Senior Regional Policy and Advocacy Advisor - Kenya

Mercy Corps

Research, Teaching & Training

Unspecified KSh Confidential
2 weeks ago

Job Summary


Job Description/Requirements


About Mercy Corps

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

Across Africa, Mercy Corps is a recognized lead player in mobilizing large-scale humanitarian responses, including to crises in the drylands of the Horn, the Sahel, and complex crises such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mercy Corps is also a recognized leader in resilience and innovative food security strengthening approaches. We recognize that interconnected and complex shocks and stresses affecting the Africa region must be met with pragmatic and sophisticated approaches that span sectors and strategically bridge all forms of aid. With a strong humanitarian response track record, distinct agency-wide resilience framework, expertise in and an expansive platform of programs focused on multiyear approaches to strengthening food security, Mercy Corps is well placed to work differently and play a meaningful role in humanitarian response and resilience building across Africa.

The Position

The Regional Policy and Advocacy (PA) Advisor will support and enable Mercy Corpsâ efforts to ensure that humanitarian and development action in Africa effectively helps vulnerable communities cope, adapt and thrive in the face of conflict and climate change. The position seeks, in collaboration with the agency's global Policy & Advocacy (P&A) team and relevant colleagues in the region (including those working on research, analysis and media/communications and technical support), to influence policies and practices of national and international actors.

The PA Advisor - in collaboration with country and regional leadership - will lead advocacy in the region, conducting and compiling analysis and evidence to influence the policies and processes of key decisionmakers.

The position will engage with key stakeholders (governments, donors, UN agencies, coordinating bodies) primarily at the country and regional levels, to influence and improve the policies affecting the delivery of humanitarian and development interventions across Mercy Corpsâ areas of operation, in coordination with the broader NGO community in the region as well as Europe and the United States.

The PA Advisor will also be responsible for developing and supporting Mercy Corps country and regional teams to develop and deliver thoughtful impactful advocacy strategies to secure better outcomes for the communities we work with.

The PA Advisor will collaborate with Mercy Corpsâ global P&A team to develop a comprehensive regional advocacy strategy and support country-specific advocacy strategies as appropriate to ensure Mercy Corps conveys an articulate, well-informed, field-driven perspective to policymakers that drives policy change. The Advisor will establish and maintain relations with relevant stakeholders in key Mercy Corpsâ operational countries in the region and will develop policy-relevant documents, including talking points on needs, challenges, on-the-ground dynamics and recommendations, and other information and analysis, and share them with global policy staff to support their outreach efforts. The PA Advisor will help ensure that policy positions are well grounded in the priorities of the communities where we work, through regular and active communication within the region, while also ensuring team members are aware of Mercy Corps research, policy positions and talking points.

Essential Responsibilities


Support Mercy Corpsâ policy and advocacy related to country specific contexts as well as the Africa region at a global level and lead regionally-based advocacy work in close collaboration with the regional and global teams. Advise and support the development and implementation of Mercy Corps policy and advocacy strategies on key country contexts and the Africa region drawing on Mercy Corpsâ programme experience, research and technical expertise. Stay abreast of the fast-paced environment and challenges. Ensure that team members in the region are on message with our vision and position.


Build and maintain close links with key Mercy Corps country teams operating across the region, and ensure analysis is grounded in and supports Mercy Corpsâ program work. Implement the country-specific/regional advocacy strategies, developed in partnership with both the country programs and the Global P&A team. Work in close collaboration with Mercy Corpsâ operational countries in the region and establish and maintain strategic relations with relevant local and international stakeholders to continually inform, challenge, and improve Mercy Corpsâ advocacy. In collaboration with the country teams and the regional communication manager, develop and maintain up-to-date talking points on static positions as well as one-off, extraordinary events or challenges. Communicate these to field teams, recognizing that each donor visit and external meeting is an opportunity for advocacy. Ensure regular high-level representation in key humanitarian and development decision-making platforms and other mechanisms that impact operations and the needs of affected populations.


Work with the country teams and global P&A team to plan and produce effective, thoughtful and timely written products that advance policy perspectives important to our mission. Work with Crisis Analysis teams and the Regional Research Specialist to maximize on influence and learning drawn from specific regional and/our country initiatives. Monitor and evaluate the impact of policy and advocacy work. Related tasks as required and agreed by the Regional Director and Global Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.


Work with country teams to identify advocacy priorities and support the implementation of advocacy plans. Support country-specific staff (either dedicated policy and advocacy staff or individuals selected from existing teams) to better implement advocacy priorities at local, national, and international levels through mentoring, coaching, and development of individual capacity building plans. Provide training to field teams on advocacy and other related topics as needed. Create and animate a regional community of practice among staff whose work is relevant to P&A efforts.

Supervisory Responsibility

Dotted line support to country-specific policy and advocacy staff.


Reports Directly To: East Africa Deputy Regional Director, technical accountability Global P&A team.

Works Directly With: All regional Country Directors and relevant senior team members, program teams, regional communication and technical staff, researchers and analysts and broader regional team as well as MC Europe and US team members. The PA Advisor will work closely with Mercy Corps representational staff on coordination across the region. The PA Advisor will have strong working links with the Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy team in Europe and the US

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

BA/S or equivalent in relevant field; MA/S preferred. 5-7 years of experience successfully working with and managing advocacy and policy campaigns and initiatives in an NGO or legislative context, including past experience working with humanitarian issues and complex emergencies. Good understanding of the possibilities and tactics for influencing decisions and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors in the field. Demonstrable experience of representation and policy and advocacy work, and engaging, managing and working effectively with a range of stakeholders, networks and coalitions. Excellent analytical skills and demonstrable ability to think strategically, innovatively and practically to ensure achievement of desired change objectives. Demonstrable ability to summarize and persuasively communicate complex information in written and verbal form to different audiences, including past experience leading the production of external written policy products. Demonstrable experience in supporting, guiding and training senior staff in a technical area, preferably related to policy and advocacy. Strong organizational skills and ability to effectively handle multiple tasks, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. Excellent oral and written English language skills are required and French language skills are strongly preferred. Previous experience working in Africa and good knowledge of the political contexts across Africa are highly desirable.

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