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Oct 24, 2017

Mercy Corps WASH / Nutrition Advisor Job in Nairobi Kenya

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. We help communities survive and move beyond emergencies.

When natural disasters strike, economies collapse or conflict flares, Mercy Corps is there. We see global challenges as an invitation to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions. 

Mercy Corps is looking for committed and dynamic individual to take up the following position:

Position: WASH / Nutrition Advisor
Location: Nairobi

Program / Department Summary: Mercy Corps has been operating in Kenya since 2008, focusing its interventions around four objectives: 

1) Peace and Conflict Management; 

2) Livelihood/Market Systems;

3) Governance (particularly at the county level); and 

4) Youth Employment / Employability (including the social and economic development of adolescents). 

The four objectives serve to increase community resilience to drought and other shocks and stresses, and to decrease fragility with a particular focus on Kenya’s Arid Lands.  

Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Mercy Corps is recruiting a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)/Nutrition Advisor to ensure the delivery of high quality WASH and nutrition interventions for a five-year USAID-funded Feed the Future (FtF) Livestock Market Systems (LMS) Development Activity for northern Kenya. 

This position will support the Strengthening Community Capacities for Resilience and Growth associate award. This project will support USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and specifically will improve households’ income, productive assets and resilience to drought and other shocks. 

Specific areas of focus include: strengthened and sustained rangeland and water management; strengthened drought risk management; strengthened conflict management; improved and sustained health, nutrition, and hygiene practices; improved literacy, numeracy, and life skills; and collaborative action and learning for community empowerment.

General Position Summary: The WASH / Nutrition Advisor will provide leadership and oversight to the project’s WASH and nutrition component. 

The Advisor is responsible for overall planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of WASH and nutrition activities; ensuring all project initiatives are implemented to achieve maximum impact while remaining on schedule and budget. 

The nutrition component uses a variety of tailored social and behavior change strategies, which enhance nutrition practices, increasing the demand for nutritious food, improving household decision-making for equitable access to nutrition, leveraging private sector investment for nutrition support and informing policy practices regarding nutrition and food security. 

The WASH component centers on community projects, drought cycle management and improved hygiene practices.  

S/he will work closely with our partner ACDI/VOCA, who will be leading the implementation of the LMS, and look for opportunities to link programming and clients with the greater programming across the LMS.  

The WASH/Nutrition Advisor also should work with management team to coordinate and plan closely with USAID’s other water initiatives, particularly Kenya RAPID, to ensure assistance in well-coordinated, leverages each other’s programming and is not duplicative.

Essential Job Functions:
Program Management
  • Communicate a clear vision for WASH/nutrition activities and how they fit into the project’s overall objectives, ensure that the project strategy is clear, and communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, the government and other actors;
  • Plan and implement the project’s nutrition Social and Behavior Change (SBC) strategy including designing compelling informational messages (edutainment), culturally sensitive Information Education Communication (IEC) materials and mass media outreach, as appropriate, to effectively influence behavior change at the individual and community level;
  • Ensure SBC concepts and/or messages achieve project objectives, such as increasing knowledge, changing attitudes, enhancing motivation to change behaviors, and increasing the perceived benefits of new behaviors. Lead in the research design, pretesting, production and distribution of SBC/IEC materials;
  • Based on the findings of the Barrier Analysis and other research findings, suggest new areas of SBC content for both the immediate causes of nutrition and underlying causes such maternal/child nutrition, household income, household decision making and design SBC through suggestions and advice from designated audience groups;
  • Pursue other innovative ways to deliver compelling messages such as the use of schools and other culturally sensitive media/channels of communications to reach adolescent girls, women, Youths and Men;
  • Develop and maintain harmonious relationship with partner organizations, line ministries and audience groups. This includes planning activities and coordinating closely with the greater LMS partners and Kenya Rapid;
  • Monitor project implementation, document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated;
  • Regularly visit field activities to assess progress and provide formal and informal feedback.
Influence & Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party and country leadership; 
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • 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.
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.
Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: None
Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Chief of Party, County Project Coordinators, GIRL program officers, Livelihood Officers, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Partner Organizations

Knowledge and Experience:
  • BA/S or equivalent in nutrition, communications, development, public health or Nutrition and Dietetics, other relevant field;
  • A minimum of four years of relevant professional experience working on similar types of programming. Experience with behavior change communications is preferred;
  • Previous experience working on USAID grants is preferred;
  • Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing, in English and Kiswahili is required.  Fluency in Northern Kenyan regional dialects also are desirable;
  • Previous working experience in Northern Kenya desirable;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
Success Factors: The WASH / Nutrition Advisor will have a strong understanding of project approaches and contextual knowledge of northern Kenya.

S/he will combine technical leadership skills, communication skills and capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders. 

A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention. 

S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 

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.
Environmental Conditions: This position will be Nairobi based, with regular travel to field sites. 

This position requires approximately 50% travel regularly by road and air to program offices in often insecure environments. 

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit. 

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.
How to Apply

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a Cover Letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to [email protected] on or before 1st November, 2017.

The email subject line must clearly show the job title and location they are applying for.

Applications without an appropriate subject heading will be automatically disqualified. 

Please do not attach any certificates.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.  

NB: We do not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process

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