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22 Feb 2021

Food Security and Livelihoods Manager

Job Description

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.


Mercy Corps began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people’s immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan’s priority areas are food security and livelihoods (focusing on cash assistance, market-based solutions in agriculture and economic development), WASH and Education. Mercy Corps has been implementing project which combine agricultural, economic development, WASH, Education and other humanitarian interventions to tackle the convulsive crises affecting vulnerable communities. Mercy Corps has worked to build relationships with local government and other actors, which has enhanced our understanding of local contexts and the multiple stakeholders involved. With the Peace Agreement and formation of a Transitional Government, Mercy Corps is expanding and intensifying multi-sector programming to rural areas in Rubkona and Panyijiar Counties, especially areas inaccessible in 2014 and 2015 Corps

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps is currently implementing a Resilient Community through Viable Economic Recovery (RECOVER) project in the two counties of Panyijar and Rubkona, funded by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). RECOVER covers a 5-year period (July 2016 – March 2021) and is positioning for a 2-year extension until 2023. RECOVER is implemented by a consortium of two INGOs (GOAL and Mercy corps) and one local NGO UNKEA, for which GOAL is the prime. RECOVER aims to respond to the specific needs, along with the complexity and diversity of shocks and stresses faced by targeted communities and the resultant vulnerabilities these create for women, men, girls, boys and youth. The program meets households’ immediate needs through cash transfers, whilst strengthening capacities through trainings and provision of fishing kits, agricultural inputs which are complimented by off farm activities including vocational skills for youth, REFLECT- Women and financial literacy to VSLA/SHG’s formed to enhance positive coping strategies for communities.


Mercy Corps is recruiting a Food Security and Livelihoods manager for the RECOVER (Resilient Community through Viable Economic Recovery). Aimed to respond to the specific needs, along with the complexity and diversity of shocks and stresses faced by targeted communities. The food Security and Livelihoods Manager is responsible for leading the overall implementation of the RECOVER program, including ensuring that project activities result in positive outcomes for male and female participants of different age groups. S/he will have overall responsibility for program start-up and implementing, while building team members’ and partners’ capacity to integrate a gender and youth perspective into project activities. The Food Security & Livelihoods Program Manager is a member for the technical oversight and planning unit that works under the supervision of Director of Programs for South Sudan related to this program. This position includes, developing tools for assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and evaluation of the program and preparing periodic reports back to donors, as well as close coordination with other Mercy Corps programs.


Strategy and Vision.

  • Develop a clear vision for the program, as well as a clear and effective strategy for program implementation and evaluation and ensure that the vision and mission are aligned with contextual realities;
  • Leading the day-to-day activities of the program, including liaising with key program and consortium partners as well as local authorities to support its successful implementation
  • Value the role of youth and women in development by maximizing their participation and contribution in the Program’s activities.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome among program team members and other stakeholders.
  • Maintain strong and transparent communication with consortium partners and across technical Teams

Program and Technical Oversight

  • Provide management oversight over the implementation team including development of work plans, sector result chains, intervention designs, sustainability, monitoring implementation and impact, ensuring that program deliverables are implemented on budget and on time
  • 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
  • Manage and coordinate with the team all program activities design and implementation immediate and resilience food security and livelihood interventions including cash transfers, vocational skills for youth, training of fishing folks, income generating activities development and strengthening, resilient agriculture on small plots (permagarden) and financial literacy (VSLA/SHG) groups.
  • Integrate community approaches, Gender and Youth sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards

Program Quality and Accountability

  • Ensure the program is sensitive and adaptive to the changing context while in line with best practice.
  • Coordinate with the Country Office and HQ to build systems that promote beneficiary accountability by ensuring that communities participate in assessments and program design;
  • Support staff and partners to ensure that communities are informed about our programs and what we do, are aware of their entitlements, are comfortable to give feedback and that feedback is used to improve the quality of our programs;
  • Ensure integration of M&E and accountability systems that are compliant with relevant standards;
  • Support and inculcate a culture of learning between programs through consistent sharing of M&E processes and systems;

Influence and Representation.

  • Develop and nurture culturally sensitive internal and external relationships and networks to ensure optimum communication and program success
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with donors, government partners, consortium partners and other stakeholders
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in relevant strategic fora to share Mercy Corps’ experience and promote thought-leadership

Team Management

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Lead capacity development initiatives for project team members through trainings, mentoring and coaching to ensure there is a cohesive understanding of market systems and project implementation approaches
  • Maintain a focus on achieving results and meeting the agreed objectives, and proactively solve problems

Finance and Compliance Management

  • Maintain/upgrade systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures
  • Prepare procurement plan based on project cycle and ensure all necessary requests (procurement requests, purchase orders, etc.) are accurately prepared and submitted on time.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through a strong knowledge of donor rules and regulations and supporting incident-reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Work closely with support functions in Mercy Corps South Sudan to ensure highest compliance and adherence to Mercy Corps policies and procedures
  • Manage grant budgets and work with Finance Team on proper budget management, including, budget development, forecasting and procurement planning, as well as monthly financial reports and BVA reviews.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure the well-being of team members and ensure they are aware of policies to help manage insecure environments.

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

FSL- Deputy Project Manager, FSL Senior Program officers, RECOVER-teams


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: All program staff, both national and expatriate in South Sudan; HQ-based program, operations, recruiting, human resources, finance, and technical support teams

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, political science, women’s studies, economics, sociology or other relevant field.
  • 5-7 years’ experience in FSL development work including experience in developing and implementing cash transfer standard operating procedures, resilience agriculture training, VSLA/SHG training, gender/youth mainstreaming and engaging in gender advocacy.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement a program, manage a team and develop their capacities.
  • 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 project’s duration. In-depth understanding of gender, age and other socio-cultural factors in the context of food security programming.
  • Experience in South Sudan or other emergency programs in insecure and conflict context states is preferred
  • Strong public speaking and facilitation skills required.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Success Factors

The successful FSL Manager will combine exceptional technical skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have previous experience in working in emergency programs in insecure and conflict context S/he will have an outstanding ability to design and provide technical oversight of innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the area. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. The successful candidate will be able to provide technical oversight to large relief programs in an austere environment; be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support skills, good information management skills and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Bentiu, South Sudan with travel to deep-field locations in Rubkona County, Panyijiar and Juba. Accommodation in Bentiu is in containers/pre-fabs and may be shared with one other person. Filtered water, food stipend and basic cooking facilities are provided. Team members must be able to be 24 hours away from secondary, tertiary and specialized medical care. The security situation will be closely monitored. Team members should expect variable levels of insecurity.

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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues

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 the 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.

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