level. 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Kathmandu, Nepal, with significant travel required to program locations across the country. For international candidates, this is an accompanied position with housing in individual accommodation and unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house and office. Kathmandu is a culturally dynamic capital city that can provide a safe and comfortable living environment, including for families, though a sense of patience with routine power cuts, water shortages, air pollution, and traffic is required. There are many international schools in Nepal, including both American and British system programs. Staff have full access to all services, such as medical, electricity, water, and internet. This position requires 50% travel (or more) to field offices and locations, some of which are easily accessible but many others of which are remote and require extended travel (by medium or small aircraft, vehicle on rough, windy, and/or elevated roads, and hiking) in areas that may be distant from amenities or healthcare. Climate conditions can include exceptional heat or cold, with some field sites at higher altitudes. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.

Ongoing Learning

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.