Market Systems Development (MSD) Technical and Implementation Lead - Sudan

Programs Khartoum, Sudan


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program

Mercy Corps has been operational in Sudan since 2004, and currently has a country office in Khartoum and field offices in South Darfur, South Kordofan, North Kordofan and Gedaref states. We work with Sudanese communities to build resilient scalable solutions that interrupt the cycle of fragility and crisis due to conflict and climate change by improving food and water security, peace and governance and enabling economic opportunities in the agricultural sector. Our programs in Sudan cover the triple nexus approach with a range of projects interlinking the humanitarian, development and peace sectors. Under our development programs, Mercy Corps Sudan team is engaging with different private sector actors to help pioneer market system based approaches to responding to the multiple crisis which Sudan faces. This growing portfolio of Market Systems Development (MSD) projects aims at a more market-driven vision for crisis response - one that leverages the capacities of non-aid actors in local and global economic systems, and that ultimately gives crisis-affected individuals the ability to drive their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.

The Position

Mercy Corps is looking for an experienced Market Systems Development (MSD) professional to lead our growing portfolio of market-based response projects in Sudan. The position will be accountable for the effective central management of a collection of projects, that are grouped together to meet MSD objectives especially in the relation to agricultural and livestock value chains. The role ensures the portfolio objectives are met by providing a decision-making capacity at a level above that of the component parts of individual projects. This includes promoting synergies between individual projects in the MSD portfolio to maximize and leverage impact at scale. The position is responsible for establishing the strategic MSD portfolio plan; coordinating the planning and initiation of a portfolio of projects at various levels of completion; monitoring the progress, budgets, and work plans of MSD projects; and supervising individual MSD Project Managers.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Proactive tracking of MSD projects work plans and schedule to agreed targets

  • Proactive issue & risk management of projects within the portfolio

  • Establish a strategic portfolio plan

  • Coordinate and share information with the Director of Programs to ensure MSD projects targets and donor obligations are being achieved. Troubleshoot on reporting and programmatic needs. Advise supervisor on suggested improvements and necessities, as required.

  • Planning and facilitating monthly key MSD Portfolio status overviews and deep dive sessions

  • Coordinate project management resources within the MSD Portfolio

  • Create and manage supporting MSD project documents including but not limited to work plans, DIPs, risk mitigation plans, communication plans, budgets, other project management-related documentation.

  • Design and conduct training in any areas related to the MSD Project activities for staff, other trainings, communities and project beneficiaries.

  • Produce written reports on the program activities capturing activities related to the MSD Portfolio

  • Maintain written correspondence with the individual MSD Project Managers and other program staff responding to daily program necessities.

  • Coordinate closely with the Director of Operations, Human Resources Manager, and relevant administrative and finance staff to ensure proper logistics, administration, human resources and transport needs of the program are conducted within MC policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.

  • Monitors project expenditures against the approved budgets for MSD Portfolio projects. Ensures effective application of adequate internal control and risk management procedures, including proper authorization of purchases and payments, and ensures satisfactory accountability of all project expenditures in line with MC financial policies. Work with the Director of Finance to forecast expenditure surpluses and deficits to enable adjustments to be made to the program in a timely fashion.

  • As security permits, spend a minimum of one week a month at the field sites monitoring MSD project implementation and overseeing all MSD projects activities.

  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mission.


  • Ensure establishment and maintenance of relationships with communities, local leaders and farmer groups in the target localities.

  • Ensure coordination with relevant government institutions (Ministry of Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid Commission, Government representatives, etc.) in relation to the delivery of MSD Projects.

  • Stay informed on Sudan-wide cross-cutting issues relevant to the MSD Portfolio including agricultural programming, agri-enterprise development, renewal energy, access to finance and community development initiatives


  • Provide direct and ongoing supervision and managerial support to all Project Managers within the MSD Portfolio.

  • Assist in the recruitment and training of program staff to ensure staff are of the quality and capacity to ensure the successful implementation of all Program activities. Monitor and advise on staffing needs throughout the program. Ensure evaluations and disciplinary measures are made, as necessary according to MC policy.

  • Ensure the close coordination and sharing of information between the various MSD Project staff with regular program meetings and activity plans.

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.


Supervisory Responsibility

Project Managers within the MSD Portfolio


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Private sector engagement Specialist, Director of Finance, Director of Operations, Program Performance & Quality Director & MEL Manager

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelor or Master’s Degree in Management, Agriculture, Engineering, Economic or Social Science is required.

  • An experienced (at least 5 years) social or development expert with substantive knowledge and experience of private sector engagement initiatives for development projects;
    Proven experience in Market Systems Development Livelihoods, Resilience, Financial inclusion, Renewable energy, Social Accountability and/or related fields in a management capacity

  • Has demonstrated experience/understanding of both humanitarian and development work and how solutions and resilience work can bridge them

  • Administrative capacity and planning skills to manage a large team of national staff of multiple sectors. Excellent communication skills, both verbally and in written.

  • Proven solid analytical and problem solving skills.

  • Excellent writing and verbal skills in English is required.

  • Extensive travel to program areas is required.

Success Factors

The ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel is required. A demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is necessary. A professional standard of program, finance, and procurement ethics as well as the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The post must be willing to travel to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Khartoum, Sudan and it requires up to 60% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.  Housing is individual accommodation and the location is accompanied. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corp’'s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Ongoing Learning

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.