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22 April 2016

USAID Project Learning and Information Officer Jobs - Mercy Corps

Organisation: Mercy Corps
Project Name: USAID Growth Health and Governance (GHG) Project
Duty Station: Uganda

About US:
Mercy Corps is an international non-profit organization which implements high-quality, analytical development programmes in very difficult places. Mercy Corps has been operating in Uganda since 2006. It has and continues to implement programs in Acholi and Karamoja sub regions. Mercy Corps is taking a community-led, market driven approach to address poverty and food insecurity needs through interventions that get to the root causes and contributing factors of economic vulnerability. Donors include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Commission (EC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

About USAID GHG Program:
Mercy Corps implements a market-development focused 5-year USAID/Food for Peace-funded program working in the northern half of Karamoja, and are in search of Health Facility Support Officers for Abim District with support to Kaabong District. The project, called Growth Health and Governance (GHG) 2012-2017, aims to support the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors of northern Karamoja.  Mercy Corps plans to expand its GHG livestock activities to identify and pilot key interventions that have the potential to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Karamoja’s livestock producers – including cattle for meat and dairy, goats and sheep.

Job Summary: The Learning and Information Officer (LIO) will provide support to Mercy Corps staff in using a facilitative approach, building data gathering and analytical tools, maintaining a set of data on results and behavior change, and conduct research into specific areas of data need. The Learning and Information Officer will ask staff tough questions on their approach, forcing them to consider whether or not their approaches maximize leverage and lead to behavior changes that catalyze systemic changes that grow and last beyond the project's direct intervention. The incumbent will also hold staff accountable for gathering data and keep a system where it is easily accessible when needed. The jobholder will also develop and support processes for integrating that information into program design (and re-design). S/he will work with teams to identify critical knowledge gaps and carry out targeted research on those areas, engaging external assistance, when necessary.

The project’s activities work almost exclusively through permanent private sector, government and local CSO actors, seeking to crowd in provision rather than displace or replicate local actors with donor-funded services. Facilitation projects will include, but are not limited to, increasing access to tillage services, improving access to beneficial and life-saving health products, improving traditional authority-official authority collaboration, developing agent input and aggregator networks, improving the service offerings and profitable provision of community animal health services, commercializing access to fuel efficient stoves, increasing availability of solar products and improved accessibility to local handpump repair and spare parts.

One of three success factors will be the degree to which the LIO promotes and captures learning across the project, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying and evaluating preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisitiveness. The second will be that person’s ability to manage a large quantity of data and deliver timely analysis to staff and to management. The third success factor will be the degree to which that person provides insight to teams through rigorous and efficient research in critical need-to-know areas, identified by program staff but researched with close support from the LIO.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1. Market Facilitation Support:
  • Mentor and coach program staff in use of market facilitation techniques;
  • Find, organize and share market facilitation resources with program staff;
  • Challenge program staff to think critically about strategy decisions and reflect on what they are observing.
2. Monitoring and Evaluation:
  • Create a dynamic program environment that promotes inquiry;
  • Develop tools to simplify data gathering and reporting and ensure teams gather and report necessary data, including maintaining Podio entries for mapping progress with partners;
  • Provide support to program staff in monitoring and evaluating the progress and impact of work including setting and measuring benchmarks along results chains;
  • Responsible for the development and maintain a central database to track all IPTT-required project information, and provide to Chief of Party, on request
  • Prepare data analyses to be used in quarterly strategic reviews, annual reports, and a midterm evaluation.
3. Research:
  • Carry out research projects on specific subjects critical to team success and recommend hiring of external support, where necessary;
  • Where needed, support external evaluations by research partner Feinstein International Center and other organizations;
4. Communication and Publication:
  • Significantly contribute data, analysis and write-ups to regular organizational publications and reports;
  • Work in liaison with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Communication Manager to develop publishable communication material about GHG;
  • Author occasional papers for wider distribution;
5. Other:
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal candidate should preferably hold a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline (Economics, Development Studies, Statistics )
  • A minimum of three years of related professional experience
  • Demonstrable quantitative skills, including familiarity with database management and analysis
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Demonstrated skills in networking, assessing information needs and developing appropriate tools
  • Excellent reporting, communication and representation skills
  • Knowledge of Uganda’s economy and business environment, particularly in the context of rural development and Karamoja.
  • A sense of humor on par with one’s level of curiosity.
How to Apply:
All suitably qualified and interested candidates should send their E-mail applications including a cover letter clearly stating the salary requirements, updated CV (with three professional referees), and copies of academic qualifications/certificates addressed to the Senior HR and Legal Manager, Mercy Corps Uganda to: 

Deadline:  15th December 2016

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