Regional Resilience Advisor East Africa Kenya, Zimbabwe, or other East Africa locations
Mercy Corps
Nairobi, Kenya
2d ago


Program Department / Summary

Across eastern and southern Africa, Mercy Corps is a recognized leader in resilience. Our innovative programming and commitment to growing evidence and learning on what works for building resilience in fragile and complex environments are widely recognized by donors and policy makers for solutions that have lasting impact.

Mercy Corps recognizes that the interconnected and complex shocks and stresses affecting the East Africa region, especially in the Horn of Africa, must be met with sophisticated approaches that span sectors and strategically bridge all forms of aid.

With a distinct agency-wide resilience framework, global expertise in resilience measurement and research, and our Africa Regional Resilience Hub, Mercy Corps is well placed to work differently and play a meaningful role in supporting and growing the capacities of people, institutions and systems across eastern and southern Africa to achieve and maintain long-

term wellbeing through a comprehensive resilience approach.

General Position Summary

Reporting to the Africa Regional Resilience Director, and working closely with program teams, Country Directors as well as regional and global technical team members, the Regional Resilience Advisor will support Mercy Corps’ resilience portfolio in the Horn of Africa and other countries in eastern and southern Africa.

S / he will collaborate closely with country teams to advance program and country-level resilience objectives through dedicated support on a portfolio of resilience-

focused programming and strategic initiatives focused on building resilience in fragile and complex crisis contexts, while contributing to expanding and advancing Mercy Corps’ regional resilience program platform and influence through supporting thought leadership, representation and program development.

The Regional Resilience Advisor (RRA) will focus primarily on strengthening technical capacity and supporting programming in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia, where a great deal of work is underway and learning is relevant for the broader region.

  • Programming under the RRA’s portfolio includes the application of resilience in a number of sectors, such as market systems development for agricultural systems, urban / rural livelihoods and economic recovery;
  • food and nutrition security; natural resource management and climate change adaptation; peacebuilding; gender and social inclusion and other sectors.

    The role also includes a significant focus on supporting cutting-edge programming that oversees the application of a resilience approach for coordinating a shared agenda for collective learning, capacity building and cross-

  • stakeholder strategy and coordination, including on the humanitarian / development / peacebuilding nexus. The RRA will provide strategic program support on critical assessment, design and learning processes at different phases of the program cycle;
  • coordinate and implement capacity building for teams working on resilience in fragile contexts across the region; guide evidence generation, synthesis and dissemination to advance learning;
  • and provide technical expertise on strategic program development.

    Essential Job Functions


  • Provide technical support and mentoring to program managers and team members in ensuring high-quality, impactful implementation in resilience, documentation of technical strategies and learning, and taking initiatives to scale.
  • Design and deliver technical support and mentoring to program managers and team members throughout the program cycle and especially at critical program milestones to embed a strong resilience approach in programming, including : conducting risk and resilience assessments and analysis;
  • refining program logic to incorporate resilience; designing interventions and activities that build resilience at household, community and systems-

    levels; and supporting workplan development to facilitate a resilience approach to implementation.

  • Review programs’ technical approaches and implementation strategies and develop customized recommendations to integrate resilience.
  • Lead development and / or coordinate development of strategic resilience-related program management tools and documents as required.
  • Work closely with program managers, key program / country / regional technical representatives and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) staff to develop and strengthen systems for resilience-
  • informed learning and adaptive management, including by designing and facilitating review and reflection processes, facilitating processes for program redesign to strengthen cross-

    sector integration, layering and sequencing, and supporting linkages to programs’ resilience measurement strategies.

  • Work closely with country leaders and program managers to identify and set team and partner capacity-building priorities.
  • Adapt and develop context and program-specific guidance, tools and trainings, and connect teams to critical information that will improve resilience knowledge and advance the integration of resilience-
  • thinking and action to improve program performance and achieve results.

