Market System Development (MSD) Specialsit

at Mercy Corps Ethiopia
Location Jijiga, Ethiopia
Date Posted January 2, 2023
Currency ETB


In May 2019 Mercy Corps begin implementation of the EUR 10 million, 44-month ‘Strengthened Socio-Economic Development and Better Employment Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in the Jigjiga Area’ program, with funding from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF). The program is being implemented in partnership with Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

The program has three objectives / outcomes:

  1. Increase the ability of the local/regional economy to create jobs for various skills as per existing and/or potential economic value chains.
  2. Increase demand-driven skills of the labour force in the area of intervention;
  3. Refugee and host communities experience improved social integration and access legal rights

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking to recruit an MSD Specialist for financial inclusion, to support integration of these approaches into STEDE program across in Fafan Zone -Somali Region -Ethiopia country portfolio. The advisor will support implementation of high-quality financial inclusion interventions., through capacity-building for teams, support in conducting market assessments and designing interventions and building relationships with key market actors from the private sector and government. The MSD Specialist will also participate in designing Intervention Concept notes (ICN) that have financial inclusion, and helping to ensure robust M&E and Learning for our programs, working with our STEDE MEL Advisor (Learning and impact). The Specialist will also play a lead role in representing Mercy Corps’ financial inclusion work externally, through building relationships with key partners and participating in relevant coordination and learning events. The Specialist will also be helping to define and achieve STEDE programme strategy.

 Essential Job Responsibilities

Program quality

  • Conduct high quality market system assessments in financial services, providing the foundation for program design.
  • Design interventions Concept notes for MSD programs, using tools such as Results Chains and ‘Who Does, Who Pays?’ matrices
  • Develop and implement work plans for MSD programs, maintaining a clear focus on facilitation principles
  • Work with program teams as they develop partnerships with private sector and government actors, and lead the process of developing partnerships with key ‘Lead Firm’ actors, such as large businesses and government
  • Provide capacity-building for Mercy Corps program teams, through formal training on MSD methodologies and informal mentoring and guidance
  • Support mainstreaming of gender and women’s economic empowerment into our financial inclusion programming, and support implementation of this strategy
  • Manage MSD programs adaptively, through periodic reflection exercises and supporting use of M&E data
  • Submission of high quality reports for financial inclusion programming to the Consortium Manager and other relevant Mercy Corps Ethiopia team members. Innovation and proposal development
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders in the financial inclusion, including regulatory bodies, banks, MFIs, digital platform providers, Mobile Network Operators and government bodies. Leverage these relationships to place Mercy Corps at the forefront of innovative approaches for financial inclusion.
  • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to inform the design of new intervention ideas.
  • Writing/review of concept notes and proposals on financial inclusion for the programme.
  • Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.
  • Work closely with the other programme teams to influence their engagement and support linkage with the financial inclusion initiatives.learning and impact
  • Work with the Consotium Manager and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Advisor to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices
  • Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around Thought Leadership priority topics.
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs
  • Engage in implementation of projects that have significant financial services component in building relationships with actors, documenting lessons learnt and best practices
  • Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external disseminate plan for all products.
  • Nurture partnerships with universities, research institutions, and other organizations to produce case studies, assessments, and other learning documentation, as well as enhance program quality. team management
  • Build effective relationships with STEDE program teams implementing financial inclusion programming, based on mutual trust, collaboration, urgency and curiosity
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

 Job Requirements

Representation and Coordination

  • Liaise with local government partners, local NGOs and civil society organizations, local religious leaders and other notables to ensure support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps’ programs;
  • Support to maintain close working relationships with other humanitarian and development organizations, and local partners, including representing Mercy Corps at local coordination meetings as assigned;
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.

Team management

  • Build effective relationships with program teams while implementing agri-business and marketing activities, based on mutual trust, collaboration, urgency and curiosity;
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources development to improve performance & reach objectives;
  • Promote accountability, communicate with expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally;
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
  • Support hiring and orientation of team members related to area of expertise as needed;



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.


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.


Be a thought partner in the recruitment of diverse team and promoting inclusive and safe work environment including supporting early career team members to fulfil their professional goals)

Lead by example to promote gender equal and inclusive workplace culture in a day-to-day interaction with team members, partners and program participants

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.

Safeguarding & Ethics

  • Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to theInteragency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Job Requirements

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/BSc in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness, Business Administration, Marketing and/or related MA/MSc preferred.
  • 4 years’ work experience in NGO and/or profit-making organizations implementing in pastoralists/agro-pastoralist areas;
  • At least 3years of experience demonstrated experience on supporting labor and market development activity and/or implementing Market System Approach based programs (understanding MSD approach will be highly required);
  • Understanding Ethiopia pastoral production context, production system, market dynamics, extension service delivery system;
  • Understanding in the dynamics of private sector in the pastoral and Agro-pastoral area context
  • Strong English communication and writing skills;
  • Strong communication and facilitation skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Knowledge and experience in implementing donor funded development activities (desired)

Success Factors:

The successful technical specialist has knowledge and experience related to all elements of agri-business marketing and labor development. Of particular importance is expertise with pastoral-specific business development and pastoral product (Livestock/Livestock products) market facilitation. S/he will combine exceptional capacity building skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and advise innovative program ideas within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, 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. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, M&E skills and experience.

Living /Environmental Conditions:

The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with regular travel to the field. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Addis Ababa. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position requires at least 50% of travel by air and road to field offices in relatively secure environments but climatically harsh conditions. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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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