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 Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.
In September of 2023, Mercy Corps signed an agreement with the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA-USAID) for the implementation of the Graduating to sustainable Agriculture, Income, Nutrition, and food Security (GAINS) Program. The overarching goal of this 5-year development food assistance program, with a start date of October 1st, 2023, and an end date of September 30, 2028, is: Food, nutrition and economic security is sustainably improved among vulnerable households.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Gender, Youth and Social Inclusion (GYSI) Lead to manage the implementation of Gender-Youth and Social inclusion interventions and approaches with GAINS program. GYSI activities will contribute to food and nutrition security for households and communities in Kasai Province, DRC.
The GYSI Lead will ensure that the social dimensions of Food, Nutrition and Economic Security (FNES) are effectively addressed across all activity components and at all levels throughout award implementation. This person will work to ensure vulnerable and marginalized populations are considered in targeting approaches. The GYSI Lead must have an in-depth understanding of gender, age, and other locally significant socio-cultural and inclusion factors in the context of FNES programming, and a demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis, and utilization of information from a broad range of sources. The GYSI Lead must have skills in FNES programming, participatory learning and action, and facilitating collaborative problem-solving. The GYSI Lead must also have the ability to foster commitment and build capacity among activity staff and in-country actors to ensure gender and youth integration, empowerment, and social inclusion. During the first year of the program, in alignment with Mercy Corps’ best practices and USAID requirements, the GYSI Lead will conduct a gender analysis to inform and guide program implementation and to ensure that men, women, girls and boys have equitable opportunities to engage in and benefit from program activities. S/he will promote innovative initiatives for inclusiveness in conformity with the donor and Mercy Corps’ gender policy. S/he will be expected to bring creativity and innovation to ensure that GYSI opportunities are maximized, integrated, and mainstreamed throughout the wider program strategy and implementation of other components and partners.
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Organize and conduct the donor-required gender analysis during the first year of the program and serve as the lead for any program-related youth or GYSI-related assessments.
- Work closely with sector leads/program managers in integrating the findings from the gender analysis into the Activity’s work plan and milestones.
- Ensure a gender-based violence risk analysis is done and incorporate findings into the program implementation plan.
- Develop a GYSI strategy for the program and oversee the implementation of the strategy in collaboration with the program team and adapt and improve them as needed.
- Coordinate closely, work with and support managers and partners to promote GESI integration across all technical areas of the program.
- Work closely with the relevant team members to develop strategies for encouraging youth participation and leadership in project activities and community decision making.
- Work closely with the M&E team on integrating GYSI within data collection and analysis tools. Also with the M&E team, provide technical backstopping in the collection and use of sex-disaggregated statistical data and other research findings for the purpose of analysis and integration of GYSI in program design.
- Contribute to any other research conducted in the program to ensure that relevant GYSI aspects are incorporated.
- Work closely with the Human Resources team to ensure GYSI accountability is incorporated into the position descriptions of team members.
- The GYSI Lead is working closely with Regional Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor, will provide technical support to the program team.
- Develop targeted GYSI capacity building interventions for program staff.
- Support program team in the delivery of training and capacity building on key gender and social inclusion topics to project participants.
- Conduct periodic monitoring of field activities; ensure quality delivery of GYSI interventions and coach/mentor staff technically on this.
- Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Hire, supervise and orient new GYSI team members and provide guidance for deepen understanding of their role.
- Provide continued capacity building to GYSI team, and broader program team members and create a pleasant work environment that promotes learning, accountability and ownership.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations. Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Develop relationships and linkages with organizations implementing other donor-funded programs focused on GYSI in DRC.
- Conduct regular community consultations to ensure programming remains GYSI sensitive and on-track.
- Collect and share learnings and best practices from this program both internally and externally.
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, donor, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.
- 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.
Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics Team Leaders and Officers.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Program team members, PaQ Director, M&E and research teams, partner organizations, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- MA/S or equivalent experience in a social science discipline such as development studies, international relations, gender studies, or related field.
- At least five years’ (7 years + if only undergraduate degree) experience in gender, youth and social inclusion programming, at least five of which must be based in country programs, implementing gender and social inclusion programming at the community level.
- Experience developing and conducting gender training, gender/youth/social dynamics mainstreaming and engaging in gender advocacy. Preference for experience with projects addressing resilience, agriculture, natural resources management, agribusiness, peacebuilding and conflict management.
- Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis and utilization of information from a broad range of sources to ensure effective integration of gender and youth concerns throughout the program’s duration.
- In-depth understanding of gender, age and other locally significant socio-cultural factors in the context of food and nutrition security and resilience programming.
- Skills in participatory learning and facilitating collaborative problem-solving.
- Understanding and knowledge of USAID regulations and program administration, management, and reporting procedures and systems is preferred.
- Prior humanitarian and/or development experience working in a context similar to DRC.
- Fluent oral and written French.
- Strong oral and written English and Tshiluba language skills are highly desired.
- Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource.
The successful candidate will have excellent team and interpersonal relationship skills, with demonstrated ability to work effectively in complex environments. They will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, participatory leadership and tactful decisiveness to assist in program implementation. Multitasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. They must have the confidence and humility to work effectively with a diverse group of people as well as be sensitive to political and cultural nuance. They must be able to consistently apply excellent judgment to a variety of demanding and fast changing situations while working as part of a team and coordinating with program personnel.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
Mercy Corps offers a competitive benefits package for positions based in the Kasai province, which is an unaccompanied duty station. Tshikapa is the capital of the Kasai Province, a lively rural city of 971,000 inhabitants where humanitarian actors are present. In the city center water and power are quite stable thanks to the cash power system and hotels, small restaurants, shops and banks are reasonably accessible. There are 3 main hospitals which provide adequate health care services, with evacuation options to Kinshasa or surrounding areas as required. Telephone landlines, internet and mobile network capacity exist but are frequently at a less than optimal level. The temperatures is often between 30-35 degrees.
Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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 Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.
Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.
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