Senior Energy Access Program Development Advisor - UK, Kenya, or other Mercy Corps offices
Location: Nairobi, Kenya, London/Edinburgh, UK, or other locations where Mercy Corps has an office - the candidate will have right to work in the country and be subjected to a national contract
Position duration: 8 months (potential extension subject to evolving funding landscape)
Salary: Based on local benchmark
Applicants must have the right to work or citizenship for one of the base location options at the time of application.
Closing date: Applicants must submit CV and cover letter before November 27th
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. In September 2021 Mercy Corps joined forces with Energy 4 Impact, an organization working to reduce poverty in Sub Saharan Africa by accelerating access to clean energy, helping businesses and communities to make better use of that expanded access, and working with the private sector to support the sustainability of these efforts. By bringing Energy 4 Impact’s energy expertise into Mercy Corps’ large and diverse portfolio of humanitarian and development programs, together we are increasing access to climate-smart, sustainable energy and improving the lives of millions of people around the world.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. The TSU is also integral to global business development and revenue.
Within the TSU, the Energy Access team supports the strategic direction and implementation of Mercy Corps’ energy access portfolio, which is rooted in innovative, market-based energy programming that both reduces emissions and supports resilient livelihoods. We apply our expertise in harnessing the power of market systems and good governance to test solutions in multiple contexts. We have the ability to scale models that enable communities to access the technology, information, financial tools, and the social support they need to adapt, and ultimately transform their access to reliable, clean, affordable energy.
The Senior Energy Access Program Development Advisor will work closely with the Energy 4 Impact (E4I) team, which supports the development and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, and micro businesses that deliver renewable energy products and services to the poor, mainly in rural and peri-urban areas of Africa. In addition, he/she will work with Mercy Corps’ New Initiatives (NI) team, which takes a leading role supporting and enhancing Program Development throughout Mercy Corps.
General Position Summary
The Senior Energy Access Program Development Advisor will lead the business development and fundraising efforts of Mercy Corps’ energy work, including the work of Energy 4 Impact in Sub Saharan Africa and beyond. He/she will work closely with the wider Mercy Corps business development teams to develop joint funding opportunities and leverage the existing donor relationships of both Mercy Corps and E4I.
Working with the Mercy Corps Energy and E4I Senior Management Teams as well as Mercy Corps Business Development Teams, he/she will help establish the energy access business development priorities and recommend strategies to achieve the agreed goals and objectives. He/she will lay the foundations for longer-term, multi-year projects, structured around the key strategic themes and development challenges that Energy 4 Impact and Mercy Corps are seeking to address.
He/she will support program development efforts by: 1) Supporting prepositioning efforts focusing on proposal opportunities focused on increasing access to energy; 2) build on existing donor relationships and establish new ones, and help in developing relationships with bidding partners; 3) Act as lead writer on expressions of interest and proposal efforts to institutional and private sector donors in the energy sector; 4) Work with other members of E4I, TSU (including NI), MEL, PAQ and wider program teams (to include country teams and HQ desk officers) to lead or support proposal development processes in the energy sector; 5) Work with potential partner organizations (primes or subs) in development of proposals; and 6) Provide targeted reviews and editing support to country teams as needed for proposals in the energy sector.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● Lead efforts to identify and secure new donor funding in Sub Saharan Africa and beyond, in close collaboration with project implementation teams (Programme Management, Finance, HR and Communications)
● Lead the development and implementation of a business development strategy for Mercy Corps and E4I’s energy programming portfolio, in close collaboration with Mercy Corps’ Business Development Teams.
● Build relationships with existing and new donors, including development agencies, development financing institutions, corporate trusts and foundations, and other potential targets, leverage the existing donor relationships of both Mercy Corps and E4I.
● Develop alliances and consortia with potential implementing partners for joint bids.
● Lead the preparation of high-quality bids, proposals and concept notes which are consistent with Mercy Corps and E4I’s organisational strategy and demonstrate a thorough understanding of objectives and requirements of the donors. Some proposals will be RFP/RFAs, while others will be unsolicited and bespoke.
● Prepare project budgets, logframes and gantt charts, in collaboration with the programme implementation & HQ teams.
● Analyse new business opportunities (e.g requests for proposal) and make go/no go recommendations.
● Oversee tracking and reporting of business development pipeline and success rates broken down by donor and country. Prepare reports as required for Energy 4 Impact and Mercy Corps leadership.
● Support and provide advice to other parts of Energy 4 Impact and Mercy Corps (e.g African Regional and Country Offices, Project Managers) in originating local funding opportunities and development of project concepts.
● Manage the overall proposal development lifecycle when required, which include: intelligence gathering/research /landscape analysis/gap and competitive analysis, mapping, relationship building, teaming agreements, gathering of administrative documentation, proposal writing, resourcing of external consultants, budget development, securing approvals and submission.
● Strategic Pre-Positioning: Will lead and support efforts that help Mercy Corps and E4I Country Offices pro-actively influence donor planning and access funding focused on the energy sector.
● Draw and contribute to tools and processes to support MC/E4I proposal and business development (drafting of value propositions and concept notes, proposal plan, proposal development process, organisation history, qualifications, executive summary sections and other relevant information and energy access database).
● Extended travel to strategic countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Sahel, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and possibly others in and outside of Africa to assist with program development efforts.
● Support and coordinate when required the proposal hand-over process from the proposal development team to the project implementation team.
Supervisory Responsibility None
Reports Directly To: Director of Energy Access
Works Directly With: all other TSU teams (including E4I team members), HQ, and country teams
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Knowledge and Experience
● Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent preferred in International Development, Economics, Energy & Environment, Climate Change studies, Business Management or related field.
● 5-7 years experience in energy access fundraising and proposal development in an international development context for bilateral, multilateral donors and/or foundations including clients such as FCDO, EU, World Bank and USAID; especially on large projects.
● Extensive knowledge of donors and networks in the energy sector in particular at the regional (Africa) level.
● Exceptional communication and writing skills.
● Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run both participatory process and also meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
● Team player – able to forge productive, collaborative relationships with colleagues internally and externally.
● Ability to work calmly under pressure to deliver as part of a team.
● Experience in summarising outcomes of energy projects/research/studies in user friendly language. Skilled at presenting complex project information in a clear and engaging way.
● Experience in preparing budgets for donor proposals, particularly understanding of budgeting and financial requirements and reporting processes; and good skills in spreadsheet/budget preparation.
● Native-level spoken and written English required; writing samples will be requested of finalist candidates.
● Fluent French is an advantage.
● Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps and E4I project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
● Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, Department of State, FCDO, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
● Strong organizational and process management capabilities.
The Senior Energy Access Program Development Advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in energy and/or energy access program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. The Senior Energy Access Program Development Advisor r will have a love of writing, strong interpersonal skills, and a healthy competitive spirit, and have the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical. The PDO will also be willing and able to travel for extended periods to work with country teams on program development strategies and proposal efforts for a wide variety of donors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya, Edinburgh/London, UK, or in other locations where Mercy Corps has an office. The position requires travel up to 40% time to the field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to deploy to field environments on short notice in response to any emergency or crisis. When in the field the team member must able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/temporary assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws and customs, and adhere to MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.