Monday, 6 February 2012

Mercy Corps - Deputy Chief of Party (Yes Youth Can) Job in Kenya

Mercy Corps has recently been awarded a 3-year program under USAID’s Yes Youth Can initiative, covering six regions in Kenya; Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Central, Nairobi and Coast.

The core of this program is a Youth Innovate for Change Fund (YICF), which will be a youth-owned, youth-led and youth-managed financial facility to support local solutions for community economic development as it grows in value.

This program aims to appropriately empower Kenyan youth (15-35yrs) to strengthen their socio-economic and political stakes through youth-led and managed initiatives and institutions.

The YICF will in the first three years provide sustainable financial and skills development assistance to approximately 200,000 youth through a variety of youth-identified social and economic community development projects.

Program/ Department Summary:

The Yes Youth Can initiative is an upcoming USAID program that focuses on building youth-owned, youth-led and youth-managed institutional arrangements and capabilities at both national and county levels.

The Yes Youth Can Program has five objectives:

(1) increase economic prospects for youth through skills development and access to finance to create: economically viable microenterprises; self-reliant community level economic development projects, and; employment opportunities

(2) improve youth voice in local, regional, and national policy dialogue through enhanced advocacy capabilities and inter-ethnic dialogue

(3) expand youth access to essential services that are more youth-friendly

(4) establish new institutional arrangements that can leverage public and private resources through youth-managed organizations; and

(5) create a new approach to empower youth through youth-owned, youth-led and youth-managed actions.

Mercy Corps Kenya has been responding to the violence in Kenya following disputed presidential elections in December 2007 through the Local Empowerment for Peace (LEAP) program in Rift Valley province.

LEAP is working with communities especially affected by the violence to build the capacity local level Peace Committees and stimulate dialogue on the underlying causes of conflict.

The project has a strong Youth focus through cash-fork programming for at-risk beneficiaries and longer-term income generation activities for youth-led microenterprises.

The sister program, LEAP Sport is supporting more than 3,000 inter-ethnic sports teams with training in teamwork, cooperation, reconciliation, and non-violent conflict resolution.

General Position Summary:

The Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) – “Yes Youth Can” will work under the direction of the Chief of Party (CoP) and provide oversight of all Yes Youth Can activities. The DCoP is responsible for ensuring compliance with all donor regulations as well as Mercy Corps policies and procedures. S/he will be responsible

The DCOP of Yes Youth Can will directly manage project staff and will work closely with them to ensure high quality and the timely implementation of activities.

The level of oversight will require traveling to field sites, representation, and coordination with project partners and external stakeholders, such as local and international NGOs, CBOs, business groups, and local and central government authorities.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Lead program operations, compliance and reporting to the donor on all components related to the project;
  • Work with the CoP and Program Managers to develop future strategy for the program and ensure that it continues to meet USAID requirements and standards.
  • Engage in donor and government communication as necessary
  • Oversee and monitor program spending in appropriate program areas on a monthly basis; ensure that the program spends within budget at all times, and report any anomalies in a timely manner;
  • Ensure that project performance is evaluated effectively, including coordinating internal and external performance review;
  • Communicate any security concerns and relay security regulations to staff;
  • Management and mentorship of local program staff and other partners, gradually transferring skills and capacities;
  • Representation and coordination with donor, local governance institutions, local partners, private sector, and other project stakeholders;
  • Regular reporting to the Chief of Party and donor on program progress, ensuring that required deliverables are met in a timely fashion;
  • Provide cover for the CoP, in his/her absence
  • Engage and develop joint initiatives with government, community leaders, NGOs, private sector and other stakeholders, providing heightened exposure and maximizing impact of the project;
  • Oversee project logistics management, ensuring required program/project supplies reach the field and are purchased in accordance with donor and Mercy Corps policy
  • Work with project staff on an ongoing basis to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation and joint monitoring and evaluation of program activities and achievements towards project goals.
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 towards 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: Overall supervision of the finance and operations staff on the program team including expatriate and national staff; and local and international sub-grantees.


Reports Directly To: Yes Youth Can Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Chief of Party, Yes Youth Can CoP Rift Valley and Central Province (program I), Operations/Finance Staff

Knowledge and Experience:
  • MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field.
  • 5 to 7 years experience in international development;
  • Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing and editing.
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluation
  • Proven program leadership, management, project planning, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host government, NGOs, contractors and other partners;
  • Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, enlist partnerships, and work with a range of program and external stakeholders;
  • Experience managing youth, conflict/reconciliation, job skills/employment and/or civic education programs preferred
Success Factors:
  • Innovative, decisive and inclusive leadership approach
  • Creative and insightful as regards programming for youth and reconciliation
  • Excellent communication and team-building techniques
  • Proven experience managing and building capacity of diverse teams (expatriate and national)
  • Cultural knowledge, sensitivity and respect
  • Commitment to oversee project for its duration
Living /Environmental Conditions:

The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi is an accompanied post for spouse and children. Nairobi is a major metropolitan center with world class healthcare and excellent education options.

Mercy Corps provides expatriate staff with a housing allowance that covers rent, utilities, and security for comfortable accommodations in safe areas of the city.

Telephone and internet access is available and there are dozens of excellent restaurants along with easy transport links to the rest of Africa and Europe.

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.

Staff 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.

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience
Should submit on or before 20th February, 2012 at 4.00 p.m. a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to

Applicants must clearly indicate on the email subject;
“Application for the position of Deputy Chief of Party”

Applications without this subject heading will be disqualified.

Please do not attach any certificates.

(ONLY Qualified short-listed candidates will be contacted)



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