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  • Posted: Feb 4, 2021
    Deadline: Feb 10, 2021
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    Since 1979, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive - and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: We help communities turn crisis into opportunity. Throughout our history, Mercy Corps has demonstrated innovation, timeliness and the ability to adapt quickly to changing realities.
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    Programme Officer (EU Response to the Impact of COVID-19 - RIC)

    Reference Number: ABV/OPS/2021/001
    Location: Damaturu, Yobe
    Position Status: Full-time, Regular

    Program / Department Summary

    • Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the Northeast of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in the areas of food security, shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods.
    • With the recognition of the protracted crisis in Northeast Nigeria, Mercy Corps’ strategy and expansion plans aim to address the root causes of the crisis and seek to build long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, and youth empowerment with emphasis on adolescent girls and boys. With multiple funding streams from large institutional donors and foundations, Mercy Corps’ programs in Northeast Nigeria continue to scale up and serve communities by transitioning them from humanitarian aid to early recovery programs.

    General Position Summary

    • The programme officer will support the implementation of a EU funded project RIC (Response to the Impact of COVID-19) in Yobe State. The project will be implemented by Mercy Corps in close collaboration with the Yobe State Government and Community Resilience groups.
    • The Officer is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of conditional cash (CCT) to individual household’s members and youths for enterprise development and implement all aspects of Social Protection, Agric and Market Systems Development component of CASH & Livelihoods Programme.
    • The Officer will be required to apply a wide variety of market development tools and approaches in order to catalyze innovative services and facilitate linkages between market actors in the assigned Programme areas.
    • The Officer will work closely with the Field Manager, MEL team, and operations staff (including finance and operations) to ensure that activities are implemented according to schedule, budget and required quality.
    • The Programme office reports directly to the Field Manager.

    The Project-specific objectives:

    • Vulnerable and conflict-affected households from targeted communities meet their basic needs, increase savings, and have improved access to basic health, WaSH, and nutrition services.
    • Vulnerable and conflict-affected households have restored and improved livelihoods that are more resilient to conflict and climate shocks and stresses.

    Essential Job Functions
    Strategy and Vision:

    • Contribute to Mercy Corps Nigeria countrywide and regional conflict management, peacebuilding, and governance strategy development.
    • Contribute to collective vision and direction for the EU-RIC-19 project to achieve highest level of impact.
    • Ensure high quality of the project through innovation, active pursuit of lessons learned, adaptability to changing dynamics, and integration of related programming for increased impact.
    • Collaborate with other internal agency units to drive forward quality and innovation of MCN programming in NE Nigeria.

    Representation and Coordination:

    • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with communities, local authorities and other stakeholders.
    • Ensure effective coordination with relevant working groups, UN, and colleagues I/NGO agencies.

    Program Management:

