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Integrated Humanitarian Response Director Job in Wajir, Kenya

Position Title: Director – Integrated Humanitarian Response 

Primary Location: Wajir, Kenya

Position Status:
 Full time, regular 


Program/ Department Summary:

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.

Traditionally, Mercy Corps programs in Kenya focus on increasing young people’s ability to peacefully resolve conflict, engage in the democratic reform process, and increase access to employment and economic independence.

Mercy Corps Kenya began emergency operations in Wajir West and South in the first week of August 2011 focusing on provision of clean water to approximately 90,000 individuals in 13 locations.

In the coming weeks, Mercy Corps will scale up water and hygiene promotion activities to include:

1) Voucher system to enable vulnerable households to purchase water from private vendors;

 Provision of generators and spare parts to functional boreholes that are under extreme stress from over use;

 Construction and rehabilitation of water storage facilities and separate receptacles for humans and animals; and

 Training of community groups in Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST).

To protect household assets, Mercy Corps will work with market actors to initiate an unconditional cash transfer program enabling up to 2,000 households to flexibly purchase basic foodstuffs and other essential items.

Cash for Work activities will provide immediate short-term employment opportunities primarily to safely dispose of animal carcasses which pose a significant public health risk, and to rehabilitate water infrastructure.

General Position Summary:

The Director, Integrated Humanitarian Response is a senior management position and will oversee all of Mercy Corps Kenya’s humanitarian programs, providing oversight to ongoing grants and helping in program scale up or expansion by eliciting new funding.

The Director, Integrated Humanitarian Response will work in integrating conflict prevention and gender sensitive programming in the emergency and humanitarian programs that Mercy Corps implements in Kenya.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Manage and oversee the implementation of an OFDA funded Emergency Response program targeting vulnerable populations in Wajir district, including management of the grant and supervision of project activities.
  • Ensure all MC administration, logistical, human resources and financial procedures are followed in relation to implementation of humanitarian grants.
  • Lead the design and implementation of new emergency programs based on needs analysis, assessments and sectoral information
  • Proactively keep abreast of humanitarian issues and priorities in Kenya and ensure Mercy Corps is well positioned and prepared to respond
  • Maintain awareness of important global humanitarian issues and paradigms and disseminate this information to Mercy Corps Kenya Senior Leadership
  • Participate in Mercy Corps Kenya’s strategic planning processes and ensure key humanitarian issues are prioritized
  • Train key Mercy Corps Kenya staff in humanitarian principles and best practices and proactively identify staff for relevant humanitarian trainings
  • Integrate conflict prevention and peace building programming techniques in emergency and humanitarian response programs
  • Integrate gender sensitive and protection programming activities in emergency and humanitarian response programs
  • Conduct regular site visits to ensure proper delivery of services.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at key humanitarian meetings, attend coordination meetings and maintain regular contact and networking with relevant NGO, government of Kenya, UN, multilateral and bilateral donors.
  • Write monthly reports on program progress, obstacles and recommendations and produce regular updates and success stories for dissemination to donors.
  • Write donor reports as requested and required in the grant agreements
  • Assist with security monitoring to ensure MC staff, assets and partners are able to work securely.
  • Promote and adhere to the principles and objectives of Mercy Corps.
  • Conduct yourself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.
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:
  • Wajir based staff

Reports Directly To:
 Deputy Regional Director, East and Southern Africa

Works Directly With:
 Wajir based staff, Somalia Country Director, Director Integrated Humanitarian Response Ethiopia, Mercy Corps Kenya regional logistics and finance staff.

Knowledge and Experience:
  • MA/S or equivalent in international development or related field preferred.
  • Minimum of seven years experience in international development.
  • Comprehensive understanding of USAID protocols and emergency donor ways of working and funding mechanisms required.
  • Previous experience in writing humanitarian response proposals and rapidly designing emergency response programs
  • Demonstrated success in programs related to emergency response required
  • Thorough understanding of the context and current environment in Ethiopia essential
  • Proven managerial skills required
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a social entrepreneur and proven success with building, managing and leading a team of professionals and the ability to function as a team player among peers.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, prioritization skills are necessary.
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments.
  • Prior work experience in Africa strongly preferred; an ability to work comfortably, effectively and creatively within the cultural environment of Ethiopia and areas of poor security required.
Success Factors:

The successful Director – Integrated Humanitarian Response will be a self-starter, 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.

S/he will be a team-player with positive attitude to problem solving and conflict resolution.

The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff, and will be able to apply creative solutions to program quality and team-building.

S/he will also have the skill to engage, motivate and encourage staff to bring creative solutions to development issues, identify opportunities for increased impact, and pursue project objectives.

Living /Environmental Conditions:

The position will be based in Wajir with frequent travel to field sites as well as regular domestic and occasional international travel. An arid area prone to drought, Wajir is located in the Northeastern Province of Kenya and is the capital of Wajir District.

Staff in Wajir live in group housing which is served by basic amenities. The area is served by an airport that has regular flights to Nairobi and Mogadishu.

The Director – Integrated Humanitarian Response is expected to follow all security protocols including limited movement when necessary.

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.

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