Mercy Corps – USAID Nawiri Environmental Safeguarding Manager

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General Position Summary

The Environmental Safeguarding manager is responsible for tracking environmental compliance of program implementation which includes, working with the program team to identify the potential environmental impacts from proposed activities and identification of strategies to prevent and reduce those impacts considering Kenya´s national regulations, USAID 22 CFR 216 and ADS201.

She/he will provide technical support and oversight to the development and review of mandatory USAID environmental compliance processes, climate change requirements as well as provide advice on environmental safeguards, climate adaptation and sustainability of the program interventions (protection, rehabilitation of natural resource conservation, yield and sustainability) and follow up on implementation through the development of environmental monitoring systems. Develop environmental compliance tracking tools such as specific intervention EMMP tools and ensure that they are integrated with broader Nawiri M&E systems.

Essential Job Functions


  • Provide strategic environment compliance technical leadership to program technical advisors/managers including steering development and implementation of USAID Nawiri environment policies and strategies across USAID Nawiri consortium partners.
  • Lead donor engagement and coordination on environmental compliance especially with Mission Environmental Officer (MEO) involving environment assessments, monitoring, and reporting. Represent USAID Nawiri on government and BHA compliance platforms to ensure harmonization of USAID Nawiri Environmental Strategy with Donor and Kenya Government.
  • Promote layering and integration of environmental discussions in USAID Nawiri management platforms such as Senior Nawiri Management, Technical Working Committees and County based program management structure.
  • Lead development and review of Terms of Reference (TORs) and scoping plans for required activities’ Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs), while providing oversight to recruitment of environmental consultants and required deliverables.
  • Provide oversight in tracking USAID Nawiri environmental safeguarding budget and other allocated resources together with Nawiri finance team.
  • Manage development of environmental documents including IEE amendment, pesticide evaluation report and safer use action plans (PERSUAP) for USAID Nawiri (when required) and ensure that they are implemented accordingly.
  • Manage and take leadership in developing and guiding onboarding sessions to new USAID Nawiri local implementing partners on matter environmental safeguarding.


  • Lead development, coordination, implementation, and management of Phase 2 USAID Nawiri Initial Environmental Examination (IEE), Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP), Environmental Status Report (ESR). Climate Risk Management (CRM), and Water Quality Assurance Plan (WQAP).
  • Manage the environmental mitigation assessment and climate change risk screening for high-risk projects such as water and irrigation systems within USAID Nawiri program target wards.
  • Provide technical backstopping during the implementation of USAID Nawiri including supporting a variety of environmental mitigation and monitoring at all the stages of the implementation of the program. Work with Technical Leads, field program team to review project and activity plans, design, cost, and bid documents to ensure environmental factors and mitigation measures are integrated, and project documents and environmental documents are coherent.
  • Build capacity of project and partner staffs on environmental donor strategies, program priorities, and technical requirements including process and approaches for effective integration of environmental safeguards in USAID Nawiri program strategy and implementation
  • Assist and train the program staff on environmental management, specifically focusing on strengthening institutional capacity, improving environmental quality and the sustainable management of natural resources, and promoting equitable solutions in managing commons such as climate change, sustainability, biodiversity conservation and others.
  • Support the process of any required environmental assessments from full Environmental Impact Assessments and Audits (EIA/EA) to more limited environmental reviews for activities that require environmental review. This includes revision of ESIAs and EMMPs of high-risk projects when/if required.
  • Support in the development process of environmental safeguard guidelines and environmental mitigation measures to be used by USAID Nawiri staff and partners in the planning and implementation process of the project activities.
  • Prepare guidelines, tools, and notes for use in the project based on relevant environmental policies, acts and regulations/directives of the Government of Kenya, USAID 22 CFR 216, and ADS 201.
  • Coordinate with EIA consultants and relevant agencies for obtaining appropriate environmental permits and or certification/licenses e.g., NEMA.


  • Lead quarterly environmental monitoring and evaluation of program activities against environmental regulations and standards together with the M & E team, deliver a series of spot checks to ensure that proposed mitigation measures are properly implemented in line with the guidelines and unforeseen environmental and human health impacts are minimized. Prepare report (quarterly, field monitoring) on the safeguard risks with appropriate actions to be taken and ensure that timely actions are taken.
  • Provide technical assistance and deliver capacity building training to Nawiri, Government and partners’ staffs on environmental sound design and management (ESDM) and climate risk management to close knowledge/skill gaps and minimize the likelihood of risks and ensure the sustainability of the project.
  • Compile environmental quarterly, biannual and annual reports on safeguards related issues as part of the program reporting.
  • Prepare annual environmental status reports (ESR) to be submitted to the donor before the submission of PREP.
  • Contribute to review of project theory of change (TOC) using evidence from the environmental monitoring assessment and results.
  • Facilitate the preparation and updating of environmental safeguard lessons/results by USAID’s requirements.
  • Ensure that all the required environmental indicators are properly aligned and tracked through the overall M&E plan.
  • Develop an environmental monitoring system scorecard system that cuts across all program units and work with project M&E staff on coordination of IPTT and EMMP monitoring.
  • Lead in the development process of environmental safeguards guidelines to be used by USAID Nawiri staff and partners in the plan and implementation process of the project activities.
  • Prepare guidelines, tools, and notes for use in the project based on relevant environmental policies, acts and regulations/ directives of the Government of Kenya and Reg. 216 environmental procedures.
  • Develop and deliver a series of spot checks to ensure that proposed mitigation measures are properly implemented in line with the guidelines and unforeseen environmental and human health impacts are minimized. Prepare report (quarterly, field monitoring) on the safeguard risks with appropriate actions to be taken and ensure that timely actions are taken.
  • Ensure key environmental learnings are weaved into the bigger USAID Nawiri Collaborate, Learn and Adapt (CLA) strategy and build environmental evidence around USAID Nawiri learn and adapt cycle, quarterly and annually.


  • 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.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility



  • Reports Directly To: Water Systems Advisor
  • Works Directly With: Program director, Strategic Learning Lead, Research Design Lead, Institutional Strengthening Lead, Social Dynamics Lead, the M&E team, partner agencies, local government, USAID, and support departments (Finance, HR, and Operations). Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit (TSU)

 Knowledge and Experience

  • Degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Planning and Management, Natural Resources management, Environmental Health and Environmental Engineering or related field. Additional experience may substitute for some education.
  • Technical Training in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), climate risk and vulnerability, biodiversity conservations, natural resource management and environmental audit and sustainable livelihoods a plus.
  • Minimum of 5 years relevant work experience, ideally with an international NGO, with relevant field-based experience in environment safeguarding sector.
  • Registered with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to undertake EAIs.
  • Experience in undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).
  • Knowledge of technical principles and concepts in environment safeguarding. Thorough knowledge and understanding of Kenya environmental laws, procedures, and guidelines.
  • Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices.
  • Strong relationship and networking skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings.
  • Strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment.
  • Good technical writing skills
  • Proficient analytical skills that demonstrate an understanding of the current concepts, priorities, and issues in program monitoring, data collection, and evaluation.
  • Highly developed written and oral communications skills as well as strong interpersonal communication to ensure effective coordination within USAID.
  • Advanced computer skills and experience developing data management systems.
  • Team player who takes initiative and is a problem – solver.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multitasking and organizational