Website Mercy Corps
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor
Employment Type: Full-time
Salary Grade: M1
Job Location: Surkhet with frequent visit to the field at working communities, Nepal
Valid through: December 26, 2021
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. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, agriculture, market development, financial services, girl’s education, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. We take a systems-based approach in our programming, with the aim of improving the lives and potential of vulnerable individuals and communities across Nepal.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps Nepal has been implementing BHAKARI program funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs since October 1, 2020 with a goal to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload, and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in 6 districts (Mugu, Jumla, Kalikot, Surkhet, Achham and Dailekh, with cluster hubs in Surkhet and Jumla) in the Karnali River Basin area. The Bhakari program is somewhat built upon many of the successes of the Nepal team’s previous Food for Peace program which ended in January 2020, the PAHAL program, but with some new districts and a much heavier emphasis on emergency response. It includes program components of agriculture and market systems, disaster risk reduction, water for productive use, natural resources management, and a large emphasis on a gender and social inclusion approach, all with a highly integrated multi-sectoral approach.
BHAKARI will strengthen foundational skills and capacity of disaster management bodies to prepare for, recover, and manage impacts resulting from recurrent and concurrent shocks and stresses in the Karnali river basin. The program will implement a community based DRR and emergency response approach through development and implementation of integrated community and watershed assessments and management plans while supporting functional early warning systems, saving lives and improving the lead time to secure and save assets while establishment of GESI first emergency cash funds which will improve the response and recovery for those impacted by shocks and stresses.
General Position Summary
The Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor (DRR Advisor) under the leadership of the DRR Senior Manager will guide BHAKARI program’s DRR design and implementation. The DRR Advisor will support implementation of high quality, impactful DRR programming and provide technical support structures to technical and district partners to sustain DRR programs.
Specifically, this role will operationalize the DRR strategy, that aligns and complements the implementation of the emergency component of the multi-sectoral, integrated USAID program called BHAKARI. The DRR Advisor will report to the DRR SM and closely work with the other technical managers, district and cluster office coordinators, as well as local implementing partners, roll-out a component of DRR which focuses on strengthening community and institutional systems to be able to cope, respond and recover to a range of ecological, health and economic shocks and stresses for the ultimate purpose of food security. The position holder will coordinate the roll out of a community based DRM processes in 252 vulnerable and food insecure communities in the mid hill and high mountains of the Karnali river basin alongside a capacity strengthening and institutional support process to local disaster management committees and local emergency operation centres to enable longer term disaster management, emergency response capacities and handover of certain aspects of the strategy to local government.
This position will work closely with the district/ partner based DRR officers and Supervisor in the field. They will technically support and backstop DRR related program staff at the regional and field levels. The DRR Advisor along with the DRR field based staff will work to design DRR related activities and support its implementation with sound technical oversight through capacity building of local partners, coordination and technical advice to strengthen program such as – the Early Warning System, DRR/DRM, data analysis and management, establishment of community response capacity; raising of general risk awareness levels and the institutionalization of all interventions and initiatives within government plans at Municipal and District levels with a regional perspective.
Essential Job Responsibilities
PROGRAM DESIGN AND PLANNING
- Support resilience integration in design of DRR components and work plans
- Support DRR SM on to collect and analyse DRR key performance indicators to inform strategic decision making and embed resilience measurement into monitoring, evaluation, research and learning framework and tools.
- Lead implementation of community DRR approaches that target the most remote and vulnerable households, and when successful, lead on the knowledge management and learning transfer to the wider humanitarian community.
- Support planning and budgeting for DRR component and provide support to project team for timely implementation of DRR component.
- Lead training and capacity building of BHAKARI partners on DRR, integrated assessments, EWS, DRR policy and procedures and institutional set up.
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
- Support program team(s) in design and implementation of the DRR and facilitate partner coordination with emergency response, water and agriculture especially around EWS, climate and weather information and mitigation and adaptation technologies.
- Support the DRR SM in assessment, design, authorization of all DRR interventions for BHAKARI, that includes overseeing DRR committees formation and strengthening; establishment of early warning system, strengthening of capacity on disaster response, implementation of household DRR planning, mainstreaming of DRR plans into the development planning process.
