Mercy Corps – Political Analyst.

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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 so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Mercy Corps implements high-quality, analytical development work in very difficult places. We have been operating in Kenya since 2008 and are presently implementing development programs in counties across Nairobi, Rift Valley, Western, Coast and Northern Eastern regions of Kenya.

The Program/Department

Mercy Corps will begin implementation of an election violence prevention and mitigation project which will work to promote peaceful elections in Kenya by strengthening stakeholders’ capacity to prevent and mitigate election violence and contribute to a peaceful political transition around the August 2022 elections. The project will engage and mobilize community capacities for peacebuilding, conflict mitigation and civic participation, strengthen the response capability of government-led institutions and facilitate improved coordination and collaboration between and among community, county and national-level stakeholders. The project is grounded in the belief that the empowerment of local actors, through systematic, participatory and inclusive processes, are the most sustainable, impactful and effective at preventing conflict and promoting peace.

The Position

The Political Analyst will lead context and conflict analyses and analyze political developments in and across Kenya, focusing on the project’s target counties, which can change based on shifts in context.  S/he will develop and maintain a wide range of contacts across all sectors of society.  In addition, the Political Analyst will accompany project staff on field trips as necessary and report on observations and prevailing political context throughout the country. S/he will also support analysis of trends on social media. The Political Analyst is responsible for ensuring that the project is grounded in evidence and relevant to the on-going situation on the ground. The Analyst assists the project by providing contextual knowledge and understanding, supporting the project to adapt and improve in response to shifting dynamics.

Essential Responsibilities

INFORMATION GATHERING AND ANALYSIS

  • Through research and contacts in Kenyan civil society, political structures, mainstream and social media, youth, and others, gather information and develop analyses for the purposes of preparing written reports and providing regular briefings that inform program implementation and adaptation.
  • Conduct context and conflict analyses with stakeholders including partners, government, and target groups.
  • Utilize data and analysis in order to forecast political, economic and social trends.
  • Accompany staff to field sites for the purpose of information gathering, analysis, and reporting on political and social developments.
  • Track news and highlight key political and security developments, and incorporate such findings in reports and analysis.
  • Actively participate in and/or co-facilitate assessment and capacity development processes with partner organizations.
  • Participate in the co-creation of context relevant and demand driven activities to be implemented in target locations.
  • In collaboration with the country security focal point, advise and guide staff on the design and execution of in-country travel.
  • Support on liaison with the Government of Kenya, and other external constituencies for programming and interventions.
  • Maintain and update an extensive stakeholder contact database.

REPORTING AND MEETINGS

  • Schedule and coordinate meetings, activities, and appointments, including hosting events.
  • Attend periodic programmatic meetings and relevant sectoral coordination forums as / when necessary and provide written summaries.
  • Draft correspondence and other materials and maintain their records.

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 and development mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility

N/A

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Program Manager

Works Directly With: Project staff & Partners, Mercy Corps Departments (Finance, Operations), Director of Programs, donor stakeholders, GoK and other affiliated relevant program stakeholders, implementing partners

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’s degree in any subject is required – BS/BA in political science, peace/conflict studies, development, or any other comparable degree preferred;
  • Minimum of five (5) years of work experience, including a senior position with Kenyan public service, GOK, or non-governmental organization working in multiple regions of Kenya
  • At least three (3) years of experience in monitoring and reporting policy, politics, and/or human rights, or a closely related field. Such experience must have involved sustained interaction with diverse social interests, the international diplomatic community, and non-governmental organizations.
  • A close familiarity with and a demonstrated ability to analyze issues and problems related to democracy, governance, political violence, and elections is required. Previous experience with Kenyan elections and conflict mitigation required.
  • Language Proficiency: Fluent speaking/reading/writing English and Kiswahili is required. Additional local languages are preferred.
  • Job Knowledge: Must have good knowledge of Kenyan national and county-level political institutions, structure, party system, social and development issues, and historical development. Must understand political trends and the operations of NGOs in the democracy and governance sector.
  • Must have basic knowledge of MS Office applications such as Word, Excel and MS Outlook.
  • Must possess strong analytical and communication skills, including an ability to prepare analytic and spot reports of significant depth and complexity in precise and accurate form under tight time deadlines.
  • Demonstrates ability to maintain an extensive range of Kenyan contacts and interact with a wide range of people of varying status and backgrounds, including engaging effectively with government officials as well as with civil society, youth and other community leaders.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will demonstrate the capacity to exercise initiative, be able to work independently, and interpret and anticipate needs for coverage of political developments; and demonstrate tact, sensitivity and discretion when dealing with external contacts and the public.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in either Nairobi with regular travel to the field offices.

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. 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

Mercy Corps does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.

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