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SOCIAL, STRUCTURAL & BEHAVIOR CHANGE SENIOR OFFICER FOR NUTRITION RESILIENCE
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 that 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.
INTRODUCTION TO THE USAID NAWIRI PROGRAM
USAID Nawiri is a five-year Development and Food Security Activity (DFSA) funded by USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) that began on October 1, 2019. Nawiri aims to sustainably reduce levels of Persistent Acute malnutrition (PAM) in Samburu & Turkana by addressing, the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition and seeks sustainable solutions that go beyond humanitarian assistance.
Mercy Corps, in consortium with Save the Children, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the BOMA Project, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Caritas Lodwar and, Centre for Humanitarian Change (CHC), is implementing the USAID Nawiri Program in Turkana and Samburu counties and has an overall budget of USD $100 million.
The USAID Nawiri Program is anchored by a robust learning agenda that is executed in close collaboration with county governments, civil society organizations, private sector players, and benefiting communities in Turkana & Samburu counties. Intelligence generated from the various studies commissioned by Nawiri will contribute to strengthening the local lore on nutrition and resilience and thus, expectedly, bridge critical knowledge gaps relating to the understanding of the complexities and the interplay of causalities contributing to PAM in the afore-mentioned counties. Lessons from the Continuous Learning & Adapting (CLA) activities, will be layered with insights from Nawiri’s robust research studies and outputs of the novel Human Centered Design (HCD) exercise, to inform a co-creation process that is aimed at developing contextualized multisectoral interventions that will sustainably deliver impact for nutrition resilience at scale.
Nawiri’s HCD Intervention covers three thematic areas, specifically: Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH), Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) and Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP). REAP prototypes have been tested and are currently being packaged for the pilot phase. In PREP IV, USAID Nawiri will be conducting iterations on the HCD prototypes as part of its Continuous Learning and Adapting strategy.
GENERAL SUMMARY OF THE SSBC SENIOR OFFICER’S POSITION
In addition to the Community Health System (CHS), USAID Nawiri utilizes a broad spectrum of other change agents to drive its SSBC interventions. These change agents include Peer Educators, Youth Counselors, Teachers, Gatekeepers, Opinion Leaders, Positive Deviants (Role Models), CORPs, just to mention a few. The SSBC Senior officer will be responsible for building their capacity of the above-mentioned actors to implement SSBC activities. The said officer will also be required to provide technical guidance and administrative support necessary for the successful implementation of Nawiri’s multisectoral SSBC strategies and interventions aimed at reducing PAM and improving the resilience of target communities to withstand shocks and stresses in designated USAID Nawiri ASAL counties of Turkana and Samburu.
The Nawiri HCD contractor, ThinkPlace Kenya has conducted several HCD trainings targeting Nawiri staffers, County officials and Representatives of Community groups, specifically, members of the Adolescent Advisory Committee (AAC). Following the expiry of their consultancy contract, the technical leadership of HCD will be transitioned to Mercy Corps. The SSBC Senior Officer will be responsible for technical direction, coordination, general oversight for the implementation of the HCD interventions.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
- Take full ownership of SSBC activities as detailed in Nawiri’s Theory of Change, Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) and budgets, i.e., Analyze and understand the general SSBC dimensions of PAM and steward the design, development, and implementation of customized (county) Nawiri SSBC strategies as guided by research findings, HCD insights and other available relevant programmatic intelligence.
- Provide technical leadership for the implementation of Nawiri’s HCD interventions including facilitation of validation/ideation sessions, building/testing/piloting of viable prototypes and generating relevant reports, tailored to the consumers of the HCD outputs.
- Provide technical (SSBC) and general administrative support to other Nawiri technical areas; Specifically, support the conceptualization, design, implementation, and reporting needs of the different thematic areas, including the development and implementation of relevant SSBC frameworks, tools, messaging, and IEC materials in appropriate formats, appropriately customized for program’s target audiences and needs.
- Steward the design, planning & execution of relevant capacity-strengthening interventions (e.g., Trainings, Supportive/Facilitative Visits, On-Job Trainings, Mentorship and Shadowing) at county level. Develop implementation plans, relevant content, facilitate SSBC trainings & support follow-on implementation activities.
