Gender,youth and Social Dynamics Lead at Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian aid agency engaged in transitional environments that have experienced some sort of shock: natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict
Program / Department Summary
USAID’s Office of Food For Peace (FFP) awarded a Mercy Corps-led consortium of Kenyan and international partners with a five-year Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in Turkana and Samburu Counties. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation with government, civil society, communities, and the private sector, this program aims to drive sustained reductions in acute malnutrition in both counties.
General Position Summary
The Gender Youth & Social Dynamics (GYSD) Lead will be responsible for providing leadership and technical oversight to ensure the gender and social dimensions (inclusive of such issues as age, ethnicity, and relationships) of malnutrition, food security, and resilience are effectively integrated across all programming. S/he will help define implementation strategies in coordination with the Deputy Chief of Party, technical, research and learning leads. The position will train and influence staff, providing them with the necessary technical support and ensuring that common strategies and approaches are adapted and implemented with consistent quality. S/he will work across sectors of NAWIRI, with consortium team members as well as counties to build capacity in gender mainstreaming and youth sensitive programming in ways that contribute to the quality design and implementation of gender transformative and youth responsive initiatives. The GYSD will be responsible for coordinating assessments, providing capacity building to county government, ensuring contextually appropriate social dynamics are incorporated into county policies, and making the appropriate connections between Research, Learning and M&E to ensure gender responsive results can be tracked, analyzed and reported.
Through research and learning activities, that are designed and executed in close collaboration with county government, civil society, private sector, and communities themselves, there is an inherent need to understand the opportunities and challenges that are unique to women, youth and adolescents in Turkana/Samburu so that programming can be adapted. The GYSD Lead provides the means to fill critical gaps in our understanding of the complex causality of persistent acute malnutrition as it relates to the varied needs of women, men, girls, and boys. To ensure the gender and social dimensions of food security and resilience are effectively addressed across all activities and components, the GYSD Lead will work with the team and coordinate closely with partners to fulfill gender and youth goals of the program.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Vision And Strategy
- Support the Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) to create a strong vision for NAWIRI’s approach when it comes to the integration of gender, youth and social dynamics.
- Develop and help operationalize NAWIRI’s Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics Strategy to guide effective integration of GYSD in key sectors such as nutrition, health, water systems, and governance – throughout the program’s cycle.
- Forge strong, institutional linkages and maintain a productive working relationship with USAID, Government of Kenya, the NAWIRI consortium, PREG Partners, and other relevant partners in the youth & gender field; develop relationships and linkages with organizations implementing other donor-funded programs focused on GYSD in Kenya
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed; promote and model a culture of learning and adaptive management.
- Ensure that cross-cutting aspects of gender equality, social inclusion, and youth responsiveness are included and well integrated into NAWIRI approach and activities.
- Contribute technical expertise that feeds into a dynamic community of practice of NAWIRI staff and partners; sharing best practices across all NAWIRI areas and work streams, while seeking opportunities to build NAWIRI staff’s motivation and capabilities in GYSD.
- Collaborate with different program components including Research, Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Learning to drive overall effectiveness and coherence of program strategy.
- Represent NAWIRI at all relevant GYSD related meetings/workshops and other stakeholder meetings as requested.
- Lead the execution of the NAWIRI Gender Analysis. Support with data collection, analysis and development of recommendations. Work closely with the NAWIRI team on the Gender Analysis, while mainstreaming youth vulnerability analysis, to ensure early level engagement and subsequent integration of findings into the project’s work-plan.
- Conduct a GBV risk analysis and ensure that recommendations for mitigation are integrated in the GYSD strategy and the project’s work-plan. Ensure that all staff and partners are trained on safeguarding and understand their roles in protecting program participants from sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Support NAWIRI team, including partners, on GYSD integration including conducting capacity building activities such as training, learning-by-doing, reflection process and field monitoring support.
- Contribute to research conducted in the program to ensure that relevant issues on GYSD are well represented and applied across all sectors.
- Monitor the implementation of the NAWIRI’s GYSD strategy and other gender related commitments in the project’s design and ensure that the project activities align with USAID’s gender equity and female empowerment policy.
- Ensure the integration of Positive Youth Development principles within NAWIRI.
- Work with field teams to conduct regular community consultations to ensure programming remains gender and age responsive and on-track. Support field teams with ensuring that gender diversity principles inform processes of community consultations.
- Provide leadership and technical support to local partners in developing effective gender and youth-focused project action plans that are in line with NAWIRI’s GYSD strategy.
