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.
Registered in 2008, Mercy Corps Kenya has developed a robust and diverse portfolio of programs aimed at sustainably improving the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans affected by poverty, resource scarcity and conflict. In Kenya, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen resilience, market and governance systems, address the root causes of conflict, and equip vulnerable populations – in particular youth, women, adolescents and marginalized social groups – with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to be healthy, productive, and drive the development of their communities.
With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps is implementing a five – year resilience food security activity (RFSA), in consortium with Save the Children, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), BOMA Project, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Caritas Lodwar and local implementing partners in Turkana and Samburu counties. USAID Nawiri aims to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition among vulnerable populations through contextually – informed and evidence – based solutions that address multiple drivers of malnutrition. Gender inequalities and social dynamics are some of the key drivers of food insecurity and persistent acute malnutrition in the two counties.
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 – led Nawiri 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.
The Gender, Youth and Social Inclusion Coordinator will be responsible for providing leadership and technical oversight to ensure the gender issues, adolescents and youth voices, and social dimensions ( such as age, disability, ethnicity, and relationships) of malnutrition, food security, and resilience are effectively integrated across all programming. With the technical guidance of the Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics Lead, s/he will lead operational planning and implementation of county -specific gender strategy, adolescents & youth, social and behavior change strategies. She/he will work within tested frameworks including a systems approach, gender lens, adolescent and youth responsiveness, social accountability and evidence-informed frameworks.
S/he will work closely with the Systems Strengthening and Institutionalization Lead, government engagement manager and social accountability officer to define scope of work for local civil society actors to drive demand for Nawiri activities that amplifies the voices and priorities of diverse program participants: women, children, adolescents, youth, men, elders and respective sub-groups in their aspirations and motivations to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition.
S/he will drive utilization of social accountability frameworks/tools and practice (including citizen’s report, community score card, citizen participation, gender responsive budgeting-and public budget tracking, citizen budget tracking, and citizen monitoring of public services, lobbying, campaigning and advocacy and socially responsible and sensitive social media engagement/monitoring to strengthen accountability and performance for multi-sectoral nutrition governance and nutrition resilience actions.
The Gender, Youth and Social Inclusion Coordinator with technical guidance of the systems strengthening manager will support strengthening of multi-sectoral and sector – specific county systems, policies, plans and budgeting processes to address key pathways for nutrition resilience.
The position will build capacity and influence staff, providing them with the necessary technical support while ensuring that common strategies and approaches are adapted and implemented with consistent quality. S/he will work across sectors of NAWIRI, with consortium team members as well as Counties to build capacity in gender mainstreaming, adolescent and youth development approaches to safeguard them from harm.
S/he will advocate for the varied needs of children, women, men, girls, and boys within the program approach, drive multi-system actor engagement and influence to shape contextual understanding of the complex causality of persistent acute malnutrition, address systemic, social norms and behavioral barriers while applying those that positively contribute to sustainably reducing the intergenerational cycle of poverty and under-nutrition.
She/he will co-lead active learning and rapid adaptations that continuously lead to improved quality design and implementation of gender transformative, adolescent and youth responsive initiatives and foster social inclusion. The coordinator will oversee utilization of evidence and data for decision making, including coordinating thematic specific assessments and qualitative inquiry. The coordinator will support the GYSD and ILSS Leads in the development and implementation of a capacity strengthening plan for county government entities and systems, ensuring contextually appropriate social dynamics are incorporated into county policies, and making the appropriate connections between evidence, learning and M&E to ensure gender responsive results can be tracked, analyzed and reported.
The Gender, Youth and Social Inclusion Coordinator ensures that gender and social dimensions of food security, health and resilience are effectively addressed across all activities and components and therefore coordinate closely with partners to fulfill the goals of the program.
Vision and strategy
- Support Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics Lead, Structural and Social Behaviour Change (SSBC) Advisor and Systems Strengthening and Institutionalization Lead in creating and advancing Nawiri’s vision for gender, adolescent and youth responsive programming that addresses social dynamics, demonstrates evidence of progress along the gender continuum and sustains gender transformative practice.
- Strengthen implementation and monitoring of Nawiri GYSD strategy and other gender related commitments in the project’s design and ensure that project activities align with USAID’s gender equity and female empowerment policy.
- Socialize Nawiri program staff and County stakeholders on the evidence that informed the gender, adolescents, youth and social dynamics, structural and social behaviour change and related program strategies while guiding uptake and effective integration within program areas and key sectors.
- Establish strong institutional linkages and maintain productive working relationships with National and County government, Nawiri consortium partners, PREG partners, local CSOs and other relevant stakeholders supporting gender, children,adolescent and youth issues.
- Recognize and drive opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed and promoted to enhance a culture of learning for adaptive management.
- Spearhead roll – out of Nawiri’s Gender Strategy, gender – responsive participatory planning, development of the operational work plans, resource planning and implementation approaches in the County.
- Strengthen mainstreaming of gender in cross-cutting thematic areas such as social accountability, systems strengthening, social behaviour change, youth responsive programming, and market systems development using evidence to drive family and community dynamics, social change efforts, women and girls empowerment including GIRL – H and BRIDGE models, and resilience programming.
