Program Development and Support Specialist - Somalia
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
Mercy Corps has been present in Somalia since 2005, responding to emergency needs stemming from conflict and displacement, while continuing work to build more resilient, peaceful, and productive communities in Puntland, Somaliland and the South-Central region. The current drought situation is seeing an increase of emergency activities around life-saving food, water, hygiene programs coupled with ongoing humanitarian programs around economic opportunity and development, youth & education, and reintegration of returnees.
General Position Summary
The Program Development & Support Specialist (PDSS]) will work with the Deputy Country Director, Team Leader, Program Teams, MEL department and the SMT in all reporting requirements (both internal and external) as well as support the country program through representation and coordination with donors and partner agencies at cluster and coordination meetings. The Reporting & Program Support Officer will also have a working knowledge of basic M&E tools and will be able to support the design and analysis of activities as needed. Finally, the PDSS will oversee the internal communication structure between the field offices and among team members.
Essential Job ResponsibilitiesStrategy & Vision
Recognize opportunities for innovative action; communicate with relevant stakeholders and lead/support development of concept notes, proposals, strategy and/or positioning papers.
Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.
Reporting & Donor Communications
Prepare all donor reports for the country program with input from program staff and update reporting guidelines and templates as necessary.
Draft weekly reports for donor, program partners and key stakeholders, Sit Reps and bi-weekly crisis update reports (as applicable)
Support the Deputy Country Director by responding to information requests, drafting success stories, and monitoring and reporting on the impact of different programs.
Any other reporting and communications requirement as assigned by supervisor
Design, Monitoring & Evaluation
Advise and take part in any assessments including Interagency Rapid Needs Assessment and any emergency assessments organized either by Mercy Corps or any other agency for all humanitarian actors.
Support MEL team in other MEL and reporting duties including, but not limited to, responding to information requests, drafting success stories, monitoring and reporting on program impact.
Establish and maintain effective and pro-active communication to facilitate knowledge management and sharing between all stakeholders. This will include reviewing current mechanisms and guidelines and addressing any issues that arise.
Update guidelines for internal and external communications including talking points and other necessary press materials.
Assist in maintaining proper and standardized filing system for storing program documents according to Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standard.
Communications & representations
Develop and implement an efficient and effective communications strategy in conjunction with program staff
Ensure Mercy Corps' program fosters ongoing positive cooperation with all stakeholders in coordination with Deputy Country Director, Team Leader, Program Manager and Program Team and other operation/support teams.
Facilitate compliance with all donor/organizational communications initiatives. Facilitate information sharing among internal and appropriate external audiences, including regular situation reports to the agency.
Develop all necessary print and online content to promote program progress, lesson learned and achievements
Coordinate any initial media related requests, and establish a system for gathering media reports on the program
Prepare project briefing materials (e.g. talking points, presentations, factsheets, etc.) for key stakeholders, government, and representatives, other external collaborators.
Coordinate information sharing and program linkages across Mercy Corps Somali programs, Mercy Corps ESA Regional Programs and/or partner agency programs as required, including facilitating complementary M&E or reporting activities
When appropriate, develop and release public communications in conjunction with Mercy Corps communications teams.
Coordinate and manage Mercy Corps' participating in the inter-agency social media initiative
Represent Mercy Corps Somalia programs and engage with national and international forums as appropriate
Influence & Advocacy
Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
Represent Mercy Corps programs and engage with national and international forums as appropriate
Initiate and coordinate thought leadership research
Actively participate in in-country, Nairobi-level and HQ-based advocacy groups.
Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
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.
Reports Directly To: Country Director**
Works Directly With: Team Leader, MEAL Manager, Program team, Somalia SMT, Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit, ESA Program Officers, and additional headquarters-based support departments as needed.
Knowledge and Experience
BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required (government, political science, international relations, information management, graphic design, etc.)
3-5 years' experience in international relief and humanitarian experience a strong advantage
Knowledge of SPHERE and other humanitarian programming standards.
Ability to deliver high quality reports with short deadlines
Social and traditional media, and web content development experience a strong advantage.
Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
Excellent verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders; working experience with local counterparts (CSOs, local NGOs, and others) and line ministries.
Practical and demonstrable skills in program need assessments and baseline/endline surveys, implementation, project monitoring and evaluation.
Prior experience with emergency programming strongly preferred.
Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Somali language is a plus.
Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement.
Demonstrated ability to work in complex programming and volatile environments
The successful Program Development & Support Specialist candidate will have an ability to work independently, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in Somalia and the region. A sense of humor, team mentality and positive nature is highly desirable.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Mercy Corps Somali field offices (Mogadishu, Galkayu, Kismayu, Baidoa) and it requires up to (50%) travel to Nairobi, Kenya. Accommodation is provided in group housing. The Reporting and Program Support Officer will support activities throughout Somalia. Mobility in Somalia is restricted and must first be cleared with the Security Advisor. This is an unaccompanied post and eligible for Hardship and R&R. Standard Somali workweek is Sunday - Thursday.
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.
How to apply: