About Mercy Corps
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. Now, and for the future.
Mercy Corps began working in Kenya in 2008 and has to date built a robust and diverse portfolio of programs aimed at sustainably improving the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans affected by poverty, resource scarcity and conflict. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen resilience, market, and governance systems, address the root causes of conflict, and equip vulnerable populations- in particular youth, women, adolescents, and marginalized social groups- with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to be healthy, productive, and drive the development of their communities. Mercy Corps Kenya also collaborates with Mercy Corps teams and partners in neighboring countries to implement a number of multi-country and cross-border programs.
The Program / Department / Team
USAID’s Office of Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) awarded funding to a Mercy Corps-led consortium of Kenyan and international partners for a 5-year Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) in Turkana and Samburu Counties. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation with government, civil society, communities, and the private sector, this program aims to drive sustained reductions in persistent acute malnutrition in both counties. Mercy Corps’ NAWIRI consortium brings together the global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. The program requires a robust county-centered design with government leadership, and active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.
The Position Summary
The USAID Nawiri Program Coordinator will Lead the program implementation coordination and coherence within the consortium, manage staff and program resources, lead in representation with government and stakeholders at sub-county and decentralized levels (wards, villages) and a variety of other stakeholders that are committed to reducing acute malnutrition. S/he will promote a culture of collaboration, learning and adaptation amongst USAID Nawiri staff from across the consortium and local implementing partners’ staff, Mercy Corps staff, partner organizations and county government S/he will ensure coherent integration between diverse program activities and the continual refinement of our approach based on evidence of what works. The Program Coordinator will support the Field Director and lead integrated planning for the technical program scope implemented within the field-office management (wards) ensuring coordinated management with key focal point persons, including and not limited to technical leads, local implementing partners, staff and component resource persons. The Program Coordinator will build collaborative relationships with county government, CSOs, the private sector and other key stakeholders within the Sub- County to ensure efficient program implementation and shared ownership of the program as well as its results. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders in the Sub- Counties and wards under the Program.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy, Leadership and Representation
- Communicate a clear vision of the USAID Nawiri program to Program program team members, government and other stakeholders that translates into concrete program coordination in implementation, adaptive learning and management.
- Represent the COP (Mercy Corps) and the program at the highest levels within the sub-counties, maintaining productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private sector partners, county government, civil society, communities, and other stakeholders.
- Lead Sub- County level planning processes and provide strategic updates to the Field Director, the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, in collaboration with coordinators and with support of Technical Director and Technical leads.
- Ensure that all program activities are tightly integrated at the Program level and are responsive to the overall vision for the program – in close collaboration with the other team members at the county and Nairobi level.
- Continuously monitors program performance and, in coordination with the Field Director, generates and evaluates alternative solutions and makes effective and timely decisions.
- Coordinate USAID Nawiri staff at Program level, across the consortium and oversee the timely development of Program integrated work plans.
- Coordinate quality and timely implementation of a coherent, integrated program that reflects use of evidence in driving program interventions and their adaptations.
- Supervise, provide leadership, mentor, and build the capacity of direct reports, including through individualized professional development plans.
- Coordinate timely development of quality program progress reports (weekly, quarterly) as needed capturing key milestones and learnings.
- Promote a culture of learning, systems thinking, and critical analysis. Create a working environment in which sharing of successes and failures is encouraged and capitalized through learning to establish mechanisms that ensure informed adaptive actions.
- Create a work environment of mutual respect that attracts motivated, skilled, and effective team members and enables them individually and collectively to strive to achieve excellence.
- Encourage use of evidence from learning and best practices in M&E to ensure that information and knowledge is accessible to all staff and partners.
- Onboard and lead team members so that they are positioned for success.
- Provide leadership and oversight that helps inform and improve program outcomes and Sub- County level results.
- Lead in the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing program activities and resources – including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, staff and consultant performance.
- Oversee daily office and program activities by ensuring program staff are following work plans as assigned by respective team leaders.
- Serve as a resource for program staff and input into activity design, evidence-based programming, M&E plans, and annual program assessments.
- Support internal and external reviews and lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.
