Market System Development Specialist

at Mercy Corps Ethiopia
Location Jijiga, Somali, Ethiopia
Date Posted June 21, 2021
Category Agriculture
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara - and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible.  Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and communities. Mercy Corps Ethiopia invites motivated and qualified candidates to apply for the following vacant position.

Position Title: Market System Development Specialist 

Location: Jijiga

Number of Positions: one

 Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps is implementing 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).

Globally, and in Ethiopia, Mercy Corps is a leading practitioner of market systems development (MSD) approaches to poverty reduction, with particular expertise in implementing MSD programs in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. This program will apply our market systems expertise to refugee and host community contexts in the Jigjiga area, with the objective of finding durable solutions to the protracted refugee situation. This program is part of a broader portfolio of markets and refugee programming for Mercy Corps in Ethiopia.

 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

The Market Systems development specialist will be responsible for leading, designing and implementing market system related activities of the project from assessment validation and activities selection and planning to implementation of activities to providing recommendations to scaling up and rolling out activities in the three project sites. He/she will also be a member of the project Team who uses market systems development to stimulate economic growth to create wealth and jobs for the poorest while maximizing investment from the private and public sectors. His/her analytical thinking and innovation will support integration and harmony of approaches across all Mercy Corps Ethiopia market-driven programming.

 Essential Job Responsibilities


·        Recognizes opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where project teams work together, exchange information, coordinate activities and develop team spirit in project management

·        Works closely with project management other team members to contribute to a vision and strategy development and in applying market systems development approaches to refugee and host community contexts


·        Coordinates and organizes market assessment validation and activities planning workshop, which will involve all key stakeholders.

·        Generates more understanding on market actors’ actions, behaviors, dynamics, functions, opportunities and constraints by conducting continues market system analysis

·        Develop approaches, and modalities to support the establishment and expansion of private business institutions in high potential markets  in Agriculture, livestock and financial services, in target refugees and host communities.

·        Develops short strategies and implementation plans for carrying out activities that strengthen good linkages between market actors such as inputs suppliers, producers, traders, aggregators, value adders, processors, cooperatives, Agri Businesses, Banks, MFIs, RuSACCOs and VSL’s to strengthen their reach in serving the refugees and host communities.

·        Leads the implementation of high impactful activities to support labor markets actors to enable them to create job opportunities for youth, women and job seekers in the refugee and host communities’ areas

·        Regularly visits field activities to assess progress and provide formal and informal feedback.

·        Develops key monitoring and measuring indicators, milestones and plans in close collaboration with supervisor and M&E team, and solely responsible for monitoring and reporting all output, outcome and impact indicators for respective market system(s).

·        Ensures the program captures and responds to up-to-date information about market developments within respective market systems and global best practices for Markets Systems Development.

·        Builds and maintains close relationships with key government partners in Jigjiga, Kebribayah, Awbarre and other cities and towns at all levels

·        Develops quarterly and final report providing summary of activities and recommendations and share with his/her supervisor and other team members and stakeholders.

·        Works closely with the program team and partners ensuring we adhere to humanitarian principles, Mercy Corps’ gender policies, Do No Harm principles and beneficiary accountability standards;

·        Integrates community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities;

·        Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide

·        Participate market assessment validation and activities planning workshop, which will involve all key stakeholders.


 Familiarize the team with all aspects of agriculture, Livestock and Financial market systems the project is targeting including key actors; governance frameworks (formal and informal); and all support markets and functions.

·        Trains and provides mentoring to the teams working with him/under him to acquire knowledge and key tools in market systems Development and facilitation approach and works in field with the objectives to increase their capacities in program implementation effectiveness

·        Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

·        Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


·        Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.

·        Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.


·        Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.

·        Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

Job Requirements

Knowledge and Experience

·        Bachelor’s degree in one of the following subjects:  Economics, Crop Science, livestock related studies; information communication technology and digital finance; Rural Development and agricultural extension and, Agricultural Economics;

·        Three to five years of experience in the agriculture and financial markets in pastoral and agro-pastoral systems of Ethiopia;

·        Deep understanding and mastery of Markets4Poor approach and Economic & Markets Development facilitation including coaching, relationship building, communicating, entrepreneurialism/business understanding and innovating.

·        Experience in working with livestock , crop production and financial market actors in the industry (public and private) actors and institutional stakeholders;

·        Knowledge of participatory analyses, action and results processes;

·        Experience in the region is required; previous experience in arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia is preferred;

 Success Factors

·        Fluent in English and Somali languages

·        Business minded, entrepreneurial, adaptive, curious, great problem solving skills, unafraid to ask questions, and results motivated.

·        He/She will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures

·        Excellent communication, facilitation and networking skills with a wide range of private, partner and NGO-sector actors

·        Computer literate especially in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)


Applying Instructions

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position advertised.  All applications submitted to the Mercy Corps office include a CV, three references, and all relevant official documents. Applications will not be returned and will not be retained for future recruitment efforts.  In order to ensure fairness to all applicants personal inquiries are not permitted.

Only candidates that are short listed will be acknowledged and called for interviews.

“Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer promoting gender, equity and    diversity. Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to empower women.”


Please send non-returnable applications and credentials to one of the following address:  

Mercy Corps Recruiter

Addis Ababa: P.O. Box 14319

Arbaminch: P.O. Box 33  , Jijiga: P.O. Box 225   

Negelle Borena: P.O. Box 116

                                                   Dire Dewa: P.O. Box 974

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