Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship Technical Advisor - Niamey, Niger
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 has been present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, gender, social cohesion, governance and emergency response outcomes. Mercy Corps has also been working in Burkina Faso since 2016 with activities in conflict research and livestock programming. Our work in these areas contributes to local communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps is currently implementing several development and humanitarian programs worth more than $27 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri, as well as Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso. In 2019, we were able to benefit more than 89,000 vulnerable Nigeriens.
General Position SummaryMercy Corps is seeking a Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Technical Advisor to guide implementation of the five-year USAID-funded Youth Connect program in Niger and Burkina Faso. The goal of the Bridge Youth Connect (BYC) activity is to enhance vulnerable youth’s access to strategic economic and social opportunities in Niger and Burkina Faso. To achieve this goal BYC will focus on three main outcomes:
- Youth are equipped with market-relevant skills to prepare them for livelihoods.
- Youth and youth groups access improved Livelihood resources
- Youth and youth groups actively engage local governance structures to advocate their own development needs
This objective supports USAID’s overall Bridge and Sahel Development partnership (SDP) frameworks, which address critical unmet needs that are the main drivers of violent extremist recruitment in the Sahel: poor governance, lack of economic opportunity, and perceived exclusion from the benefits and services provided and facilitated by governments in the region. The program will be implemented in a consortium with other partners.
Essential Job Responsibilities:
- Provide technical leadership and guidance on youth career preparedness, entrepreneurship, and innovation to expand economic opportunities in the targeted geographies, ensuring that interventions are high quality and evidence-based.
- Develop and implement strategies to strengthen technical capacity of young people, youth networks, youth-serving organizations, and government. Build and maintain relationships with the public sector, private sector, civil society, community-based organizations, local communities including parents, local government, and donors.
- Facilitate cross learning, sharing of best practices across Niger and Burkina. Bring expertise from enterprise development and youth civic engagement from Burkina to Niger.
- Coordination of field management, grants and operations, and team activities;
- Support the M&E team in refining and developing core indicators and relevant data collection and analysis tools to support use and uptake of data to course correct programming;
- Regular communication and coordination with the COP, DCOPs in Niger and Burkina Faso, and key home office staff on technical and project management issues; Produce inputs to monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports, as needed
- Conduct regular visits to project sites, as possible, to provide technical assistance and ensure proper implementation and monitoring of project activities;
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
- Work with the COP and DCOPs to create a coherent overall strategy for the program that is implemented in both countries providing leadership, mentoring, quality control and coordination to strengthen program outcomes.
- Ensure that cross-cutting aspects of the program such as adaptive management, gender equality, female empowerment, social inclusion and resilience are included and well integrated into the program strategy.
- Liaise with Mercy Corps’ support technical support units for technical support and of the program.
- In coordination with the Mercy Corps Niger/Burkina Faso Monitoring and Evaluation department, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact.
- Oversee the Youth Connect technical team and strengthen the technical capacity of staff to implement high quality employment, entrepreneurship, and youth development programs in line with Mercy Corps and USAID standards;
- Develop and oversee implementation of capacity building strategy for team members that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data and lessons learned.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COORDINATION
- Contribute to program visibility and advocacy work by assisting in dissemination of program research and learning information. Represent Mercy Corps in forums with the broader humanitarian and development community.
- Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote best practices.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
- 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.
- To be Determined
- Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
- Works Directly With: DCOPs, Sector leads/program managers, field teams, the MEL team, consortium partners, local government, USAID and other stakeholders.
- MA/S or equivalent experience in development, international relations, non-profit management, business, finance, agriculture, agribusiness, agricultural economics, or other relevant field;
- At least 7 years of relevant experience working on relevant youth employment / development initiatives, technical experience working with programs of a similar scope and scale,
- Demonstrated technical knowledge in youth livelihoods, agriculture, Positive Youth Development (PYD), market systems, financial inclusion, community mobilization, or related fields;
- Experience cultivating relationships and collaborating with a variety of stakeholders including youth, government ministries and officials, NGOs, donors, the private sector, and community-based institutions
- Experience adapting approaches to insecure environments.
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, and to liaise with donors and HQ;
- Fluency in written and spoken French, professional proficiency in English;
- Strong understanding of the economic, educational, and youth contexts in Niger and/or Burkina Faso, preferred.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members and other stakeholders of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. This position requires an ability to think creatively about increasing youth livelihood opportunities and youth voice and civic engagement. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 Technical Advisor will be based in Niamey, Niger with about 25% of travel time to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In both countries travel by road and/or plane to field offices in insecure environments and climatically harsh conditions will be expected.
Niger is an accompanied location. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Niamey (French & American). Mercy Corps team members have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. International supermarkets and consumer goods are also readily available. Very hot temperatures prevail for large parts of the year and power outages are frequent.
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 Mercy Corps 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
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
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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
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.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.