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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 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.
The Program / Department
With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps’ Nawiri Program is leading a consortium of Kenyan and international partners on a five-year journey to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Mercy Corps’ consortium brings together the global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.
The Position Summary
The Assistant Livelihoods officer will be a member of the USAID Nawiri Resilient Livelihoods Team and directly responsible for implementing nutrition-sensitive resilient livelihood interventions at sub-county (prioritized wards) level. These include Climate Smart Agriculture (crop and fodder) production, market systems linkages, private sector and financial inclusion support. S/he will work alongside other USAID Nawiri team members in layering interventions for collective impact at household and community level
Specifically, S/he will be supporting small scale irrigated crops & fodder production for diversified household access to nutrient-dense foods, private sector engagement for access to farm inputs & finance, markets linkages, households economic strengthening that aims at increasing sustained access to incomes (financial inclusion), Climate smart agriculture technologies and improved ecological practices that support Natural resources management. The position is based at the USAID Nawiri sub-county (sub-office) office level supporting interventions within the sub-county and prioritized wards – that continuously experience high rates of acute malnutrition. S/He will work closely with relevant county officials, CSOs and private sector players involved in livelihoods and food security & nutrition within their areas of operation.
Essential Job Functions
VISION AND STRATEGY & ITS IMPLEMENTATION
- Facilitate community visioning process for resilient livelihoods using community participatory appraisal tools
- Coordinate with the Ward/ sub county level of County Government to mobilize actions and ensure effective communication channels.
- Coordinate with community leadership to facilitate activity integration and targeting of participants / groups within selected irrigation schemes.
- Coordinate with County government to build capacity for poor HHs on appropriate crop production systems and relevant climate smart agriculture approaches and technologies
- Facilitate business to business linkages for targeted small scale irrigation schemes / farmers associations / groups that include poor and ultra-poor for increased access to farm inputs, finance and markets.
- Facilitate Increased access for poor and ultra-poor HH to productivity enhancement inputs, climate smart agriculture and post-harvest technologies
- Facilitate identification of youth and women agri-preneurs and lead support them establish interventions; i.e. establish fruit tree nurseries.
- Support small-scale vegetable production gardens utilizing home garden techniques (permaculture) to promote nutrition dense vegetables for enhanced household consumption and income generation targeting poor households
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation of project activities
- Coordinate with the livelihoods officer to develop activities work plans, directly implement and report for each activity undertaken
- Mobilize communities and support SBC initiatives for transformed practices at household level
- Coordinate with public and private service providers (crop husbandry, inputs suppliers, aggregators, local financial institutions etc) to reach USAID Nawiri participants.
- Collaborate with Nawiri health and nutrition staff to integrate messaging into crop and livestock production training curriculum.
COMMUNITY AND COUNTY ENGAGEMENT
- Mobilize sub-county and ward level meetings with relevant stakeholders.
- Lead community engagement and mobilization activities within the Ward(s) of operation
- Support the facilitation of planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise and customize implementation plans.
- Conduct community mobilization and sensitization meetings with ward and community-level leaders to enhance investment in crop production.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Assist livelihoods and food security officer in activity coordination with local government and other implementers at the Subcounty level.
- Participate in planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to develop and deliver capacity building of farmers
- 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
- Promote and adhere to the principle and objectives of the project and Mercy Corps.
- Participate in other USAID Nawiri livelihoods program activities (Livestock and NRM)
- Other duties as assigned.
- 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 and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: N/A
- Reports Directly To: Senior Livelihoods and food security officer
- Works Directly With: Water resources officer, Assistant livelihoods officers – livestock, alternative livelihoods officers, REAP for nutrition officers, Household economy officers, and Sub-office M&E officers.
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
- A Diploma in Agriculture related field (i.e., Agronomy, Agro-ecology, Horticulture, Dry land agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Agriculture Education & Extension).
- Advanced technical certificate holders from reputable institution plus proven experience of over 5 years will be considered.
- Minimum 2 years of direct implementation of agriculture development activities. Experience working directly with small scale irrigation is an added advantage.
- Good spoken and written English required.
- Must be able to work independently once in the field and show initiative.
- Experience in farmers needs assessment and report writing.
- Demonstrable experience in farmers training and community mobilization
- Experience in community participatory appraisal tools
- Practical experience in partnership building and collaboration with government and other partners
- Computer and basic administrative and organizational skills is a plus.
- Willingness to travel extensively throughout the project area.
Success factors for this role include: A technical person with knowledge in agronomy and dry land agriculture production techniques including marketing, farm inputs access and financial inclusion in Kenya ASALS. S/he must have a good understanding of the interrelationship between natural resources management and agriculture production systems in ASALs. The position requires good understanding of the local context, excellent community mobilization and facilitation skills using local language / dialects. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Lowdar (2) – Lokituang & Lokichar including travel to program sites which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.
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.