Program Support and Implementation
- Liaise with relevant program and county leads and ensure that Nawiri’s SSBC Strategy takes cognizance of and is aligned to county priorities and strategic plans. Additionally, assess and map out relevant interventions by partners, government agencies and private sector players and purposefully guide layering/integration of Nawiri’s SSBC interventions in a bid to avoid duplication and improve cost-efficiency and effectiveness.
- Support Nawiri’s Continuous Learning & Adapting (CLA) approach, especially activities with an SSBC dimension; specifically, the identification of critical issues, documentation & analysis of emerging evidence, learnings, and best practices. Thereafter, guide and/or participate in the co-creation and iterative processes that are designed to incorporate the lessons learnt into the agile Nawiri SSBC framework.
- Provide support for the monitoring, collection, storage, analysis (Knowledge Management) and reporting of SSBC data, including achievements against targets. Submit regular SSBC programmatic reports as required. Additionally, participate in the development and publication of informatics products such as HCD decks, technical briefs, professional articles, success, and Human-Interest Stories (HIS).
Team Management and Communications
- Work with Nawiri officers, consortium partners and county officials to competently supervise Contractors, Research Assistants, Healthcare Workers, Community Health Workers (CHWs – CHVs/CHEWs/CHAs), collaborating Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and any other program operatives and/or partners implementing SSBC activities on behalf of the program.
- Liaise with and maintain cordial relationships with partners and county officials/departments implementing SSBC interventions. Plan for and support the coordination of relevant SSBC mechanisms at county level including participation and technical support to the Nawiri-fronted Multi-Sectoral Platform (MSP).
- Foster organizational values of efficiency, integrity, professionalism, responsiveness, collaboration, and respectful programming. Develop & manage implementation of SSBC plans in a manner that increases team operating performance & efficiencies according to prescribed protocols & Standard Operating Procedures.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to promote and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members. Ensure that gender specific needs and interests of program staff in relation to safety and security are identified and responded to appropriately
- As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient, and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to participants
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring, & evaluation of our field projects.
- Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
This position has no direct supervisory responsibility. The SSBC Senior Officer directly supports Nawiri staff, consultants, partners, and communities involved in discharging SSBC activities on behalf of the program.
Reports directly to: Social, Structural, and Behavior Change Advisor
Works directly with: USAID County Director, Nawiri technical area officers, Mercy Corps support departments (Finance, HR, and Operations), government officers/departments at county and subcounty levels, and partners (specifically, sub-awardees, CSOs, FBOs, schools/institutions) Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit (TSU).
KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE
- A degree in Communications, Journalism, Community Development, Marketing, Public Health, Population Studies, Social Sciences, or related disciplines
- At least 5 years of SSBC experience in designing, developing, implementing, monitoring strategies, activities, and materials
- Experience in conceptualization, design, and implementation of user-centric approaches e.g., HCD and demonstrated experience at testing/pre-testing tools, materials, and strategies
- Demonstrated ability to develop partnerships across sectors and cultures (cross-cultural skills)
- Demonstrated experience at working with & coordinating county mechanisms & multi-sectoral players
- Experience and excellent skills at training and facilitating community forums including competence in approaches such as Education Through Listening, Communication for Development and Problem-Posing Techniques
- Demonstrated experience meeting USAID and other donor reporting requirements
- Excellent interpersonal and communications skills; excellent English language writing skills are a must
- Ability to think critically and strategically
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Proficiency in Office 365 including Word, Excel, Teams, and PowerPoint
- Willingness and ability to travel at least 60 – 80 percent of the time
- Proficiency of the local languages/dialects is a plus
- Experience working in ASAL counties of Samburu & Turkana are an added advantage
A successful SSBC Senior Officer for Nutrition Resilience must be proactive, flexible, and comfortable with the likely reality that the roles and responsibilities of this position will evolve and change as this unique program progresses. S/he will have strong technical skills combined with strategic visioning and leadership. S/he will have an outstanding ability to inspire teams to deeply understand the social determinants that underlie human interaction and integrate this understanding into activities to enhance program impact. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. With a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, the successful candidate will thrive in the evolving and changing environment. The Advisor must make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
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.