MSD – Finance and Employment Opportunities Specialist

at Mercy Corps Ethiopia
Location Gambela, Ethiopia
Date Posted October 28, 2022
Category Finance
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus in promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.

Program / Department Summary

The purpose of the financial inclusion and employment opportunity specialist position is to plan and implement the economic and job opportunity activities in accordance with the principles, approaches and procedures of the organization under Hilton Foundation funded PPIL /T4P project. He/she is responsible for testing and documentation of potential promising practices/best practices that have a positive and lasting livelihood impact on the lives of the community. S/he facilitates effective and positive learning environment within and across the teams, ensures effective and proactive liaison with the local government is established and maintained.

It is also expected that the financial inclusion and employment specialist will work closely with a wide range of business associations, woreda government partners, service providers, and private sector, Rusacco, and MFI to facilitate the livelihood and financial service linkage. The position holder will be directly working in the coordination and facilitation of livelihood and financial services as related to VSLAs, AY/SLAs, RUSACCOs, MFIs, and other business and financial service providers exist in the implementation area.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Makes thorough studies and assessments, and discussions with the community and identify the underlying causes for lack of employment /limitation of livelihood opportunities and asset depletion in the project areas that cause poverty and identify solutions for addressing it together with the project staff, partners and local community based institutions, and identify solutions;
  • Develops overall technical approach, implementation strategies and plan of action based on the identified solutions, methods and guidelines for sustainable livelihoods and economic strengthening program interventions that take into account the factors and vulnerabilities of the target groups and communities;
  • Develop annual, quarterly and monthly plans through integrating and incorporating the other livelihood and financial inclusion projects of the organization and projects of other implementing partners;
  • Identifies and promotes innovative livelihood and economic strengthening programming approaches and interventions to achieve project objectives, and suited to the particular conditions and needs of diverse target groups, such as the public work participants, direct transfers, and other relevant groups in the operational areas;
  • Document project outcomes and impacts particularly related to gender and provide information for publication, sharing lessons and learning when required;
  • Ensure field testing of methods and approaches with partners and communities;
  • Use the lessons in finalizing the strategies, methodologies and the implementation and monitoring and evaluation plans (with measurable outputs and indicators of success);
  • Facilitate the livelihood and financial inclusion component of the project;
  • Together with the project and partners staffs identifies positive deviants and design methodology for replicating and adapting their experiences and lessons;
  • Actively takes part in implementation of the capacity building trainings to saving groups and asset creation groups, and community saving promoters and animators;
  • Develops appropriate strategy and methodology in promoting saving and asset creation and supporting participant groups;
  • Ensures marketing and market linkage interventions appropriately implemented and used by the communities;
  • Monitors progress and provides ongoing feedback to partners’ livelihood project managers, proposing adjustments in annual implementation plans according to emerging needs and priorities.
  • Guides the implementation of field activities related to market-driven approach, financial services and business development, promoting access to enhanced financial services;
  • Provides appropriate technical assistance and couching to Community facilitator and field staff implementing PPIL project activities in access to Financial service and livelihoods based activities on the approved project work plan.
  • Facilitates linkage of target households with TVETs and MFIs to engage them in the appropriate livelihood pathways;
  • Provides technical support for field staff to make sure that the VSLA/ AY/SLAs minimum standards are met;
  • Supports VSLA/ AY/SLA members to properly utilize their internal savings to potentially profitable Income Generating Activities to enhance the livelihood of their household.
  • Facilitates needs assessment for the capacity building in relation to livelihood project implementation strategies, methodologies, and activities;
  • Develops a capacity building plan and contribute to the development of training material; organize and facilitate training courses, cross visits and apprenticeships. Contribute to the adaptation of materials and experiences for application in diverse cultural and social contexts;
  • Organizes and facilitate technical support to sub-grantees through shorter periods of on-site intensive support on specific time-limited tasks;
  • Identify sources of specialized technical expertise and provide linkage support with identified service providers;
  • Ensures efficient monitoring and evaluation systems and generate quality information for monitoring the progress and measure impact related to the livelihood and economic empowerment component.
  • Establishes and maintain productive relationships with government offices, non-government organizations, expert institutions and the private sector;
  • Develops and maintains contacts among Partner organizations working on Livelihoods programs for exchange of information relating to sustainable livelihoods approaches;
  • Organize regular woreda level visibility fair days, document lessons, enhance experience sharing.
  • Prepares the required timely and of high quality report that convey the financial inclusion and employment opportunity component’s progress towards achieving best practices and impact in the targeted communities;
  • Ensures documentation of implementation processes, Lessons learned and Best Practices in the Livelihood program component, and contribute to designing strategies for replication/scaling-up;
  • Keeps up to date with developments in the sector, including best practice examples to ensure ongoing organizational and personal development and learning;
  • The incumbent must use interpolative skills to pick and choose the right strategy to address a given problem and also has to deal with variable situations. Yet, several things will be clear and what needs to be done dictated by policies and procedures
  • Other duties as assigned

Strategy & Vision

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.

Program Management

  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
  • Develop partners’ MoUs and contracts & oversee a training program for program partners.
  • Develop program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting and distribution process as well as WASH, psychosocial and capacity building of partners.
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.

Team Management

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
  • Finance & Compliance Management
  • 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. Influence & Representation


  • Understand and aware GDI related priorities of the country office and contribute for the realization of priorities (continually work to understand and be aware of the gender diversity and inclusion priorities of the country office and contribute in the execution)
  • Promote gender equal and inclusive workplace culture in a day-to-day interaction with a team member, partners and program participants.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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 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.
  • 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.

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 the Interagency 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

  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree (MSC/MA preferred) in the areas: of Economics, Agricultural Economics, Rural Development, Agribusiness, Marketing and other related subjects.
  • Minimum of 4 years’ experience in private sector and/or NGOs working focused on MSD
  • (Facilitation and providing technical supports), agribusiness and/or financial services.
  • Good understanding on the Markets4Poor approach and Markets development facilitation including coaching, relationship building, communicating, entrepreneurialism/business understanding and innovating.
  • Experiences in supporting privet sector lead business enterprises in pastoral/ agro-pastoral settings, providing business development supports, industries (public and private), institutions and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of participatory analyses, action and results processing.
  • Experience/exposures to the location/region he/she applied for.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.

Success Factors

  • Define the specific behavior and attitudes critical to success in the position at time of hire and as it develops over time in paragraph form (soft skills).
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