Consultant-Capacity Building, Resilience & Systems Design-Remote

Programs Anywhere, United States


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.


USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (formerly Office of Food for Peace) awarded a Mercy Corps-led consortium of  Kenyan and international partners for a 5-year Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in Turkana and Samburu Counties.  Through a two-part approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation with  government, civil society, communities, and the private sector, this program aims to drive sustained reductions in acute malnutrition  in both counties.  

With the goal to sustainably reduce levels of persistent acute malnutrition in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). The Mercy  Corps’ Nawiri consortium brings together the global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation  experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. The program adheres to a  robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil  society. 

The USAID Nawiri research and learning agenda includes 12 research streams (Assessments, Statements of Work (SoW), Protocols)  that jointly seek to generate the additional evidence and initial experience required to refine the overall intervention strategy and  Theory of Change (ToC). The evolution of the research and learning agenda and each of these research streams are described in the  recently submitted Annual Results Report (ARR). 

Purpose / Project Description: 

The Mercy Corps Nawiri Team requires ongoing support and guidance in the roll out of statements of work (SoWs), refinement of  its Research/Learning Agenda, Capacity Building, Resilience application and system design. Now that research agenda is anchored to  the Nawiri TOC, the nature and consistency of research questions, the interconnections among the various research streams, the  meaning of sustainability and its relation to resilience, approaches to research, and the need for adaptive management of the research  process itself needs to be maintained. With the thinking of the team continuously evolving, demonstrating continuous learning and  adaptation and a much clearer appreciation of the interconnections among the various research streams will be critical. As the  process of learning and adaptation accelerates as the research activities begin implementation, there will be a need for periodic  reviews of learning and emerging evidence which will require ongoing adjustments to the TOC. 

Consultant Objectives: 

Mercy Corps seeks a consultant that combines an in-depth understanding and expertise of Resilience, Systems Thinking, Conceptual  Frameworks, and DFSA frameworks with demonstrated experience in adaptive management and developing a culture of CLA. The  consultant will support the Nawiri Team, which includes consortium partner staff, to ensure evidence and learning drives program  activities. 

  1. Support the latest iteration of the research agenda and the conceptual framework for the Nawiri ToC to ensure a more vibrant  and country wide system through technical guidance, fixing system related problems, Nawiri staff mentoring, and feedback 2. Build Nawiri team capacity to adopt a complex systems perspective and redefine knowledge generation, application, and diffusion  processes in such systems. 
  2. Strengthen understanding in the resilience of the ‘nutrition” system to shocks and stresses with particular emphasis on “Refining  and Integrating USAID Nawiri Nutrition Resilience Strategies and Pathways”. 

Consultant Activities: 

The Consultant will provide: 

Continued support to delivery on Statements of Work (SoW), refinement of the research & Learning Agenda as well as  adjustments to the corresponding ToC as the Nawiri team continues to explore, learn and adapt to various system and  program designs.

Support to the development of an integrative resilience framework for all research streams (and some institutional  development activities) and bring them all together within a coherent whole. These integration activities include the  development of frameworks, approaches and tools.  

Assistance in clarifying and integrating nutrition resilience pathways within USAID Nawiri, and support systems for resilience-enhancing decision-making at all levels. 

Conceptual thinking for piloting a Nutrition Resilience Lens to support Ward Development Planning. 

Consultant Deliverables: 

The Consultant will: 

Support in various levels of capacity building for the Nawiri team to learn and adapt to various systems and new thinking  around program design. This would include the orientation of new team members and ongoing mentorship. Ensure there is a robust and collective understanding of the the research agenda and the conceptual framework for the  Nawiri ToC. This would include regular reflection and a revised ToC incorporating increased nutrition resilience  understanding. 

Support adaptations in all SOWs for all research streams incorporating a greater focus on resilience processes Assist in the development of a nutrition resilience results framework. This would include guidelines for applying nutrition  resilience thinking in a working group.  

Support in the development and piloting of a Nutrition Resilience Recurrent Monitoring System (RMS) 

Timeframe / Schedule:  

This assignment will take up a maximum of 34 working days between February 1st 2021 to August 31st 2021: breakdown of  schedule in the period is expected as follows February (8 days), March (4 days), April (4 days), May (5 days), June (6 days), July (3  days), and August (4 days). 

The Consultant will report to:  

Chief of Party 

The Consultant will work closely with: 

Deputy Chief of Party, M&E Lead, Strategic Learning Lead, Research & Design Lead, System Strengthening and Institutionalization Lead, Gender, Youth & Social Dynamic Lead, Technical Director, Sr. Project Management Advisor (STA), Sr M&E Advisor (TSU)  and Resilience Advisor (TBD)

Mercy Corps Diversity Statement 

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 Statement
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.