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Snap Plaza 8th floor, Bole Next to The Millennium hall. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Job Description:

About 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.

Mercy Corps has been present in Ethiopia since 2004 working to drive bold and transformative ideas, working closely with government, the private sector and civil society actors to build a more resilient country, ensuring that programs are responsive to and influenced by participants and stakeholders. With the launch of Mercy Corps Global Strategy, Pathway to Possibility, the country office is poised to operationalize its three-year strategy with a vision to enhance the resilience of climate- and conflict-affected communities through market systems development for improved livelihoods, access to food, and safe and clean water to thrive in the face of crises. In Ethiopia, our strategy focuses in the four outcome areas: 1) Economically marginalized populations have improved and diversified livelihoods, income, and assets; 2) Pastoralists, farmers, and households have access to sustainably produced, safe, nutritious food; 3) Social cohesion and inclusive governance processes are built in crisis-affected communities; and 4) People have equitable, sustained access to clean water and sanitation for domestic and productive use. Currently, we operate in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Ethiopia. Working with a diverse base of donors that includes United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union, GAC, Hilton Foundation, United Nations (UN), JOA, Sweden, EKN, and other foundations, Mercy Corps Ethiopia empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. 

 Position Title: Project officer

Duty Station: Bahir Dar

Open Position:  1

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps seeks a Project Officer for the Hilton-funded Research for Innovative and Sustainable Water in Ethiopia (RISE) project. The project will work to establish and strengthen reliable, affordable, and sustainable water supply services in the targeted woredas (Dera, Farta, and North Mecha) by exploring the potential of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). While PPPs are considered an alternative approach to enhance water service delivery by mitigating capital constraints in resource-limited environments, the Mercy Corps team recognizes that the model must be fit for purpose to ensure successful PPP implementation. Various PPP arrangements, including management contracts, leases, and full concessions, can crowd in additional resources and expertise needed to improve water service quality and delivery. While PPPs can improve water supply services' functionality and sustainability, the PPP model's viability and type must be selected based on key enabling factors and local market characteristics. To better determine those factors and validate the appropriate PPP model, the RISE team will conduct a series of evaluations before establishing any PPP model(s). 

To assess the viability of a PPP model, RISE will employ a systematic approach, beginning with a series of interrelated comprehensive evaluations across three target woredas. These evaluations will be guided by five key categories of enabling factors:

  • Infrastructure: Assessing the current condition of water supply infrastructure in the target areas and identifying necessary investments and rehabilitation efforts to enhance functionality and expand coverage.
  • Market: Examining the demand for water supply services in the three woredas, including variations across different regions and population segments. Factors influencing water consumption patterns and affordability will also be explored.
  • Policy and Regulatory Framework: Analyzing existing policies, regulations, and institutional frameworks related to water supply, PPPs, and rural development at both the national and regional levels. This assessment will determine how these policies either support or hinder the implementation of a PPP model for water supply service delivery.
  • Stakeholder Commitment and Capacity: Evaluating the readiness and capacity of local stakeholders, such as government agencies, private sector entities, and community-based organizations, to engage in a PPP model for water supply services. This assessment will also identify potential roles, responsibilities, and levels of commitment among these stakeholders.
  • Financial Constraints and Risks: Identifying the financial constraints and risks associated with implementing a PPP model across the three woredas. This evaluation will explore potential revenue streams and funding sources to ensure sustainability, affordability, and future expansion of water supply services.

 General Position Summary

The Project Officer will play a crucial role in the implementation of the project activities in a daily basis. in the three districts, Amhara, Ethiopia. This position requires strong project implementation, analytical and organizational skills.  The Project Officer will be responsible for overseeing field activities, coordinating with stakeholders and local vendors, ensuring smooth implementation of the assessment, and providing support to the evaluation team.

The Project Officer should also draw upon their proven experience in supporting the operational implementation of inception or research pilots at a district level to ensure the smooth execution of the project, including overseeing research, analysis, and stakeholder consultation.

