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Program Officer, Social Cohesion at Mercy Corps Nigeria

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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Program Officer, Social Cohesion

Requisition Number: PROGR002252
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Position Status: Full-time, Regular

Program / Department Summary

  • Mercy Corps Nigeria’s humanitarian program aims to provide assistance to populations affected by the crisis in Northeast Nigeria. With funding from the Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs (BHA), Mercy Corps is scaling up and expanding its humanitarian response in Northeast Nigeria to reach more beneficiaries with additional assistance in a wider geographic area under the project titled Transitioning Households to Recovery from Vulnerability (THRIVE) in Jere.
  • The THRIVE project will provide context-specific humanitarian assistance with the goal of initiating early recovery in four wards in Jere LGA: Mairi, Mashamari, Dusuman, and Maimusari.
  • The two-year consortium project will operationalize an area-based approach to advance participants from lifesaving assistance to life-building support.
  • Under the Protection sector, the implementation is focused on GBV Prevention and response activities through WINN, the implementing partner.
  • Under protection, the overarching goal is crisis-affected IDPs, returnees, and host communities in Jere LGA live in safe, dignified, and resilient communities.

General Position Summary

  • The Program Officer will be responsible for proving technical guide to mainstreaming social cohesion across all sectors of implementation in the THRIVE program.
  • Oversee the implementation of activities by sectors and partners and ensure conflict-sensitive approaches are applied.
  • Ensure participants including IDPs, returnees and host communities have a smooth pathway to interventions.
  • He/She will work directly with sector Leads to identify new opportunities for mainstreaming social cohesion, conflict mitigation and re-integration activities under the THRIVE program.
  • The officer is to ensure close interactions with host community members and local governance structures to promote awareness and facilitate the establishment of sustained community-based schemes for promoting social cohesion. S/he will report directly to the Protection Coordinator and will work closely with other sector leads.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision:

  • Design proper strategies, detailed work plans and approaches to effective implementation of social cohesion initiatives in THRIVE program implementation locations in Jere LGA.
  • Working with partners to build effective working relationships with relevant stakeholders including community local governance structures, IDP-led associations, faith-based institutions, grass root community structures and youth associations about social cohesion initiatives during targeting and implementations of activities.
  • Participate in relevant coordination platforms and forums to share learnings and leverage on proven approaches to inform implementation.
  • Facilitate participatory needs assessments /situation analysis, problem analysis and planning exercises to enhance the participation of women and other marginalized groups (including IDPs) in the target locations.
  • Engage and conduct community stakeholders’ sensitization on the program activities and approaches. Mobilize targeted beneficiaries / participants to fully engage in the program to realize the intended objectives.
  • Participate in all strategic planning meetings and activities, gathering and sharing relevant information in relation to social cohesion with all relevant actors.
  • Make routine field visits within the program areas across the THRIVE program target locations to ensure effective implementation of program activities.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • 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.

Program Management:

  • Prepare and submit timely weekly updates, monthly and quarterly reports and work plans that will be indicative of program progress during implementation.
  • Maintain a proper filing system of all social cohesion initiatives implemented in the program.
  • Liaise with partners to identify human impact stories of program participants, contribute the research and learning agenda activities of the program and develop these into success stories.
  • Work closely with the MEL focal points to capture accurate data for measuring output and impact of the program, and to ensure accurate and timely flow of information from the field.
  • Keenly analyze implementation approaches to identify constraints to program success and provide timely recommendations to inform decision-making processes.
  • Ensure data protection policies are always adhered to.

Team Management:

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Orient and lead team members as necessary.

Finance & Compliance Management:

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.

Influence & Representation:

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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: Protection Coordinator.
  • Works Directly With: Finance, Program, MEL, and Operation Teams, Partners.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, Public Administration, Development Studies or other relevant fields from a recognized university.
  • 3 years work experience with a local or international NGO working with marginalized communities preferably in Northeast Nigerian with a focus on peace-building, conflict mediation, or working with ethnically and religiously diverse communities.
  • Proven experience in capacity building, coordinating activities, developing plans and drafting reports.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills and capacity to maintain relations with community leaders. Experience in building and maintaining strong/productive relations is required.
  • Proficiency in computer use particularly Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal, writing and oral presentation skills in English is a requirement. Knowledge of Kanuri and Hausa is required while other local languages are an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, strong leadership and proven team-building experience, ability to meet deadlines and work independently is required.
  • Willingness to spend much time in the field and work closely with program target groups.

Success Factors:

  • The successful candidate will have a can-do attitude. Ideally, s/he will be very committed and willing to learn and work in remote locations.
  • S/he is a problem solver, an effective community mobilizer who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of complexity.
  • S/he is an active listener and contributor, working to create a strong team that share ideas and learn.

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 a 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, colour, 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 the 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 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.

Application Closing Date
11th March, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Female candidates who are qualified are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • This position is contingent upon funding approval.
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