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.
Market Systems and Livelihood Specialist
Location Northeastern (Adamawa, Gombe) Nigeria
Position Status Full-time, Exempt, Regular
Reference Number: ABV/PRO/2019/0038
Program / Department Summary
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria’s development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 200 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in Lagos in the South; Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau in the Middle Belt; Kano, Yobe and Borno in the North. Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response that has a strong emphasis on WASH, Shelter, Cash and Protection. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian response, and market systems development.
Working with a diverse funding base that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations (UN), European Commission (EC), European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), Global Affairs Canada (FKA DFATD), and several foundations, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. In 2019, Mercy Corps Mercy Corps is starting a $30 million USAID-funded Rural Resilience Activity in Nigeria’s northeast. The purpose of the Rural Resilience Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty. The Rural Resilience activity will enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance and faltering with each new shock.
General Position Summary
The Market Systems and Livelihoods Specialist will be responsible for providing leadership, technical oversight and ensuring direct management for all activities related to livelihoods and market systems development under the Rural Resilience activity. S/he will define implementation strategies in coordination with the Chief of Party and leadership team. The position will train staff, providing them with technical assistance; and ensuring that common strategies and approaches are applied consistently in all communities. S/he will coordinate closely with the M&E team to ensure that systems are in place to track, analyze and report results. The selected candidate will keep abreast of the latest research and evolutions in the field of market/value chain development and integrate new ideas and approaches as appropriate, seek additional technical assistance as needed and ensure effective working relationships with collaborating agencies.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Develop teamwork plans and guide successful implementation of livelihoods and market systems development activities, ensuring teams follow work plans so activities are on time, target and within the approved budget, and program deliverables achieve desired impact.
- Provide technical guidance on livelihoods and market systems development and ensure that interventions are responsive to stakeholders and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan. Ensure that interventions are evidence-based and adhere to adaptive management principles.
- Alongside the Financial Services Specialist, manage Grant Facility aspect of the program to catalyze new investment in viable economic opportunities (market systems, livelihoods, agribusiness, and employment) through grants that stimulate, rather than distort market development and avoid exacerbating conflict dynamics
- Conduct and/or update market assessments, involving direct stakeholders as well as public and private sector actors working within the target value chains and market systems.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Manage and/or coordinate with local implementing partners.
- Facilitate planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in.
- In coordination with the MEL team, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact. Document approaches, successes and lessons learned.
- Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Support team members in developing private sector partnerships and market facilitation activities.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Chief of Party and country leadership.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of 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.
Program Team, exact positions to be determined
Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Chief of Party, Program Team, Technical Advisors, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Partner Organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- Master’s degree in agriculture, economics, or business administration;
- Minimum of five (5) years of demonstrated experience with USG or other similar development projects focused on market systems and livelihood development, preferably with an understanding of the Nigerian context including gender and youth issues;
- Spoken and written proficiency in English; and
- Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including national and local government, donors, community-based organizations, and the private sector;
- Strong technical experience in a market system approach to development
The successful Market Systems and Livelihood Specialist will be familiar with managing facilitation-based interventions and the particular challenges of market systems development in Nigeria. S/he will combine exceptional management skills and capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for inclusive market development to promote sustainable livelihoods. A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention. S/he will have the capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and to inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs.
S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem-solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision 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.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their CV and Cover Letter in one document, addressing the position requirements to: [email protected]
- 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.
- Job City Adamawa, Gombe