- Coordinate and facilitate all DRR events related to studies/assessments, workshops, training and orientation programs and formal/informal interactions with program beneficiaries, partners and stakeholders.
- Lead work planning and implementation of BHAKARI DRR strategy including operationalizing sequencing, layering and integration of activities and, design risk informed work plans, standard operating procedures.
- Support adaptive management and review meetings with central, field teams and partners
- Oversee program startup and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
- Coordinate with other BHAKARI partners to integrate the activities that are cross cutting and build the capacity of the regional and district DRR staffs to understand the points of coordination and support them to implement the activities accordingly.
- Coordinate with technical and district partners to conduct systemic vulnerability and risk assessments, analyze data and utilize findings on an on-going basis to inform and adapt program design/approaches.
- Assist in the review of implementation/project proposals for soundness of approach, particularly around DRR and CCA within a resilience framework.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Ensure that project participants are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria, and that feedback mechanisms are in place.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards- based on the organization-wide guide.
- Coordinate with partners to ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Engage closely with M&E systems to ensure effective and useful gathering of monitoring information, and engage closely with the program’s collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) processes to practice quality adaptive management of the emergency response component.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm.
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Ensure compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Build and/or maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local governments, other USAID implementing partners and other stakeholders.
- Represent Mercy Corps- both the BHAKARI program and our entire country program, to district, provincial and national platforms for DRR and resilience
Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership, especially related to staff and partners’ security during emergency distributions, as well as digital information security related to digital emergency transactions.
- Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participating communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
- Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
- Mercy Corps as a humanitarian agency is expected to respond as and when crisis and humanitarian situation engulfs. As an MC employee all staff are expected to be part of humanitarian and emergency response in addition to their regular roles and responsibilities.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Conduct themselves both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and not to jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Other duties as assigned by their supervisor and or Country Director.
Reports Directly to: Senior Manager-Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
Works Directly with: Senior Manager (Emergency Response, Agriculture), Water Security Manager, Technical Advisors/Coordinator, GESI Advisor/Officers, other team members of National Consortium Partners and the district Implementing Partners.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Disaster Risk Management, Environmental Management, International development, Management, Economics or other relevant field. Master’s degree strongly preferred, in a relevant sector.
- At least 5 years of relevant, professional experience in progressively responsible positions. At least 3 years in technical advisory role for DRR/M program in Nepal.
- Experience in USAID programming, especially for DRR/M is preferred, including knowledge of USAID DRR approaches and strategies, as well as compliance parameters.
- Experience in working with large scale community based DRR and DRR systems strengthening including institutional capacity building for government and civic society actors. Relevant DRR experience should include:
- Demonstrated experience in conducting integrated community risk and vulnerability assessments and facilitate community action planning process,
Proven experience in designing and implementing bioengineering interventions, early warning system (EWS) interventions and Local Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) establishment and strengthening,
- Demonstrated skill in training and DRR capacity development of field staff,
- Demonstrated skill in coordinating information across technical sectors and in the field
- Familiarity with National DRM Act, Policies, Strategies and working with Provincial and municipal government structures for DRR, EWS and climate and weather information and integration of DRR into formal planning processes and budgeting procedures.
- Strong experience of working with the implementing partners and staff.
- Experience of implementation of DRR work with an eye to longer-term, multi-sector integrated projects, with a strong understanding of resilience approaches as well.
- Ability to work independently in the field and show initiative. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to develop good relationships with a wide range of actors required.
- Effective writing and organizational skills for report development, complete analyses and make presentations.
- Experience of representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of provincial, district and local stakeholders, private sector actors, Government and partners.
The successful Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to the government stakeholders and I/NGOs in the region and districts. They will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building. They will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. In particular, they will be flexible and adaptable with a donor that is piloting a new multi-year emergency mechanism in the context of the new creation of the Bureau for Humanitarian affairs. They will also be highly committed and willing to go out of their way to ensure dedicated, intentional integration of gender and social inclusion, one of the key tenants that this Bhakari program is built upon.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Surkhet, Nepal and it requires up to 50% travel to field locations, which may include travel to remote areas where amenities are limited.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
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 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, color, 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 prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. 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 to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.