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.
Mercy Corps is implementing a program to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in the Karnali Province in Nepal. The program is a a Multi-Year Emergency Food Security Activity funded by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, and implemented in six districts (Mugu, Jumla, Kalikot, Surkhet, Achham, and Dailekh, with cluster hubs in Surkhet and Jumla) in the Karnali River Basin area. The program, called “Building Hope Along the Karnali River Basin (BHAKARI)”, builds upon many of the successes of the Nepal team’s previous Food for Peace program which ended in January 2020, the PAHAL program, but with some new districts and a much heavier emphasis on emergency response. It includes program components of agriculture and market systems, disaster risk reduction, water for productive use, natural resources management, and a large emphasis on a gender and social inclusion approach, all with a highly integrated multi-sectoral approach.
While the Communications & SBC Manager will mainly support the BHAKARI program, s/he will also have approximately 20% of time dedicated to Mercy Corps Nepal country-wide communications and SBC needs, working closely with communications and SBCC focal points in other programs, as well as regionally and at HQ.
The Communications & SBC Manager leads the implementation of BHAKARI’s SBC strategy, and monitors the technical SBCC components of BHAKARI. S/he will be line manage a 1) Communications Officer and 2) an SBC & Knowledge Management and Learning Officer. S/he works closely with Viamo, the platform contracted to deliver Bhakari’s SBCC outreach, and support in developing customized tools, messages and actions plans for implementing the SBCC strategy. The Communications & SBC Manager develops matching messaging via flyers, brochures, posters and radio messages, plus discussion aids to be integrated into other types of community engagement and training. S/he provides technical advice to the partners in designing, implementing and evaluating behavioral change initiatives to reach socially excluded groups and individuals, as well as the poor and vulnerable households with pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 years of age. The Communications & SBC Manager will work closely with the MEL and GESI teams to incorporate evidence into SBCC strategy and activities.
Supervising the Communications Officer, the Communications & SBC Manager will lead the implementation of Mercy Corps’ communications strategy and BHAKARI’s communications objectives. The goal of the communication strategy is to increase the visibility of the program’s goal, approaches, and progress in order to enhance the program’s credibility and brand. This work also supports the overall country office’s reputation nationally and globally, and supports positioning for external collaborations.
BHAKARI adopts a GESI First Approach, and it is a key priority for the entire Mercy Corps Nepal country office. As gender and social inclusion (GESI), safeguarding, governance and environmental sensitivity are cross-cutting and core components of the all MC programs, the Communications & SBC Manager is required to own these components and ensure these components are integrated into their work area
The specific duties and responsibilities of the Communications & SBC Manager include, but are not limited to, the following:
- In close collaboration with the technical Managers and Viamo, establish and supervise the systems and protocols for SBCC activities, and maintain general oversight of SBCC programming being implemented through national and implementing partners to: 1) increase food availability and access; 2) improve access to sustainable water for productive purpose; and 3) reduce impact of natural disasters. This needs to be done through a human centered design approach to ensure the intervention is inclusive of all groups especially women, Dalits, and other traditionally marginalized groups
- Directly line manage and mentor the Communications Officer and SBCC & Knowledge Management and Learning Officer;
- Coordinate with Viamo, GESI team, consortium members, and other relevant stakeholders to identify key messages on pertinent topics and lead on the development on any new SBCC materials and content to deliver a clear messaging campaign to engage with marginalized populations
- Maintain an inventory of existing SBCC materials across BHAKARI’s behavioral themes. Provide an ongoing assessment of the quality of these materials (e.g. clear audience, key message, and strong call to action);
- On an ongoing basis, assess the effectiveness of the interpersonal communication and community mobilization approaches and materials being used by BHAKARI’s implementing partners to promote behavior change. Identify gaps and provide support to Partners for redevelopment/refinement as required, ensuring messaging included in any new materials is consistent with BHAKARI’s core messaging;
- Identify the need for, and manage, additional formative research related to BHAKARI’s identified behavioral themes as required, to identify specific target behaviors and messaging. This is likely to be most relevant in relation to the household decision-making/ male involvement and profit-seeking behavioral themes
