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  • Market Systems Development and Resilience Advisor at Mercy Corps

  • Posted on: 11 October, 2018 Deadline: 15 October, 2018
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  • 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.

    Market Systems Development and Resilience Advisor


    Reference Number - ABV/DEVPRGGM/2018/00006
    Location: Maiduguri, Borno
    Position Status Full-time, Exempt, Regular

    Program / Department Summary

    • Mercy Corps Nigeria implements a variety of programs with the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure.
    • The organization’s programs are implemented in twelve states, mainly in North and North-East Nigeria and Lagos. Our work covers the following sectors: economic development, livelihoods/food security, adolescent girls & boys empowerment, financial resilience, conflict mitigation and humanitarian response. Common themes include community engagement, inclusive development, gender, and working in partnership with local government, the private sector and civil society actors.

    General Position Summary

    • A pioneer of resilience and market systems development application in a rapidly changing context, the Market Systems Development (MSD) and Resilience Advisor is responsible for ensuring overall technical quality and oversight of the integration of market systems development and resilience approaches into ongoing work in priority programs in Northeast Nigeria.
    • By incorporating findings from findings from Mercy Corps’ Livelihoods and Markets Recovery Assessment (LMRA) as well as Borno Strategic Resilience Assessment (STRESS), she/he will partner with program teams, including the EC-funded Maida early recovery program, the Gates and GIZ-funded MALL program, and other programs (to be determined with leadership) to provide strategic actionable guidance, help adapt program tools and processes to incorporate guidance and track progress.
    • She/he will work closely with early recovery and humanitarian program teams to review program strategies and ensure a market systems approach is embedded and actively guides implementation.
    • She/he will also identify opportunities to operationalize recommendations from resilience analyses as well as ongoing context analyses.
    • She/he supports program teams to adapt or develop program tools to better incorporate and measure market systems and resilience considerations, identifies and strengthens capacity gaps and scans for additional strategic private sector partnership opportunities to strengthen our approach.
    • She/he actively feeds learning from this application of systems-approaches in the Northeast Nigeria context to Mercy Corps’ larger body of growing evidence of what works to build resilience in complex crises.

    Essential Job Responsibilities
    Strategy and Program Management:

    • Review selected programs’ technical approaches and implementation strategies in light of LMRA, STRESS and other high-priority assessments findings, and develop customized recommendations to better integrate findings into ongoing program approaches.
    • Assess gaps in market systems development (MSD) application in select programs and team capacity to implement using MSD principles.
    • Design and deliver a strategic MSD capacity building strategy that incorporates resilience elements, including but not limited to tailored tools, resources, visual management or communications tools, one on one support and/or training workshops.
    • Work with program managers and staff to refine and appropriately document implementation strategies to better incorporate MSD.
    • Provide ongoing technical support and mentoring to program managers, program staff and technical resource personnel/teams on a range of MSD technical topics, including conducting resilience-oriented market assessments, designing and managing using results chains, designing and implementing activities that use facilitation approaches while looking for opportunities to build resilience at the systems-level and structuring partnerships for MSD.
    • Conduct regular field site visits to monitor technical quality of MSD application and provide recommendations.
    • Design and lead or coordinate additional market assessments as needed.
    • Maintain regular contact with the Humanitarian Analysis Team to apply updated contextual insights into market systems development strategy.
    • Support existing and emerging MSD and resilience programming and initiatives in the Northeast that link into the Mercy Corps Nigeria Strategy.
    • Consult and incorporate Mercy Corps’ technical guides and best practices on MSD and Resilience.

    Program Quality, Learning and Communication:

    • Guide program leaders and M&E staff to develop, document and implement adaptive management practices that lead to improved quality and responsive implementation.
    • Work with program and MC Nigeria leadership to design and implement a strategic learning and influence agenda on MSD and Resilience in Complex Crises.
    • Work with program and M&E staff to ensure high quality measurement on key performance indicators for MSD and resilience in priority programs.
    • Draft quarterly learning briefs based on activities carried out and program learning/results. This should include efforts to understand both the direct impact of interventions on beneficiaries as well as the effects of our work on key market systems and components that support resilience.
    • Organize program reflections to review learning and discuss new information and implications for programming.
    • Work with the country-level Communications Advisor to develop an internal institutional MSD and resilience knowledge management and communications plan, and share out findings and updates through appropriate internal channels.
    • Participate in regional and agency level learning events to share findings, communicate issues and lessons learned and inform next frontiers for MSD and resilience in complex crises.

    Representation and Partnerships:

    • Help program teams identify technical, private and public sector partnerships needed to execute program strategies through MSD and help grow and formalize partnership arrangements as necessary.
    • 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.
    • Participate in relevant strategic external working groups and fora to share Mercy Corps’ experience and promote thought-leadership in MSD and resilience.
    • Develop and maintain strong relationships with early recovery, MSD and resilience stakeholders and identify strategic implementation, research and private sector partners that can contribute to Mercy Corps Nigeria’s portfolio development, influence and impact.


    • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
    • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

    Organizational Learning:

    • 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 Beneficiaries:

    • 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

    • None.


    • Reports Directly To: Deputy Director of Northeast Programs
    • Works Directly With: EU Maida Program Director, MALL Program Manager, Relevant program teams and leads for Shelter/WASH/Cash/Protection/Livelihoods, Sr. Regional Resilience Advisor and relevant Technical Support Unit staff

    Knowledge and Experience

    • BA/BS or equivalent in Economics, International Studies or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
    • At least 3 years of program management experience in market systems development and/or early economic recovery programming that demonstrates MSD approaches.
    • Exceptional interpersonal, communications and teambuilding skills
    • Previous experience working in Nigeria and the North East strongly preferred.
    • Previous experience working on resilience-focused programming strongly preferred but not mandatory.
    • Experience with participatory assessment methodologies a plus.
    • Proven experience successfully coordinating teams, negotiating and influencing others to get results without formal supervisory authority
    • Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal capacity building methods necessary.
    • Knowledge of SPHERE and other humanitarian programming standards a plus.
    • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
    • Regular travel to programme areas is required.
    • Essential computer literacy and capacity to work with MS Office applications highly desirable.

    Success Factors

    • The successful Market Systems Development and Resilience Advisor will combine deep technical knowledge of MSD with practical experience applying the approach in difficult environments.
    • She/he will be an intrepid relationship manager skilled at working across teams to achieve results.
    • S/he will be conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment and commitment to integrity.
    • S/he will demonstrate effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills.
    • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
    • The successful Advisor will have a sincere interest to see big picture trends through various systems lenses, and roll up his/her sleeves to put theory into practice in field work.
    • S/he will have interest and ability to travel and work in remote environments and awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural international development/humanitarian work.
    • Finally, s/he will have an ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles through innovative capacity building and facilitative techniques.

    Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

    • The position is based in Maiduguri, Nigeria. This assignment is unaccompanied. Team members in this location are expected to follow all Mercy Corps security protocols, which may change from time to time, relevant to the prevailing risk environment.
    • Medical services are available. Electricity is available but is predominantly through generator.
    • Running water, Internet connectivity and communication are reliable.
    • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting.
    • Staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV's and Cover Letter in one document of not more than four (4) pages long, addressing the position requirements, reference number and location to:


    • All applications must include the position title and reference number in the subject line Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.
    • We are an equal opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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