Essential Job functions

Project implementation

  • Implement in the field a comprehensive work plan that aligns with the project's objectives and donor requirements. Develop, implement, and monitor the progress of work plans at a district level and adaptively manage the project activities at his/her respective locations.
  • Support the overall management of the pilot evaluation, including planning, timing, and budget, ensuring compliance with donor regulations.
  • In line with the project coordinator, monitor project progress, identify challenges, and take proactive measures to keep assessments on track.
  • Ensure compliance with project timelines and deliverables.
  • Work closely with the Project coordinator and research and learning technical manager on field planning, monitoring, and reporting, using appropriate tools and formats, such as work plans, activity reports, progress reports, etc.
  • Work closely with the project team in activities of the pilot evaluation, supporting the relationship with stakeholders at a district level, and the development of different assessments: infrastructure, market, policy and regulatory framework, capacity, and finance.
  • Oversee field activities related to the scoping assessments, such as data collection, data entry, data quality assurance, etc.
  • Support communication and reporting to local stakeholders, such as local service providers, local governments, private sector actors, community members, etc.
  • Lead relationships with stakeholders and local vendors, such as local service providers, local governments, financial institutions, water users’ associations, community members, consultants, translators, drivers, etc.
  • Promote positive working relationships with partners, communities, and local government partners, using participatory and inclusive approaches.
  • Facilitate close coordination with local partner organizations and institutions in the water sector.
  • Act as a bridge between various project stakeholders to facilitate communication and cooperation at a district level.
  • Coordinate and liaise with Mercy Corps finance, logistic, and administrative teams to support the smooth and timely execution of contractual, procurement, administrative, and financial aspects.
  • compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures, as well as donor rules and regulations.
  • Play a key role in safety and security procedures for the evaluation team and field activities at a district level
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Team Management

  • Develop the capacity of the district team and deepen understanding of their roles.
  • Participates in the development of detailed implementation plans for project activities, including roles, timeframe, and desired outcomes.
  • Provide field-level facilitation support to other team members for innovative action and exchange information, coordinate activities, and develop team spirit in project management.
  • Assist team members with information, tools, and resources to improve performance & and reach objectives.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Orient, and lead field team members, as necessary.

Technical Expertise

  • Apply knowledge of water supply infrastructure to support the infrastructure assessment.
  • In partnership with the technical team, ensure the evaluation is conducted rigorously and technically sound.
  • Work closely with project teams to assess the viability of potential PPP models and their applicability to the Amhara context and support him with the fieldwork necessary to develop the assessments. 

Evaluation Documentation and Reporting

  • Support all evaluation processes, data, and findings are accurately documented and stored.
  • Working with the Research & Learning technical manager, maintaining a comprehensive record of the evaluation methodology, results, and learning for future reference.
  • Develop and implement communication strategies to disseminate evaluation results effectively.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
Job Requirements:

Knowledge and Experience

  • BSc or master’s in business administration, communications, public policy, public administration, finance, engineering, public health or related field with WASH-related.
  • At least five years of professional experience in project management, focusing on infrastructure development or water sector governance activities, is required.
  • Proven track record of establishing and nurturing strong relationships with project stakeholders, managing project engagement, and reporting activities, and coordinating across several field activities, is preferred.
  • Proven experience supporting the operational success of inception or research pilots, preferably in water supply or infrastructure development, is preferred.
  • Excellent project management skills are highly desirable, including planning, budgeting, monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in donor relationship management and reporting, including effectively communicating project progress and results to diverse audiences, is preferred.
  • Demonstrated working experience in the Amhara Region, preferably in leading WASH program implementation or research activities, is highly desirable.
  • Strong familiarity with the Ethiopian context, rural water supply challenges, and the water sector landscape, particularly in the Amhara Region, would be an advantage.
  • Fluency in English and Amharic is required. Knowledge of other local languages is advantageous.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Creating and maintaining a conducive and participatory environment for the group process, using appropriate methods and tools to engage the participants, encourage dialogue, and foster collaboration.

Reports Directly to: Project Coordinator

Works Directly with: Team Lead, PPP Expert, Research and Learning Specialist, Project Coordinator, Global Water Security Team, Global Infrastructure Team, and administration/operations team.

  • Understand and aware GDI related priorities of the country office and contribute for the realization of priorities (continually work to understand and be aware of the gender diversity and inclusion priorities of the country office and contribute in the execution)
  • Promote gender equal and inclusive workplace culture in a day-to-day interaction with a team member, partners and program participants.
  • 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.

Job Category:
Business and AdministrationEngineeringCommunications, PR and Journalism
Business and Administration, Engineering, Communications, PR and Journalism
Full time
Full time
Bahirdar, Amhara
Mercy Corps Ethiopia Mercy Corps Ethiopia

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