Justice and Stability in the Sahel Research Manager - Bamako, Mali
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.
Mercy Corps has been working in Mali since 2012, supporting vulnerable communities and at-risk Malian women, men and youth to cope with food insecurity and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, contribute to peace and stability, and address humanitarian, development and stabilization structural challenges. With a growing portfolio, Mercy Corps Mali is increasingly striving to integrate its humanitarian, development, and conflict prevention programming to create a sustainable and impactful improvement in the stability and development of some of Mali’s worst conflict-affected areas.
Mercy Corps is currently expanding its portfolio of cross-border programmes in Mali and Niger to reinforce the work of supporting communities in preventing the spread of violent conflict. As part of this expansion, as of April 1, 2023, Mercy Corps launched implementation of the second phase of the 14M pounds Justice and Stability in the Sahel (JASS), a stabilization-focused programme centered on fostering inclusive and effective land and natural resource governance, conflict mitigation, and justice in the Sahel covering Mali and Niger. JASS is designed as a triple nexus approach. It incorporates response options to climate shocks and stresses while simultaneously creating alternative livelihood options in order to reduce pressure on land and land justice mechanisms.
Funded by the FCDO, the second phase of the three-year programme, will contribute to the stabilization of increasingly at-risk areas in Mali and Niger through targeted programming and research. In Mali, JASS will be implemented in 20 communes in the regions of Koulikoro, San, Segou and Koutialla in partnership with the national NGO AMEDD. In Niger, JASS will be implemented in 4 communes in the regions of Maradi and Tahoua in partnership with national the NGO Cercle Dev. As part of the programme, an ambitious research and evidence-informed approach targeting land governance and access to justice actors and programmes in Mali and Niger will be implemented to improve learning, adapting, and results. The results of this research will help in cultivating an in-depth understanding of conflicts and access to justice issues in Mali and Niger. In Mali, the core programme implementation team from JASS 1 is already in place for phase 2 implementation.
The JASS Research Manager will lead the implementation of all research and evidence interventions on the JASS programme and occasionally support research initiatives on other programmes. They will also work collaboratively across teams in both Niger and Mali to oversee the research for all implementing partners. The JASS Research Manager will work as part of the Programme Management Unit (PMU), under the leadership of the Programme Director.
The JASS Research Manager will provide overall leadership to JASS research and evidence initiatives, providing management and strategic vision to ensure that the programme conducts and makes use of quality research products in order to inform implementation and promote knowledge-sharing within the programme and similar learning forums, both locally and globally. The incumbent will collaborate with the programme advocacy team to use research to develop strategic relations with external actors – including other implementers, key stakeholders in the Sahel, and the Governments of Mali and Niger.
The JASS Research Manager will work closely with the country-level leaderships in Niger and Mali; HQ and Regional Leadership; and Technical Support teams, and partner team members to ensure the further refinement and continuous learning and adapting of programmes as informed by the results of the diverse research deliverables.
Considering the complexity of JASS – which includes the unconventional incorporation of research, market systems, and conflict prevention programming in combination with community-and system-level work as means towards creating sustainable change by promoting social inclusion and offsetting economic, environmental, and structural drivers of insecurity – the JASS Research Manager is an incredibly important and critical role for this programme.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
Refine and ensure a shared understanding of the programme’s research strategic vision.
Lead the development and implementation of the JASS research agenda.
Oversee all research operations for JASS from conception, design, implementation, data collection, analysis, reporting, and evaluation.
Ensure compliance with reporting formats and requirements, and ensure quality and accuracy of reports.
Contribute to the monitoring of the programme Theory of Change (ToC) and facilitate the capitalization of lessons learned.
Dissimination of research results through webinars, workshops, and other possible means.
Develop terms of reference for research.
Adhere to programme-specific research plans to organize timely field data collection.
Ensure the quality of data collected in accordance with Mercy Corps standards.
Produce quality reports on time.
Put documents in communication formats specific to the target audience for dissemination of results.
Assist staff members in implementing appropriate methodologies and tools for data collection and analysis (survey questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informant interviews) and plans for the dissemination and use of the data and findings.
Support data collection activities, including data management and quality control.
Support the research capacity building of staff.
Analyze lessons learned and programme successes to inform future years of the programme.
Ensure compliance with minimum standards of programme management in the performance of his/her duties, advising and supporting other staff as required.
Other duties as assigned.
Ensure that staff and investigators are able to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
Supervise staff and investigators during data collection and analysis by delineating their responsibilities.
Render regularly accounts to the Programme Director.
Comply with safety procedures and policies determined by local authorities.
Proactively ensure that team members work in a secure environment and are aware of local policies.
To conduct themselves professionally and personally in a manner that brings honor and credibility to Mercy Corps and does not compromise its humanitarian mission.
Be accountable to programme participants.
Reports Directly To: JASS Director and under the technical supervision of: HQ Research team
Works Directly With: JASS Pogramme team, Niger and Mali PDQ, MEL Manager, Gender Specialist, HQ & Regional Technical Support Unit, donors, NGO partners, and humanitarian agencies.
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills
The ideal candidate for this Research Manager position should have good computer skills with an emphasis on the following:
University Degree (at least BAC +3) in a relevant field (Social Sciences, Economics, Statistics, Computer Science, Research or related field); a PhD or Master's degree in a relevant field is an advantage.
3 to 5 years of experience in leading the design and implementation of research, ideally in a research manager position.
5+ years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.
High degree of computer literacy. Excel and Word skills are essential.
Knowledge of mobile data management and collection platforms such as CommCare, ONA, ODK Collect, Kobo Toolbox, IformBuilder, etc.
Advanced skills in data analysis and visualization software: Stata, R, Power BI, Tableau, etc.;
Ability to manage and meet deadlines.
Ability to work independently on multiple tasks at once.
Excellent communication and organizational skills;
Excellent command of French and English (oral and written knowledge).
Knowledge of some local languages such as Bambara, Peuhl, Haussa, or Tamasheq would be a plus.
The candidate should research competence in land and natural resource governance, conflict, climate change adaptation, political economy analyses and gender equality and social inclusion. It should have the ability to develop a working study design and rigorous planning of the use of time and financial resources. It will need to have a productive interaction with the Programme Director, Communications, Advocacy and Reporting Manager, MEL Manager and country implementation leads in Mali and Niger. It will be able to multitask, make quick decisions, take initiative, and be self-motivated with high emotional intelligence and have strong administrative and organizational skills. It will also have proven ability to organize, prioritize tasks, proactivity, flexibility and sense of initiative. The candidate needs to have the ability to communicate effectively with team members. It should also have the ability to learn quickly, take initiative and report on results. It needs to be able to evolve in a multicultural environment of international development.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is non-accompanied and based in Bamako with at least 40% travel to programme areas both in Mali & Niger, security permitting. Accommodations will be provided in a team house based on Mercy Corps’ Mali housing policy. This position is eligible for R&R every four months. While the city has been mostly secure, attacks against foreigners in 2016 in some public places underscore the fluidity of the situation and may require expatriate staff to adhere to security policies, such as restrictions on movement. Bamako is served by an international airport with daily flights to European and African destinations. Restaurants and shopping options are available all over the town, with reasonable access to most consumer goods. Health care services exist and are developing rapidly. However, for more serious conditions, medevac to Dakar, Senegal or Europe may be required. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values always and in all in-country venues.
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.