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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.
General Position Summary
The Social Accountability and Civic Engagement Officer is responsible for contributing to the development and implementation of the program strategy for civil society and local stakeholder engagement and management, including the identification, recruitment of civil society organizations (CSOs) and managing the scope of work. The Officer will implement integrated community engagement across multiple program components, which will include the continuous organizational assessment of CSOs, capacity strengthening, including mentorship, over a long-term period of engagement with a view to enhancing community driven nutrition resilient interventions. The main objective of this role is to Support civil society and citizens to better identify problems related to nutrition services and undertake actions to address these problems directly; Build collaborations between citizens and government to ensure that the priorities and feedback of beneficiaries are helping government officials plan, resource and provide better services; and analyze accountability ecosystems to help citizens, civil society partners and governments better understand how to make positive change happen with regards to sustainably reducing persistent acute malnutrition in politically complex environments.
Essential Job Functions
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT & COORDINATION
- Coordinate the USAID Nawiri’s program civil society strengthening and community outreach efforts and ensure that all activities and deliverables are of high quality, on schedule, and reach program’s objectives and targets.
- Contribute to the development, implementation and continuous review of USAID Nawiri’s Citizen Engagement and Social Accountability Strategy in Samburu County.
- Inform design of project interventions to engage the public including adolescent, youth and vulnerable populations, the mass media, and civil society organizations in nutrition advocacy such as public education, oversight, and participation in decision-making processes among others.
- Provide technical input to and oversight of the CSO grants mechanism of the program including development of the technical requirements and proposal evaluation.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships and cooperation with relevant counterparts, beneficiaries, and stakeholders and seek to engage them in USAID Nawiri’s interventions.
- Provide technical support to the partners and field teams for the program’s budget management; and work with the grants unit to ensure all program activities are implemented in compliance with Mercy Corps’ and donor requirements.
- In coordination with the MEL team, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact. Document lessons learned and share with management and team members
- Contribute and assist with the preparation of technical reports and deliverables and other reports/deliverables, as requested.
- 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.
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.
Reports Directly To: Stakeholder Engagement & Social Accountability Manager
Works Directly With: Field Director and Samburu technical teams.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- Degree in Social Sciences, Development studies, Disaster Risk Reduction, Range management, Conflict mitigation, other relevant field;
- A minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience in civic engagement and social accountability work at the county or local levels;
- Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills;
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques;
- Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing, in English and other language(s), and fluency in Kiswahili. Local dialects spoken in Northern Kenya (Samburu) are also a plus;
- Previous work experience in northern Kenya desirable;
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Requires knowledge in county planning and budgeting process.
The Social Accountability & Civic Engagement Officer is a great team player replicable experiences in citizen engagement and participation from the lower governance levels to inform policies, prioritization, budget allocation and programs roll out. 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. The Officer will also be experienced in building cohesion, understanding integration, modeling a learning mindset, and willing to learn, listen, adapt and improve. The Officer will be familiar with the particular contextual challenges affecting local governance planning processes across sectors and various levels. He/she will have expertise conducting participatory learning and action and be a good planner and facilitator. S/he will manage relationships with different stakeholders. Emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention including county government. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Maralal, Samburu County and requires up to 50% travel to support program staff, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.
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 a 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 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 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 the 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.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.
Mercy Corps does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.