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.
World Food Program (WFP) Nepal as a lead/prime organization in partnership with Mercy Corps and other partners is going to implement a four-year School Feeding Program funded by USDA/Food for Education. In the consortium, Mercy Corps provides strategic leadership for the program in two of the sub-activities ‘Local Purchase of Food: Hybrid Food Basket’ and ‘Home Grown School Feeding: Technical Assistance Post-Hand Over’.
The aim of the Mercy Corps’ interventions is to facilitate the development of a fully sustainable and locally managed food system for schools. This includes designing and implementing the strategy and detailed roadmap for schools to self-manage a cash-based program where they locally procure and manage relationships and contracts with local producers, cooperatives, and suppliers to supply appropriate and necessary school meal food items during relevant timeframes. The program activities will link school feeding programs to smallholder farmers, farmer’s cooperatives, school management, community groups and local government to enhance the program’s long-term sustainability. The target area of the program covers five districts in the Sudurpachhim Province (Darchula, Bajhang, Doti, Achham, and Bajura) and one district in the Karnali Province (Jajarkot).
The Senior Technical Officer will work under the supervision of the Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist and in close coordination with the Program Manager, Procurement Specialist, MEL Specialist, and local implementing partners.
The Senior Technical Officer will be responsible for providing technical backstopping to Mercy Corps and implementing partners to implement the program in program districts. S/he will be directly reporting to Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist. S/he will assess and identify nutritious vegetables, fruits, and cereals suitable to the school meal program and support the design and roll-out of project activities. At the same time, s/he will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of a fully sustainable and locally managed food system for the school. Hence the strategy and implementation plan should align with the aim of the project. The Senior Technical Officer will also coordinate and collaborate with local government, School Committee, other USDA partners, and wider actors to contribute to a sustainable and locally managed food system for schools.
This position will be based in the district with frequent visits to the field and will work closely with the district/partner-based Agriculture officers/technicians in the field. The Senior Technical Officer along with the Agriculture field-based staff will ensure quality implementation with sound technical oversight through capacity building of local partners, coordination and technical advice to strengthen the program.
The specific duties and responsibilities of the Senior Technical Officer, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategy & Vision
- Together with Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist, develop an agriculture technical strategy paper for the Project, elaborating the vision initially laid out in the proposal.
- Set a clear vision for the response, working closely with field leadership
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Actively participate in meeting and strategy sessions for the program.
- Support Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist to develop detailed program work plans, approaches and relevant tools based on project overall strategy.
- Support the assessment, design, authorization of all project interventions for project, that includes oversee farmers group mobilization and strengthening; linking to climate information system, strengthening of capacity of local government, cooperatives and school management committees on school meal and sustainable and locally managed food system for schools and mainstreaming of community action plans into the development planning process of the local governments.
- Oversee and lead all market studies/assessments, workshops, training and orientation programs and formal/informal interactions with program participants, partners and stakeholders.
- Together with Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist, develop standard operating guidelines (SOG) for use of field staff and partners for each of the major interventions of the project.
- Ensure agriculture activities, approaches and tools fit within the country and regional strategies, as well as USDA and WFP goals and national government agriculture development policies and frameworks.
- Ensure governance activities, approaches and tools fit within the country and regional strategies, as well as USDA and WFP goals and national government agriculture development policies and frameworks.
- Support to design, recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Oversee work planning and implementation of project activities, design risk-informed work plans, standard operating procedures.
- Ensures the district implementing partner fully understands the program areas of implementation.
- Facilitate and support the district implementing partners to fully implement the program activities on the ground.
- Work with the district implementing partners to ensure they fully take ownership for the program and support them to build relationships with both local and government sector collaborating agencies and departments.
- Support teams to conduct market assessments, analyze data and utilize findings on an on-going basis to inform and adapt program design/approaches.
- Ensure that program participants are effectively targeted according to proposed criteria, and that feedback mechanisms are in place.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Ensure CARM, GESI and humanitarian principles are owned by the implementing partner and implemented accordingly.
- Monitor program activities on a regular basis to ensure timely and effective program implementation.
- Ensure monitoring of field activities to be on time, target and budget, and propose recommendations for improvements.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards
Monitoring, Evaluations, and Learning (MEL) and Reporting
- Together with Program Manager, Field Manager/Agriculture Specialist and MEL Specialist, design the measurement and analysis key performance indicators to inform strategic decision making.
- Coordinate closely with the MEL Specialist to generate and collect required information and data for measuring program intervention results.
- Support team to establish functional CARM systems, and engage closely with the program’s collaboration,
- Actively engage in learning and adapting (CLA) processes to practice quality adaptive management.
- Support implementing partners to generate weekly updates, quality progress reports and documents that capture program learning, good practices and success stories.
- Ensure that innovative approaches, good practices, challenges, and positive results are documented to support agency learning.
Influence & Representation
- Build partnerships and good working relationship with district partners, sub-grantees, local governments, other USDA/WFP implementing partners and other stakeholders to leverage technical and financial resources to scale-up or replicate good practices promoted by the program.
- As required by the program management, represent agency at the district levels in each project district
- 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, private sector actors, and local government.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure adherence to program management minimum standards in carrying out their duties, advising and supporting other staff in the same as required
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming.
- 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.
- Ensure proper integration of safeguarding and GESI aspects into sector specific program planning and implementation.
- 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 mission
- Other duties as assigned by his/her supervisor and/or Director of Programs or Country Director.
Supervisory Responsibility: N/A
Reports Directly to: Field Manager/Senior Agriculture Specialist.
Works Directly with: Finance and Operations departments, District Implementing Partners and Program Manager as required
- At least Bachelor degree in Agriculture with more than 5 years' experience in vegetable, fruits, commonly grown cereal production, marketing and supply chains.
- Master degree in agriculture is preferable
- Understanding of governance and financial services and experience in integrating agriculture, governance and financial service will be additional benefits,
- Experience of working with cooperative, and/or private sector organizations focused on agriculture, agriculture market, supply chains, and livelihood development.
- Experience with USAID/USDA Agriculture and Governance in project districts would be an advantage.
- Experience of working with local implementing partner and community based approach
- Strong community capacity building, development and facilitation skills.
- Experience of working in partnerships, coordination among different stakeholders and organizations at district/province/national level is required.
- Demonstrated ability to work in tough geographies with limited facilities, complex environments and under tight deadlines.
- Good writing and computer skills, including preliminary research and information gathering from the internet, MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint preparation are required.
- Fluency in written and spoken English and Nepali required.
- Effective writing skills to prepare reports, complete analyses and make presentations.
- Negotiation, networking, advocacy, coordination and representation skills with key local actors is preferred.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Proven ability to learn quickly, facilitate program implementation to achieve stated results and objectives.
The successful candidate will combine serious professional management/coordination skills and experience in the field of Vegetable, fruits and cereal production, agriculture marketing system, knowledge of governance and maintaining government, community and partner relationships. S/he will have proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results, with an ability and willingness to remain mobile for field support and activity monitoring based on programmatic needs. S/he will have an ability to think creatively about contributing directly and measurably to program approaches, and have experiences in both community mobilization and government engagement. S/he will have proven experience with diverse teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential.
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. 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.
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply with their updated CV and a cover letter to www.p2p.com.np. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Telephone inquiries will not be entertained. Clearly mentioning the position in the subject line addressing to the Human Resources Department by COB February 22, 2023.