Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA) and Communications Manager at Mercy Corps Nigeria

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: Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA) and Communications Manager

Requisition Number: COLLA003813
Location: Abuja (FCT)
Employment Type: Full-time
Job Category: Media & Communications

Program/Department Summary

  • The Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity (RRA) is a five-year (2019 – 2024), USAID-funded program that seeks to facilitate economic recovery and growth in vulnerable, conflict-affected areas by promoting systemic change in market systems.
  • The Activity is part of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative aimed at developing the agriculture sectors and breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger in some of the world’s poorest countries.
  • The Activity empowers vulnerable households, communities, and systems to cope with current shocks and stresses and to be prepared to withstand future ones.
  • The Activity is implemented by Mercy Corps, in partnership with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and Save the Children (SCI), primarily in the Northeast states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe. The value chains supported by the Activity are maize, cowpea, groundnut, and rice, as well as small ruminants, poultry and microenterprises.
  • Using market-led approaches, the Activity will sustainably move over 600,000 individuals (internally displaced persons, farmers, agri-business owners, youth, women, private sector entities, and other stakeholders) out of chronic vulnerability and poverty across implementation states.

To achieve its purpose, the Activity implements interventions around five components / strategic objectives:

  • Component 1: Provide up-to-date evidence for selection of market systems, livelihoods and employment opportunities that contribute to inclusive and resilient growth and improved nutrition.
  • Component 2: Stimulate market systems growth and diverse economic opportunities (Pull activities).
  • Component 3: Build capacity to take advantage of market systems opportunities (Push activities).
  • Component 4: Sequencing, layering, integrating (SLI), and collaborative learning to improve activity effectiveness, sustainability, and scale.
  • Component 5: Supporting Market Resilience to COVID-19 and other Shocks.

General Position Summary

  • The CLA and Communications Manager will manage the overall communications and learning needs of the Rural Resilience Activity, including implementation of the CLA and Communications strategies; development of SBCC/IEC materials, learning briefs, case studies, factsheets, success stories, audio-visuals and other messaging required for the visibility of various interventions implemented by the Activity throughout its lifecycle. S/he will be responsible for (a) cross-cutting programmatic information management within the framework of the program; (b) ensuring that information is shared and used for continuous improvement of ongoing interventions. S/he will have responsibility for leading the development of high qualify reports and success stories for dissemination and documentation.
  • The CLA and Communications Manager will also develop Activity-level learning questions to facilitate adaptive management and rapid replication of successful approaches. S/he will identify what kinds of information and analysis are required beyond monitoring data to help inform and strengthen RRA’s MEL system. S/he will strengthen CARM (Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism) practices, work closely with the program team to come up with innovative ways of promoting CARM, and ensuring the Activity uses the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism data to inform and improve implementation as well as feeding into the documentation of best practices.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Technical Leadership:

  • Work closely with the Country Office Communication Team in the implementation, review and update of the communications and visibility plan for the Activity, and efficient documentation and implementation of relevant activities in adherence to Mercy Corps global standards and USAID requirements.
  • Contribute to program and country team-building efforts and communications support for field teams.
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for Programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.
  • Work with the Technology for Development coordinator to develop IEC materials that are appropriate for the various types of program participants.
  • Works with the intervention teams to adopt a holistic program-level CLA/Communications system.
  • Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the CLA/comms systems meet the needs of Programs Managers and CountryLeadership and help address shortfalls in CLA/communications that affect program implementation.
  • Contributes to program design to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ resilience measurement and CLA/communications best practices.
  • Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation, and flow of information in programs.
  • Facilitate partner and stakeholder collaboration through activities including joint work planning, regular partner meetings that facilitate knowledge sharing, and/or working groups organized along geographic or technical lines.
  • Actively participate in meetings and processes to promote effective communication practices for the program and in support of the country portfolio.

