Market Systems Advisor (Pro-Wash & SCALE Award)

Mercy Corps


Locations: Position will be based in Regions where Mercy Corps has a presence.

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

PRO-WASH & SCALE (Practices, Research, and Operations in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene and Strengthening Capacity in Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment) is an Associate Award funded by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The purpose of PRO-WASH & SCALE (PWS) is to strengthen the design, implementation, and overall effectiveness of key sector-specific interventions across BHA’s food security portfolio in emergency, early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience (ER4) activities. The Award’s technical intervention areas include WASH, agriculture, livelihoods, markets, infrastructure, natural and water resource management, climate change, and disaster risk reduction.

PWS is a 50-month activity (2023-2027) implemented by Save the Children and Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps leads activities related to agriculture, livelihoods, natural resource management and markets through the Agriculture Systems Technical Support Unit.

The Position

The Markets Systems Advisor will lead PWS’ markets-related work for both Mercy Corps and Save the Children, supporting implementing partners to apply market systems development (MSD) and market-based programming (MBP) approaches. As any implementing partner (IP) receiving BHA funding is eligible for PWS support, the Advisor will work across multiple agencies and countries. They will collaborate with local experts wherever possible, mutually strengthening capacities and allowing for the incorporation of contextualized knowledge and practices into tools and guidance. This includes organizing and leading training events, documenting and sharing MSD/MBP best practices, developing/adapting tools and guidance documents, supporting markets-related research activities, participating in communities of practice and/or learning groups, contributing to technical knowledge sharing events, and liaising with relevant technical networks, other USAID awards and local partners/institutions.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Lead the development of PWS’ capacity strengthening, research and engagement strategy as it relates to MSD/MBP, including gathering information on gaps and needs through consultations, desk mapping and interviews with a wide range of implementers across the food security community
  • Update and adapt the markets strategy as needed, to ensure PWS’ work remains responsive to implementers’ needs.
  • Build external visibility and awareness around markets-related work, including representing PWS to senior leadership within Mercy Corps, across peer agencies, to USAID and other communities of practice such as the Market in Crisis working group.
  • Support and advise IPs on applying MSD/MBP approaches to their activities, with a focus on agriculture, WASH and livelihoods interventions in both emergency and non-emergency contexts
  • Lead knowledge sharing and training events (including ToTs, cross-visits, learning cohorts, markets mentorship). Ensure delivery of learning activities on time, target and budget, using M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Identify, document and disseminate best practice and lessons learned related to MSD/MBP interventions taking place in, or relevant to, BHA-funded food security programs, with a focus on agriculture, livelihoods and WASH.
  • Develop and disseminate rosters of local experts, training institutions and organizations working on MSD/MBP in BHA contexts. Identify opportunities for local partners to collaborate with PWS and IPs on markets-related efforts.
  • Identify best practices for engaging with local market actors in emergency and resilience programs
  • Develop and/or adapt tools and guidance documents based on lessons learned, integrating local partners’ inputs to ensure materials are fit for context (including emergencies) and reflective of local knowledge and experience.
  • Contribute to markets-related learning groups and communities of practice, including liaising with BEAM, Markets in Crises (MiC), the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), Global WASH Cluster’s market based programming group, the Global Cluster’s Cash and Markets Working Group, and Associate Awards HAEC, IDEAL and REAL, etc. to curate and disseminate tools and resources
  • Support implementing partners during the Refine & Implement process, including: reviewing SOWs for markets and livelihoods-related studies and advising on assessments, analyses, and measurement approaches.
  • Advise emergency and early recovery partners on tools and best practices for conducting rapid market assessments and support piloting of tools, analysis and application of results.
  • Contribute to thought leadership on topics such as the sequencing and layering of cash and vouchers assistance (CVA) for livelihoods and for improved WASH coverage with market activities.
  • Identify and disseminate relevant research studies and support sense-making workshops to aid IPs in understanding and incorporating findings into their own work.
  • Support the maintenance of M&E systems, including ensuring data from PWS markets-related activities is accurately captured and organized..
  • Implement activities to assess and document the impact of capacity strengthening, knowledge sharing and learning and interventions.
  • Contribute to reflection discussions on the data findings and implications for adapting program approaches to ensure learning products and events achieve the greatest impact.
  • Contribute to the maintenance of 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.
  • Draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
  • Lead the writing of relevant sections of the quarterly and annual reports to USAID.
  • Identify, build and manage strategic partnerships with USAID (within and outside DC) and USAID-funded programs, as well as with relevant partner programs, local experts and institutions, and learning networks.
  • Represent SCALE and Mercy Corps with different stakeholders, including USAID in relevant practitioner and learning networks and at key events, as well as through developing industry wide papers, conference presentations, and online fora.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Actively engage in internal relationship building, helping PWS to leverage Mercy Corps MSD/MBP expertise and resources.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Relevant technical consultants (tbd, as the need arises)


Reports Directly To: SCALE Technical Director, Mercy Corps

Works Directly With: All PRO-WASH & SCALE team members, Mercy Corps Economic Growth technical team 

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

  • 5+ years experience in market systems development
  • Experience in designing and implementing market-based programs in emergency and non-emergency contexts, including in hard to reach rural areas, with demonstrated experience designing/conducting/overseeing market systems assessments, sales and marketing activities, and private sector development activities. Such experience should also include coaching and training others on these approaches. 
  • Familiarity with agricultural markets and market-based sanitation required
  • Exceptional facilitation and training skills, with experience designing curricula, tools and other learning/training materials for adult audiences in multiple country contexts
  • Ability to work and collaborate effectively across multiple programs, partners and countries
  • Experience applying social and behavior change (SBC) and/or human-centered design (HCD) principles a plus
  • Familiarity with sanitation business models, product design, microfinance and/or financial product development strongly preferred,
  • Previous experience with USAID/BHA funded food security programs preferred and in countries with USAID/BHA funded programming
  • Fluency in spoken and written English (required) and French (highly preferred)

Success Factors

The successful applicant will balance in-depth technical expertise in the agriculture and WASH sectors with implementation of knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening activities. Strong understanding of knowledge management systems as well as practical implementation of programs to ensure knowledge sharing, learning and uptake is grounded in practical reality is essential. The successful applicant will have the drive and confidence to innovate, and a true ambition to build and capture knowledge as a means to improve program quality. Strong networking, listening, communication and negotiations skills are essential to the success of this role. They will be self-motivated and able to think creatively about achieving learning objectives for a global, multi-organizational target audience. 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

The position may include travel to USAID/BHA implementation countries, which may include program areas of sometimes high security risk. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.

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.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development