- Ensure adherence to Mercy Corps administrative procedures by support and program staff.
- Work daily with support staff i.e., Operations, Finance and Human Resources departments to ensure proper daily support functions and compliance with MC and donor policies.
- Work daily with program staff and receive regular updates of program activities- ensure activities are on schedule.
- Conduct daily meetings and receive routine reports from support functions, as per MC policies, and facilitate linkages to programming.
- Encourage platforms for evidence based planning, adaptation and decision-making and support local system strengthening at ward and community level.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are both abiding by and aware of policies.
- Represent Mercy Corps as required with local governments and authorities for security meetings/briefings.
- Assist the Field Director, CoP and DCoP in developing strategies to continue work in times of heightened security.
- 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.
- 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.
Direct day to day supervisory and administrative management of USAID Nawiri Mercy Corps staff in the Program while co-managing technically with the thematic coordinators. These include: The M&E Officer and Assistants, SSBC officers, Citizen Engagement and Social Accountability officers, Integrated Water Resources Management Officers, Assistant Livelihoods Officers, Snr. Livelihoods Officers, Operations Officer, health and nutrition officers, Household Economic Strengthening officers and Drivers, partner officers and diverse resource persons.
- Reports Directly To: Field Director.
- Works Directly With: Consortium Program lead staffs and officers across the consortium partners and local implementing partners’ staff; local government devolved units, support departments (Finance, HR and Operations)
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.
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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all locations.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferrable skills
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field; an advanced degree is preferred
- At least 5 years’ work experience with 3 years field experience managing diverse multi-sector, multi-partner programs and teams (familiarity with nutrition programming and at least three or more sectors contributing to nutrition sensitive interventions preferred).
- Proven experience managing a large team with programmatic and operational functions.
- Deep familiarity with the local context in the ASALs. Direct experience in either Turkana or Samburu is preferred (for the Program applied for).
- Demonstrated ability and/or appetite to demand evidence and translate it into practice.
- Demonstrated ability to work with policymakers/practitioners on translating evidence into practice.
- Strong writing skills: ability to analyze and consolidate information into succinct and timely reports.
- Highly proficient English verbal and written skills; additional verbal proficiency in Turkana/Samburu preferred.
A successful Program Coordinator will be an innovative and visionary leader with the ability to nurture a culture of systems thinking, learning, and adaptation across diverse and multi-sector teams and partners. S/he will be a skilled mediator, with demonstrated experience in resolving conflict between parties and helping mitigate and overcome challenges common within consortia. The Program Coordinator will have the ability to work independently while being a strong team player and continuously seek solutions and see the big picture. S/he will be a skillful facilitator of workshops and multiple stakeholder meetings.
All successful USAID Nawiri team members possess the following core competencies:
- Listening: Ability to actively listen (i.e., seeks to understand, asks good questions, paraphrases, and is in tune with speaker’s emotional state)
- Vulnerability & Courage: Ability to share lack of knowledge, mistakes, or failures; give and receive feedback; and raise difficult questions or concerns
- Curiosity: Ability to articulate and explore novel areas of learning that would contribute to greater effectiveness
- Systems Thinking: Ability to understand, affect, connect, and leverage various parts of a system while maintaining sight of the whole system
- Critical & Reflective Thinking: Ability to analyze and understand situations from a variety of perspectives
- Flexibility: Ability to accept the unexpected and adjust to what the situation now requires rather than what was planned
- Self-awareness & Personal Improvement: Ability to recognize and develop personal strengths and areas in need of improvement and adjust style and approach depending on what the situation requires
- Decision-Making: Ability to make informed, timely decisions based on a mixture of analysis, evidence, and experience.
Finally, Mercy Corps team members must have a strong commitment to teamwork, security procedures and community accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. In northern Kenya, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination, and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in USAID Nawiri’s sub-offices Maralal/Lowdar with over 50% travel to program locations. A rural location with access to basic living conditions. The location is characterized by dry weather conditions for most months in a year.
Ongoing Learning (Personal Mastery)
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.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact. We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding and Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Mercy Corps does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.