Learning And Communication:

  • Coordinate knowledge capturing, sharing, and strategic learning to speed innovation and bring innovations to the program.
  • Synthesize findings from evaluations, assessments, special studies, and other sources for use in Activity designs, communications, stakeholder coordination, and reporting.
  • Establish and strengthen a functional feedback mechanism in all the communities to ensure that the feedback is encouraged, captured, and reviewed periodically for emerging trends, lessons, and potential gaps to be addressed by capacity building.
  • Oversee the compilation and dissemination of information from both quantitative and qualitative data on successful and promising approaches, lessons learned, and other program results to local, national, and regional-level intergovernmental bodies, donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Lead the development and completion of the Quarterly Progress Reports and Annual Performance Reports.
  • Support facilitation, including processes and workshops; learning, collaboration, and coordination among implementing partners and other collaborators; producing reflections on the implications of new learning; establish a network of key stakeholders with the Intervention Lead and organize periodic, appropriate opportunities for the Activity to interact with them based on strategy implementation and evidence-based experience.
  • Coordinate, plan, and implement institutional learning activities relevant to the achievement of the Rural Resilience Activity’s objectives, such as special studies, pause and reflection sessions, after-action reviews, briefings, communities of practice, learning events, and/or seminars.
  • Use USAID’s CLA principles to effectively integrate real-time monitoring and learning back into the project strategy and program implementation and ensure knowledge is shared with the broader host country community.
  • Prepare analysis from available sources including MEL findings, CARM, field challenges, and lead sessions to develop adaptive management guidance/ recommendations.
  • Lead the production of briefs, case studies, and reader-friendly documentation for dissemination of results in the country, both at the government/donor level and at the community level.
  • Maintain and enhance the visibility of the program, identify and manage risks, and strengthen the reputation of the Activity.
  • Builds the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent learning system, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
  • Contribute to the knowledge management repository with best practices in communication and knowledge management and ensures that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
  • Establish a close working relationship with relevant media practitioners in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states and at the national level and maintain a database of key media and public relations contacts.
  • Develop and share content on Mercy Corps Global internal platforms (Workplace pages, The Hub and The Globe) and frequent updates to the country office communications for dissemination to Mercy Corps Nigeria external communications platforms.
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations, including security procedures and policies.
  • Travel to field locations to collect images, success stories based on program results, and other communications content to highlight programs successes, staff well-being, or any other topic as the need arises.

Capacity Building And Mentoring:

  • Provide capacity building on knowledge management, actionable learning, and adaptive management approaches.
  • Support the MEL Manager in building the capacity of staff, government counterparts, private sector, and other stakeholders in program monitoring and evaluation, data collection and management, and CLA methods as necessary.
  • Work closely with Program Managers, Human Resources, and Finance to ensure that CLA skills are incorporated into all program position descriptions and positions are budgeted for.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Help teams to plan and conduct effective dissemination of program materials to different Stakeholders.
  • Help identify team members’ capacity-building needs and the implementation of communications capacity-building and learning activities.
  • Facilitate communications capacity-building training/sessions for program team members and partner staff.
  • Support the planning and coordinating of communications trainings, workshops and other events, as the need arises.
  • Work with all stakeholders to identify new communications vehicles and platforms to expand the Activity’s dissemination base.
  • Build strategic partnerships and maintains positive and effective communication with partners; play a leading role in sustaining external relationships with partners.
  • Develop and oversees RRA team and partner capacity-building strategy that promotes a Culture of communication and learning.
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent learning system, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

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 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.
  • Supervisory Responsibility: Learning and Comms Officers, Assistants and Comms Interns
  • Reports Directly To: Chief of Party Works Directly with: Communications Manager, Program Sector Managers, MEL team, Reporting & Communications Officers, DCoP, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Communication Studies, Development Studies, Research Methods, Statistics, Economics, Social Sciences, Monitoring and Evaluation, Knowledge Management, Project Management, or other relevant field required.
  • 10 years of active work experience in communications, MEL or CLA in emergency and development programming.
  • Excellent quantitative and qualitative analysis skills required. Preferrable in Excel, Access, other statistical packages including Stata, R or SPSS and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS, or Google Earth Pro is preferred.
  • Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis.
  • Experience of working on USAID programs preferred.
  • Proven leadership experience in organizational and peer-to-peer learning, capacity strengthening, and collaborative learning and adaptation.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain partnerships and productive working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated skill and experience in facilitating groups, meetings, and events (both online and in-person), resulting in collaborative decision-making, agreed-upon action items/priorities, and strong outcomes.
  • Strong analytical, synthesis, report writing, and presentation skills and ability to deliver on time; fluency in spoken and written English required. Hausa is a plus.
  • Strong strategic, analytical, problem-solving, and systems thinking skills with the capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment.

Success Factors

  • A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem-solving.
  • S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem-solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting, and follow laws and security protocols.
  • The most successful Mercy Corps team 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.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

  • Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges.
  • We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
  • We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

  • Mercy Corps is an equal-opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have a sustained global impact.
  • We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all.
  • We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

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 the 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 adhere to the Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Application Closing Date
30th June, 2023.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should: