Mercy Corps: Program Manager – Markets, Agricultural Livelihood & Livestock


Location Biu – Nigeria with frequent travel
Reference Number– BIU/PRO/2019/0026

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.

Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the Northeast of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in the areas of food security, shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods.

With the recognition of the protracted crisis in Northeast Nigeria, Mercy Corps’ strategy and expansion plans aim to address the root causes of the crisis and seek to build long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, and youth empowerment with emphasis on adolescent girls and boys. With multiple funding streams from large institutional donors and foundations, Mercy Corps’ programs in Northeast Nigeria continue to scale up and serve communities by transitioning them from humanitarian aid to early recovery programs.

General Position Summary
The Program Manager is responsible for the overall management and coordination of two programs focusing on agricultural livelihoods, livestock and markets. The Program Manager provides technical leadership, supervises program staff, and coordinates the implementation of all program activities. The Program Manager will promote a culture of constant program improvement, mentor the program team, integrate monitoring and evaluation into program activities and ensure the delivery of high-quality program that delivers impact.

The first program aims to revitalize the poultry livelihoods and markets in the context of Northeast Nigeria.

The second program aims to facilitate the recovery of agricultural livelihoods and markets in the context of Northeast Nigeria.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Vision

  • Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of the program’s development, implementation and management.
  • Manage the day-to-day activities of the program in Borno State.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and impact.
  • Support evaluation assessments and analysis to identify areas for program improvement.

Technical oversight

  • Manage all program activities, including providing support to agricultural and livestock producer groups, developing market linkages and value chains, building capacity of local producers, and supporting micro-projects;
  • Provide management oversight the implementation team, including development of work plans, monitoring implementation and impact, ensuring that program deliverables are completed, supervising implementing staff, and managing the program budget;
  • Develop monitoring systems jointly with the M&E department and provide regular, high-quality reports on program activities, both internally for Mercy Corps as well as for donors. Demonstrate progress of activities and capture lessons learned;
  • In collaboration with the M&E team, ensure monitoring, evaluation and analysis are integrated into program implementation to promote adaptive management and a culture of constant program improvement.
  • Support the design and implementation of relevant surveys, need assessments, data and information collection for on-going monitoring and learning.
  • Work closely with local partners and develop strategies to promote their organizational development and capacity-building;
  • Organize and conduct monitoring visits to the project sites and host visitors and donors, as needed.

Team Management

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to the program.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.

Influence & Representation
Represent Mercy Corps at partner coordination meetings and with external stakeholders as relevant to the programs.


  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility– The program Team

Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly With: Operations, Finance, Program Managers, technical advisors, and others

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 5 years of practical field experience managing related projects.
  • BA/S or equivalent in a relevant field; an advanced degree is preferred.
  • 5-7 years of agriculture/livelihoods program implementation and management experience in developing countries.
  • Demonstrated strong theoretical and applied knowledge of livelihood and market systems programming and familiarity designing assessments.
  • Previous experience of working in insecure environments (ideally including experience in an emergency response).
  • Experience facilitating workshops and multiple stakeholder meetings.
  • Strong writing and report development skills.
  • Experience coordinating and leading international partners and stakeholders.
  • Experience in managing national and international staff.
  • Must be able to work independently while being a strong team player.

Success Factors
The successful candidate should be an individual with a background in livelihoods and livestock (poultry) and market systems who is a good collaborator, facilitator and coach. This position is expected to work in partnership with other international NGOs and multiple stakeholders to produce results in a short timeframe.  This position requires patience and flexibility and a person who can motivate buy-in from experts of various fields and contexts.

The candidate will combine exceptional management skills and a strong technical background.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in Biu, Borno State, Nigeria and it requires frequent travel to other field locations as well as Abuja. Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available.  Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously. Access to good medical services in the field is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic.

Given the nature of the response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

How to Apply
Applicants should their CVs and Cover Letters in one document, addressing the position requirements and location to:


  • All applications must include the position title and reference number in the subject line
  • Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview
  • We are an equal opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this


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