Mercy Corps is prepositioning for the anticipated USAID Regional Civil Society Program in Central Asia. Mercy Corps has been working in the region since 1994, implementing programs in food security, nutrition, conflict mitigation, maternal and child health, disaster risk reduction, agricultural training, infrastructure, microfinance, and community & economic development.
In the area of civil society and governance, Mercy Corps has successfully implemented 317 programs for a total of $634 million in funding over the past ten years globally. Guided by our Vision for Change Mercy Corps has partnered with and strengthened civil society at local, provincial and national levels to foster local ownership, participation and voice.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Positive Youth Development Advisor for the upcoming five-year USAID-funded program in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to strengthen civil society’s role in promoting greater public accountability through citizen advocacy bolstered by research and information access, mechanisms for interchange between CSOs and government, and a conducive enabling environment.
General Position Summary
The Positive Youth Development Advisor will manage and provide technical leadership of the anticipated five-year USAID Regional Civil Society Program in Central Asia. The position will lead the technical design and monitoring, and advise on implementation of community and youth development interventions, including in Positive Youth Development training and principles, conducting community stakeholder mapping, youth experiential learning, civic engagement and partnerships, youth digital engagement, and community development programs.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Provide strategic vision to the youth components of the program including workplan development, partnership selection and management, and overall sector strategy.
- Provide technical leadership in the development and implementation of youth engagement strategies, interventions, and activities that address the holistic needs of youth, including their well-being, education, protection, health, economic strengthening, and civic engagement.
- Advise national counterparts on technical issues and participate in relevant advisory and/or working groups with counterparts, partner institutions, government representatives, and other local stakeholders.
- Oversee technical performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees.
Program Mamangement and Support
- Ensure that adolescents are effectively and safely targeted according to established vulnerability criteria across consortium partners.
- Integrate community approaches, inclusion and gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Provide managerial and programmatic technical oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure technical best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Produce written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- 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.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Program teams, particularly the Youth Engagement Officer in Tajikistan,
MEL team, Finance, Administration and Operations teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- Advanced education or knowledge in social sciences or fields related to youth development programming; community and youth development or empowerment, preferably in an international setting.
- Proven managerial experience through prior work in a relevant area such as accountability, community communications, community and youth development or mobilization and holding positions of progressive responsibility.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with communities, government and other stakeholders at local level.
- Experience working in participatory community monitoring and engagement processes.
- Experience in training, facilitating focus group discussions, community consultation.
- Full Professional Proficiency in spoken and written English is required; ability to speak regional/ local languages is strongly preferred.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and requires at least 25% travel (both within Kazakhstan and to program countries Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) by plane and vehicle to field offices in environments that for the most part are secure. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with complete freedom of movement in Almaty and other locations in the country for which no travel restrictions exist. Staff have access to good quality healthcare services in Almaty and access to reliable water and electricity services.