Regional Market Systems Development Advisor - Africa (various locations)
Please note that this role can be based in various Mercy Corps operations locations in Africa.
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
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps is currently operational in 17 countries in Africa including Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia. Mercy Corps’ country programs in Africa face momentous humanitarian crises and significant development challenges, and operate in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency responses, as well as more stable developed settings. Against this backdrop Mercy Corps’ focus in Africa has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, facilitating market systems, access to finance and economic opportunities, as well as youth employment and empowerment. It is imperative that Mercy Corps presents itself as a key and credible partner with the many donors, government authorities and civil society actors in order to contribute to the process of positive change across the continent. Mercy Corps looks to actively engage and partner with an ever-growing and innovative African private sector to achieve greater and sustained impact.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is seeking an experienced and field-tested Africa Regional Advisor for Market Systems
Development (MSD) to support and grow our regional capacity to design, deliver and learn from a portfolio
of high quality and impactful market/economic recovery and development programs. The Advisor will provide strategic, evidence-based MSD technical support to country teams in multiple contexts, with a strong focus on enabling programs to integrate market-driven approaches into humanitarian and complex crisis settings, while ultimately strengthening individual, household and community resilience. S/he will build out a wider system of global, regional and country-level support and expertise through a robust Africa-focused Community of Practice and employ a flexible, adaptive approach to the agency’s MSD work that builds on local capacities of teams, partners and communities, and uses our resilience lens and contextual analysis to address changing risks or vulnerabilities. Mercy Corps’ MSD programs are implemented through multiple
sectors, including Agriculture, Livestock, Employment, Energy, Financial Services, and Water. The Advisor will work seamlessly within agency matrixed teams to plan for and deliver the optimal level of support to field programs for increased quality and impact, using multiple sectoral entry points, to achieve our desired long- term results.
Essential Job Responsibilities
PROGRAM QUALITY AND IMPACT
● Participate as an active, integrated member of the regional team providing technical support to a portfolio of market systems development in countries including those in humanitarian and complex crisis environments.
● Support effective interventions in market systems development using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
● Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements.
● Provide in-country and remote training on MSD/MiC, upgrading materials to ensure contextual relevance
● Help the team gather, refine, develop and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools. Ensure these tools reflect Mercy Corps’ approaches to resilience, gender and youth as central cross-cutting dimensions of market systems development.
● Build capacity with country teams and the Community of Practice to better design and implement market systems development programs
● Support an increased focus on resilience and gender in market systems development and Markets in Crisis programs, promoting evidence for integration of resilience, MSD and Financial Inclusion.
PROGRAM AND PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT
● Write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and US, European, and UN agencies to support market systems development programming.
● Gather/analyze data and complete assessments, and support field teams to complete assessments, to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding. Ensure assessments include dimensions of resilience, gender, and youth as central cross-cutting approach
● Work with programs, HQ and country teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program development strategies.
● Work with other technical leads on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.
LEARNING AND IMPACT
● Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team at regional and country level to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects Global best practices.
● Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs.
● Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external disseminate plans for all products.
● Lead and facilitate MSD/MiC community of practice within the region to share lessons, best practices and enhance program impact through better collaboration and networking.
● Ensure learning and evidence of impact reflects how market systems development supports resilience across diverse gender and age groups.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
● Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; focused on MSD and MiC.
● Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions to produce case studies, assessments, and other learning documentation, as well as enhance program quality.
● Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as additional deployable resources for program support.
Reports Directly To: Technical Director, Africa
Works Directly With: Country teams, HQ technical support teams, including Markets, Economic Recovery and Growth; Resilience; Youth, Gender, Girls and Protection; Technology for Development; Research and Learning; Program Performance and Quality; Regional Resilience Directors and regional technical teams
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.
Knowledge and Experience
● Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in relevant field of study and relevant technical certifications are preferred.
● 3 to 5 years of experience providing technical support in the relevant field of expertise that includes:
o Preparing writing and analysis on proposal development.
o Leading market assessments in a variety of different sectors and contexts
o Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied knowledge in MSD
o Familiarity using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
o Experience in working with the private sector
o Experience in leading and facilitating MSD trainings
o Producing and publishing influential articles and blogs.
•Practical field experience that includes:
o An emergency response assignment or other crisis response work that demonstrates the ability to successfully adapt support and assistance methodologies to real-world complexities.
o Delivering Capacity Building curriculum or other processes for field teams
o Using monitoring and evaluation data within adaptive management processes to make better and more timely program adjustments for improved results
● Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
● Fluency in English is required and French fluency is desired .
The technical advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. The regional advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide technical data and support in the most efficient and effective form possible for each unique field team and environment. The role requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in a Mercy Corps country office in the Horn of Africa and is expected to travel up to 35% of the time – sometimes at short notice— to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.
Specific living conditions will be defined per the specific location base.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct
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
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.
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.
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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.