Mercy Corps

Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion (Gesi) Lead-

Mercy Corps

Job Description


This position is contingent upon funding

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, 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

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Lead for a five-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA). The Activity will contribute to food and nutrition security for households and communities in Eastern DRC.

General Position Summary

The Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion Lead will oversee the work of addressing gender and other social dimensions of food security and community resilience across all RFSA components. S/he will be responsible for leading the implementation of gender integration strategies aimed at ensuring that program activities result in positive outcomes for male and female participants of different age groups. S/he will have overall responsibility for building team members’ and partners’ capacity to integrate a GESI perspective into activities, and raising awareness of the importance of GESI integration. The GESI Lead will work closely with other team members to ensure the effective and timely execution of activities related to gender and age-based access to opportunities. During the first year of the program, in alignment with Mercy Corps’ best practices and USAID requirements, the GESI Lead will conduct a gender Analysis to inform and guide program implementation and to ensure that men, women, girls and boys have equitable opportunities to engage in and benefit from program activities. S/he will promote innovative initiatives for inclusiveness in conformity with the donor and Mercy Corps’ gender policy.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Organize and conduct the donor-required gender analysis during the first year of the Activity and serve as the lead for any program-related youth or GESI-related assessments.
  • Work closely with sector leads/program managers in integrating the findings from the gender analysis into the Activity’s work plan and milestones.
  • Ensure a gender-based violence risk analysis is done and incorporate findings into the program implementation plan.
  • Develop a GESI strategy for the program, and oversee the implementation of the strategy in collaboration with the program team and adapt and improve them as needed.
  • Coordinate closely, work with and support managers and partners to promote GESI integration across all technical areas of the program.
  • Work closely with the relevant team members to develop strategies for encouraging youth participation and leadership in project activities and community decision making.
  • Work closely with the M&E team on integrating GESI within data collection and analysis tools. Also with the M&E team, provide technical backstopping in the collection and use of sex-disaggregated statistical data and other research findingsfor the purpose of analysis and integration of GESI in Program Design.
  • Contribute to any other research conducted in the program to ensure that relevant GESI aspects are incorporated.
  • Work closely with the Human Resources team to ensure GESI accountability is incorporated into the position descriptions of team members.

Program Management

  • Develop targeted GESI Capacity Building interventions for program staff.
  • Support program team in the delivery of training and capacity building on key gender and social inclusion topics to project participants.
  • Conduct periodic monitoring of field activities; ensure quality delivery of GESI interventions and coach/mentor staff technically on this.
  • Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.

Influence & Representation

  • Develop relationships and linkages with organizations implementing other donor-funded programs focused on GESI in DRC.
  • Conduct regular community consultations to ensure programming remains GESI sensitive and on-track.
  • Collect and share learnings and best practices from this program both internally and externally.
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, donor, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

Supervisory Responsibility

To be determined, will supervise gender, youth and social dynamics officers


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Activity team members, PaQ Director, M&E and research teams, partner organizations, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit.

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 projects.

Knowledge and Experience / Qualification and Transferable Skills

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, women’s studies, gender studies, sociology or other social science discipline.
  • At least seven years’ experience in gender, youth and social dynamics development work at the community level.
  • Experience developing and conducting gender training, gender/youth/social dynamics mainstreaming and engaging in gender advocacy. Preference for experience with projects addressing resilience, Agriculture, natural resources management, agribusiness, peacebuilding and conflict management.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis and utilization of information from a broad range of sources to ensure effective integration of gender and youth concerns throughout the program’s duration.
  • In-depth understanding of gender, age and other locally significant socio-cultural factors in the context of food and nutrition security and resilience programming.
  • Skills in participatory learning and facilitating collaborative problem-solving.
  • Understanding and knowledge of USAID regulations and program Administration, management, and reporting procedures and systems is preferred.
  • Prior humanitarian and/or development experience working in a context similar to DRC.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French.
  • Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will have excellent team and interpersonal relationship skills, with demonstrated ability to work effectively in complex environments. S/he will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, participatory leadership and tactful decisiveness to assist in program implementation. Multi­tasking, prioritizing, Problem Solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. S/he must have the confidence and humility to work effectively with a diverse group of people – as well as be sensitive to political and cultural nuance. S/he must ­ be able to consistently apply excellent judgment to a variety of demanding and fast-­changing situations while working as part of a team and coordinating with program personnel.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position in Bukavu, South-Kivu (DRC) . Shared accommodation will be provided according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. The position is eligible for R & R. Bukavu is a provincial capital of about 1,200,000 inhabitants and life is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Security conditions are stable in Bukavu and in the program intervention areas. Health services are available, with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.

Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

Ongoing Learning

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. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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