Livelihoods and Market Systems Development Manager - S. Sudan

Programming Malakkal, South Sudan


This position is pending funding.

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

This program will be a Multi-Year Emergency Food Security Activity (MYE), funded by the United States Agency for International Development -- Food for Peace (FFP), with a goal to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload, and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in one of five sub-regions of South Sudan. 

General Position Summary

The Livelihoods and Market Systems Development Manager (Livelihoods & MSD Manager) will be responsible for MSD technical leadership and capacity-building for the MYE program team. They will be responsible for supporting the program team and providing technical guidance on livelihoods development from an MSD lens. The Manager will also be responsible for technical capacity-building of the MYE team, advising and supporting project management on recruiting staff, providing formal training and informal mentoring for team members and implementing partners on practical aspects of project implementation. The MSD Manager will also provide input into the program’s MEL process and help the program team develop systems for regularly collecting and analyzing data on an ongoing basis.  

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Provide strategic and technical MSD leadership for the MYE program, in further developing and refining the project strategy;
  • Provide guidance for senior program leadership, program team members and partners on implementation of the intervention strategies;
  • Lead periodic updates to market systems analyses, business cases and intervention plans in the selected sectors to improve impact;
Program Management
  • Work with the MYE team to develop intervention strategies and implement work plans focused on key outputs and outcomes;
  • Lead the development of market assessments, community mapping, training curriculum and business support activities, beneficiary outreach, and create mechanisms to prepare partners and relevant staff to implement activities;
  • Provide leadership of implementation of market facilitation activities; e.g. identifying and engaging with private and public-sector partners, application of creative tools for disbursing donor funds to private sector actors, negotiating partnerships, monitoring agreements, and making changes where necessary.
  • Responsible for reporting on overall progress and contributing to reporting requirements for Mercy Corps and USAID on the MSD activities.
  • Apply adaptive management in project implementation to attain project objectives

Learning and Impact 
  • Work with the program and country leads and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager to ensure that monitoring and evaluation reflects best practices for MSD programs
  • Contribute to program and agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around Thought Leadership priority topics. 

Influence & Representation

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Support existing institutions providing business support services (e.g. training institutions, government, MFIs etc.), to enable them to deliver high quality and appropriate training for local businesses
  • Provide on-going monitoring, mentoring, guidance and analysis to local project-involved businesses, helping to maximize their business performance and growth


  • 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 towards 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.

Supervisory Responsibility: N/A


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party


Works Directly With: MYE Team Leaders and Managers, MYE Partners (TBD), Mercy Corps Technical Support Unit (TSU): Regional TSU and other Global TSU teams such as Markets, Food security, Cash programming etc


Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in agricultural studies, economics, business administration or closely related field; master’s degree preferred
  • 5-7 years of work in international development primarily on market systems or value chain development. Experience in agriculture and/or business management and development a plus.
  • Experience in training, mentoring, capacity building of partners and team members
  • Experience on USAID projects preferred
  • Fluency in English required. Language skills in Arabic, Nuer, Dinka or other languages used in South Sudan are a plus.
  • Regional experience in sub-Saharan Africa preferred
  • Demonstrated experience monitoring facilitative project interventions using a “Making Markets work for the Poor (M4P)” approach and/or a value chain development approach
  • Experience in providing written analyses of complex market systems, and development of systems for knowledge management and dissemination
  • Demonstrated high level oral and written communication skills
  • Proven ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment

Success Factors
The successful MSD Manager will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships, as well have strong mentoring and facilitation skills. They 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. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Upper Nile State in South Sudan. Secure housing will be provided by Mercy Corps with some restrictions on freedom of movement beyond the house/office. The location is unaccompanied. Staff have a moderate degree of access to basic services – medical, electricity, water, etc, with travel to deep field locations where access to basic necessities is limited. This position is eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.


Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to 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 at all times and in all in-country venues.