Temporary SCALE Capacity Strengthening Coordinator - Technical Support Unit

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: United States of America
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 23 Feb 2021

This is a short-term assignment with a duration of seven months.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department / Team Summary

The Strengthening Capacity in Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment (SCALE) program is a five year Associated Award funded by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) through the Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) program led by Save the Children US. SCALE is designed to further improve the impact, sustainability, and scalability of BHA’s programming in agriculture, natural resource management, and alternative livelihoods in emergency and development settings. Specifically, the program focuses on sustainable and climate sensitive approaches that foster resilient agricultural systems, and enhance income opportunities within or outside agricultural systems. This program is managed through Mercy Corps’ Agriculture Technical Support Unit (TSU) and is in its fourth year.

The Position

The SCALE Capacity Strengthening Coordinator (“the Coordinator”) will support SCALE in temporarily filling the role of Agriculture Advisor - Capacity Strengthening while on family leave. The Coordinator will work closely with the SCALE Program Director to roll out key activities and products in line with SCALE’s capacity strengthening, learning and knowledge sharing strategy. Key responsibilities will include documenting and sharing resources, tools and best practices across the BHA implementer community; facilitating regionally based communities of practice; and advancing remote and e-learning training activities. In addition, the Coordinator will convene knowledge sharing events, and support efficient coordination and communication with BHA and implementing partners, associate awards, Mercy Corps technical teams and other external stakeholders

Essential Responsibilities


  • Support roll-out and capturing of learning from SCALE’s remote permagarden training with BHA implementing partners in Madagascar, planned for late April. Coordinate post-training mentorship program.
  • Coordinate with relevant consultants and partners to support the development of the Make Me a Change Agent social and behavior change e-learning course for agriculture staff, and the Permagarden e-learning course.
  • Implement activities to assess and document the impact of capacity strengthening interventions, and to inform adaptations of approaches accordingly
  • Contribute to report writing for multiple stakeholders including USAID and implementing partners
  • Collate training technical resources, and identify relevant networks and partners working on capacity strengthening-related initiatives of interest to BHA programs
  • Support other capacity strengthening-related initiatives, in consultation with the SCALE Program Director and in response to implementing partners’ needs


  • Identify and produce 1-2 case studies or learning briefs documenting best practices and lessons learned in implementing agriculture and NRM activities within BHA food security programs. Topics will be determined in collaboration with SCALE Director and implementing partners, and may relate to agricultural markets, cascade training models, behavior change methodologies, and/or assessment approaches in fragile/emergency contexts, amongst others.
  • Lead at least one learning event and/or roundtable discussion, focused on one or two of the priority topic areas listed above.
  • Support the piloting and refinement of SCALE-produced tools and guidance materials by coordinating feedback and incorporating results, with a focus on resilient agriculture- and alternative livelihoods-related tools and guidance materials.
  • Facilitate SCALE’s West Africa (francophone) and East Africa-based communities of practice by crowdsourcing technical topics of interest, co-facilitating meetings on a bi-monthly basis, and capturing key discussion points/challenges to inform SCALE’s work moving forward.
  • Identify relevant research studies and findings from academia and other external stakeholders. Disseminate key findings to the FSN communities and help to incorporate those results, best practices, and learnings into SCALE’s work.


  • Contribute to activities to assess and document the impact of knowledge sharing and learning and interventions, including helping to gather backup documents from events and training


  • Ensure compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps regulations.
  • Contribute to the maintenance of systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.


  • Identify, build and manage strategic partnerships with partner networks and stakeholders, with a focus on local partners within BHA implementing countries.
  • Represent SCALE and Mercy Corps with different stakeholders, in relevant practitioner and learning networks and at key events, as well as through conference presentations, and online fora.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: SCALE Program Director

Works Directly With: SCALE Agriculture Advisor - Capacity Strengthening and other SCALE part-time staff, Agriculture and other relevant TSU, Save the Children PRO-WASH associate award staff, IDEAL staff and other BHA-funded mechanisms such as IMPEL and PCS.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in agriculture, food security or related field.
  • 5 years of relevant work experience.
  • French fluency preferred
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience supporting capacity strengthening and learning activities for international development or emergency projects, preferably complementary to food security programs.
  • Background in any of the following: natural resource management, behavioral change methodologies, capacity strengthening or adult learning approaches in emergency or development settings, preferably within food security programs.
  • Experience developing knowledge sharing opportunities, learning tools and/or technical briefs and facilitating learning events including in online fora.
  • Demonstrated ability coordinating with multiple stakeholders, consultants and networks to build learning opportunities and resources.

Success Factors

The successful applicant will balance technical expertise in food security-related fields with implementation of knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening activities. Strong understanding of knowledge management systems as well as practical implementation of programs to ensure knowledge sharing, learning and uptake is grounded in practical reality is essential. The successful applicant will have the drive and confidence to innovate, and a true ambition to build knowledge as a means to improve program quality. Strong networking, coordination, organization and communication skills are essential to the success of this role. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is remotely based and may include travel to USAID/BHA implementation countries, which may include program areas of sometimes high security risk.Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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 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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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