Mercy Corps – Senior Food Security Advisor

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Essential Job Functions

  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the regional team providing technical support to a portfolio of food security programs in countries including those in humanitarian and complex crisis environments.
  • Proactively engage with program managers and technical focal points to ensure the quality and impact of the design and delivery of complex multi-sectoral food security and livelihood programming across both  humanitarian and development contexts, with a particular focus on ensuring innovative quality approaches in  nexus programming.
  • Support effective interventions in food security programs using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
  • Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements.
  • Help the country and program teams gather, refine, develop and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools. Ensure these tools reflect Mercy Corps’ approaches to resilience, gender and youth as central cross-cutting dimensions of food security.
  • Support an increased focus on resilience and gender in food security, livelihoods and Markets in Crisis programs, promoting evidence for integration of resilience, Market systems development and Financial Inclusion.
  • Provide support across a range of complex multi-sectoral food security and livelihood programmes and initiatives focusing on one or more food security and livelihood approaches, including poverty graduation and social protection. Other themes could include gender within agrifood systems, Food security and livelihood in conflict settings, climate resilient food security and livelihoods, agro-ecological approaches for sustainable food security and livelihoods, last mile food market systems, early warning and anticipatory action.
  • Provide technical oversight to relief and long-term food security and livelihood interventions in the region (including to assessments, project implementation, budget management, project documentation) in line with global sector frameworks, country strategies and donor requirements.
  • Lead and/or provide significant support to program start-up for complex multi-sectoral food security and livelihood programs to ensure a livelihoods approach informs integrated assessments and analysis frameworks, theory of change refinement, and design of work plans and detailed implementation plans.
  • Work closely with country leaders and program managers to identify and set team and partner capacity-building priorities, and coordinate and deliver tailored capacity building support visits and training workshops to better design and implement food security and livelihoods programs..
  • Keep abreast of new thinking, research and innovations in food security synthesize, and regularly communicate findings for country teams.


  • Collaborate with regional and HQ leadership to design and oversee the application of Mercy Corps’ strategic regional vision to enhance resilient food security and livelihoods.
  • Contribute to research, evaluation, and innovation projects in the food security and livelihood field to expand the knowledge base, promote a learning culture and identify new / enhanced approaches to amplify impact. Coordinate implementation of a regional research and learning agenda on resilient food security & livelihoods that advances frontier areas of research and learning and promotes Mercy Corps’ regional food security profile and platform, in close collaboration with the Global TSU and Research and Learning Teams.
  • Drive a culture of learning between programs, countries, and technical teams through consistent sharing of evidence-based best practices and lessons learned.
  • Contribute to regional food security and livelihood knowledge management and communications and to raising our external profile regionally, regularly sharing out findings and updates through appropriate internal and external channels.
  • Represent Mercy Corps as in appropriate donor, learning and policy forums. Support country teams to identify and participate in opportunities for external representation and thought leadership, including by developing talking points and presentations.
  • Facilitate information flow to Resource Development, Policy and Advocacy and regional and technical teams to drive our positioning and increase external visibility in resilient food security and livelihoods. ● Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team at regional and country level to ensure that monitoring and evaluation of food security programs is practical and reflects Global best practices.
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs.
  • Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external dissemination plans for all products.
  • Lead and facilitate Food Security and livelihoods community of practice within the region to share lessons, best practices and enhance program impact through better collaboration and networking


  • Working closely with country teams, develop or support high quality concept notes and proposals to increase funding for food security programs.
  • Source and document new ideas and innovations from within country programs, private sector partners, researchers and academics and link them with appropriate implementing partners and funding sources to begin to scale up ideas that are proven in programs.
  • Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as additional deployable resources for program development.


  • Reports Directly To: Technical Director – Africa
  • Works Directly With: Resilience Technical Support Unit; Regional Technical Team; Country Directors/Directors of Program; program managers and country program teams; regional and HQ technical staff.

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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, Food Security, Nutrition, or relevant field
  • Five to seven years’ experience in resilience, food security and livelihood development programming in Africa is required. Additional experience in early recovery and/or emergency programming is a plus. 
  • Demonstrated experience with the application of a resilience approach in fragile contexts preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading and/or facilitating complex multi-sectoral assessment design processes, and translating analysis into program approaches.
  • Demonstrated experience using M&E to improve program learning and adaptive management.
  • Strong representation, networking, and facilitation skills.
  • Proven ability to synthesize and communicate complex subjects/topics effectively to multi-stakeholder groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with a diverse geographically spread team.
  • French fluency strongly preferred