Gender & Social Inclusion Manager (USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity)

Mercy Corps

Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo 🇨🇩

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/Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. 

In October 2020, Mercy Corps started the five-year USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity, with a budget of $32 million to be implemented in 4 locations across North and South Kivu. Building on the successes of Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE program, and those of other WASH actors in Eastern DRC, USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity brings together a consortium of 4 international partners to focus on Market Systems Development and strengthening governance in the water and sanitation sectors. In partnership with USAID and in line with Development Objective 2 of USAID’s DRC Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity aims to show that it is possible to achieve genuinely sustainable increases in access to clean water by implementing contextually relevant, performance-based contractual models for water service delivery in collaboration with state and local entities including ETDs and Provincial Administrations.

The Position 

The Gender & Social Inclusion Manager will be part of the Program Controls & Quality component within the USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity program, which is responsible for overseeing cross-cutting program management initiatives and workstreams that strengthen the overall implementation of the Activity. The Gender  & Social Inclusion Manager will lead Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and and Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) for the USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity. S/he will be expected to bring creativity and innovation to ensure that GESI and AAP opportunities are maximized, integrated and mainstreamed throughout the wider program strategy and implementation of other component activities. Within USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity, GESI and AAP are essential functions that should be integrated into the wider program strategy and objectives, specifically those of Market Systems Development and Infrastructure, to ensure maximum reach and impact. 

Essential Responsibilities 


  • Finalize, review and implement an adaptive and innovative GESI strategy and workplan that connects and complements wider program objectives, specifically MSD and Infrastructure, focusing particularly on gender and youth
  • Supervise the GESI team members, sharing information and knowledge and connecting them to resources as required
  • Oversee implementation of GESI activities, ensuring they are conducted in a creative, effective and efficient manner
  • Lead the collaboration between the GESI team members and the wider team, ensuring that the workstreams are well integrated and enhance each other
  • Actively participate in the global GESI working group; sharing challenges, lessons learned and collaborating to maximize information-sharing and impact


  • Oversee the functioning of program-managed Community Accountability Reporting Mechanisms (CARM) in all program sites 
  • Coordinate with program managers to ensure that robust community feedback mechanisms are in place prior to all activities, including but not limited to community committees and suggestion boxes; ensure sufficient visibility of all feedback mechanisms 
  • Train team members as needed in how to receive and process feedback from participants
  • Work with the Director – Program Controls to ensure the timeliness of reception, treatment and response for all feedback received
  • Monitor key indicators for CARM functionality, including volume of feedback received by channel, grade, and location, disaggregated by sex 
  • Collaborate with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Director to ensure that CARM feedback trends inform adaptive program management  


  • Contribute to regular reporting and internal communication efforts
  • Support the implementation of internal and external communications
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary; communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews
  • Provide continued capacity building to all direct reports and broader program team members and create a pleasant work environment that promotes learning, accountability and ownership

Supervisory Responsibility

GESI Coordinator 


Reports Directly To: Director – Program Controls, USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity

Works Directly With: Program Delivery Managers (M&E, Market Service Delivery, Governance, Infrastructure),LDIP Manager PaQ Director and associated support department Managers.

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills 

  • Between 1-3 years of work experience in the international development sectors, preferably with experience of having lived and worked in Africa 
  • Fluent in English and French and/or Swahili, or fluent in one language and basic knowledge of the other (with commitment to improve in early months of work)
  • Passionate, enthusiastic and ambitious about Gender Equality and Social inclusion, with at least basic knowledge and understanding of GESI strategies and best practice
  • Creative and capable of coming up with new and innovative ideas with limited resources
  • Committed to capacity building, training and coaching of a team with diverse skill sets
  • Demonstrable ability of strong written communication skills, and an understanding of external and internal communication techniques
  • Experienced in producing high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal direction
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work with a range of team members is essential
  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants
  • Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement 
  • Prior work experience in the DRC and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage

Success Factors 

The successful Gender & Social Inclusion Manager will combine enthusiasm and creativity with an ability to implement effective and efficient activities. S/he must be able to motivate and inspire their colleagues, whilst looking for opportunities to proactively promote and include GESI and communications. The Gender & Social Inclusion Manager will be expected to work independently, learn quickly and adapt to an often-changing environment and strategy. S/he must be passionate and committed to GESI, demonstrating this naturally throughout all their interactions, and constantly pushing the team to critically reflect on how to bring inclusion to the forefront of their activities.

The Gender & Social Inclusion Manager will have proven experience working with cross-cultural teams and be committed to capacity building and mentoring. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential. 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 in all situations. 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Bukavu according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy.  

Bukavu is a provincial capital of over 1,200,000 inhabitants. Living in Bukavu is mostly comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside of Bukavu, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity. 

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Bukavu, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps’ sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. 

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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.  

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment. 

Ongoing Learning

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 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 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.