Mercy Corps Jobs in Nigeria, August 2016

Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the North East of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps has decided to address the rising humanitarian needs among displaced households and vulnerable host communities by starting its humanitarian program in July 2014. The Human resources function is discharged by the operation support. The Operations department functions to ensure effective systems that support strategy for healthy, robust and integrated functions of local team members.

Mercy Corps is recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Project Officer (Guidance and Counseling) – Girls Opportunities for Advancing Literacy 2 (GOAL 2)
Location: Kano State – Nigeria
Job Description

  • We are looking for a motivated individual, who is enthusiastic about the work we do and is looking to work within a dynamic team.
  • Girls’ Opportunities for Advancing Literacy 2 (GOAL 2) focus on institutionalizing and scaling the successes from GOAL 1, to ensure that Adolescent girls (15-19) across Kano state are better equipped for the school-to-work transition as a result of improved financial literacy, vocational choices and life skills. GOAL 1 successfully identified methods to improve girls’ confidence and knowledge around employment and financial literacy with 1,800 girls in 13 schools. Girls who received counselling and training on financial literacy and work force preparedness improved their confidence in education and entering the workforce. They were also better able to articulate their life goals and manage their money.
  • GOAL 2 will scale key activities from phase one across Kano state, with potential to reach up to 253,712 girls in 969 government junior and senior secondary schools. Activities will focus on embedding quality financial literacy education and counselling within key local institutions including the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), the Kano State Secondary School Management Board (KSSSMB) and the Kano Educational Resource Department (KERD). Mercy Corps’ implementation will take advantage of two key opportunities:

1.) Institutionalizing financial literacy education in Kano offers an opportunity to improve financial independence among girls throughout Nigeria’s most populous state. Achievements with financial literacy in GOAL 1, such as dramatically boosting girls’ savings and improving their financial literacy, means that Kano can take this proven model to scale. In addition, a window of opportunity exists to bring the experiences from Kano to the national stage through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the National Financial Inclusion Strategy is operationalized.

2.) High quality guidance counselling offers girls sound, targeted advice as they navigate the transition to adulthood. As we’ve seen through the “safe space” model tested in GOAL 1 (and elsewhere), trusted adult advisors can improve adolescent girls’ economic, financial and social assets, and expand opportunities for a healthy life.

General Position Summary

  • The Senior Project Officer (Guidance and Counselling) will support the implementation of activities that provide high quality guidance and counseling for marginalized girls in Kano state secondary education.
  • This position will ensure that Ministry of Education  and its agencies in Kano recognizes and systematically supports professional guidance counselling services as valuable resources for girls in schools.

Essential Job Functions

  • Support technical aspect of the project in delivery of quality guidance and counseling services for girls in schools through the support of professional guidance and counselors
  • Advocate to the government of Kano state through the ministry of education to roll out guidance and counseling resources developed by Mercy Corps for schools counselors
  • Identify relevant resources within government, donor organizations, education institutions that support quality guidance and counseling in schools
  • Facilitate relationship and coordination with government to ensure that project activities are geared toward institutionalization and sustainability
  • Coordinate links with government coordinators of guidance and counselors, project staff to ensure the implementation of activities on time, target and budget
  • Support government coordinators of guidance and counselors to conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) and capacity strengthening trainings to address the needs of school counselors
  • In collaboration with M&E staff, implement relevant need assessments, data and information collection for on-going project monitoring
  • Support in setting up and strengthening government management information system, communication and knowledge management


  • Represent the project at government relevant meetings in the field, in close coordination with the Project Manager
  • Collaborate and build relationships with government, NGOs to complement donor funding


  • Reports Directly To: Project Manager
  • Works Directly with: Coordinators of Guidance and Counseling in the state ministry of education and its agencies, project staff and Mercy Corps gender programs team in the field and at HQ.

