Economic Development Specialist at Mercy Corps

On Monday, October 6th, 2014

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. 

Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. 
Mercy Corps is looking for committed and dynamic individuals to take up the following position.
Economic Development Specialist – Wajir
 
Program / Department Summary: Mercy Corps’ goal in Kenya is to strengthen and sustain capabilities of Kenyan society and stakeholders to be agents of positive change in their communities. 

It achieves this goal through three objectives:

1) Strengthened ability of local, district, and regional structures to manage conflict and become managers of democracy;
2) Empowered Kenyan youth to achieve a greater voice in national reform and create new livelihood opportunities and
3) More resilient drought affected populations in Northeastern Kenya.
Mercy Corps Kenya opened in Wajir County in response to the 2011 drought and hunger crisis. 
The current portfolio in Wajir takes a market-based approach to build resilience and promote economic growth. Our programs are aimed at strengthening systems and mechanisms to enable sustainable development while maintaining the ability to meet immediate needs during crisis. 
Mercy Corps works closely with partners including community members, local government officials and private sector stakeholders to ensure community-driven and market-led development interventions.
 
General Position Summary: The Economic Development Specialist is a senior level position with Mercy Corps in Wajir. 
He/she will be primarily responsible for providing leadership under objective #1(Strengthen arid land based value chains to improve livelihoods) of the new EC funded project– Growing livelihood through Agricultural Development (GLAD). 
This involves building the capacity of local market actors, improving linkages, strengthening the county government capacity to respond to emergencies like conflicts and droughts as well as increasing access to financial services for groups and businesses in the targeted value chains. 
The Economic Development Specialist will be responsible for designing and delivering livelihoods training, supervision and management of groups and cooperatives, linking groups to different value-chains and markets, and managing consultants.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Oversee and monitor the day-to-day implementation of activities that fall under objective #1 of GLAD.
  • Provide technical insight and advice for economic development programming activities especially regarding identifying fodder, gums and resins cooperatives and forming new ones, linking them with extension services providers and financial institutions.
  • Provide technical leadership in value chain/market analysis to identify business opportunities for new and existing groups. Facilitate or provide business training to them.
  • Facilitate linkages to respective county ministries and complementary projects to ensure sustainability and ownership
  • Contribute to program planning, monitoring and reporting processes as requested by the Program Manager.
  • Provide training and mentorship to MC staff on economic development and empowerment.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in related thematic working groups within the counties.
Organizational Learning: As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.
 
Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: Field Officers
Accountability:
Reports Directly To: Program Manager, Wajir
Works Directly With: Country Director, Program Manager, other Program technical specialists, M&E staff, Operations/Finance Staff, other MC Kenya staff.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • MA/S or BA/S and work experience in economics / economic development, or international development; community development or business administration,
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in the fields of economic development, entrepreneurship, or business development and planning.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in group strengthening and economic empowerment.
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team and achieve project deliverables.
  • Demonstrated ability to write compelling reports and communicate clearly in English.
  • Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, forge partnerships, and work with a range of program and external stakeholders.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English and Kiswahili required. Fluency in Somali language strongly preferred.
Success Factors:
  • Innovative, decisive and inclusive leadership approach.
  • Creative and insightful in development programming including the relationships between economic empowerment, peace-building and reconciliation.
  • Excellent communication and team-building techniques
  • Proven experience managing and building capacity of diverse teams (expatriate and national).
  • Cultural knowledge, sensitivity and respect.
  • Commitment to oversee the project for their duration.
  • Ability to engage with strategic institutional partners as well as current and potential donors.
Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit on or before October 21st, 2014 at 4.00pm: a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to [email protected]
The email subject line must clearly show the job title and location they are applying for. 
Applications without the right subject heading will be automatically disqualified. 
Please do not attach any certificates.

(ONLY Qualified and selected candidates for the interview will be contacted)

NB: Mercy Corps does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process.
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