Temporary - Senior Market Systems Development Advisor - Ethiopia- Addis Ababa

Programs Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Temporary - Senior Market Systems Development Advisor

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.

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara - and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible. Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and communities. Mercy Corps envisions contributing to the emergence of a peaceful, prosperous, and resilient Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic focus in the country includes in promoting dynamic and inclusive markets; natural resource management; peace and social cohesion, and humanitarian responses.

Program Description

Mercy Corps’ Resilience in Pastoral Areas (RIPA) program is a five-year USAID-funded initiative that aims to improve the resilience capacities of households, markets and governance institutions across 22 woredas in the Somali, Afar and Oromia regions. Component 2 of RIPA focused on diversified economic opportunities for youth and women transitioning out of pastoralism with a focus on employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

RIPA also includes a Crisis Modifier component that allows us to pivot our approach and respond to humanitarian needs in ways that support, not undermine, long-term development and resilience objectives. In relation to this, Mercy Corps is planning to implement a $10 million Crisis Modifier in response to the drought and Global Food Crisis impacting Ethiopia.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking a dynamic and passionate Senior Market Systems Development Advisor to provide technical leadership and support implementation of Component 2 of the RIPA program. This will include technical leadership in the design and development of partnerships for interventions supporting wage employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, for example public and private employment and job-matching services, last-mile solar retail and innovative digital-supported modalities for entrepreneurship and job readiness training. It will also include training and capacity-building for Component 2 field team members and support in the design of monitoring evaluation tools for Component 2 interventions.

Essential Job Responsibilities



  • Provide technical oversight to Component 2 of the Resilience in Pastoral Areas Program, focused on Market Systems, Diversified Economic Opportunities and Youth Employment,
  • Facilitate the development and review of Intervention and Sub-Activity Concept Notes for On and off-farm market systems development and youth employment activities across Components 2, ensuring inputs are relevant and appropriate to local context
  • Facilitate understanding of market systems development approaches across program components, among local partners and Government Stakeholders
  • Support analysis of Components 2 and ensure integrated  Interventions are designed that will contribute to wider program vision and strategy
  • Work with Team Lead/s to strengthen program systems for integrated planning and implementation across all program components
  • Partner with the CLA team and other component senior advisors to facilitate regular review and reflection sessions, integrated and comprehensive interventions implementation with team members, against the program’s theory of change, to understand progress against results an
  • Lead necessary written inputs on component 2, including quarterly reporting



  • Provide regular mentoring and technical assistance to team members in the implementation of markets systems activities, including refresher workshops as necessary to ensure approaches are responsive to culture and context
  • Facilitate regular learning sessions related to market system development, grounding examples in Ethiopia’s pastoral area context
  • Provide review and/or support development of sub activity concept notes across component 2 to ensure a market systems based approach
  • Provide on-site and remote guidance with respect to market systems activity implementation, ensuring guidance is tailored to local culture and context
  • In partnership with the CLA and M&E teams, facilitate the collection, review and reflection on data related to markets system development; provide feedback and inputs into continuous improvement of market-system monitoring 
  • Regularly participate and input into monitoring, research and learning processes with respect to market systems development
  • Support the capture of lessons and best practices, as well as inputs into quarterly report



  • Represent the Resilience in Pastoral Areas program to donors and implementing partners
  • Provide assistance with presentations and talking points, as needed, to team members, ensuring the highest quality content
  • Facilitate building private sector partnerships that can further MSD and YE objectives of Mercy Corps Ethiopia



  • 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. 
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: RIPA: Diversified and Sustainable Economic Opportunities Team Lead/Comp 2

Works Directly With: RIPA Component Leads, Regional and MSD coordinators, Director of Program, Country Director,  PaQ Director, and Finance and Operations teams, HQ and Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit.


Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in social science, international development, management or public administration, business administration or other relevant field related to youth programming.
  • A minimum of 5 years relevant technical experience in using systems strengthening / market systems development (MSD) methodologies and youth employment programming.
  • Experience using capacity building and mentoring approaches with individuals and institutions
  • Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.


Success Factors

The successful Senior MSD Advisor will possess excellent leadership skills, with the ability to maintain a broad perspective. He/she will undertake innovative approaches, be agile in the conceptualization of new program ideas, and will be well versed in strategic thinking and planning. The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Ethiopia. He/She will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. He/She will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of team members; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with regular travels to the field. This position requires up to 40% of travel by air and road to field offices in relatively secure environments.

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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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. 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.