Learning and Communications Specialist at Mercy Corps

On Friday, August 25th, 2017
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Across the more than 40 countries in which we operate, we are working to address root causes of poverty head on, and helping those caught in crisis not only meet their immediate needs, but build a brighter future. 
In taking on these challenges, Mercy Corps does not act alone nor are we satisfied with business as usual. 
In our work, we strive to innovate for greater impact – often through increased take-up of technology and investment in market-driven models.
In our work, we see technology as an enabler to improve scale, access, efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness in our global work.
Location: Kapenguria

Program / Department Summary: Mercy Corps drives high quality, analytical work in tough places. We currently manage a breadth of programs in Central, Rift Valley, North Western and Northern Eastern regions of Kenya from a basket of donors. 

We partner with a range of private, public and civil society actors to systemically broaden opportunity for people across the regions of operations.
PEACE III, a 5 year USAID funded Program, implemented by Pact Kenya and Mercy Corps is designed to strengthen cross border Conflict Management in the Horn of Africa. 
It aims at strengthening horizontal and vertical linkages within and between local, national, and regional conflict management actors – working with and through local implementing partners to build the capacity of community peace leaders and organizations.   
PEACE III operates in 5 countries namely Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan in what is known as Karamoja and Somali Clusters. 
Mercy Corps manages and implements the PEACE III in Karamoja Cluster and has operational offices in Moroto, Lodwar and Kapenguria.

General Position Summary: The Learning and Communications Specialist is a key position in Program quality assurance, accountability, documentation and learning.

The position will support program design, implementation and utilization of information collected at different stages.  
Under the direction of the Program Director for the Karamoja Cluster (Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia), the position holder will be responsible for documentation, learning and communication. 
S/he will be responsible for documenting and cataloging stories/quotes for project descriptions and qualitative data use that feed into needs of Mercy Corps, its partners and donor reporting requirements.
Essential Job Functions: Working under the supervision of the Program Director, and in collaboration with MERL Manager, the Learning and Communications Specialist will be based in Kapenguria-West Pokot but with travel to the entire Karamoja Cluster and will be responsible for the following key functions:

Thought Leadership and Influence:

  • Focus on key learnings in: conflict management, peacebuilding through formal and informal structures; private sector engagement; social impact; and other areas of interest to PEACE III project;
  • Supplement program learning agendas by developing compelling thought leadership pieces, sharing of lessons learned, new innovations and best practices/case studies, for both external and internal use;
  • Capture and write up stories from the field to articulate conflict and market system development and/or related sectors in action and ‘how’ and ‘why’ of project interactions with peace building and governance actors that can be shared internally and externally;
  • Engage and collaborate with a range of partners and stakeholders to stimulate joint inquiry, analysis and reflection that lead to shared learning and collective action;
Learning and Knowledge Management:
  • Assist in developing revamped internal document management systems and information flows, including the Mercy Corps’ shared document drive and others that aligns with the implementing partner’s information management;
  • Develop and manage streamlined knowledge management system to efficiently manage the wealth of information produced by PEACE III partners and relevant external stakeholders and ensure the strategic use of this information to catalyze learning and evidence-based decision-making across the agency;
  • Support data collection, analysis, organization and presentation;
  • Participate in assessments, evaluations and monitoring surveys. This will entail training’s and management of data collectors, report writing and facilitating results discussion;
  • Visit sites and partners to collect supplementary data and conduct qualitative research both independently and in teams;
  • Establish database for partners working with the program and work closely with the program team to monitor progress;
  • Maintain an active advisory role with each program team, train and help guide them towards robust and relevant data collection;
  • Support the implementation of the Institutional strengthening plans with the PEACE III partners;
  • Lead in the  implementation of PEACE III  communication strategy; 
  • Provide oversight to program publications and visual outputs such as presentations so they are of high quality and are disseminated appropriately;
  • Take high quality outcome communicating program photographs;
  • Blog and or compile other written releases or reports as required;
  • Lead documentation of case studies, success stories, lessons learnt and other qualitative information for periodic communication;
  • Design and update program communication materials and develop compelling thought leadership pieces, new innovations and best practices, and similar communication products tailored for a specific audience;
  • Conduct, document and record beneficiary interviews and share all leanings from the program;
  • Work closely with program team members to develop and maintain excellent communication, and facilitate periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring information that feeds into programming and learning;
  • 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: Program Assistant


Reports Directly To: Program Director

Works Directly With: MERL Manager in Uganda and Kenya and Program Team members
Knowledge and Experience:
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience managing market development programs, or a combination of strategy and business consulting, impact investment, product design, or relevant areas;
  • Must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, Information Science, Economics, or any relevant field. A Masters Degree is an added advantage;
  • A minimum of 4 years of program management and communications experience;
  • Must have good writing and analytical skills;
  • Experience working in Peace Building and Conflict Management programs;
  • Should have knowledge of quantitative and qualitative data collection, reporting techniques;
  • Good skills in Microsoft Office, adobe publisher or similar publishing software;
  • Must be fluent both spoken and written English;
  • Knowledge of Karamoja cluster is an added advantage.
Success Factors: The ideal candidate should be willing to work in the toughest and complex environments associated with violent conflicts.  
S/he will be an excellent communicator, have a strong sense of humor, multi-tasker, and able to work in difficult and often stressful environments.

How 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 [email protected]  on or before Tuesday 5th September, 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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