    • Ensure program is on-time, on-scope and within budget.
    • Work in liaison with the Cash & Livelihood and Agric Market Systems Development Team and sector-focused Technical Specialists, carry out assessments in the target geographic area to assess current situation, economic opportunities and resources, needs and potential programs as well as obstacles that could be mitigated through MCN engagement with public and private sector actors. Such assessments shall include but are not limited to rapid market assessments, a local competitiveness assessment, sector selection, value chain analysis and development, and business support capacity needs to the stakeholders of the Programme.
    • Support the process of identification and engagement of private sector businesses to expand their business models. This task will include profiling businesses, conducting light due diligence assessments, partnership management and mentoring and coaching.
    • Support ongoing positive cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including local business owners, local representatives and community members, and forge links between market actors, producers, end users, etc.
    • Support in the implementation of CCT activities and administration of the teams across program field locations;
    • Develop activity work plans and manage day-to-day activity implementation;
    • Support in ensuring that program implementation is responsive to community needs, meets targets, and is carried out in line with best practices;
    • Support in ensuring that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to vulnerability criteria;
    • Support in establishing and maintain effective program reporting, and monitoring and evaluation systems (to track, analyze and report on results) for both internal and external use;
    • Support in Integrating community approaches, protection mainstreaming, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate;
    • Support in ensuring program filing system is in place, adheres to internal and donor regulation and filing is regularly maintained;
    • Adhere to all MC policies related to security, operations and transport/ logistics information related to programming.
    • Support in close coordination private sector partners, plan, implement and monitor market system development activities for farmer engagement in economic opportunities. This will include exploring partnerships with private sector actors to design, test, and deliver a wide range of appropriate services that increase effective smallholder farmer engagement within the agricultural market system.
    • Work in liaison with Private Sector Partners to ensure strengthening of farmers, associations and rural enterprises.
    • Organize /facilitate training of agro-dealers, commission agents and other intermediaries to provide goods and services that increase the competiveness of local production.
    • The incumbent will also mobilize targeted smallholder farmers (especially women) to participate in the programme for sustainability.
    • Identify small business activities any other opportunities that strengthen economic opportunities, especially for women in households, as identified by local and national government as well as independent market studies and needs assessments;
    • Finance & Compliance Management
    • Ensure compliance with all donor and Mercy Corps regulations.
    • Oversee the CCT activity budgets and project monthly cash flow.
    • Coordinate with MEL team to map, identify and register program participants.
    • Support in facilitating the setting up of VSLA groups to provide safe space for beneficiaries.
    • Identify reliable and trusted members locally to serve as village agents for VSLAs.
    • Coordinate the sensitization of beneficiaries.
    • Coordinate with the protection sector to get protection master trainers across programme targeted communities.
    • Facilitate training of beneficiaries on financial literacy, bookkeeping and smart saving practices.
    • Support the market assessment to ascertain the most profitable skills in the intervention locations.
    • Support the cash disbursement to beneficiaries through FSP.
    • Coordinate post distribution monitoring with MEL team.
    • Ensure the grantees VSLA meetings and small-scale businesses are monitored monthly.
    • Ensure effective community engagement to create enabling environment and ownership.
    • Submit monthly program update including success stories to the supervisor.

    Finance & Compliance Management:

    • Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance.
    • Proactively develop and implement budget scenarios at key program implementation stages to ensure timely spending of funds in accordance with donor requirements.
    • Ensure all internal and external reports are produced to donor and Mercy Corps standards.

    Programme Support:

    • Coordinate with program, finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).

    Influence & Representation:

    • Represent Mercy Corps to government, donors, NGOs and other relevant events at national and regional level.
    • Coordinate activities with partners, government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps global staff.
    • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
    • Design and pursue research initiatives designed to increase the evidence base around Mercy Corps Social Protection, food security and Livelihood programming, and other related areas.

    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.

    Security:

    • 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.
    • Work closely with Mercy Corps Nigeria country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its implementation process.

    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:

    • RIC-19 project team

    Accountability:

    • Reports Directly to: Programme Manager
    • Works Directly with: Program teams, Finance Department, MEL, Operations, Security, Program Quality Team (PaQ)

    Knowledge and Experience

    • BSc / MA / M.Sc or equivalent experience in International Relations, Development, Management, Economics or other relevant fields.
    • Strong management skills, with good knowledge of relevant cross-cultural issues.
    • Five years of management experience in progressively responsible positions, preferably in conflict management, peacebuilding and/or governance technical areas.
    • Experience leading the implementation of multi-sector integrated programs, with particular expertise in dialogue, women’s and youth empowerment, advocacy, and trauma healing approaches.
    • Ability to work independently in the field and show initiative. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
    • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to develop good relationships with a wide range of actors required.
    • Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local stakeholders, host government officials, and local and international partners.
    • 5 years Experience.

    Success Factors

    • A successful Program Officer will combine exceptional management skills and technical Social Protection, cash transfer, food security and livelihood expertise.
    • S/he will be able to develop, implement and manage a large, multi-sector program and.
    • S/he will have a strong spirit of participatory management and mentorship, with a strong ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel and build the capacity of government and community leadership.
    • The PM will have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines, and process information for effective adaptive management simultaneously across multiple programs.
    • 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 in all situations.

    Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions:

    • The position will be based in Damaturu, Yobe State, Nigeria and requires frequent travel to other field locations as well as Abuja.
    • Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics.
    • Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously.
    • Access to good medical services in the field is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic.
    • The location is not eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their CV and Cover Letter in one document, addressing the position requirements to: ng-recruitment.nigeria@mercycorps.org

    Note

    • 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 an interview.
    • We are an equal opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
    • 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 Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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