Mercy Corps – Senior Energy Access New Business Advisor.

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Position Description

Location: The position can be based out of UK, or Kenya

Applicants must have the right to work or citizenship for one of the base location options at the time of application.

Position Status: fixed term – 8 months

Salary: MCE base salary: London: circa GBP 55K;  Edinburgh: circa GBP48K; Kenya to be benchmarked.

Reports Directly To: Director of Energy Access

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.

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 New Business 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 New Business 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

Program & Proposal Development

  • 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.

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.

Minimum Qualifications and Transferable Skills

  • 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.
  • 7 – 10 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 national and 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.

How To Apply





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