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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.
USAID Nawiri is a $100 million (USD) five-year Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) funded by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) that began on October 1, 2019. USAID Nawiri aims to sustainably reduce levels of Persistent Global Acute Malnutrition (P-GAM) 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), and Caritas Lodwar is implementing the USAID Nawiri Program in Turkana and Samburu counties. 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. Evidence generated from the various studies commissioned by USAID Nawiri has informed the design of the program interventions. The interventions will contribute to strengthening communities on nutrition resilience by bridging critical knowledge gaps and transforming practices, relating to the understanding of the complexities and the interplay of casualties contributing to P-GAM in Turkana and Samburu County.
The Adaptive Learning and Communications Officer, Baragoi is a critical member of the USAID Nawiri CLA and Communications for Learning Team and the consortium Program Implementation Team in Samburu County. The position is responsible for ensuring the integration of collaborative, adaptive learning principles and practices into field operations at the sub-county level; this includes ensuring insights and lessons learned are captured, organized, packaged, and promoted to enhance program influence and impact.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Collaborative Learning for Action
- Work with the sub-county teams to ensure an adaptive learning approach is infused in the design, implementation, and reporting on all activities. This includes supporting program teams to integrate sense-making and critical reflection moments in routine program activities.
- Work closely with the County Learning and Accountability Coordinators and collaborate with the SSBC team to support program teams to organize knowledge exchange fairs that bring together program participants, USAID Nawiri teams, and other key stakeholders to share knowledge and promising practices and animate uptake. Facilitate after-action review; document and promote lessons learned for subsequent knowledge markets. Work with the M&E team and SSBC team to assess the success of knowledge markets for catalyzing behavior change.
- Work closely with the County Learning and Accountability Coordinators to conceptualize opportunities and plan, organize, and coordinate learning exchange visits for multi-disciplinary teams designed to broaden perspectives, build relationships, and trigger innovative ideas and commitments through shared action and experience.
- Identify opportunities for and coordinate local communities of practice.
- Work with the M&E team to develop a framework and plan for monitoring and evaluating communications and adaptive learning efforts
- Support the optimization of Mercy Corps’ community accountability and response mechanism (CARM) to the local context, and identify innovative ways of elevating the community voice in programmatic decision-making.
Communications for Adaptive Learning
- On a quarterly basis, produce case studies that highlight how program staff and participants are applying the principles and practices of collaborative, adaptive learning to enhance collective action and amplify impact.
- Support technical working groups to package and promote insights and lessons learned through the execution of their learning agendas and adaptive learning plans, and work with the M & E team to monitor uptake.
Content Creation, Management, and Dissemination
- Work with the technical / program team to develop and manage content for input into USAID Nawiri’s regular newsletter and weekly reporting of progress (to the consortium and the donor), as well as the county monthly newsletter.
- Support the county reporting officer to track USAID Nawiri’s visibility in external platforms, and work closely with the County Directorate to disseminate content through county platforms and other media channels to create visibility for the program.
- Work with the county reporting officer to identify and develop content for USAID Nawiri’s traditional media and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook etc.)
- Collaborate with journalists and media outlets (print, TV, radio, web etc.) to capture and share learning and promote uptake in order to amplify USAID Nawiri’s influence and impact within and beyond Samburu and Turkana counties.
Collaboration, Advocacy, Visibility
- Support the implementation and monitoring of program teams’ collaboration plans and facilitate learning sessions on the same
- Support program teams to work with identified CSOs, CBOs and champions to operationalize advocacy strategies, including through development of advocacy materials.
- Support the sub-county coordinator to conceptualize, organize, facilitate, and document joint donor and government monitoring and learning visits. This includes support to develop information packets, facilitation guides, and other materials.
- Ensure sub-county teams’ compliance with USAID Nawiri branding and marking requirements.
Other Duties as Assigned
Remain flexible and open to taking on new/different responsibilities USAID Nawiri evolves and progresses, especially as requested/ guided by the County Learning and Accountability Coordinator, Communications Advisor and Strategic Learning Lead.
Reports Directly to: Communications Advisor, with transition by October 1, 2022, to the County Learning & Accountability Coordinator
Works Directly with: Strategic Learning Lead, sub-county/county field teams, M&E team, program teams, County Government Communications Directorate, other relevant government departments, communities, local media, and other 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.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours. 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 locations.
Minimum Qualifications and Transferable Skills
- Recognized qualification in Communications, Journalism, or a related field. Masters will be an added advantage.
- Minimum of 3-4 years of progressive experience working in communications or public relations, preferably with a focus on learning and rural development
- Excellent track record in content development, copy writing and editing, demonstrated through submission of a portfolio of quality products in a variety of formats (e.g. blogs, articles, op-eds, press releases, videos, etc).
- Proven experience in developing and executing communications plans.
- Excellent interpersonal skills including facilitation, fluent oral communication, with an ability to deeply connect and empathize with a range of individuals with broad backgrounds and expertise.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
The Adaptive Learning and Communications Officer should be an exceptional listener and avid storyteller with a strong passion for learning and leveraging communications for social change. S/he/they must demonstrate the ability to innovate and improve processes as well as possess the flexibility and ability to work and engage with diverse teams and stakeholders. The ability to adapt quickly to change is crucial for the position. The successful candidate must demonstrate a learning mindset and a commitment and passion for fostering a culture of curiosity and learning within the sub-county team. S/he/they must have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, meet deadlines, take initiative, and be accountable for results. The successful candidate is a systems thinker and learning champion who is able to understand the larger picture while simultaneously focusing on the details and encouraging colleagues to do the same.
All successful USAID Nawiri team members possess the following core competencies:
- Listening: Ability to actively listen (i.e., seeks to understand, asks good questions, paraphrases, and is in tune with speaker’s emotional state)
- Vulnerability & Courage: Ability to share lack of knowledge, mistakes, or failures; give and receive feedback; and raise difficult questions or concerns
- Curiosity: Ability to articulate and explore novel areas of learning that would contribute to greater effectiveness
- Systems Thinking: Ability to understand, affect, connect, and leverage various parts of a system while maintaining sight of the whole system
- Critical & Reflective Thinking: Ability to analyze and understand situations from a variety of perspectives
- Flexibility: Ability to accept the unexpected and adjust to what the situation now requires rather than what was planned
- Self-awareness & Personal Improvement: Ability to recognize and develop personal strengths and areas in need of improvement and adjust style and approach depending on what the situation requires
- Decision-Making: Ability to make informed, timely decisions based on a mixture of analysis, evidence, and experience.
Finally, Mercy Corps team members must have a strong commitment to teamwork, security procedures and community accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. In northern Kenya, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination, and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in USAID Nawiri’s sub-county office in Baragoi, Samburu North, Samburu County, Kenya, with over 50% travel to program locations. A rural location with access to basic living conditions. The location is characterized by dry weather conditions for most months in a year.
Ongoing Learning (Personal Mastery)
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.
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 and 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
Disclaimer: This job description is NOT an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
Interested applicants must submit the following
- Upload a PDF version of your CV and Cover letter. Your cover letter should include a response to the following: Tell us about a recent mistake you made. What did you learn from the experience? How have you applied what you learned since then.
- Upload a PDF or a link of at least 5 products that showcase your skill set.
Please note that any application submitted that does not follow the above instructions will be automatically discarded.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted