Mercy Corps

User Engagement Lead (Climate and Geospatial Services)

Mercy Corps

Job Description

Position is contingent on new funding—program startup anticipated in late 2021.

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 Summary

Mercy Corps has been working in West Africa since 2005, providing humanitarian and development assistance to improve food security, livelihoods, and conflict management. We contribute to inclusive and equitable development in the region by responding to immediate humanitarian needs, building resilience to Climate Change, and strengthening peace and social cohesion. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires that the private sector, government and civil society work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Mercy Corps is seeking a User Engagement Lead to ensure that consultation and participation are integrated across the anticipated five-year, USAID-funded SERVIR West Africa 2 Activity—part of SERVIR Global, a joint development initiative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Since 2005, SERVIR has been working in partnership with countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to co-develop and use information provided by Earth Observation satellites and geospatial technologies.

The goal of SERVIR West Africa 2 is to increase the ability of local, national, and regional institutions to apply geospatial Analysis to improve decision making and management of resources to improve the resilience of countries in the region, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure appropriate land use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SERVIR West Africa 2 will implement activities in Niger, Burkina Faso, and other West African countries as determined by programmatic need.

General Position Summary

The User Engagement Lead will collaborate closely with technical program staff working on the development, testing, and improvement of user-tailored geospatial support services (such as decision support tools, applications, models, and training) to ensure effective user engagement strategies and activities. They will have a key role in identifying potential users of geospatial support services across West Africa, assessing their needs, and coordinating ongoing outreach and user engagement during the program’s service design and delivery process. The User Engagement Lead will ensure user-centered process to avoid potential disconnects between geospatial information providers and potential users, leading to enhanced uptake and effectiveness of products and services.

The User Engagement Lead will be expected to lead and/or facilitate engagement with a diverse range of end users and stakeholders in the region, including from the private sector. The position will involve frequent travel within West Africa to engage with users, program partners, and other stakeholders.

Essential Responsibilities

● Systematically identify public and private sector stakeholders and assess their geospatial and climate information needs.

● Develop and refine user engagement strategies to ensure stakeholder involvement is upfront in design, prototyping, and uptake of SERVIR products and services.

● Collaborate with senior program staff to raise awareness of SERVIR product and services, including through stakeholder consultations and needs assessment.

● Regularly contribute information on users/stakeholders to the user database and other knowledge management tools related to user engagement and outreach.

● Capture and communicate feedback from users/stakeholders to technical staff, with an aim of further improving the quality of tools, products, and services.

● Lead and/or facilitate coordination between the SERVIR West Africa 2 program and users/stakeholders, including for meetings, training workshops, and other fora where users and/or stakeholders are key participants.

Supervisory Responsibility

May be required to supervise a small number of staff. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: SERVIR West Africa 2 Chief of Party Works Directly With: The SERVIR West Africa 2 team, HQ Technical Support Unit, consortium institutions and partners

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

· A BS or equivalent in Geography, GIS, International Development, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management or other relevant field; MS preferred.

· At least seven years of progressive experience in engaging various users of geospatial applications, such as policy makers, communities, students, and practitioners; experience with human-centered design approaches a plus.

· Ability to identify relevant collaboration partners, maintain existing partnerships, and effectively communicate with stakeholders at various levels; experience engaging stakeholders working in Climate Risk or natural resource management-related disciplines preferred.

· Proven record of productive engagement with government institutions, NGOs, and scientists.

· Relevant experience in the West Africa region and/or with multi-Country Programs preferred.

· Familiarity with USAID rules, regulations, and requirements a plus.

· Strong written, presentation and verbal communication skills in English and French required.

Success Factors

A successful User Engagement Lead will combine a deep understanding of geospatial applications with experience collaborating with and supporting a variety of stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Must be flexible, creative, and enthusiastic about leveraging data and technology to inform policies and planning that improve risk management and enhance resilience. Candidates must be self-starters who are able to prioritize competing priorities, learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and Capacity Building. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position will be based in Niamey, Niger. This is an accompanied position and housing is available in individual accommodation with freedom of movement. There are international schools (French and American) in Niamey and the city provides good access to most consumer goods. There are a number of good health facilities, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. During the hot season, Niamey is affected by very high temperatures and frequent power outages. This position requires up to 25% travel by plane and/or vehicle to field offices in relatively secure but climatically challenging environments in Niger, Burkina Faso, or other countries in West Africa. This position is eligible for R&R but not hardship pay.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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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