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. In Nigeria, Mercy Corps has worked since 2012 by focusing its programming on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development, conflict mitigation, and humanitarian response.
Program / Department Summary
- Mercy Corps Nigeria implements a variety of programs with the ultimate goal of building productive, secure and just communities. The organization’s programs are implemented in twelve states, mainly in North West and North East Nigeria and Lagos.
- Our work covers the following sectors: economic development, livelihoods/food security, adolescent girls & boys empowerment, financial resilience, conflict mitigation and humanitarian response. Common themes include community engagement, inclusive development, gender, and working in partnership with local government, the private sector and civil society actors
General Position Summary
- Reporting to the Operations Manager, the liaison officer will be responsible for the policy analysis and strategic planning support required by the team within the geographical locale in which operations are situated.
- The liaison officer is responsible for supporting the overall strategic planning with the field SMT and will deliver regular reports, briefing papers, key messages or position papers as required. Where joint messaging on behalf of the SMT is either unproductive or impossible, the post-holder will aim to facilitate and support joint works through “coalitions of the willing.”
- The post-holder will likewise be responsible for outreach and coordination to local NGO networks to support coordinated engagement work within the relevant geographical locale.
Essential Job Functions
- In conjunction with relevant internal focal persons, monitor the security environment within the designated geographical area with particular focus on program areas of operations. Work will include but not be limited to staying informed (through media, social media, contacts, etc.) about the safety and security situation in Southern Borno on daily basis.
- Verify acquired information through secondary sources.
- Maintain regular contact with field staff about security situation in their respective assigned geographical area.
- Alongside the relevant operational focal people, ensure that relevant staff members understand and are able to use this equipment, including radios, satellite phones, fire extinguishers, etc through regular training and orientations for new staffs.
- Alongside with the relevant operational focal people, conduct comprehensive security/risk assessment in potential new program/field sites in Southern Borno and its field offices.
- Work with the relevant program and operational focal people as well as the Team Leader, on community acceptance messaging and other operational strategies in the area of operations in Southern Borno.
- Provide required periodic safety updates (daily reports, incident reports, meetings summary etc.) to relevant MCN Staff so they can better plan their work.
- Review the weekly/daily movement of staff in the field and provide on-time and real time advice for program and operational activities ongoing within the field
- Track vehicle movements where and when required until the safe arrival of staff/contract workers to their final destination.
- Provide initial analysis of relevant security development and communicate them to MC Senior Management Team
- Be readily available at all times to the Operations Manager, Team Leader and field staff to advice on security developments.
- Stay abreast of political developments and humanitarian trends in Nigeria, with an emphasis on the humanitarian crisis in the NE, informing SMT members where relevant.
- Develop a calendar of upcoming lobby opportunities to be tapped into.
- Liaise with leads from relevant international coordination structures
- Engage with peace building and resilience working groups, through calling for meetings, drafting action-oriented meeting notes, support in sourcing for presenters and developing agenda for the meetings.
- Ensure collaboration with the OCHA-chaired Humanitarian Communications Working Group.
- Ensuring sufficient capacity and knowledge to support policy analysis and strategic planning around the humanitarian architecture and operational issues.
- Collaborate with the Operations Manager and Team Leader to act as official representative at meetings with external engagement targets.
- Identify and liaise with external partners
- Daily Risk Ratings per location
- Monthly Go / No-Go for key roads and districts
- Incident Reports and Incident Log – always up to date
- Advise and prepare documented SOPs for travel in all areas including routes, roads, weather, stop-overs, check-in and turn-around timings.
- Maintain regular contact with field staff about security situation in their respective areas.
- Request and Review the weekly/daily movement of staff in the field, and provide immediate advice in cases of staff planning to go to a dangerous area. Maintain a whiteboard of all staff movements.
- Conduct safety and road checks daily and prior to any movements. Will recommend approval for travel.
- Provide post-incident analysis for senior management.
- Risk Assessment – quarterly minimum
- Flash Reports – immediate dissemination of critical incidents in our area of work
- Weekly security brief to be shared with all relevant staff, including the North east program director, operations director, operational heads, program managers and security management team.
- Operational Security
- Conduct security assessments of MCN sites and identify safe havens, checkpoints and other key factors critical to our safe operations and contingency plans in NE. Will lead a Risk Assessment process that is inclusive and includes risk mitigation measures and strategies.
- Help with preparations of field visits.
Finance & Compliance Management:
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Ensure compliance with all Mercy Corps finance regulation in carrying out activities as a Driver
Influence & Representation:
- 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.
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.
- Reports Directly To: Operations Manager
- Works Directly With: Program Teams, Field Security Management Team, Operations Staff
Knowledge and Experience
- Advanced university degree in related field
- Relevant work experience in policy analysis, influence, strategic planning, communications, research, media, data gathering and/or information management
- Demonstrated capacity to develop and implement strategies with clear theories of change
- Excellent writing, editing and analytical skills and ability to formulate well-targeted strategic documents
- Effective skills in coordination, organization and prioritization as well as in Microsoft Office applications.
- Demonstrated attentions to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
- Experience living and working in Nigeria, and experience in the Northeast preferred.
- Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures highly desirable.
- English proficiency required; excellent written and oral skills.
- Ability to speak Hausa or Kanuri and any other North East local languages (desired but not essential)
- Ability to work independently in a fast-paced and often demanding environment
- Fluency in English required, with demonstrated writing skills
- Computer literacy in using Microsoft Office and email/internet.
- Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies. Good context analysis skills.
- Excellent negotiation and representation skills and the ability to work comfortably with an ethnically diverse staff in a very sensitive environment.
- Critical to this job is the ability to carry out liaison & networking activities, think critically, keep abreast of security situations within volatile terrains, work out methods to deliver successful programs, be able to comply with Mercy Corps and donor regulations while maintaining strong cooperative relationships with other departments.
- The successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with national and international staff members and demonstrate ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and provide relevant advice and support in a fluid security environment.
- The candidate will also have to be able to demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and must be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense environment.
- Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
- Interested and qualified candidates should submit their CV’s and Cover Letter in one document, addressing the position requirements.All applications must include the position title in the subject line and should not be more than 4 pages.
- Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview and we are an equal opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
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