Market Systems Development and Livelihood Officer at 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Market Systems Development and Livelihood Officer

Reference: ABV/PRO/2020/0032
Location: Damaturu, Yobe State with travel to field / project locations.
Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular

Program / Department Summary

  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria’s development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges.
  • The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 200 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in Lagos in the South; Kaduna, Benue, Nassarawa and Plateau in the Middle Belt; Kano, Yobe and Borno in the North.
  • Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based Livelihood and a multi-sector humanitarian response that has a strong emphasis on WASH, Shelter, Cash and Protection. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian response, and market systems development.
  • Working with a diverse funding base that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations (UN), European Commission (EC), European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), Global Affairs Canada (FKA DFATD), and several foundations, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. In 2019, Mercy Corps Mercy Corps is starting a $30 million USAID-funded Rural Resilience Activity in Nigeria’s northeast.
  • The purpose of the Rural Resilience Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty. The Rural Resilience activity will enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance and faltering with each new shock.

General Position Summary

  • The Market Systems and Livelihood Officer will be responsible for implementing all aspects of the market systems development and Livelihood interventions of the Rural Resilience activity. This position holder will be required to apply a wide variety of market development tools and approaches in order to catalyze innovative services, facilitate and manage relevant market linkages between market actors in areas targeted by the project.
  • S / he will provide field and office-based support to the Market Systems Development and Livelihood Specialist. The position will support the training of staff, the provision of technical assistance; and ensuring that common strategies and approaches are applied consistently in all communities.
  • S / he will coordinate closely with the M&E team to ensure that systems are in place to track, analyze and report results.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Support the implementation of teamwork plans and the successful implementation of Livelihood and market systems development activities, ensuring timely implementation of work plan activities and identification of target groups within the approved budget, and the achievement of program deliverables for the desired impact.
  • Support the provision of technical guidance on Livelihood and market systems development and ensure that interventions are responsive to stakeholders and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan. Support the MSD & Livelihood Specialist to ensure that interventions are evidence-based and adhere to adaptive management principles.
  • Collaborate closely with and support the MSD & Livelihood Specialist, Financial Services Specialist and Investment Fund Manager to manage the Grant Facility aspect of the program to catalyze new investment in viable economic opportunities (market systems, Livelihood, agribusiness, and employment) through grants that stimulate, rather than distort market development and avoid exacerbating conflict dynamics.
  • Support the conduct and / or update of market assessments, involving direct stakeholders as well as public and private sector actors working within the target value chains and market systems.
  • Support the integration of community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate while ensuring that all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Support the management of relationships and coordination with local implementing partners.
  • Actively support planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance / buy-in.
  • In coordination with the MEL team, support the implementation of monitoring activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact, actively supporting the documentation of approaches, successes and lessons learned.
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Market Systems Development and Livelihood Specialists and program leadership.
  • Support in the coordination of activities with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country and program leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Conduct himself / herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and not jeopardize its mission.

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:

  • None


  • Reports Directly to: Market Systems Development and Livelihood Specialist

Works Directly with:

  • Program Leadership, Technical Advisors, Finance and Operations teams, Partner Organizations

Qualification, Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Economics, or Business Administration; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of demonstrated experience with USG or other similar development projects focused on market systems and livelihood development, with a solid understanding of context including gender and youth issues
  • Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including government, community-based organizations, and the private sector;
  • Technical experience in market system development approach to development
  • Experience with supporting assessments, monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts required.
  • Ability to work independently
  • Demonstrated strengths in analytical skills and report writing
  • Excellent oral, written and computer skills
  • Fluency in English and Hausa is required.

Success Factors:

  • The successful Market Systems and Livelihood Officer will be familiar with supporting the management of facilitation-based interventions and the particular challenges of market systems development in Nigeria.
  • The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for inclusive market development to promote sustainable Livelihood.
  • S / he will have the capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and to inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs.
  • S / he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level.
  • 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.

Application Closing Date
27th October, 2020 (COB).

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV and Cover Letter in one document to: indicating the “Position, Location & Reference Number” as the subject of the email


  • 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 employment opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.