Mercy Corps – Program & Research Assistant (Nairobi).

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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 to be stronger and have a long-term impact.

The Program 

Girls Improving Resilience through Livelihoods and Health (GIRL-H) is a three-year program implemented in Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti. GIRL-H seeks to improve the well-being of adolescent girls and young women by increasing their access to skills and knowledge, health resources, formal education, and economic opportunities. GIRL-H also fosters an enabling environment by working with communities to transform unhealthy social norms and create opportunities for girls to access education and economic opportunity.

Project Management Unit (PMU) provides global coordination and technical support to the countries in implementing the GIRL-H program. To enhance the technical program and research support functions of the PMU, GIRL-H seeks to recruit a Program & Research Assistant (PRA) based in Nairobi.

The Position

The Program and Research Assistant (PRA) will support the Project Management Unit, working with the PMU members and reporting directly to the Director of Research & Evidence. The PRA will Support collaboration with program, finance and administrative staff to ensure GIRL-H  program and MEL systems comply with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures, including adherence to Mercy Corps program management minimum standards. The ideal candidate should have extensive experience working as both program and research assistant in the development sector.

Essential Responsibilities

STRATEGY AND PLANNING
  • Work with the PMU manager to support the teams in implementing the program’s strategy following the donor and Mercy Corps standards.
  • Contribute to preparing the global level reports by collating information from the country level reports and providing the gaps to PMU manager for follow up with the countries.
  • Support the PMU team in administering the program budget by preparing procurement and expense requests, following up with relevant departments, and tracking expenses at the PMU level.
  • Schedule, organize, and document minutes for PMU led meetings and events. The person will also follow up with respective staff on specific action points.
  • Working with the PMU team, organize and maintain the program filing system under the guidance, ensuring a clear trail of versions and appropriate filing.
  • Support the DRE in tracking and reporting on the status of deliverables as per the PMU and Country Workplans, sending advance reminders to the responsible staff for upcoming deliverables.
RESEARCH SUPPORT
  • Provide administrative support to the DRE to prepare various research protocols for ethical approval in Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti. The candidate will also track deliverables expected by the ethical approval body.
  • Schedule, organize, and document Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning (RMEL) related meetings and events.
  • Provide administrative and quality control support for RMEL activities led by PMU, e.g., baseline survey, midline assessment, end of project evaluation, ad-hoc research, dissemination, among others.
  • Support in data collection activities such as desk research and key informant interviews to address specific research questions defined by the DRE.
  • Support the DRE in collating data from various countries to feed into; the global program log frame and periodic donor reports.
  • Provide support in implementing quality assurance and control for all program and research data collection/collation activities as guided by the DRE.
  • Provide support in developing various data collection tools addressing Adhoc research questions and problems under guidance from DRE.
  • Support in testing electronic data collection scripts prepared for various research and monitoring activities.
OTHER
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
  • Other duties as assigned by the PMU.

Supervisory Responsibility

None

Accountability

Reports Directly To Director of Research and Evidence

Works Directly With PMU Manager, Program Director, GIRL-H Country Managers

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members, we are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in designing, monitoring, and evaluating our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with at least three (3) years cumulative experience working as an Assistant in a program and research environment within the development sector.
  • Experience in supporting multi-country program management in a program or research environment is desired
  • Experience in supporting/implementing quality assurance and control for programs and research activities
  • Ability to develop and manage work plans for complex multi-country programs within the development sector
  • Effective written and oral communication in English
  • Qualification in project or program management will be an added advantage
  • Proficiency in MS Office specifically in MS Excel and MS PowerPoint are required
  • Knowledge of an analysis software is an added advantage e.g. SPSS, STATA or R
  • Ability to speak French is an added advantage

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have an intense curiosity for gender and development and adolescent girl programming issues more precisely and will thrive in cross-cultural environments with diverse teams across our program intervention countries. The PRA will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. The PRA will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures demonstrating cultural sensitivity with diverse stakeholders. The PRA will be a team player with a positive attitude toward problem-solving. Commitment to learning, open communications, impeccable professional standards of ethics is essential.

 Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Kenya and requires up to 20% travel to support country programs, including travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.

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 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 can better 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.

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 to be collectively stronger and sustain 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 based on 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 encounter 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 of preventing 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 professionally, respect local laws and customs, and adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and annually.

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