Consultant - Strengthening Regional Trade for Resilience of Pastoralist Communities - Strategy Development Lead

Programs Nairobi, Kenya



Mercy Corps has been a leader in the livestock sector in the Horn of Africa for almost two decades, working closely with government, local civil society and private sector actors in the drylands of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia to strengthen inclusive and resilient livestock systems. Since 2004, Mercy Corps has partnered with over 500,000 livestock-keeping families in East Africa’s drylands through a robust portfolio of programs and research. Mercy Corps takes a holistic view of livestock systems, which goes beyond production and marketing to identify opportunities to strengthen the ecological, political, economic and social systems that underpin livestock production, thereby enhancing the resilience of livestock producing households. Mercy Corps recognizes that the health, inclusivity, and resilience of the livestock system that connects countries in the Horn of Africa is central to the stability and economic growth of the region as a whole.      


Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps was recently awarded funding to develop an in-depth regional strategy to support the development of livestock market systems within the Horn of Africa, particularly in cross-border areas of Somalia, Ethiopia’s Somali Region, and the Somali-speaking counties of Kenya. Building on Mercy Corps’ deep footprint working on livestock markets and supporting functions across the three countries, this regional, multi-sectoral livestock strategy will identify challenges and opportunities to strengthen cross-border linkages, trade and connections to end markets within the livestock sector, and opportunities to strengthen the role that livestock plays in household resilience to economic and environmental shocks. The overall objective of the strategy will be to identify concrete opportunities to build on and link Mercy Corps’ existing body of work within the livestock sector across the three countries to increase impact, strengthen regional integration and enhance linkages across livestock markets in the Horn of Africa. To do this, we will use a systems approach that looks to understand social, demographic, ecological, political and market systems and the role that each plays in building resilient and productive market systems that deliver economic opportunities for smallholder herders, with a particular focus on women and youth.

Consultant Objectives:

Through an inclusive and participatory process involving Mercy Corps’ teams in the three countries, as well as key stakeholders from across the region, undertake an in-depth assessment of opportunities to strengthen livestock market systems in cross-border areas of the three countries, including the ecological, political, economic and social systems that underpin livestock production and trade. This assessment should be used to inform a series of participatory consultations and workshops that lead to the development of regional livestock strategy for the Horn of Africa which can serve as an investment strategy for Mercy Corps and key partners.


Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Lead the development of a workplan to complete the assessment process and strategy consultations.
  • Coordinate a team of Mercy Corps staff and external consultants to undertake detailed stakeholder mapping, literature review, market and policy analysis, and data collection through key informant interviews, focus groups, public and private sectors consultations, etc., in each country and with a focus on cross-border efforts.
  • Lead learning and validation workshops in each of the three countries to secure insights, clarifications and buy-in from exporters and national/international institutions, to inform the regional livestock strategy.
  • Produce a final strategy report for strengthening the cross-border livestock market system


Consultant Deliverables / Timeframe:

The Consultant will:

  •  Produce a workplan for the assessment and strategy process – deadline 1 February
  • Produce a literature review and policy analysis – deadline 1 March
  • Produce a livestock sector and labor market study– deadline 15 June
  • Hold stakeholder validation workshops in each country – deadline 1 August
  • Produce a final regional livestock investment strategy – deadline 15 August


The Consultant will report to:

Deputy Regional Director, Africa


The Consultant will work closely with:

Country-level Mercy Corps focal points leading the assessment process for each country. Staff working on existing livestock market programs in each of the three countries. Country and regional leadership for the three countries. Global Livestock Advisor, Regional Gender Advisor, Regional Market Systems Advisor, Energy and Environment Advisor, and other technical advisors as relevant


Required Experience & Skills:

  • At least 10 years of experience working on private sector development, market systems development, livestock and animal health and trade, or other related fields.
  • Must have experience leading complex, multi-sectoral studies and producing actionable market assessments and program strategies to strengthen market systems.
  • Knowledge of crosscutting issues, such as environmental protection, gender and inclusive market systems, youth employment and/or resilience, will be a key advantage.
  • The consultant must have excellent communication and teamwork skills and the ability to work across diverse teams to manage and organize people to produce required outputs.
  • The consultant should also have excellent written and presentation skills in English to produce strong communication materials for consumption by diverse stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of the Somali-speaking regions of the Horn of Africa and of market actors and dynamics in this region is a strong advantage.
  • Experience working in East Africa/Horn of Africa a plus.

This consultancy is estimated at a total of 120 days over the course of 8 months, beginning in January 2020 and ending in August 2020. The final schedule will be based on the final assessment work plan.

Interested parties are invited to submit a CV and short cover letter in support of their application no later than January 6th 2020.