7 Jun 2017

Mercy Corps Conflict & Natural Resource Management Senior Program Manager Job

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Program Team, exact positions to be determined
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Chief of Party
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Chief of Party, Program Managers, Technical Advisors, Finance and
Operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Partner Organizations and the entire greater program team.

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.

We help people overcome poverty and conflict. Working with communities, we leverage local logic to help people transform their lives. To grow more food, earn higher incomes and ultimately advocate for their needs. We see global challenges as an invitation to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions. Since 1979, our work has improved more than 220 million lives in more than 122 countries around the world.

Mercy Corps has been operating in Kenya since 2009, focusing its interventions around four objectives:

  1. peace and conflict management;
  2. livelihood/market systems;
  3. governance (particularly at the county level;
  4. youth employment/employability (including the social and economic development of adolescents).

The four objectives serve to increase community resilience to drought and other shocks and stresses, and to decrease fragility with a particular focus on Kenya’s Arid Lands. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Mercy Corps is recruiting a Senior Program Manager with a strong understanding of managing facilitationbased interventions to provide technical leadership in conflict management and Natural Resource Management (NRM) for a proposed five-year USAID-funded Feed the Future (FtF) Livestock Market Systems Development Activity for Northern Kenya.

This program will support USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and specifically will improve households’ income, productive assets and resilience to drought and other shocks. Illustrative objectives are likely to include: diversified livelihood options, increased inclusiveness of value chains, improved nutrition, improved capacity to peacefully manage conflicts, and community-based natural resource management.

General Position Summary
Pending funding, this positon will require more than 50% travel to project sites in Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir and Turkana. The Senior Program Manager will be responsible for providing leadership, technical oversight and ensuring direct management for all activities related to conflict management and peaceful coexistence around natural resource management.

S/he will define implementation strategies in coordination with the Chief of Party and leadership team. The Senior Program Manager will train staff, provide them with technical assistance; and ensure 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 conflict management around natural resources and integrate new ideas and approaches as appropriate, seek additional technical assistance as needed and ensure effective working relationships with collaborating agencies.

Job Responsibilities
Program Management

  • Develop team work plans and guide successful implementation of conflict management and natural resource management activities, ensure teams follow work plans so activities are on time, target and within the approved budget, and program deliverables achieve desired impact;
  • Ensure strong links between peace and NRM activities;
  • Provide technical guidance on conflict management/natural resource management 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;
  • Conduct and/or update conflict assessments involving a variety of stakeholders;
  • Coordinate closely with the County-level Directorates of Peace or equivalent on project activities and work planning;
  • 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;
  • Facilitate planning meetings and workshops with government, NGOs, 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 closely with ACDI/VOCA’s activities and ensure the two projects are leveraging one another and are well connected;
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.

Team Management

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives;
  • Support team members in applying a conflict sensitive approach and ensure activities do not degrade natural resources;
  • 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;
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.

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.
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Other duties as assigned.

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.

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.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in development studies, conflict mitigation, social sciences or other relevant field. An advanced degree or additional training is preferred/will be an added advantage;
  • A minimum of 6 to 8 years of relevant professional experience in conflict management or peacebuilding programs, with a focus on NRM issues, with at least 3 years in a management position;
  • Demonstrated experience negotiating with private and public sector actors and structuring agreements/contracts to work together;
  • Demonstrated experience working with and in partnership with other agencies in work planning and implementing together;
  • Strong management skills, including effective personnel management, adaptive management, coordination and decision-making as well as strong facilitation and consensus-building skills;
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques;
  • Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues;
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work;
  • Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing, in English and other language(s), as required;
  • Previous work experience in Kenya or East Africa is desirable;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;

Success Factors
The successful Senior Program Manager will be familiar with the particular challenges of Natural Resources Management and conflict issues in Northern Kenya. S/he will combine exceptional management and facilitation skills, strong negotiation skills and the capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for peaceful co-existence.

A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention and specifically coordinating and planning activities with our greater program lead ACDI/VOCA. The Senior Program Manager 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.

How to Apply
Kenyan Nationals are encouraged to apply

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a Cover Letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to on or before Tuesday 27th June, 2017.

The email subject line must clearly show the job title and location they are applying for. Applications without an appropriate subject heading will be automatically disqualified.

Please do not attach any certificates.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

NB: We do not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.

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