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.
Program / Department Summary
The $41 million USAID Food for Peace Activity (Apolou) and the $5 million USAID Resilience Challenge Fund (RCF) Activity support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoralist households living across the districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong, Karenga, and Moroto in Karamoja.
Apolou is implemented by a consortium of actors led by Mercy Corps, including Save the Children, Whave Solutions, four local partners (KAPDA, AIDI, NARWOA and Riam Riam), TUNADO, FIDA Uganda, Strong Minds and Tufts University’s Feinstein International Centre (FIC). Apolou’s goal is to “improve the overall food and nutrition security of vulnerable households in Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Amudat districts within the Karamoja region,” and has major 4 objectives as follows:
- Inclusive and effective governance contributes to food and nutrition security
- Adolescent girls, Pregnant and Lactating Women, and Children under 5 are nutritionally secure
- Reduced incidences of WASH related diseases
- Improved livelihoods and income support household food security
The RCF program works in the districts of Kaabong and Amudat, with the goal to “Improve the veterinary governance and increase public and private investment in disease prevention, surveillance, control and response systems to strengthen productive assets for improved resilience in Karamoja.” RCF has the following objectives:
- Increased domestic resource allocation into animal health services in Karamoja
- Central and local government develop animal health services capacity-strengthening plan for the Karamoja region
- Disease control plan for economically prioritized diseases (PPR and FMD) developed and implemented
- Private sector animal health development strategy developed and rolled out
General Position Summary
The primary focus of the Program Assistant will be to respond to the needs of communities through the integrated set of activities under Apolou. The Program Assistant will focus on mobilizing the different groups / platforms within their community, and determine the capacity building needs of the group leaders. The Program Assistant will also mobilize the surrounding government and private sector systemic structures and similarly identify capacity building needs of these structures. The Program Assistant will adopt an “adaptive” management approach to understand the needs of the groups within the community and the external support structures, and working with the District Implementation Team, connect with the Technical Team to determine appropriate capacity building measures to sustainably strengthen the capacity and commitment of community leaders and extension agents. The Program Assistant will work closely with the Technical Team to best determine layering of activities within a community, based on need and availability of resources. This will provide an opportunity for staff growth in various technical areas but also benefit the participants in that they receive a cross sector of interventions/services delivered at the same time through community dialogues. The role of Program Assistant will be to identify community needs for capacity building, seek for technical support through Program Officer and the Technical Team, to train, oversee, support and work with other Governance structures both formal (VHTs, WUCs, ALCs etc.) and informal (Traditional Authorities i.e. elders, kraal leaders etc.) in community engagement meetings/dialogue processes. The Program Assistant will collaborate with the wider Implementation team to ensure that activities are sequenced, layered and integrated for comprehensive service delivery. The Program Assistant will closely work with staff from local partners in the APOLOU Activity to strengthen integration. The Program Assistant will be supported by the Program Officer and District HoO, the broader implementation team, and the Technical Team. Program Assistants will work closely with MEL teams to ensure that data capture into CommCare takes place.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Sensitize community leadership on different Apolou thematic areas i.e. Governance, MCHN, WASH, Gender, SBCC, Adolescents and Livelihoods.
- Conduct participant identification exercises for the different activities in the community.
- Mobilize participants for planned activities in respective locations for technical teams to work with.
- Organize and supervise community trainings in line with the approved work plan and budget based on Multi Sectoral approach.
- Lead and/or support community respective community members to lead community dialogues based of the different technical areas.
- Coordinate with all sectors in Apolou to ensure complementary approaches, monitor implementation of project activities and document learnings and success stories.
- Collaborate with fellow facilitation Assistants to ensure team success, including but not limited to logistics coordination, temporary support during leave, etc., as advised by facilitation Officers.
- Other duties as assigned
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Responsible for data gathering, data validation, quality control and timely data submission including gender and age disaggregated data.
- Support and mentor community structures i.e.VHTs and PDCs on data collection and use.
- Troubleshoot monitoring and evaluation challenges for proactive problem solving with support of team leader and M&E team.
- Utilize qualitative and quantitative data to inform program implementation.
- Actively documenting best practices and lessons learned to share with team during routine monitoring, coordination meetings and other learning opportunities.
- Regularly update Activity Tracker.
Influence and Representation
- Promote Apolou Activity visibility at both Community and Sub County level.
- Ensure establishment and maintenance of relationships with communities, village councils and local government in Apolou target areas.
- Coordination of field activities with other NGO and local government partners to avoid duplication of services and support an enabling environment for health promotion.
- When needed, support visits from district and sub-county government, regional and HQ based staff and external visitors, such as donors and media, in collaboration with facilitation officers, District HoO on Manager and Director.
- Support Apolou activities with key stakeholders, ensuring collaboration with counterparts in partner organization in relevant meetings, internal and external.
- Establish partnerships to leverage resources
Ethics and Integrity
- All Mercy Corps staff are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination.
- Ensure data protection policies are adhered to, establishing security controls for software, hardware and archive beneficiary databases.
- 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.
There is no staff supervision assigned to this role.
Reports Directly to: Program Officer
Works Directly with: Technical, MEL, Gender and Partnerships and Compliance teams; partners; and other Mercy Corps program, finance and operations staff
Knowledge and Experience
- Advanced Training Certificate or Diploma
- 1-2 years’ experience in conducting community mobilization, training, and networking
- Experience in capacity building with communities in Karamoja
- Experience and skills in working with other NGOs, government partners, and local community-based organizations.
- Fluency in local languages prevalent within the operational district where assigned (highly desired)
- Computer literacy
The successful candidate will be energetic, able to work long hours outside of the office. The successful candidate will also have strong attention to detail, the ability to communicate well with community representatives and be committed to maintaining a compliant workplace, free of fraud and corruption.