Senior Program Officer – Nutrition and Agriculture at Mercy Corps

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: Senior Program Officer – Nutrition and Agriculture
Location: Damboa, Borno
Employment Type: Full time
Reports Directly to: Field manager, with dotted line to Nutrition Coordinator / Advisor.

Program / Department Summary

  • With the insurgency affecting North-East Nigeria and displacing millions of people, Mercy Corps is to implement a multi-sector response that covers Food assistance, Nutrition, Agriculture, WASH, Shelter and Protection to support the conflict-affected population.
  • The nutrition response supports both nutrition-sensitive and specific interventions that contribute to prevention, detection and management of malnutrition.
  • These emphasize the production of vegetables, fruits and animal source foods that are high in protein and micronutrients.
  • The support includes equipping households with tools and skill-building activities to foster year-round productivity in both rainy and dry seasons using mainly the Perma gardening method and locally available/easy to get resources.
  • To complement the nutrition treatment services and food assistance, this program integrates nutrition-sensitive agriculture that includes the promotion of simple subsistence agriculture and livestock production techniques to improve availability, access, and consumption of diversified nutritious diets through long term and sustained approaches.

General Position Summary

  • The Senior Program Officer – Agriculture and Nutrition will build the technical capacity of field team on Perma gardening method and also provide field level managerial and technical oversight to the day to day implementation, coordination and supervision to Agriculture and Nutrition program team.
  • He / She is also responsible for ensuring that activities are implemented according to schedule, budget and required quality.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Vision:

  • Collaborate with other team member for effective integration between other services like Nutrition, Food Assistance, WASH and protection.
  • Collaborate with local authorities and other partners to harmonize different efforts for better impact and sustainability.
  • Able to learn and update his/ her information or knowledge to adapt to the changing situation and context

Program Management:

  • Manage the nutrition and agriculture activities implemented in assigned LGA and ensure that staff are effectively engaged in their tasks.
  • Train targeted beneficiaries on Perm gardening methods & / climate-smart agriculture and poultry production through formal training, on-job mentorship and supportive supervision to ensure that it is adopted and practised during the dry and wet season.
  • Supervise day to day field level implementation of planned food security / agricultural activities i.e. distribution of Fresh Food Vouchers, Kitchen gardening and backyard poultry farming.
  • Coordinate and or supervise community mobilization and nutrition sensitization activities that promote increased consumption of nutritious diets
  • Consolidate and submit quality nutrition, agriculture and related activity reports (including success stories and lessons learned reports).
  • Closely collaborate with other sector teams at the field level to ensure an integrated Nutrition approach internally with MC sectors and externally with complementary activities implemented by other nutrition actors.
  • Discuss and follow up on any technical problems related to nutrition and agriculture programming and brainstorm solutions.
  • Ensure sound monitoring and joint supervision of program activities in close collaboration with LGA Agriculture and Health / nutrition Office.
  • Actively participate in area-level nutrition, food security and Health sector meetings.
  • Serve as technical focal person for all field level engagements.
  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
  • Raise procurement requests to initiate procurement process following MC policy and periodically evaluate and update project procurement and supply needs.
  • Draft monthly financial forecast and quarterly financial need forecast in line with the detailed project activity plan / Monthly activity plans and send it to Program Manager

Team Management:

  • Track project teams’ daily attendance and validate monthly attendance for the supervisee.
  • Communicate with HR for necessary staff meeting, performance review, appraisals
  • Identify specific technical gaps in project implementation teams and in liaison with the Technical Advisor to organize internal training for them.
  • Organize LGA level weekly nutrition and agriculture team meetings and provide feedback on improvements, gaps and standardization of the service provision and reporting
  • Work with the team to develop a detailed project implementation plan and orient the project teams on their roles and responsibilities

Finance and Compliance Management:

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.

Influence and Representation:

  • Train and support Village Agents and Agriculture Extension Workers and make sure they transmit/convey messages clearly to targeted participants.
  • Creates and maintain the relationship with local Agriculture, Nutrition and other authorities to link services with the existing LGA structure smoothly,
  • Upholds the image and values of Mercy Corps at all times,


  • 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.
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • Agriculture / Livelihood Officers, Nutrition Officer, Assistants and community level / field volunteers.

Works Directly with:

  • The senior program officer will work closely with the Program Manager, CASH team, MEL team, and operations staff (including finance and operations).

Knowledge and Experience

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, a relevant master’s degree is a plus.
  • Minimum (3) years experience in nutrition-sensitive agriculture and/or food security and livelihood programming, policy or research, with at least a years’ experience in a resource-challenged setting.
  • Microsoft Office Skills (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Word).
  • Excellent analytical, written and oral communication skills.
  • Willing and able to be based within remote areas, where services are limited.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team, including cross-cultural teams.
  • Fluency in Hausa, Kanuri and English.
  • Substantial hands-on experience in social and Behaviour change programming is required.
  • Familiarity of the intervention areas
  • Knowledge of nutrition / agriculture assessments and or surveys a plus.

Success Factors:

  • The successful candidate will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building.
  • S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level.
  • Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
  • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours.
  • 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.



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


Application Deadline  17th May, 2021.

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