Senior Private Sector Advisor, Kampala-Uganda

Programs Kampala, Uganda



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.

Program / Department Summary

The $41 million USAID Food for Peace Activity (Apolou) and the $5 million USAID Resilience Challenge Fund (RCF) Activity support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoralist households living across the districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong, Karenga, and Moroto in Karamoja.

Apolou is implemented by a consortium of actors led by Mercy Corps, including Save the Children, Whave Solutions, four local partners (KAPDA, NARWOA and Riam Riam), TUNADO, FIDA Uganda, Strong Minds and Tufts University’s Feinstein International Centre (FIC). Apolou’s goal is to “improve the overall food and nutrition security of vulnerable households in Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Amudat districts within the Karamoja region,” and has major 4 objectives as follows:

  1. Inclusive and effective governance contributes to food and nutrition security
  2. Adolescent girls, Pregnant and Lactating Women, and Children under 5 are nutritionally secure
  3. Reduced incidences of WASH related diseases
  4. Improved livelihoods and income support household food security

The RCF activity works in the districts of Kaabong and Amudat, with the goal to “Improve veterinary governance and increase public and private investment in disease prevention, surveillance, control and response systems to strengthen productive assets for improved resilience in Karamoja.” RCF has the following objectives:

  1. Increased domestic resource allocation into animal health services in Karamoja
  2. Central and local government develop animal health services capacity-strengthening plan for the Karamoja region
  3. Disease control plan for economically prioritized diseases (PPR and FMD) developed and implemented
  4. Private sector animal health development strategy developed and rolled out

General Position Summary

The  goal of this position is to examine the effectiveness of interventions to improve animal health systems in two districts in Karamoja: Amudat and Kaabong. To achieve this, the Senior Private Sector Advisor will prioritize generation of evidence of cost-effective approaches to disease control and surveillance for increased livestock production and productivity as well as the strengthening or emergence of adaptive and absorptive capacities livestock provide to vulnerable households.

The Senior Private Sector Advisor will lead engagement and partnership with all private sector partners related to the livestock production and animal health sectors in Apolou and RCF’s areas of operation in Karamoja.  Within the larger livestock market system in Karamoja, Apolou and RCF is addressing the chronic barriers to low livestock productivity within smallholder households; lack of access to quality affordable animal health goods and services, limited use of preventive animal health practices, limited access to quality affordable fodder and animal nutrition products and unfavorable terms and conditions of trade for livestock by smallholder pastoralists and agro-pastoralists.

The Private Sector Advisor  will lead the identification and selection of private sector partners and work closely with the Program Manager- Livestock to facilitate discussions between the private sector and relevant Government of Uganda officials to design and test models for private sector led animal health and vaccination services that reach the most vulnerable livestock keepers in the region.  S/He will develop, and roll-out sound implementation plans and develop tools to identify alternative business models, assess current on and off-farm business and livelihood performance so RCF can better advise producers on how to improve profitability. 

Essential Job Responsibilities

Program quality
  • Conduct high quality market system assessment in the livestock sector, providing the foundation for program design. This includes reviewing existing sector analysis and data and collaborating with the Program Manager- Livestock to address concerns.
  • 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
  • Review existing and develop alternative business models for the reliable delivery of affordable animal health and nutrition goods and services and improved livestock marketing that support livestock producers to improve their household incomes and food security,with associated Return on Investments (RoI) calculations highlighting profitability and viability of promoted business models.
  • Lead feasibility studies of business models, interventions and practices for proposed business models including but not limited to the agro-vet and community animal health worker (CAHW) business models, herd management practices and (semi-) intensive livestock rearing or finishing.
  • Work with relevant training institutions to develop and/or adapt relevant training curricula and tools and lead/support training for diverse stakeholders including government officials, illiterate populations, and agriculture entrepreneurs.
  • Train program staff and local counterparts to conduct cost benefit analysis
  • In collaboration with lead firms - private and public sector partners, identify training needs and facilitate training and technical assistance for targeted livestock farmers and livestock-based micro and small enterprises (MSMEs)
  • Develop investment plans, including public-private partnership models, to generate interest by public and private investors and to address concerns by officials of the Government of Uganda as it relates to private sector delivery of vaccination services.
learning and impact
  • Monitor and report on implementation progress of Private sector-related activities on Apolou and RCF activities.
  • Work with the Program Manager - Livestock and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices for private sector engagement using a MSD approach
  • Nurture partnerships with universities, research institutions, and other organizations to produce case studies, assessments, and other learning documentation, as well as enhance program quality.
  • Policy, advocacy, Representation
    Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in livestock market systems development in Uganda, in particular in relation to resilience and livestock MSD in crisis contexts
    Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions
    Present concepts and ideas to donors, partners, and peer organizations that influence them to drive innovation and positive change.
Team Management
  • Build effective relationships with program teams implementing MSD programs, based on mutual trust, collaboration, urgency and curiosity
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • 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.
  • Support hiring and orientation of team members with a focus on MSD


Ethics and Integrity

All Mercy Corps staff are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination


The Senior Private Sector Engagement Advisor will

  • 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
Organizational Learning 

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

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


All Mercy Corps staff are expected to conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission

This opportunity requires a result oriented and self-motivated individual capable of taking on complex challenges that can make a real difference in people’s lives.

Willingness to work in the field with livestock producers, community animal health workers, kraal leaders, businesses in the value chain and communities.

Supervisory responsibility:

Two (02) Agribusiness development officers  


  • Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
  • Works Directly With: Apolou/ RCF Livestock Team, District Implementation Team, Technical Team, Gender and Youth Team, MEL, finance and operations staff, Partners, Government

Knowledge and Experience

  • The ideal candidate, should hold an advanced degree in Business Management, Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, or Economics with major focus on rural livelihoods, resilience or livestock
  • A minimum of 5 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 is 
  • Demonstrable experience in developing business financial models and evaluating common business analysis tools required.
  • Working knowledge of Uganda’s economy and business environment, particularly in the context of rural development and Karamoja.
  • 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 Ngakarimojong and Pokot is an advantage