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
With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps’ Nawiri Program is leading a consortium of Kenyan and international partners on a five year journey to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Mercy Corps’ consortium brings together the global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.
General Position Summary
The Samburu County Learning Coordinator (CLC) is responsible for developing and nurturing a responsive learning culture across Nawiri consortium members, county government, communities, CBOs, private sector, and other Nawiri partners in Samburu. As a key member of the program’s Research & Learning Team (M&E Lead, Strategic Learning Lead, & Research & Design Lead), the CLC Samburu will establish and actively support processes, systems and products at the county level to help institutionalize the effective use of emerging data, information, and knowledge. S/he will play a major role in ensuring Nawiri delivers responsive, well-informed and high-quality programming through effective, adaptive and innovative approaches. Reporting into the Field Director and working in close collaboration with the County M&E Coordinator and the Field Research Coordinator (RTI), the CLC will drive learning and develop coherent learning products emerging from research, learning and M&E – including the use of learning from context monitoring to drive adaptive management.
Essential Roles and Responsibilities:
- Work with the Samburu M&E Coordinator and Field Research Coordinator to establish and implement a system for learning and accountability at the county level.
- Play a leadership role in embedding and supporting a culture of collaboration, learning and adaptation (CLA) across Nawiri initiatives at county level, including identifying and actioning innovative, cost-effective ideas for generating excitement and commitment to learning.
- Facilitate and support county government, partner organization and other key actors’ efforts to lead collective analysis and reflective review discussions on Nawiri developments and results, to contribute field-based insights and learning to project discussions, to facilitate timely programmatic adjustments and evidence-based decision-making, and to proactively contribute to learning at county and wider levels.
- Develop, oversee and support the implementation of systems and guidelines for the documentation and dissemination of field-based perspectives and emerging findings, to foster project learning and to strengthen Nawiri project learning and responsiveness.
- Mentor and coach Nawiri staff and partners to develop their competencies in collaboration, learning, and adaptation.
- Facilitate county government and partner organizations to establish, implement and support effective, user-friendly, sustainable feedback and response mechanisms that are accessible to all community members.
- Work with the Nawiri Turkana County Learning Coordinator to develop and nurture systems for cross-county learning.
- Support the Communications Team to identify and capture significant key learning that can be leveraged for publication, and shared both internally and externally for learning purposes.
- Lead Implementation of the Nawiri learning strategy at county level and ensuring harmonization with learning strategy from M&E Plan
- Remain flexible and open to taking on new responsibilities as Nawiri evolves and progresses, especially as requested/ guided by the Strategic Learning Lead.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships with Nawiri stakeholders and proactively identify, pursue, and nurture additional partnerships with county stakeholders (including civil society organizations) that will contribute to Nawiri influence and impact.
- Represent Nawiri in PREG Learning and other coordination fora; help capture and disseminate relevant learning from other initiatives/programs and counties (including Nawiri in Marsabit and Isiolo) to Nawiri partners in Samburu
- Participate in relevant strategic external working groups and fora to share Mercy Corps’ experience and promote thought-leadership in learning.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mandate/mission.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- 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 PARTICIPANTS
- 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.
No direct supervisory responsibility at the outset. However, this may change as Nawiri unfolds and needs/opportunities evolve. The Samburu Learning Coordinator must be open to this possibility. Furthermore, the Samburu Learning Coordinator might periodically supervise temporary staff, including enumerators.
Reports Directly To: Field Director
Works Directly With: Strategic Learning Lead, M&E team; Research & Design team; Systems Strengthening and Institutionalization Lead; All Technical Advisors; partner agencies, county government, communities, private sector, CBOs, USAID, PREG and other implementing partners.
- Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences; Demography, Sociology, Statistics or another MEAL-related field. Master’s degree is an added advantage. Additional education may substitute for some experience.
- Minimum of three years of relevant work experience in accountability and learning, Participatory Development or Adult Learning, ideally with an international NGO working with county governments.
- Experience setting up and implementing accountability and learning systems
- Experience analyzing data and contributing to progress reports, including narrative reports, essential.
- Experience in participatory action planning and community engagement a plus.
- Experience in using mobile-data collection and management software a plus.
- Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems, knowledge-sharing networks is required.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
Core Competencies: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Listening: Ability to actively listen (i.e., seeks to understand, asks good questions, paraphrases, and is in tune with speaker’s emotional state)
- Vulnerability & Courage: Ability to share lack of knowledge, mistakes, or failures; give and receive feedback; and raise difficult questions or concerns
- Curiosity: Ability to articulate and explore novel areas of learning that would contribute to greater effectiveness
- Systems Thinking: Ability to understand, affect, connect, and leverage various parts of a system while maintaining sight of the whole system
- Critical & Reflective Thinking: Ability to analyze and understand situations from a variety of perspectives
- Flexibility: Ability to accept the unexpected and adjust to what the situation now requires rather than what was planned
- Self-awareness & Personal Improvement: Ability to recognize and develop personal strengths and areas in need of improvement and adjust style and approach depending on what the situation requires
- Decision-Making: Ability to make informed, timely decisions based on a mixture of analysis, evidence, and experience.
A successful Learning Coordinator will be proactive, flexible, and comfortable with the likely reality that the roles and responsibilities of this position will evolve and change as this unique program progresses. S/he will have strong technical skills combined with strategic visioning and leadership. S/he will have an outstanding ability to inspire teams to deeply understand the social determinants that underlie human interaction and integrate this understanding into activities to enhance program impact. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. With a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, the successful candidate will thrive in the evolving and changing environment. The Coordinator must make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.