  • Coordinate and deliver tailored capacity building support visits and training workshops.
  • Identify and coordinate internal and external support required.
  • Keep abreast of new thinking, research and innovations in resilience and synthesize and regularly communicate findings for country teams.

  • Drive a culture of learning between programs, countries and technical teams through consistent sharing of evidence-based best practices and lessons learned.
  • Coordinate with country programs and support program managers to develop research and learning agendas identifying opportunities for Mercy Corps to professionally instigate, document and promote best practices and lessons learned that respond to the priority topics.
  • Support country, regional and HQ teams with resilience-related research initiatives, and create and disseminate learning and advocacy documents that demonstrate our programs’ impact, innovation and influence on resilience.
  • Facilitate cross-region resilience learning groups to expand and deepen capacity and exchange across Mercy Corps teams and promote country teams’ work within the organization.
  • Contribute to regional resilience knowledge management and communications and to raising our external profile regionally, regularly sharing out findings and updates through appropriate internal and external channels.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in appropriate learning and policy forums. Support country teams to identify and participate in opportunities for external representation and thought leadership.
  • Facilitate information flow to Resource Development, Policy and Advocacy and regional and technical teams to drive our positioning and increase external visibility in resilience.

  • Working closely with country teams, develop or support high quality concept notes and proposals to increase funding for resilience programs.
  • Source and document new ideas and innovations from within country programs, private sector partners, researcher and academics and link them with appropriate implementing partners and funding sources to begin to scale up ideas that are proven in programs.
  • Lead and / or support risk and resilience assessments and analysis processes for strategic prepositioning for new programming.
  • Embed resilience into other sectoral proposal design assessment tools.


    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.


    Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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 : Regional Resilience Director Africa.

    Works Directly With : Country Directors / Directors of Program; program managers and country program teams; regional and HQ technical staff; Resilience TSU

    Knowledge and Experience

  • Masters in International Development or relevant field,
  • Three to five years’ experience in program design, implementation, and / or monitoring, evaluation, learning in East Africa.
  • Knowledge and experience in multiple priority sectors, such as : food and nutrition security; agricultural systems and livelihoods;
  • market systems development; climate change adaptation; natural resource management; peacebuilding.

  • Experience in international development and humanitarian assistance in East Africa is strongly preferred.
  • Thorough understanding of resilience thinking and systems approaches required. Demonstrated experience with the application of a resilience approach in fragile contexts required.
  • Understanding of Mercy Corps’ approach to resilience a plus.

  • Demonstrated experience designing new programming and contributing to winning proposals.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and facilitate complex assessment processes to translate information and analysis for program use.
  • Demonstrated ability to use research and M&E to improve program learning and adaptive management.
  • Strong representation, networking and facilitation skills necessary.
  • Proven ability to synthesize and communicate complex subjects / topics effectively to multi-stakeholder groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse adult audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with a diverse, geographically spread team.
  • Success Factors

    The successful candidate will apply a strong combination of program leadership and relationship-building abilities with an outstanding ability to work independently and contribute to innovation, influence and impact across a set of complex contexts and multi-

    sector programs. Deep curiosity, commitment and openness to new practices, concepts, ideas and change for continuous improvement will serve the candidate well.

    Flexibility and public relations skills are integral success factors in this position.

    The successful Advisor will have a sincere interest to see big picture trends through various systems lenses, and roll up his / her sleeves to put theory into practice in partnership with program teams.

    S / he will have interest and ability to travel and work in remote environments and awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural international development / humanitarian work.

    Finally, s / he will have an ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles through innovative capacity building and facilitative techniques.

    Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

    The position is based in Harare, Zimbabwe or Nairobi, Kenya or other East Africa locations of Mercy Corps. It requires frequent travel (approximately 35%-

    40%) to multiple project sites, at times over extended periods (2-3 weeks). When in the field the team member will need to able to work in remote settings and possibly over weekends and / or evening as required by the schedule.

    In the region, secure residences are available and public services (water, electricity, healthcare) are adequate. This is an accompanied post with international schooling available for children.

    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.

    Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background.

    We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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