- Conduct periodic review and update of the gender and social inclusion strategies based on emerging evidence database as well as strategic gender analysis in collaboration with other County actors to inform program adaptations for increased impact. Ensure recommendations from the GBV risk analysis are integrated in GYSD strategy and operational work plans.
- Provide technical leadership and support including mentorship and coaching to local implementing partners to ensure implementation of evidence – informed program strategies /approaches, effective gender, adolescent and youth- focused project action plans and timely reporting of program activities..
- Ensure that all staff and partners are trained on safeguarding and understand their roles in protecting program participants from sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Support integration of GYSD, positive youth development and gender diversity principles to ensure program activities including community engagement are gender and age – responsive as well inclusive by conducting capacity building activities such as training, mentorship, learning-by-doing, reflection process and field monitoring visits.
- Assist partner staff to communicate information from the field to the appropriate decision-making forum on the gender integration in activities undertaken in all components, processes and impacts.
- Provide leadership in shaping County – level GYSD learning agenda and support evolving learning processes, routine collection and sharing of best practices and lessons learned with internal and external stakeholders.
- Lead gender and youth capacity building activities including linking program staff to additional training and learning opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills in gender mainstreaming and youth responsive programming.
Management and coordination
- Overall technical oversight and supervision of gender and social inclusion officers at County level.
- Support coordination of County Gender Sector Working Group and rapid gender capacity assessments/audits to inform development and implementation of capacity strengthening plans.
- Co-lead social accountability and supervision of CSOs scope of work for timely and quality implementation.
- Ensure that program and County staff understand and adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Minimum Standards.
- Liaise with key external stakeholders to provide guidance on gender and youth perspectives in all aspects of Nawiri program activities.
- Ensure that Nawiri and partners are in compliance with gender and youth – related USAID BHA requirements.
Information management & reporting
- Coordinate and work closely with the M&E team on GYSD integration and provide technical backstopping in the collection and use of sex and age disaggregated data, gender indicators and gender sensitive data collection processes across sectors. Make recommendations based on regular monitoring to inform program strategies to better meet the needs of the program participants.
- Ensure Nawiri is capturing the required level of gender, adolescents, children, youth disaggregated data, system strengthening data, and specific success stories on gender transformation and youth empowerment.
- Generate activity reports on the scope of gender, social inclusion and social accountability, while also supporting drafting of issues-papers and case studies on gender, adolescents, youth perspectives and social accountability to promote integration.
- Supporting review of concept notes, program reports and relevant documents for gender and youth sensitive communication.
- Support in the setting of indicators for assessing progress with gender and youth integration, adapted to specific contexts of Samburu and Turkana.
- Work with the County Strategic Learning Lead to disseminate information regarding gender and youth achievements and impact.
- Represent the program’s gender strategy with external stakeholders at workshops, conferences and annual learning events. Speak thoughtfully to the evidence to action products and learn that Nawiri is continuously using to inform programmatic strategy.
- Support GYSD and work closely with the Human Resources team to ensure accountability for gender mainstreaming is incorporated into the position descriptions and recruitment processes of all program team members. Monitor the gender, diversity and inclusion focus of the program to ensure internal accountability.
- Support the management of the institutional knowledge within the Nawiri program and contribute to wider knowledge management.
- With support of the GYSD lead and collaborating with the Citizen Engagement and Social Accountability and Systems Strengthening managers, lead the County Specific generation of reporting, planning and budgeting of gender, youth and social dynamics activities under the guidance of the DCoP.
- Work closely with the County team’s security focal point to promote use of systems in place to ensure safety and security of all team members. This will include identification and timely appropriate response of gender – specific needs and interests of program staff in relation to safety and security.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- Degree in gender and development, anthropology, social science and other relevant disciplines.
- Minimum five years experience of technical leadership and management responsibility in gender, adolescent and youth programming in health, food security, youth workforce development, peacebuilding and/or multi – sectoral programs in humanitarian and/or development context. Previous experience working with USAID, International NGO, arid and semi – arid regions (ASAL) would be an added advantage.
- At least three years of experience working with County government and/or local civil society organization, program management and implementation is required.
- In – depth understanding of gender – responsive interventions, positive youth development, systems strengthening, policy advocacy and influence, and local socio – cultural factors contribution to addressing the multiple drivers of persistent acute malnutrition would be an asset.
- Demonstrated ability in building capacity of cross – functional teams, facilitating participatory learning and leading collection, analysis, and utilization of information from a broad range of sources.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members. Strong interpersonal and communication skills to produce high quality results.
- Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, Swahili and local language (added advantage).
- Ability to travel to program locations for at least 70% of time or more as needed.
- Initiative-taker, multi-tasker, and able to work effectively and respectfully with local government, private sector, civil society and donors.
- Demonstrated experience in setting up and managing systems and procedures as well as experience in building team commitment toward the achievements of program objectives.
- Team-player with a positive attitude to problem solving and conflict resolution. Focused on team building and capacity-building of program staff and will be able to apply creative solutions to program quality.
- Ability to manage multiple priorities under tight deadlines and deal with unexpected events impacting program operations calmly and diplomatically.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This role is based in Maralal, Samburu.
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. 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.