- Assist partner staff to communicate information from the field to the appropriate decision-making forum on the gender integration in activities undertaken in all components, processes and impacts.
- Develop and lead the integration of social dynamics into all capacity-building efforts in support of Samburu and Turkana county governments.
- Share learning and best practices on gender, youth and social inclusion among Mercy Corps’ global DFSA teams.
- Identify relevant training and learning opportunities for Mercy Corps and partner staff to advance knowledge and skills in gender mainstreaming and youth responsive programming; manage a gender and youth capacity building in alignment with NAWIRI Learning Agenda.
Management & Coordination
- Supervise and mentor Gender and Youth Officers involved in NAWIRI through technical visits, mentorship and coaching sessions.
- Ensure that program and country staff understand and adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Minimum Standards.
- Liaise with key external stakeholders to provide guidance on gender and youth perspectives in all aspects of NAWIRI program activities.
- Ensure that NAWIRI and partners are in compliance with gender and youth related USAID/FFP requirements.
- Support programming team to integrate gender and youth into programming and assist in gender responsive participatory planning, resource allocation and support implementation.
Information Management & Reporting
- Work closely with the M&E team on GYSD integration and provide technical backstopping in the collection and use of sex and age disaggregated data, gender indicators and gender sensitive data collection processes across sectors. Make recommendations based on regular monitoring to inform program strategies to better meet the needs of the program participants.
- Ensure NAWIRI is capturing required level of gender and youth disaggregated data and specific success stories on gender transformation and youth empowerment.
- Lead preparation of reports, issues-papers and case studies on gender and youth perspectives to promote gender and youth integration. Support the review of program reports and documents for gender and youth sensitive communication.
- Support in the setting of indicators for assessing progress with gender and youth integration, adapted to specific contexts of Samburu and Turkana.
- Work with Strategic Learning Lead to disseminate information regarding gender and youth achievements and impact.
- Represent the program’s gender strategy with external stakeholders at workshops, conferences and annual learning events. Speak thoughtfully to the analysis, research and learning that NAWIRI is conducting.
- Work closely with Human Resources team to ensure accountability for gender mainstreaming is incorporated into the position descriptions of all program team members. Monitor the gender, diversity and inclusion focus of the program to ensure internal accountability.
- In coordination with the Learning team, manage the institutional knowledge within the NAWIRI program and contribute to wider knowledge management.
- Lead reporting, planning and budgeting of gender, youth and social dynamics activities under the guidance of the DCoP.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to promote and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members. Ensure that gender specific needs and interests of program staff in relation to safety and security are identified and responded to appropriately.
- 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.
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. Knowledge and Experience
- Master’s degree in a relevant academic area – e.g., a social science discipline.
- Minimum of five years of experience at the community level is required.
- Minimum of five years of progressive management and technical responsibility, including supervising and mentoring multi-sectorial teams, for humanitarian and development assistance, preferably with an international NGO; preferred experience in gender mainstreaming, youth workforce development, youth entrepreneurship, or youth peacebuilding; USAID experience preferred.
- Must have experience in leading the Gender Strategy of a large program and have demonstrated technical experience leading gender responsive interventions and youth integration into food security programming.
- Experience in Kenya and an in-depth understanding of gender, age, and other locally significant socio-cultural factors in the context of food security programming preferred.
- Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis, and utilization of information from a broad range of sources.
- Experience working with major donors, USAID/FFP preferred.
- In-depth understanding of gender, age and other locally significant socio-cultural factors in food security context, and demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis and utilization of information from a broad range of sources in order to ensure effective integration of innovative and context specific gender and youth concepts.
- Demonstrated ability to foster commitment and build capacity among activity staff and in-country stakeholders (including government) to gender and youth integration and empowerment.
- Demonstrated capacity to understand and advise on critical technical and operational issues related to gender transformative and youth responsive programming: education, job skills, employment creation, social cohesion, health, psycho-social wellbeing.
- Ability to self-manage and succeed in an integrated management model, with demonstrated proactive and flexible nature in resolving problems and finding innovative solutions.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members. Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with groups to produce high quality results.
- Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support private sector, government and civil society.
- Ability to work in a fluid and sometimes-stressful environment with unexpected challenges.
- Skills in participatory learning and action and facilitating collaborative problem solving.
- Demonstrated ability to foster commitment and build capacity among program staff and in-country actors to ensure gender and youth integration and empowerment.
- Excellent written and persuasive oral communication skills in English required.
- Ability to travel for field missions for 30-50% level of effort as needed.
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