Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Program / Department Summary
Across Africa, Mercy Corps is a recognized leader in resilience and innovative food security strengthening approaches. We recognize that interconnected and complex crises, shocks and stresses affecting the Africa region, must be met with sophisticated approaches that span sectors and strategically bridge all forms of aid. We are also a recognized lead player in mobilizing large-scale humanitarian responses and using market based approaches to meet the immediate needs of crisis affected populations. With a distinct agency-wide resilience framework, expertise in and an expansive platform of programs focused on multiyear approaches to strengthening food security, and strong humanitarian response track record in the drylands, Mercy Corps is well placed to work differently and play a meaningful role in responding to the ongoing to the diversity of crisis across Africa.
General Position Summary
The Cash & Voucher Assistance Voucher (CVA)Advisor’s goal is to strengthen, scale, and build an evidence base on CVA programming within Mercy Corps’ portfolio Africa. The CVA Advisor will work closely with Mercy Corps teams across the African continent, regional and headquarters teams, to mobilize and lead effective humanitarian CVA in response to food insecurity, climate shocks, and conflict. The CVA Advisor will support country teams in strengthening existing CVA programs, coordinating with other CVA actors, supporting program development to scale portfolios, and building a portfolio of learning that will be used to inform the future direction of cash for MC in the region. Potential areas of support include leading design of market and financial service provider assessments, supporting needs assessments, leading Program Design processes, and identifying payment mechanisms.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Develop Mercy Corps’ CVA strategy for response across the region and ensure it encompasses elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, market systems strengthening, youth development and women’s empowerment.
- Facilitate cross-learning and exchange with CVA teams across the region.
- Identify potential opportunities for alignment and strengthening government-led cash-based social protection assistance.
- Ensure robust market analyses and monitoring mechanisms are in place to inform ongoing CVA and conditions for scale and adaptation over time.
- Strengthen market systems where needed to enhance the enabling environment for HH-level CVA; this may include developing frameworks for supporting and working with traders, designing agreements, subsidies to govern specific trading items, quality, delivery timeframe and prices.
- Ensure program participants are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
- Collaborate closely with PMs to identify cash program partners and institutions for effective and transparent Cash Transfer, develop MoUs and contracts & oversee initial cash assistance delivery.
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team to ensure that monitoring and evaluation for the CVA is practical and reflects best practices.
- Facilitate adherence to MC [email protected] cash minimum standards, and proactive discuss risks within programs or areas that are under-performing against cash minimum standards.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm.
Facilitate CVA Capacity Building, sharing, and learning across the region with a focus on knowledge sharing across programs and country teams.
- Contribute to drafting scope of work/hiring CVA-focused team members and technical consultants
Support evidence based advocacy for cash staffing and capacity strengthening at the country level where relevant.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Coordinate effectively with Cash Working Groups (CWGs), CALP, Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) clusters, government-led social protection agencies (eg HSNP in Kenya, PSNP in Ethiopia, etc), etc.
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
Exhibit an awareness of their own strengths and development needs.
PROGRAM SUPPORT TO REGIONAL CASH AND VOUCHER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
- Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding.
- Contribute to concepts and proposals for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and the US, European, and UN agencies.
- Support CVA in country by supporting the hiring process, selection, and onboarding of new in country CVA staff as well as skills building and coaching of CVA staff
- Provide remote and in-person technical support to field teams, through one-on-one country outreach, regional calls, webinars, etc.
- Work with country teams to design and document their CVA processes and support the process of developing or revising CVA SOPs
- Provide remote training and support to team members serving in CVA short term assignment positions.
- Provide in-country technical support to high-risk Country Programs to guide them in designing and implementing their CVA programs.
- Lead teams in process Mapping to identify gaps in their CVA programming.
- Identify countries requiring increased technical support and liaise with the HQ CVA team and Regional Technical Director as needed.
- Track CVA programming progress at a regional level
Support country programs in CVA analytics, establishing processes for using CVA data for learning and improved programming and prepare regional aggregations and reports.
- Ensure individual / personal compliance with security procedures and policies
- As a member of the MC regional team, contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.
Ensure a strong focus on data protection and security within all CVA programs in the region.
Technical (matrix) oversight of country-level CVA program leads
Reports Directly To: Technical Director - Africa Regional Unit
Works Directly With: Cash TSU, Food Security TSU, Resilience TSU, country-based program leads.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- 5 years of experience in CVA required (i.e. writing and Analysis on proposal development; humanitarian assessments; CVA implementation; CVA capacity building);
- at least one response assignment that demonstrates the ability to successfully adapt support and assistance methodologies to real-world complexities (slow onset, rapid onset, protracted/complex crises) - required
- BA/BS or equivalent in Humanitarian Affairs, International Development, Economics or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required
- Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Mercy Corps Core Humanitarian Competencies (as defined in the Humanitarian Capacity Framework) preferred.
- Possesses strong understanding of theoretical and applied knowledge about CVA
- Knows and applies Mercy Corps’ CVA minimum standards
- Can lead rapid market assessments
- Can identify and initiate setup of payment mechanisms
- Can conduct response analysis and program design (CVA related)
Is able to develop CVA SOPs in line with Mercy Corps’ Minimum Standards.
- Can write proposals and concept notes for funding
- Understands donor regulations and compliance (USAID, EU, FCDO, UN, etc.)
- Supports the development of program strategies
- Supports team members through capacity building
- Possesses basic M&E competencies to ensure program accountability and evidence of impact
- Can identify and nurture strategic partnerships
- Is familiar with using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking
Can identify and leverage opportunities for collaboration/Coordination.
- Nurtures innovation across the team
- Drives impact by building high performing teams
Broadens influence by role-modeling and leveraging networks
The CVA advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. Experience in emergency contexts will be key for the success of this position.
The advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide technical data and support in the most efficient and effective form possible. The position requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya or other East Africa Mercy Corps locations and it requires up to 60% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme.