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Mercy Corps Hiring Social, Structural & Behavioral Change Officer

Job details


6 posts to be based in USAID Nawiri’s Sub-County Field Offices in Lokichar, Lokitaung, Kakuma, Maralal, Wamba & Baragoi

About Mercy Corps

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.

The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps, in consortium with Save the Children, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the BOMA Project, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), and Caritas Lodwar and several local implementing partners is implementing the USAID Nawiri Program in Turkana and Samburu counties. The USAID Nawiri program is anchored by a robust learning agenda that is executed in close collaboration with county governments, civil society organizations, private sector players, and benefiting communities in Turkana & Samburu counties.

Evidence generated from the various studies commissioned by USAID Nawiri has informed the design of the program interventions. The interventions will contribute to strengthening communities on nutrition resilience by bridging critical knowledge gaps and transforming practices, relating to the understanding of the complexities and the interplay of casualties contributing to P-GAM in Turkana and Samburu County.

Position Summary

USAID Nawiri’s SSBC work is central to the sustainable reduction of acute malnutrition. Phase 1 evidence gathering and continuous adaptive learning provides for a unique opportunity to be agile in implementing high quality and effective SBC interventions. USAID Nawiri envisions the position holder to program and implement a multi-sectoral SBC activities that creates nutrition resilience at household level. They will work with a multi-disciplinary team, covering resilient livelihood, health and nutrition, GESI, water sanitation and hygiene with the sole objective of reducing acute malnutrition in a sustainable way.

They will be responsible for integrating SBC activities in all USAID Nawiri activities at the field implementation level. Specifically, the Officer will conceptualize with clarity and implement contextualized SBC activities at the household and community level while working with system level actors to address the structural barriers to uptake of optimal behaviors.

They will be responsible for building the necessary skills and competencies of the frontline workers and change agents (include Peer Educators, Youth Counselors, Teachers, Gatekeepers, Opinion Leaders, Positive Deviants (Role Models), CORPs to implement quality SSBC activities. 

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Take full ownership of SSBC activities at Sub-County/Zone level as detailed in USAID Nawiri’s Theory of Change, Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) and budgets, i.e., Analyze and understand the general SSBC dimensions of PAM and steward the design, development, and implementation of customized (County) Nawiri SSBC strategies as guided by research findings, HCD insights and other available relevant programmatic intelligence.
  • Technically lead the implementation of USAID Nawiri’s iterative learning and adaptations in regards to SBC activities across all thematic areas.
  • Provide technical (SSBC) and general administrative support to all Nawiri technical areas; specifically, support the conceptualization, design, implementation, and reporting needs of the different thematic areas, including the development and implementation of relevant SSBC frameworks, tools, messaging, and distribution of IEC materials in appropriate formats, appropriately customized for program’s target audiences and needs.
  • Support in capacity building/strengthening (e.g., Trainings, Supportive/Facilitative Visits, On-Job Trainings, Mentorship and Shadowing) of relevant change agents at Sub-County/Zone level. Develop implementation plans, relevant content, facilitate SSBC training & support follow-on implementation activities.
  • In coordination with the sub county coordinators, and technical coordinators, oversee the coordination across implementation teams of the sequencing, layering and integration of household and community dialogues including mapping of content and delivery tools
  • Liaise with the Sub-County program team in ensuring that USAID Nawiri’s SSBC Strategy takes cognizance of and is aligned to County priorities and strategic plans. Additionally, assess and map out relevant interventions by partners, government agencies and private sector players and purposefully guide layering/integration of USAID Nawiri’s SSBC interventions in a bid to avoid duplication and improve cost-efficiency and effectiveness at the Sub-County/Zone level.
  • Support USAID Nawiri’s Continuous Learning & Adapting (CLA) approach, especially activities with an SSBC dimension; specifically, the identification of critical issues, documentation & analysis of emerging evidence, learnings, and best practices. Thereafter, guide and/or participate in the co-creation and iterative processes that are designed to incorporate the lessons learnt into the agile Nawiri SSBC framework.
  • Provide support for the monitoring, collection, storage, analysis (Knowledge Management) and reporting of SSBC data, including achievements against targets, data on program quality and effectiveness and contextual factors influencing program implementation. Submit regular SSBC programmatic reports as required. Additionally, participate in the development and publication of informatics products such as HCD decks, technical briefs, professional articles, success, and Human-Interest Stories (HIS).
  • Work with USAID Nawiri Officers, consortium partners and Sub-County officials to competently supervise Research Assistants, Healthcare Workers, Community Health Workers (CHWs – CHVs/CHEWs/CHAs), collaborating Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and any other program operatives and/or partners implementing SSBC activities on behalf of the program.
  • Liaise with and maintain cordial relationships with partners and Sub-County officials/departments implementing SSBC interventions. Plan for and support the coordination of relevant SSBC mechanisms at Sub-County level including participation and technical support to the Nawiri-fronted Multi-Sectoral Platform (MSP).
  • Foster organizational values of efficiency, integrity, professionalism, responsiveness, collaboration, and respectful programming. Develop & manage implementation of SSBC plans in a manner that increases team operating performance & efficiencies according to prescribed protocols & Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Ensure that SSBC interventions/activities are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security at the Sub-County/Zone level.
  • Keep the SSBC Senior Officer for Nutrition Resilient updated with regard to the security situation in the program implementation areas and provide advice as to how to manage our presence in this environment.
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Supervisory Responsibility

  • None


  • Reports directly to: Social, Structural and Behavior Change (SSBC) Coordinator for Nutrition Resilience (technically); and, with day-to-day supervisory, operational and administrative management reporting to the Program Coordinator & Head of Field Office.
  • Works directly with: USAID Nawiri County & Sub-County Field Teams, Nawiri Technical Staff, County Government and County stakeholders and relevant partners (specifically, sub-awardees, CSOs, FBOs, schools/institutions etc.).

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.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours. 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 locations.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable skills

  • A degree in Communications, Journalism, Community Development, Marketing, Public Health, Population Studies, Social Sciences, Anthropology or related disciplines.
  • At least 5 years of SSBC experience in designing, developing, implementing, monitoring strategies, activities, and materials.
  • Experience in conceptualization, design, and implementation of user-centric approaches e.g., HCD and demonstrated experience at testing/pre-testing tools, materials, and strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop partnerships across sectors and cultures (cross-cultural skills).
  • Demonstrated experience at working with & coordinating county mechanisms & multi-sectoral players.
  • Experience and excellent skills at training and facilitating community forums including competence in approaches such as Education Through Listening, Communication for Development and Problem-Posing Techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience meeting USAID and other donor reporting requirements.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills; excellent English language writing skills are a must.
  • Ability to think critically and strategically.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency in Office 365 including Word, Excel, Teams, and PowerPoint.
  • Willingness and ability to travel at least 60 – 80 percent of the time.
  • Proficiency of the local languages/dialects is a plus.
  • Experience working in ASAL counties of Samburu & Turkana is an added advantage.
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Success Factors

A successful SSBC Officer for Nutrition Resilience must 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. They will have strong technical skills combined with strategic visioning and leadership. They 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.

They 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 Advisor must make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

All successful USAID Nawiri team members possess the following core competencies: 

  • 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.
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Finally, Mercy Corps team members must have a strong commitment to teamwork, security procedures and community accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. In northern Kenya, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination, and a sense of humor are all success factors.

Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions

The position is based in USAID Nawiri’s Sub-County Field Offices in Lokichar, Lokitaung’ & Kakuma with over 50% travel to program locations. This is a semi-rural location with access to basic living conditions. These locations are characterized by dry weather conditions for most months in a year.

Organizational Learning

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.

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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.


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