Consultant - Resilient Agriculture Support – PRO-WASH & SCALE

Mercy Corps

United States 🇺🇸




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.

PRO-WASH & SCALE (Practices, Research, and Operations in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene & Strengthening Capacity in Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment) is an Associate Award funded by the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). PWS is a 50-month activity (2023-2027) implemented by Save the Children and Mercy Corps. The purpose of PRO-WASH & SCALE is to strengthen the design, implementation, and overall effectiveness of key sector-specific interventions across BHA’s food security portfolio in emergency and early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience (ER4) activities. The Award’s technical intervention areas include WASH, agriculture, livelihoods, markets, infrastructure, natural and water resources management, climate change, and disaster risk reduction. Mercy Corps leads activities related to agriculture, livelihoods, natural resources management and markets through the Agriculture Systems Technical Support Unit. 

Purpose / Project Description:

Provide technical support to BHA-funded partners on their resilient agriculture approaches at the garden, compound and farm levels, including mentorship, training, resource development/adaptation, and guidance on documentation and sharing of lessons learned and best practices.

Consultant Objectives:

Resilient agriculture is a key component of many BHA-funded emergency and resilience programs. In consultation calls with PRO-WASH & SCALE, implementing partners expressed an interest in receiving additional support for their resilient agriculture activities, including: remote and in-country mentorship and training; drafting or adapting tools to fit specific contexts; and documenting/sharing new learnings, evidence and best practices. Leveraging the Resilience Design in Smallholder Farming Systems (RD) Approach, the Permagarden Approach, and associated resources, the Resilient Agriculture consultant will support PRO-WASH & SCALE in responding to these requests.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Provide remote mentorship to BHA-funded Zimbabwe food security program, including supporting troubleshooting and advising on adaptations to implementation of the Permagarden and RD approaches
  • Prepare and carry out an in-country mentorship trip to support Zimbabwe partners’ implementation of the approaches, including: preparing agenda and mentorship materials; participating in preparatory emails and calls; visiting implementation sites; and supporting continued uptake of RD and Permagarden materials, including M&E tools
  • Provide coaching to additional external stakeholders (including BHA implementers and relevant partners working in emergency and development contexts) to identify key issues, opportunities and needs re implementation of RD, Permagarden and other climate resilient agriculture approaches
  • Document lessons learned about the challenges, possibilities, and strategies for applying resilient agriculture/Permagarden approaches in new contexts such as refugee/IDP camp settings
  • Participate in related webinars and roundtable discussions with BHA and partners to share RD and Permagarden related learnings, evidence and best practice, and socialize resources, including the launch of the revised Permagarden Technical Manual
  • Participate in calls with the PRO-WASH & SCALE team to ensure alignment with other program objectives.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will deliver the following: 

  • Zimbabwe remote mentorship: agenda, call notes, follow up emails, other guidance (est. 2 days)
  • Zimbabwe in-country Permagarden and RD mentorship: preparations, agenda, mentorship materials, post-trip report with findings, recommendations, etc. (est. 16 days)
  • Partner coaching: agenda, call notes, follow up emails with guidance/resources (est. 2 days)
  • Documentation of lessons learned: inputs to PRO-WASH & SCALE briefs, presentations, etc. (est. 2 days)
  • Knowledge sharing events and webinars: inputs to slide decks, facilitation guides, key messages (est. 2 days)
  • Participation in various call/meetings: call notes (est. 2 days)

Timeframe / Schedule: 

The anticipated LOE for this assignment is up to 26 days within a 7-month period. Ideal start date is October 1, 2023. All deliverables must be approved by the Mercy Corps representative to be considered final. 

The Consultant will report to:

Technical Director – Agriculture, NRM, Markets and Livelihoods, PRO-WASH & SCALE 

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Senior Advisor – Climate Resilient Agriculture/NRM
  • Operations Officer, PRO-WASH & SCALE
  • PRO-WASH & SCALE team members, and Mercy Corps Agriculture TSU team members, as relevant 
  • Others as identified during the contract timeframe

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in a technically relevant field
  • Expert in climate resilient agriculture, with specific experience in Africa preferred
  • Permaculture design certification 
  • Hands-on/practical experience implementing resilient agriculture programs in multiple contexts 
  • Familiarity with Mercy Corps’ agriculture systems approaches, preferred
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience working with technical and program teams

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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging 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.




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