- Identify options for, and lead on, the development of mass delivery campaigns using platforms such as mainstream media, various forms of Entertainment-Education, and social media. These are designed to complement the interpersonal communication and community mobilization approaches that will be promoted by the Lead Partners
- Ensure themes of gender equality and involvement of socially-excluded groups are included as an integral part of all SBCC designs and activities
- Support the development of monitoring and results measurement frameworks and reliable data collection and analysis to assess the effectiveness of BHAKARI’s and SBCC strategy, and revise the strategy on the basis of results achieved
- Develop and manage close working relationships with local government agencies, NGOs (in particular the implementing partners), and others
- Participate in national working groups as needed and support national-level efforts on SBCC as a means of improving coordination between the multiple development partners
- Train/mentor national program staff in the development and implementation of SBCC and communications approaches
- Support the country office with business development as required
- Work with the country office’s Emergency Response team as the communications and SBCC focal point and lead the emergency communications and RCCE components of the EPP
Program communications support: internal
- Supervise the Communications Officer and support him/her in the design and implementation of effective communication tools and mechanism in collaboration with other team members, such as report and publication templates, photo guidance, success story guidance and templates, social media guidance and samples
- Develop and implement effective communications policies, such a social media policies and personal representation guidance
- Serve as technical lead on matters related to communication; coordinate closely with Knowledge Management and Learning Specialist
- Coordinate with the Communications Officer to harvest and share stories, lessons learned, and best practices for products, events, and other public opportunities
- Ensure communications activities and content are clear, transparent, and done with full integrity
- Support the Communications Officer in managing internal databases of quality photographs and in ensuring that consent forms are completed and inventoried for every photo. Provide regular guidance to staff on best practices for photos. (NOTE: Mercy Corps communications team globally already has many of these tools and will also provide support)
- Serve as the key owner of the BHAKARI Marking and Branding Plan, liaising with USAID/Nepal’s communication officer as appropriate
- Ensure BHAKARI communications outreach and visibility materials are in-line with the Mercy Corps Nepal and USAID BHAKARI Marking and Branding guidelines; ensure all Mercy Corps Nepal staff are aware of and comply with Mercy Corps branding guidelines
- Work closely with Knowledge Management and Learning Manager to develop an appropriate information learning and sharing platform to share technical publications and resources externally.
- Review and revise as needed, the MCN and Bhakari communications strategy that is coordinated across all consortium members and includes printed resources, social media, and online content
- Assist BHAKARI staff in strategically planning, managing, and producing materials for documentation, dissemination in the field, and public relations in line with the communications strategy. Facilitate the posting and management of other program teams’ materials
- Support the Communications Officer in developing engaging and informative communication materials (i.e. success stories, program summaries, thought leadership pieces, newsletters, etc.). Assist the consortium staff to do likewise to write and document lessons learned and success stories from the field
- Assist staff staff in developing appropriate public information programs, presentations, speeches and other documentation, ensuring presentations and messaging are in line with the communications strategy
- Support the capacity building of relevant country office, program and consortium staff in communication skills through the design and delivery of formal trainings and ongoing support/mentoring
Program communications support: external
- Support the preparation and/or updating of a standard information package for project that can be shared with visitors and media as required
- Support the Communications Officer in collecting, structuring and documenting project related information for internal and external audiences, government and ensure publications are regularly posted and accessible
- Link the program’s outreach and communication materials to donor, Government of Nepal, and relevant third party platforms.
- Monitor external media; keep the CD, DoP, COP and DCOP informed on press and media relations. Serve as the key advisor and liaison to press and media relations in Nepal, and as appropriate, the region or globally for Nepal issues.
