Temporary Regional Resilience Director, Africa – Kenya and open to US, EU, Africa at Mercy Corps
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.
Program / Department Summary
In the Africa Region, Mercy Corps is a leader in innovative programming that is widely recognized by donors and policy makers for evidence-based solutions that have lasting impact and build resilience. Resilience is a priority for Mercy Corps’ Africa programs, encompassing fragile contexts across the drylands belt of the Sahel and Horn of Africa, protracted conflicts and post-conflict settings, and growing urban and peri-urban centers. Using a systems-based approach to address chronic and recurrent shocks and stresses and protracted crises to advance long-term development goals, Mercy Corps’ resilience work in Africa drives forward innovative solutions through integrated, multi-sectoral programming, evidence generation and thought leadership, technical capacity strengthening and key regional and global partnership development.
General Position Summary
The STA Africa Regional Resilience Director (RRD) is a four-month assignment. The STA-RRD will provide strategic oversight and critical technical support to priority resilience initiatives and flagship programs in Africa. She/he will work closely with the Senior Director – Resilience and Africa regional leadership to ensure high-quality program design support, strategic coordination and oversight for key learning and influence initiatives and technical support for new program start-up and ongoing program implementation and measurement. The STA-RRD will help channel support and resources where necessary to ensure resilience needs are met across the region and respond to strategic representation and other opportunities to advance Mercy Corps’ resilience agenda and visibility in Africa. She/he will advance resilience leadership with particular focus on regional themes, including climate change, NRM and agriculture systems; conflict and complex crises; market systems development in crises; financial inclusion; youth employment; gender; and urban resilience. The RRD will work in close unison with all Country Directors to support their country strategy and with regional leadership to advance the One Africa strategy.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategic Program Design and Prepositioning (30%)
- Contribute technical input on resilience on strategic concept and proposal development, ensuring Mercy Corps’ resilience approach is reflected in the design and budget for ongoing quality oversight and support.
- Support strategic prepositioning efforts for major upcoming resilience opportunities in Africa, inputting into tools, assessment processes, and technical partnership identification for resilience measurement or other priority sectors.
- Oversee and advance a regional strategy and positioning agenda in the Sahel related to the climate/conflict nexus, working closely with Africa Regional Representatives, the Technical Support Unit (TSU) and Strategic Partnership managers in Mercy Corps’ Europe office.
Coordination and Technical Oversight to Strategic Research, Learning and Thought Leadership Initiatives (30%)
- Oversee and advance priority learning and influence initiatives related to Mercy Corps’ larger Drive Resilience agenda, including the Triple Nexus Initiative in North Kivu/DRC and the Northeast Nigeria resilience learning agenda, in close coordination with country level focal points, the TSU and Research & Learning stakeholders.
- Provide technical leadership to guide the design, implementation and documentation of strategic initiatives to include a strong resilience foundation, bringing in additional technical sectors where necessary and ensuring capacity building needs to execute initiatives are fulfilled.
- Work closely with the Global Resilience, Policy and Advocacy, Research and Learning and Thought Leadership teams to drive forward Africa specific evidence generation for strategic influence, including through embedding learning and measurement mechanisms in initiatives and supporting production of high-priority outputs.
- Coordinate development and support dissemination of high quality learning products, program briefs and influence/thought pieces articulating and sharing evidence and proxy indicators of success for building resilience within the region.
Program Quality Oversight, Capacity Building and Technical Support (30%)
- Provide in-country and remote technical support and ongoing mentoring to program managers and technical focal points of flagship resilience programs at key program milestones, ensuring strong start-up, implementation and systems for capturing resilience results.
- Provide technical orientation of key staff and oversee resilience integration into inception phases, program Theory of Change revisions, and development of technical strategies and measurement plans. Support flagship programs to access additional technical needs to meet resilience gaps.
- Provide direct technical oversight of priority flagship resilience program deliverables as required.
- Support high quality incorporation of resilience measurement plans and resilience learning mechanisms in flagships, in collaboration with HQ and regional support teams, ensuring flagships are able to document and communicate their resilience impact.
- Source and guide ongoing technical support for resilience measurement and evaluation in the region.
- Design and oversee critical capacity building on resilience for priority programs, including support visits, training workshops and designing/disseminating tools and resources.
External Representation and Community of Practice (10%)
- Engage in strategic representation with donors and partners and participate in high-profile resilience events and conferences as required, showcasing Mercy Corps’ Africa resilience thought leadership and impact.
- Promote the Africa region and country teams’ work within the organization through key internal communications and media outlets.
- Regularly check in with Africa resilience focal points and stakeholders and facilitate networking and information exchange to promote learning and collaboration.
- Cultivate participation in community of practice and other internal forums around resilience building.
- 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.
Regional Resilience Advisors
Reports Directly To: Senior Director, Resilience
Works Directly With: Africa Regional Director and Deputy Regional Directors, Country Directors, country-level Resilience Hub focal points, country program teams, HQ program teams (Senior Program Officers, Technical Support team, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning team), Resilience Matrix Team
Knowledge and Experience
- Masters in International Development or relevant field or at least
- Five years’ minimum experience in program management, program design and adaptive learning approaches from relevant sectors, including food security and livelihoods, market systems development, climate change and natural resource management and peacebuilding.
- Demonstrated understanding of and experience working on resilience issues and/or programs required. Understanding of Mercy Corps’ approach to resilience and experience with current or previous Mercy Corps resilience programming and/or initiatives highly desired.
- Proven experience coordinating and managing diverse, complex initiatives across multiple teams required.
- Demonstrated ability for facilitating and capturing research, M&E, and learning for adapting and improving approaches is highly desired.
- Strong facilitation skills and demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods is necessary.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are required.
- Previous experience in Africa highly desired, but not required.
- Written and spoken French fluency desired, but not required.
The successful STA candidate will bring his or her relevant, applicable technical skills and experience in resilience thinking and systems approaches and be able to contextualize support to the range of needs for different audiences and contexts. She/he is able to discern strategic pathways to achieve results on priorities, while identifying and proactively acting on new opportunities. She/he is a highly motivated learner and flexible to adapt to take on new challenges as they arise. She/he is comfortable advancing multiple priorities simultaneously. She/he is a skilled networker and communicator with the ability to influence diverse stakeholders to coordinate and advance a shared agenda.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position base is flexible, and can be fulfilled from the US or Europe, or Africa locations wher Mercy Corps is currently based. Travel (approximately 30%) may be required. When in the field the team member will need to able to work in remote settings and possibly over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.
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