Natural Resource Management and Conflict Officer via ReliefWeb

Mercy Corps

, , KE


Mercy Corps has been operating in Kenya since 2008, focusing its interventions around four objectives: 1) Peace and Conflict Management; 2) Livelihood/Market Systems; 3) Governance (particularly at the county level); and 4) Youth Employment/Employability (including the social and economic development of adolescents). The four objectives serve to increase community resilience to drought and other shocks and stresses, and to decrease fragility with a particular focus on Kenya’s Arid Lands. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

The Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Conflict Officer will provide technical support in promoting peaceful co-existence around natural resources management for a five-year USAID-funded Feed the Future (FtF) Livestock Market Systems (LMS) Development Activity for northern Kenya. This position will support the Strengthening Community Capacities for Resilience and Growth component. This project will support USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and specifically will improve households’ income, productive assets and resilience to drought and other shocks. Specific areas of focus for the position include: strengthening and sustaining rangeland and water management; strengthening drought risk management and conflict management; improved and sustained health, nutrition, hygiene practices; literacy, numeracy, and life skills; as well as collaborative action and learning for community empowerment.


The NRM and Conflict Officer will be responsible for technical oversight and ensuring management for all activities related to conflict management and peaceful co-existence around natural resource management. S/he will define implementation strategies in coordination with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party and leadership team. The NRM and Conflict Officer will train staff and partners, providing them with technical assistance; and ensure that common strategies and approaches are applied consistently in all communities. S/he will coordinate closely with the M&E team to ensure that systems are in place to track, analyze and report results. The NRM and Conflict Office will be required to keep abreast of the latest research and evolutions in the field of conflict management around natural resources and integrate new ideas and approaches as appropriate, seek additional technical assistance as needed and ensure effective working relationships with collaborating agencies. S/he will work closely with our partner ACDI/VOCA, who will be leading the implementation of the LMs, and look for opportunities to link programming and clients with their programming and programming across the LMA.


Program Management

  • Contribute to team work plans and guide successful implementation of conflict management and natural resources management activities, ensuring teams follow work plans so activities are on time, target and within the approved budget, and program deliverables achieve desired impact;
  • Provide technical guidance on conflict management/natural resource management and ensure that interventions are responsive to stakeholders and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan. Ensure that interventions are evidence-based and adhere to adaptive management principles;
  • Conduct, participate in and/or update conflict and/or NRM assessments, involving a variety of stakeholders;
  • In collaboration with National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), facilitate discussions within communities aimed at promoting Disaster Risk Reduction approaches including for drought cycle management as important components of NRM;
  • Plan and work in partnership with the Rangeland Specialist and consultants to be in sync in approaches and plans;
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards;
  • Facilitate planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in;

  • In coordination with the MEL team, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact. Document approaches, successes and lessons learned;

· Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party and country leadership.
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.


  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: None


REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: County Project Coordinator with a dotted line to the Rangeland and Conflict Specialist

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, Community Facilitators, Technical Advisors, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Partner Organizations, and broader LMS team.


  • BA/S or equivalent in development studies, Disaster Risk Reduction, Range management, conflict mitigation, social sciences or other relevant field;

  • A minimum of three years of relevant professional experience in NRM where there is Natural Resource based conflicts with hands on experience in peace building initiatives;

  • Experience drafting contingency plans with communities in ASAL areas is required;

  • Strong management skills, including effective personnel management, adaptive management coordination and decision-making Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills;

  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques;

  • Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues;

  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work;

  • Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing, in English and other language(s), and fluency in Kiswahili. Local dialects spoken in Northern Kenya are also a plus;

  • Previous work experience in northern Kenya desirable;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.


The NRM and Conflict Officer will be familiar with the particular challenges of natural resources management in northern Kenya. S/he will combine exceptional management skills and capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders including the greater LMS team. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for peaceful co-existence. A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention including county government. The NRM and Conflict Officer will have the capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and to inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs.

S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and 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.

How to apply:

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a Cover Letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to [email protected] on or before 1st November, 2017.

The email subject line must clearly show the job title and location they are applying for.

Applications without an appropriate subject heading will be automatically disqualified.

Please do not attach any certificates.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

NB: We do not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process