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Regional Gender Advisor - Africa

Posted on Aug 24th, 2020 in Humanitarian Aid and Development Aid
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Contract: Full-time
Salary: Competitive Salary
Deadline: days, hours

Role Purpose

About Mercy Corps

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps works in 17 countries across Africa, all of which are facing momentous humanitarian crises and/or significant development challenges. Africa is also characterized by a high rate of urbanization and a massive youth population, and deep gender disparities that undermine equitable development outcomes for all Africans. Against this backdrop, Mercy Corps’ focus in Africa has been to respond to ongoing humanitarian needs, while promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, strengthening market systems, enhancing access to finance and economic opportunities, and promoting youth employment and empowerment. Mercy Corps continues to position itself as a key and credible partner with many donors, government authorities and civil society partners, enhancing our ability to empower people to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Gender and social inclusion is a priority that is woven throughout all programming, and involves using a systems-based approach that builds on proven solutions, accesses new ideas and information, and integrates multiple sectors and partnerships to promote transformative development outcomes. The Gender Advisor will be part of the Regional Technical Support team based within the Africa Region, working closely with our country teams to deliver high-impact programming through a strong gender transformative approach.

General Position Summary

The Regional Gender Advisor will advance our country and regional-level gender and social inclusion strategy, working with regional leadership, country teams, global and regional technical support teams and partners to: 1) provide remote and in-person technical support to Mercy Corps program teams to conduct gender assessments, integrate gender specific approaches into programs, and use data to achieve equitable gender outcomes; 2) deliver capacity building support and mentorship to country and program level gender specialists and animate a lively working group to promote cross-learning, resource sharing and collective visioning; 3) lead/support priority proposal development efforts to ensure strong gender transformative approaches from the outset of program design; 4) generate and support strategic research, gender assessments and innovations to test gender approaches in priority contexts and build influence; 5) identify and deepen potential new strategic partnerships with key peer organizations, local organizations, government and donor agencies, private sector actors and academic institutions. This position will be the regional representative of the Global Gender and Social Inclusion technical support team, and will work closely with the global team to ensure that Mercy Corps’ priority approaches and tools are effectively rolled out within the region. This includes contributing to technical priorities for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality (WE3), Gender, Peace, and Security (GPS), and Gender and Resilience.  The Advisor will play a technical liaison role with key donors and help teams translate, apply, and ultimately succeed in executing evidence-based gender transformative programs. The position will be housed within the Regional Technical Support Team, reporting into the Senior Regional Technical Director, supporting our regional and country teams to advance our Africa regional strategy and ensure that agency strategies, approaches, and standards are applied in action across the diverse Africa portfolio.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Support Mercy Corps’ regional and country teams to undertake visioning, strategic planning and execution of gender transformative regional and country strategies.
  • Serve as a technical resource within the region for the agency’s Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion (GDI) Initiative. Represent the Africa region within global GDI working group discussions and work in partnership with the designated regional GDI focal point to support country teams to engage with Mercy Corps’ Gender and Diversity Diagnostic tool kit..
  • Serve as key technical resource within the region for the agency’s GEDSI strategy, including support to key target countries in the region.
  • Contribute to agency-wide gender integration efforts and communities of practice and ensure that Africa’s priority gender-specific areas of focus are reflected within the Agency’s gender strategy.
  • Lead the Africa community of practice of regional, country-level, and project based gender and social inclusion specialists. Work closely with regional technical specialists, program managers, field and HQ teams as required.
  • Ensure gender integration and protection mainstreaming are incorporated into mission-level strategic and annual planning efforts.
  • Support research initiatives which advance the agency’s learning on innovative approaches to gender work in the region.
  • Work in partnership with regional PaQ team to build knowledge, skills and application of gender-responsive M&E systems using established agency tools and protocol.
  • Support internal and external communication efforts (articles, case studies, conferences and forums) to highlight to Mercy Corps’ gender work in Africa.
Program and proposal development
