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Program Officer (Economic Empowerment) Job in Eldoret Kenya

Vacancy Announcement

Program Officer (Economic Empowerment), Eldoret 

Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1 billion in assistance to people in 82 nations.

Supported by headquarters offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, the agency's unified global programs employ 3,500 staff worldwide and reach 9 million people in more than 40 countries. Over the last five years, more than 90 percent of the agency's resources have been allocated directly to programs that help people in need.

The Yes Youth Can initiative is an upcoming USAID program designed to empower Kenya’s youth population in areas recovering from the post-election violence in 2008, through building capacity of youth groups and organizations to engage with markets, governments and communities, and to pursue their legitimate needs and interests more effectively in a way that builds positive inter-ethnic networks.

Mercy Corps Kenya has been responding to the violence in Kenya following disputed presidential elections in December 2007 through the Local Empowerment for Peace (LEAP) program in Rift Valley province. LEAP is working with communities especially affected by the violence to build the capacity local level Peace Committees and stimulate dialogue on the underlying causes of conflict.

The project has a strong Youth focus through cash-fork programming for at-risk beneficiaries and longer-term income generation activities for youth-led microenterprises. The sister program, LEAP Sport is supporting more than 3,000 inter-ethnic sports teams with training in teamwork, cooperation, reconciliation, and non-violent conflict resolution.

In addition to the Rift-Valley Program, MC was also awarded the Central Region Yes Youth Can Program by USAID which is based in Thika Town.

General Position Summary:

The Program Officer is responsible for assisting in the implementation of the Economic Empowerment component of the Yes Youth Can initiative. The USAID -funded program seeks to genuinely empower youth in Kenya to develop themselves for greater voice in national and local reforms as well as create new opportunities for livelihoods that meet the aspirations of young Kenyans.

The program will support youth in achieving positive change in three major areas:

(1) increased work skills/employment;

(2) increased citizenship/civic engagement, and

(3) increased inter-ethnic engagement.

It is expected that activities will include youth-driven mobilization initiatives that benefit communities and promote citizenship; creation of opportunities for life and employment skills; and initiatives to bring together youth of different ethnicities.

The Program Officer will work closely with the Senior Technical Advisor – Economic Empowerment to implement economic empowerment activities for Kenyan youth in Rift Valley Province.

Economic Empowerment activities include comprehensive life skills, job-skills, and entrepreneurship training for qualified groups of young people in Rift Province. Participants will be eligible for a small-grants program for micro and small enterprises, and job-placement services in urban centers.

The Program Officer will assist in overseeing the delivery of livelihoods trainings as well as monitoring/reporting of partner and staff activities. The position-holder will also supervise Field Officers for this component.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Support economic empowerment activity implementation in job skills and employment activities as well as assisting on-the-ground identification of constraints and opportunities;
  • Assist in the identification of economic opportunities in various value-chains for young people
  • Support for the management and mentorship of local program staff and other partners, gradually transferring skills and capacities;
  • Work with other project staff on an ongoing basis to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation, joint monitoring and evaluation of program activities and achievements towards project goals.
Supervisory Responsibility: Supervision of the Economic Empowerment Field Officers.

Reports Directly To:
 Senior Technical Advisor – Economic Empowerment, Yes Youth Can

Works Directly With:
 Field Officers, Program Manager, Program Officer (General), Gender/Training and Civic Engagement Specialists, Operations/Finance Staff, M&E Officer

Knowledge and Experience:
  • BA/S or equivalent in social sciences, economic development, or international development;
  • Minimum of 3-4 years experience in international development;
  • Technical expertise in youth livelihoods development
  • Experience managing youth, microenterprise, job skills/employment and/or civic education programs;
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host government, NGOs and other partners;
  • Ability to effectively work with partners, and with a range of program and external stakeholders;
  • Fluency in Kiswahili
Success Factors:
  • Innovative and decisive approach to work
  • Creative and insightful as regards programming for youth and reconciliation
  • Excellent communication and team-building techniques
  • Cultural knowledge, sensitivity and respect
  • Commitment to work in the project for its duration
Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit on or before July 8, 2011 4.00 p.m. a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent or supervisor) to

Applicants must clearly indicate on the email subject “Application for the position of Program Officer, Economic Empowerment”.

Applications without this subject heading will be disqualified.

Please do not attach any certificates.

Only qualified short-listed candidates will be contacted

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