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  • Posted on: 28 May, 2014 Deadline: 11 June, 2014
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    Globally, Mercy Corps’ mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. This occurs when public, private and civil society actors interact with accountability, inclusive participation and mechanisms for peaceful change. Our global strategy 1) takes an integrated, systems approach, 2) works in partnership with diverse actors, 3) is grounded in evidence and learning, and 4) uses a gender lens. Last year, we improved the lives of 19 million people globally. Mercy Corps manages programs in 43 countries. Working in Nigeria since 2012, Mercy Corps works across 11 states with a focus on the Middle Belt and Northern states through partnerships with USAID, DfID, GHR Foundation, Nike Foundation, MasterCard, and the Foundation for Partnerships in the Niger Delta (PIND). Mercy Corps links peace-building with economic development, focusing on vulnerable populations such as adolescent girls.
    Mercy Corps proposes to conduct a vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) in four states in Northern Nigeria to better understand the drivers and levers for positive change amidst the sea of ongoing challenges.
    VCAs  provide a methodology to answer the four key questions to resilience - Resilience to what? Resilience for whom? Resilience for what? Resilience through what?  The VCA will help to identify weaknesses in key socio-ecological systems and potential future hazards that may exacerbate such weaknesses; and therefore helping to create a baseline from which changes in resilience can be measured.
    Rather than viewing a VCA as a single assessment, Mercy Corps sees VCAs as a well-coordinated series of assessments. These may use established tools or be designed for a specific purpose. Used together they help to develop an understanding of the complex systems communities operate within.
    Mercy Corps has developed a vulnerability assessment methodology that aims to understand vulnerability across scales. As such, information will be collected and analysed at the community, regional, and national level. Data driven, top-down, assessments will be complimented by qualitative, bottom-up information collected from communities and stakeholders from across the region.
    In developing a vulnerability assessment of Northern Nigeria, Mercy Corps seeks to meet the following objectives:
    1.      Inform the development of a broad strategy to reduce chronic poverty for Northern Nigeria.
    2.      Influence the funding strategies of Northern Nigeria for DFID and other major donors.
    3.      Identify potential partners and better understand their capacities.
    4.      Identify drivers of vulnerability to continue to monitor after the initial assessment is complete based on indicators designed in collaboration with DFID.
    5.      Build the capacity of the DFID country team to facilitate additional vulnerability assessment processes.
    6.      Contribute to the ongoing efforts of the Mercy Corps’ Resilience Initiative by helping to further understand how VCAs can contribute to resilience-building programmes.

    Facilitator - Northern Nigeria Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA)


    Primary Location: Zamfara, Katsina, Borno or Yobe
    Position Status: Field-based, full-time, regular, exempt
    Position Level: Level X
    Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
    Current Employee: N/A
    Working in a team, the Facilitator will collect high quality primary data from communities in one or more states of Northern Nigeria. The Facilitator will be expected to facilitate group discussions and use other data collection techniques, as required (possibly including but not limited to hazard mapping, vulnerability matrices and historical timelines). The Facilitator will document all data received accurately and work with her/his supervisor to ensure that it is clearly reported.
    Assessment Implementation

    •     Facilitate focus groups in an inclusive and respectful manner that encourages honest feedback and open participation.
    •     Ensure deliverables are completed on time, within budget, and according to Mercy Corps and DFID standards.
    •     In collaboration with colleagues, implement relevant focus group discussions, data and information collection for on-going monitoring.


    •      Ensure strong communication with the Field Coordinator. Inform Field Coordinator in a timely manner of all field needs and challenges and reports all security concerns in a timely manner.
    •      Arrive punctually for all engagements.
    •      May manage relationships with local authorities, local CSOs, and other local organizations.

    Personal Leadership

    • ·   Demonstrate flexibility, organization, and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
    •     Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
    •     Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

    Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Reporting

    •     Accurately record all data collected in a timely and efficient manner.
    •     Acknowledge and report out areas of bias and limitations of data collection.


    •     Represent Mercy Corps in communities where data collection is being conducted.
    •     Coordinate assessment activities (key informant interviews, focus groups) with local government, traditional leaders and private sector actors.

    ·         Excellent oral, written, presentation and communications skills in English and Hausa are required
    ·         Fluency in other northern languages and dialects an asset
    ·         BA/S or equivalent in education, management, social sciences, international development or other relevant field.
    ·         Familiarity with participatory data collection methods.
    ·         Must be based in one of the four states where the study takes place.
    ·         Deep understanding of the challenges in Northern Nigeria.
    ·         Understanding of a systems approach and resilience highly desired.
    ·         High attention to detail and ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines.
    ·         Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
    The successful applicant will combine exceptional facilitation skills with a focus on qualitative data collection in conflict zones.  S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop trust, elicit honest answers in conversation and a willingness to pry past surface-level answers. Excellent listening skills, the ability to ask insightful questions and attention to detail are essential. 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.
    This position will be based in Northern Nigeria with some travel to other states, possibly including Borno and Yobe, where security may be particularly difficult at times.
    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. 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.

    Method of Application

    Please submit CV and cover letter addressing the key criteria above, to with mail subject VCA Facilitator. Closing date: 2 weeks from the date of this advert. Recruitment will be ongoing and may conclude prior to this date.

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