Success Factors

  • The successful applicant will combine exceptional management skills and technical skills with a focus on successful engagement and support to educational institutions in a culturally and religiously conservative environment.
  • S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative and complex programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.
  • 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.
  • This position will be based in Kano, where security may be particularly difficult at times.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Have BA/BSc or equivalent in Education, Management, Social Sciences, Development Studies or other relevant field. A relevant second degree desired.
  • 2-3 years’ experience with guidance counseling and/or mentoring required. Experience delivering counseling services to marginalized girls and/or training guidance counselors desired.
  • Experience managing secondary education or school to work and especially targeting marginalized girls or young women programs required. Strong written and oral communication skills in English required, including report development, writing and editing. Hausa language skills strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and coordination skills and a demonstrated ability to multi-task.
  • Experience in Northern Nigeria strongly essential.
  • Experience designing, organizing and/or delivering trainings, ideally within the public education sector.
  • A minimum of 4 years of experience in programme design and implementation, education, guidance and counseling, gender- focused, skills building program.
  • Demonstrated experience working with government ministries and officials, Ministry of Education and its agencies experience preferred.
  • Experience in project sustainability and institutional capacity strengthening

Job Title: Safety and Security Manager
Reports directly to: Country Director
General Position Summary

  • The Safety & Security Manager (SSM) is responsible for managing all safety & security systems in country, but with a majority focus on the humanitarian response in Northeast Nigeria.
  • The SSM will work closely with the Country Director and Senior Management Team (SMT) in developing and implementing procedures and policies specific to each situation including security management plans.
  • The SSM will provide support and advice to the Country Director, relevant program directors, including the Director of Humanitarian Programs, on safety and security issues and is a member of the Senior Management Team and Security Management Team.
  • The SSM will provide training, mentoring, support and guidance to security focal points (SFPs) appointed in each field office and Security Officer (SO) for humanitarian team based in Gombe/Biu. g.
  • Moreover, the SSM will provide (or arrange for) necessary training of all Mercy Corps staff and partners, as needed.
  • He/she is expected to assist program teams in incorporating security planning and awareness into program planning. It is expected that SSM will provide extensive support with frequent dialogue and field visits.
  • Reporting instruments and tactical guidance will be standard with the Nigeria team. In addition, the SSM will work closely with the Global Director of Field Security and Regional Security Adviser.
  • The SSM will also coordinate with the Nigeria Security forums including UNDSS, other INGOs, embassies, etc. This engagement will be of particular importance as the UN scales up its humanitarian response/security infrastructure.

Essential Job Functions
Security information & analysis: 

  • Work with SFPs, SO, Heads of Office and the SMT to monitor the security environment in the designated areas of Nigeria, with particular focus on the Northeast.
  • Prepare analytical reports, based on information from internal and external sources, to support policy and procedure reviews as well as to mitigate risks to programming.
  • Prepare weekly security brief and share with all relevant staff, including program managers, SFPs and security management team.
  • Be readily available at all times to the Country Director and field staff to advise on security developments.

Security system management: 

  • Develop, review and ensure effective implementation of the MC Nigeria Security Management Plans including a security plan in assigned offices, together with key actors.
  • Develop, review and ensure the effective implementation of hibernation and evacuation SOPs.
  • Actively participate in SMT meetings and support members in sharpening their skills in risk and vulnerability assessments, evaluating information and developing security protocols and strategies that work for the team and allow to progress safely and with the lowest risk possible.
  • Conduct security assessments in all offices and international staff residences, with recommendations to the Country Director for any necessary improvements.
  • Ensure adequate supply of necessary safety and security-related equipment at all offices and international staff residences.
  • Ensure that relevant staff members understand and are able to use this equipment, including radios, satellite phones, fire extinguishers, etc.
  • Conduct comprehensive security/risk assessment in potential new program/field sites, as necessary.
  • Implement and ensure effective monitoring of a vehicle tracking system in each office.
  • Ensure implementation of incident tracking and reporting protocols, with key stakeholders.
  • Prepare and update as necessary the “constant companion”, both full and pocket-sized versions.
  • Review and revise security telephone tree for all locations as necessary, with key stakeholders.
  • Conduct routine crisis management exercises for all staff and management.
  • Conduct mock drills in all MC offices (e.g. fire drill, evacuation drill etc.).
  • Promote and support efforts by field offices to meet the Inter Action Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS) through effective planning and budgeting for security.
  • Work with SFPs, Program Managers, Heads of Offices, Directors of Programs and CD on community acceptance messaging and other operational strategies.