  • Contribute to or lead proposal development efforts to ensure gender and social inclusion is incorporated into the design of new programs.
  • Provide country teams with technical support, coaching and capacity building to ensure high quality gender equality outcomes within programs, especially during start-up/kick off of complex programs and feminist donor programs.
  • Serve as the regional technical point for agency-wide priority sectors Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality (WE3), Gender and Resilience, and Gender, Peace, and Security (GPS), connecting with other global sector teams to integrate best practices, innovative approaches, and program evidence/learning.
  • Support proactive gender integration into emergency response efforts in the region.
  • Lead and/or support staff/consultants to gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine community needs and priorities, identify partnership opportunities and Mercy Corps competitive advantage for funding.
  • Provide support for prepositioning and new program strategy design efforts.
  • Cultivate and nurture donor relationships and strategic partnerships that may result in stronger or more impactful program development efforts, particularly with Global Affairs Canada, SIDA, DFID, AFD and USAID.
  • Cultivate and activate relationships with women’s rights and gender equality focused civil society organizations across the continent to advance programmatic and advocacy impact.
Team Management and capacity building
  • Build and manage a roster of gender specialists across our country programs, and identify opportunities to build capacity, provide coaching and mentorship, and facilitate exchange.
  • Support hiring processes for gender advisors, program managers on gender specific programs, and other positions that require significant gender experience
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • With global GESI team, participate in training/capacity building efforts aimed at strengthening the skills of gender specialists and champions across the region.
Program quality
  • Support program teams to roll-out and adhere to gender integration minimum standards across all programs.
  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the program support team, providing technical support across the country teams and programs.
  • Provide technical guidance to teams to ensure programs/departments develop and implement gender integration strategies and work plans.
  • Conduct periodic country-level gender audits to ensure effective gender integration.
  • Support equitable and inclusive recruitment and retention initiatives aimed at enhancing program quality.
  • Conduct program quality field or support visits as required.
  • Work with the Country Team to ensure budgets are gender-responsive and reflective of gender commitments taken at agency and country-level.
Learning and impact
  • Work closely with the PAQ Department to establish assessment, monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure and improve upon program quality and impact, specific to gender integration.
  • In collaboration with the PAQ department, contribute to the set-up and implementation of a lessons learnt system to capture learnings on gender integration across the region.
  • Ensure gender is integrated across PAQ tools, theory of change, indicators and log frames.
  • Contribute to country-level initiatives such as research agendas and internal learning exercises.
Influence & Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at relevant coordination mechanisms and meetings.
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations, donors, institutions and local actors.
  • Present concepts and ideas to donors, partners, and peer organizations that influence their decisions.
  • Support internal and external communication efforts (articles, case studies, conferences and forums) to highlight to Mercy Corps’ gender work in Africa
  • Contribute to agency-wide gender integration efforts and communities of practice as appropriate

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

Consultants, short-term assignments, interns


Reports Directly to: Africa Technical Director with a dotted reporting line to the Global Senior Gender Advisor
Works Directly with: Regional Director, Deputy Regional Directors, Country Directors and Directors of Programs, Program Directors/Managers implementing gender-focused or multi-sector programs, Regional and Global Technical Support Unit, Africa Gender Working Group Team, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Leads

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

  • Master’s degree in international development, women’s studies, gender or a comparable area of study preferred
  • 7-10 years of experience in international development work, with a minimum of three years in field postings. Minimum of five years of experience in gender technical work.
  • Substantial background in gender and development work including experience conducting gender analyses, capacity building/training, gender and inclusion outcomes, and engaging in gender advocacy
  • Experience working in Africa required
  • Strong writing skills required
  • Strong facilitation skills required
  • Proficiency in French highly preferred
  • It is expected that this position will travel to Mercy Corps country missions within the Africa region, including insecure environments, for up to 40% of time

Job Expired

The application deadline date has passed.

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