- Develop and maintain strong relations with national, regional and district level media personnel and organizations and proactively engage and monitor to ensure proper representation of Mercy Corps Nepal
- Collect project related information for internal Mercy Corps global audiences, respond to requests from USAID and government, and ensure publications are regularly posted and accessible.
- Manage the design and content for Mercy Corps Nepal’s external website, and any social media accounts.
- S/he ensures the district implementing partners fully understand SBCC messaging, approaches, and strategies
- Facilitate and support the district implementing partners to fully implement the SBCC activities on the ground
MONITORING, EVALUATIONS, AND LEARNING (MEL) AND REPORTING
- Coordinate with MEL to measure, assess, and subsequently incorporate evidence into SBCC strategy and activities
- Monitor SBCC activities on a regular basis to ensure timely and effective program implementation
- Ensure monitoring of SBCC field activities to be on time, target and budget, and propose recommendations for improvements
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND OPERATIONS
- Coordinate with District Coordinators, Technical leads and Officers for SBCC field activities in the cluster/region
- Work closely with representatives of Consortium and Local partners at the cluster and district level
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance
- Work closely with finance/compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities
- Support and orient on MC Code of Ethics and uphold Mercy Corps’ Zero tolerance of corruption policy
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Backstop the Country Director and Chief of Party as necessary, as a representative of Mercy Corps and BHAKARI at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events at the Kathmandu level.
- Ensure close coordination and information sharing with local implementing partners, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs
- Establish and maintain professional and productive relationships with communities and local government
- Serve as a key focal point for SBCC-related issues and problems in the ground and seek support from central level as required
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership
- Proactively ensure that team members and community operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participating communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects
- 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
- Mercy Corps as a humanitarian agency is expected to respond as and when crisis and humanitarian situation engulfs. As an MC employee all staff are expected to be part of humanitarian and emergency response in addition to their regular roles and responsibilities
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and not to jeopardize its humanitarian mission
- Other duties as assigned by his/her supervisor and/or Country Director
Supervisory Responsibility: 1) Communications Officer, and 2) SBC & Knowledge Management and Learning Officer
Reports Directly to: Chief of Party
Works Directly with: Country Director, Director of Programs, DCOP, Technical Component Managers and Advisors, Program Officers, Partnership Manager, Cluster Coordinators, Operations unit
- At least Bachelor degree in social sciences, nutrition, development studies/management, or any related discipline
- At least 5 years of experience in SBCC, with an emphasis on food security. Experience in disaster risk management, agriculture & livelihood and humanitarian assistance is preferred
- Demonstrated experience designing and implementing SBCC activities using a range of delivery platforms (interpersonal, mass media, EE and social media)
- Demonstrated experience applying participatory and rapid research processes to determine SBCC messaging and approaches
- Experience in capacity building, including training and on the job mentoring of national staff, strong leadership and team management skills
- Excellent communication skills, analytical and report writing skills
- Strong communication and publication skills with demonstrated skills in preparing fact sheets, presentations, social media posts, success stories, and similar documentation
- Demonstrated capacity to work collegially with government, private sector and other partner organizations
- Experience working in partnerships, coordination among different stakeholders and organizations at district/province/national level is required. Prior experience working on USAID funded programs highly preferred
- Good computer skills, including technology for publications, graphic design and social media
- Fluency in written and spoken English and Nepali required
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment
The successful Communications & SBC Manager will combine exceptional technical skills and experience with building and maintaining team relationships. S/he will be an excellent communicator. S/he will have an ability to think creatively and critically about how to reach socially excluded groups and individuals to improve food security and nutrition from both the year-round supply of nutritious foods via both agriculture and food systems to stimulating demand for more healthy nutrition-seeking behaviors. The Communications & SBC Manager will have proven experience managing multiple partners and service providers delivering work streams simultaneously. S/he will be excellent at multitasking, prioritizing, problem solving and demonstrate simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision. The most successful 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.
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 based on 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. 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
Please send your application (cover letter and updated resume) to email@example.com within the deadline.