Staff management and technical support: 

  • Participate in the identification of SFPs and recruitment of Security Officers as necessary. Lead the onboarding and training of these staff.
  • Supervise the SO in NE Nigeria, including setting objectives, developing quarterly work plans, performance evaluation, etc. Assist SFPs in developing a monthly/quarterly work plan that can be monitored by the Head of Office, and remotely by SSM and Country Director.
  • Mentor the SFPs to fulfill their safety and security responsibilities at the field-level.
  • Work with CD to include necessary safety and security information in pre-departure information packages for new international staff and visitors.
  • Work with the Human Resources Officer (HRO) to develop and implement security orientation for new staff (international and national) and visitors.
  • Work with the HRO to identify security training needs of team members and include security awareness as an essential part of program trainings and refresher workshops.
  • Assess the training needs of drivers and guards in consultation with SFPs and Logistics staff.
  • Significant technical support provided to partner agencies – particularly in tactical skills and them defining their own risk thresholds.


  • Place high value on inter-agency coordination in security. Actively participate in security coordination activities in the Northeast and encourage SFP and Heads of Office to participate in coordination activities at the field-level.
  • Daily check-ins with humanitarian teams posted in the Northeast.
  • Actively seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation in security.
  • Develop a network of relationships with peers in the humanitarian community (UN, NGO, ICRC, appropriate governmental offices, etc.).
  • Develop and engage Mercy Corps’ internal network of SFPs, SO and Heads of Office, and encourage inter-communications between them.
  • Pursue opportunities to engage others in our community in creative solutions to our security challenges through collaborative efforts.
  • Any other duties which are not listed but are essential to the safety and security for MC staff members and properties.

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: 

  • Security Officer Gombe/Bui.

Works directly with:

  • SFPs, Director of Humanitarian Programs, Team Leader of Humanitarian Programs, Directors of Conflict Management and Gender Programs, Operations Manager, Head of Offices, Program Managers, and Finance Manager.
  • S/He will work very closely with Mercy Corps’ Regional Security Advisor.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, Master’s degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years field experience in safety and security with a humanitarian or development non-governmental organization.
  • Extensive experience in setting up and managing safety and security systems and protocols and provide training to staff and partners.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies. Good context analysis skills.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills and the ability to work comfortably with an ethnically diverse staff in a very sensitive environment.
  • Effective skills in coordination, organization and prioritization as well as in Microsoft Office applications.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
  • Proven ability to work and solve problems independently without direct supervision.
  • Experience living and working in Nigeria, and experience in the Northeast preferred.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures highly desirable.
  • English proficiency required: excellent written and oral skills.
  • Ability to speak Housa or Kanuri.

Success Factors

  • The Safety and Security Manager is responsible for the implementation of security policies, procedures and systems that are appropriate for the conditions in Nigeria. It is crucial that strategies and tactics are consistent with regional practices.
  • Critical to this job is problem solving, and the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with MC and donor regulations. Maintaining strong cooperative relationships with other departments is crucial.
  • The successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with national and international staff members and demonstrate ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and provide relevant advice and support in a fluid security environment.
  • The candidate will have a high degree of professionalism and must be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense environment.
  • 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.
  • Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their CV’s and Cover Letter in one document, addressing the position requirements to: [email protected]


  • Applications must include the position title in the subject line and not more than 4 pages.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
  • We are an equal opportunity organization and we strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Application Deadline  25th August 2016.

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