VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: RESEARCH AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT OFFICER
ABOUT MERCY CORPS: Mercy Corps is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Portland, Oregon in the United States of America doing humanitarian, relief and development work globally.
Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided more than US$1.95 billion in assistance to people in 107 nations.
Supported by headquarters offices in North America and Europe, the agency’s unified global programs employ 3,700 staff worldwide and reach nearly 16.7 million people in more than 40 countries.
GENERAL PROGRAM SUMMARY: Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Program seeks to address the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers who lack access to affordable, accessible, demand-driven products and services that drive higher productivity and income for farm families.
The AgriFin program utilizes a market ecosystem approach, working with carefully selected partners to build sustainable models, where farm and crop management tools and financial services are “bundled” in affordable, unified platforms leveraging digital channels to promote mass uptake commercially.
The program involves three interrelated components that seek to address low farmer productivity and capability, and improve institutional ability to deliver appropriate products and build ecosystems to drive scale.
We work with farmers, banks, mobile network operators, MFIs, research institutes and other ecosystem players in well-defined partnerships to sustainably bundle services, leveraging the offer and outreach of all partners, while increasing the range of services, access points and value for farmers.
The program works with partners to identify, prototype, test and scale successful digitally-enabled services for smallholders, with a key focus on expanding access to financial services, using a rapid iteration approach to product development and client-centric design techniques.
Our project goal is for smallholder farmers to gain full access to impactful, demand-driven, technology-enabled financial products, tools, channels and knowledge that significantly increase farm productivity and family income, delivered by vibrant ecosystems of diverse service providers. Program operations are taking place five countries anchored around a central “Hub” office in Kenya, expanding to serve Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, with potential to expand to other Mercy Corps countries, globally.
The AgriFin program operates in five African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia and Nigeria) utilizing a market ecosystem approach, working with carefully selected partners to build sustainable models, where farm and crop management tools and financial services are “bundled” in affordable, unified platforms on mobile phone channels to promote mass uptake commercially, with the goal of bringing services to one million smallholder farmers.
We are presently looking for a committed and dynamic individual to take up the position of a RESEARCH AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT OFFICER.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY: The Research and Impact Assessment officer, will contribute in shaping and overseeing research and analysis, synthesize insights and present findings to stakeholders. As a team member, the position will also actively contribute to and shape AgriFin independent research objectives, operations and strategy in pursuit of measuring impact.
The primary responsibility will be to manage research projects, with minimum supervision, from the beginning to the end, ensuring that they conform to the program objectives, and are executed efficiently. This includes building a strong day to day working relationship with program partners and the team, actively contributing in meetings and presentations.
The position requires one to continually build their technical expertise as a researcher and in Monitoring and evaluation, applying it to the work done for the program and partners.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Research Design & Project Management:
- Support in research design, monitoring and evaluation activities that inform and improve each intervention.
- Manage research firms and consultants, ensuring high levels of coordination and integration into overall programming, as well as appropriate support for partners to deliver research projects and assignments on time & on budget.
- Support in the design and implementation of evaluations and assessments as outlined in the program proposal, drawing on appropriate research and survey tools and incorporating Mercy corps standards.
- Coordinate data extraction with partners, following principles of LEAN data, working under pre-agreed data collection frameworks which minimize new data collection from partners.
- Establish sound data collection, cleaning, managing, analysis and reporting strategies on required performance indicators
- Perform data analysis to capture behavioral, product performance and market insights, tied to AFA’s learning agenda and individual partner engagement research plans as necessary.
- Engage in relevant field research in support of data and information gathering.
- Act as the custodian of research data, ensuring adequate data protection procedures are maintained during data acquisition and adherence to mercy corps and global standards ensuring compliance and security procedures are maintained.
- Support in distilling insights and learning to ensure ecosystem impact, learning from implementation of successful models and program failures.
- Track and finalize contractual agreements, includes defining scopes of work and drafting service completions.
- Generate operations and finance requisitions for approval and payment/reimbursements.
- Interface with Finance, prepare cash flow projections and resolving deficits.
- Support in developing work plans and review of budget allocations on an ongoing basis in consultation with the director.
Influence & Representation:
- Work together with AFA Director for Research and Impact Assessment, to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Participate in a community of practice in developing insights and in conducting research activities that are the forefront of development thinking linking to industry leaders.
- Liaise with Mercy corps HQ M&E and research staff
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: Short-term individual consultants and firms.
Reports directly to: Director, Research and Impact Assessment
Works directly with: Program Director, Deputy Program Director, Director Research and Impact Assessment, Strategic learning Lead, AgriFin Technical Team, Country Program Managers, Finance and operations staff.
KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Research Design and Methodology, Agricultural Economics, Statistics, or a related field (A Master’s degree in either of the fields would be an added advantage)
- At least 5 years’ experience in similar roles designing, managing and implementing results-based research activities, preferably a research agency or management consultancy.
- Experience working in the digital financial services, technology, and agriculture space is advantageous.
- Experience analyzing and presenting quantitative and qualitative data
- Strong computer software skills with proficiency in relevant systems for data analysis, such as Excel, SPSS, STRATA and R programming and other data management systems
- Experience providing technical assistance and delivering trainings
- Experience working with commercial partners in agriculture and financial services
- Well organized and can manage multiple projects at the same time.
- Experience in working with diversified teams
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to work constructively in teams
- Allowed to work in Kenya, with experience in Tanzania and/or Zambia preferred.
- The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the three diverse countries which AgriFin Accelerate operates.
- S/he will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations.
- S/he will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures demonstrating cultural sensitivity with diverse stakeholders.
- S/he will be a team-player with a positive attitude toward problem solving and conflict resolution. Commitment to learning, open communications, impeccable professional standards of ethics and ability to manage successful partner relationships are essential.
- The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and open collaboration; be a strategic thinker and maintain a sense of humor.
How to Apply
Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae (CV) listing three professional referees (including a recent supervisor) to email@example.com on or before Friday 13th March by 4.00pm.
The email subject line must clearly show the job title.
Applications without the right subject heading will be automatically disqualified.
Please do not attach any certificates.
(Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We will only get in touch with shortlisted candidates)
NB: Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate Program does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process