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Research Coordinator - Cash Consortium of Sudan
Mercy Corps
Full-time
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Posted 1 month ago
Job Description
Mercy Corps’ Sudan crisis response seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Sudanese and other conflict-affected people across the country. Mercy Corps Sudan is recognized as a leader in market systems, agricultural, and food security and building on this experience, the MC Sudan humanitarian program will layer in resilience and other program activities where appropriate and feasible to do so. Assistance is delivered with a focus on needs, in partnership with local actors and civil society.

The Program / Department / Team
The Cash Consortium of Sudan (CCS) is a collaborative platform to advance a progressive vision of the potential of cash assistance to transform humanitarian response and recovery in partnership with vulnerable conflict-affected populations. CCS is led by Mercy Corps, building on its global experience and learning on leading cash consortia in multiple country contexts, as well as general expertise in cash coordination and breadth of technical resources. International partners include Acted, CARE, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), each of which bring strong cash and complementary technical competencies, as well as expansive operational coverage in Sudan. The CCS also includes nine Sudanese NGOs as partners in alignment with global aid sector commitments to enhance the prominence of local actors in driving humanitarian response and recovery. IMPACT is a non-implementing partner dedicated to Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning. IMPACT will support quality data systems and an objective evidence base that will be essential to CCS’ accountability and adaptive management to refine programming approaches to enhance impact as the Sudan crisis context evolves. The CCS will work closely with other consortia and actors in Sudan to deliver an effective CVA response for communities affected by the crisis.
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The core pillars of the CCS response include: 1) basic needs through cash assistance both at the community level through Group Cash Transfers (GCTs) delivered to Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), as well as at the household-level through Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA); 2) strengthening market systems to ensure resilience of key market actors and supply chains as well as strengthening the availability and affordability of key commodities; 3) strengthening capacity of local partner organizations with an emphasis on accompaniment and mentorship; and 4) generation of learning and evidence to inform broader response efforts.

The Position
The Research Coordinator is focused on increasing the impact of CCS programming through research and learning. The Research Coordinator will work with the CCS Secretariat, CCS partner technical leads and senior management to establish a consortium-level Research & Learning Agenda - aimed at both informing programming and supporting advocacy objectives - and with CCS teams to design research methods and disseminate, implement and apply findings from research and learning initiatives. The Research Coordinator will also work with regional and global-level stakeholders as relevant to link Sudan objectives with emergent themes in the regional and global discourse. The Research Coordinator will coordinate with the CCS Director and Secretariat team to support strategic representation of the partnership in key national and global coordination fora.
Essential Job Functions
Applied Research and Learning
  • Develop and maintain the CCS Research & Learning Agenda (inclusive of themes that can be addressed both through ongoing program M&E data, ad hoc exercises such as FGDs and KIIs, as well as other initiatives that might require more intensive resources)
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  • Lead on the design, planning, and implementation of in-house CCS research and learning initiatives, and coordinate on-going and planned research initiatives with CCS partners and third-party consultants.
  • Identify key topics for future research that are under-researched, and contribute knowledge to the wider cash sector (for example as relates to use of Group Cash Transfers, improving commitments to localization with cash programming, strategic development of financial services in Sudan’s crisis setting, potential linkages to existing social protection architecture, etc).
  • Produce regular practitioner-oriented briefs on key takeaways from CCS program data and research & learning initiatives.
  • Facilitate discussions with CCS Secretariat and partner team leads on how to integrate learnings within program design for greater impact.
Representation and Coordination
  • With the CCS Director, promote awareness of CCS programming and best practices in all relevant forums.
  • Maintain good working relationships with key global cash actors including CaLP, CCD, and high and level partners for cash financing. Develop relationships with the IASC and global UN agencies to influence where cash sits globally in coordination, with key donors, and key cash implementers. Identify areas of collaboration and cooperation.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with local/national organisations, the private sector, academic institutions, and other international organizations, in order to strengthen research and advocacy initiatives, to test innovative approaches, and replicate and scale successful models and methodologies.
Advocacy
  • Present research results through events (study launches, workshops), and advocacy products including success stories, briefs and reports on effectiveness of CCS programs.
  • Partner with CCS Policy & Advocacy Coordinator to ensure advocacy initiatives are supported with strong evidence base.
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 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
N/A
Accountability
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: CCS Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: CCS Secretariat, CCS Partners, Mercy Corps Programs, Operations and Finance teams, Regional and HQ Technical Support Unit and HQ Research & Learning Team
Knowledge and Experience
  • BA/BS or equivalent in international studies, economics, social science/research or other relevant field; MA/S preferred
  • 5-7 years of international relief and development research & learning experience
  • Strong policy awareness regarding humanitarian aid and development landscape; preference for past engagement with cash, markets and localization policy agendas
  • Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across multiple stakeholders
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with an ability to consistently work with
  • a diverse range of stakeholders with tact and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving
  • Experience working with local authorities, national and international NGOs
  • Flexible/willing and able to adapt priorities in order to respond to changing demands, including to shifts in organizational priorities.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required, Arabic skills preferred
  • Ability to simplify complex concepts both verbally and orally in order to influence others.
  • Experience in media and advocacy in I/NGOs desirable.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
Success Factors
The successful Research Coordinator will combine exceptional leadership, coordination and representation skills. S/He will have strong management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an ability to approach complex challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about solutions. S/he will possess a high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to a constantly changing working environment. S/he will have previous experience in implementing and/or supporting programs in insecure and conflict context. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, 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 in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and it requires up to 40% travel to support consortium programming and operations in Sudan and neighboring countries such as Chad, South Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. This may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing.
Ongoing Learning
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.

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