Natural Resource Management Advisor at Mercy Corps

Natural Resource Management Advisor at Mercy Corps

Program / Department Summary

  • Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic and market development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the Northeast of Nigeria and causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in the areas of food security, shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods.
  • With the recognition of the protracted crisis in Northeast Nigeria, Mercy Corps’ strategy and expansion plans aim to address the root causes of the crisis and seek to build long-term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, and youth empowerment with emphasis on adolescent girls and boys. With multiple funding streams from large institutional donors and foundations, Mercy Corps’ programs in Northeast Nigeria continue to scale up and serve communities by transitioning them from humanitarian aid to early recovery programs.

General Position Summary

  • This role will support and monitor the expansion of the EU-funded project titled Contributing to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between farmer and herder communities in Taraba and Adamawa states, Nigeria. (COMITAS-Phase 2). The project will be implemented through a Consortium led by IOM in partnership with Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground.
  • While clashes are often understood in ethno-religious terms due to the spread of unreliable information, competing claims to land, water and other natural resources are at the root of growing tensions between farmer and herder communities in Nigeria. The project aims to contribute to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources with Mercy Corps capitalizing on its trusted relationships with local stakeholders across Nigeria’s Middle Belt to continue to empower communities to prevent and respond to violence by strengthening collaboration on natural resources management.
  • Under the pilot phase, from December 2020 to December 2022, the consortium partners recorded several key achievements and valuable lessons learnt during implementation. The pilot was implemented in Bille, Borrong, Kpasham, Demsa wards of Demsa LGA; Gereng and Tambo wards of Girei LGA; Gyawana ward of Lamurde LGA; Kodompti ward of Numan LGA; Gengle and Ndikong ward of Mayo Belwa LGA.
  • To consolidate its goal COMITAS phase II will continue to focus on its four pillars which capitalizes on each of the consortium partners’ expertise and strengths:
    • Strengthen traditional conflict resolution in the targeted locations in Taraba state;
    • Improve trust in authorities’ commitment to providing security and adequate resource management;
    • Enhanced collaboration in managing the use of natural resources;
    • Improve intra and inter-communal perceptions
  • The Natural Resource Management (NRM) Advisor will provide strategic advice, analysis and direction to the communities, and local governance structures on a range of NRM-related issues concerning policy, management and development, land & water use, environment and conservation, and research and development.
  • The NRM Advisor will lead, monitor and report on the climate approaches and NRM compliance.
  • He/she will lead project formulation and implementation to ensure that climate and NRM requirements are met.
  • The NRM Advisor will lead the identification and establishment of natural resource management committees and will work closely in synergy with the Conflict and Governance Specialist to identify and implement immediate conflict prevention or mitigation measures, such as the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure along transhumance corridors. Also, the NRM Advisor will be the custodian of community action plans which lays the foundation for the implementation of social cohesion and infrastructure projects by collaborating closely with the Infrastructure Advisor who leads on the final execution of specific community projects.
  • The NRM Advisor in collaboration with the communications team will disseminate key findings and lessons learned in research briefs, white papers, and reports.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning:

  • Lead in the design, implementation and interpretation of the community natural resource maps, and communicate the key findings and implications to internal and external audiences.
  • Ensure timely provision of strategic technical advice including the appropriate documentation and dissemination of processes and results to the program team, community stakeholders and external partners.
  • Contribute to conducting community-level natural resource situational analysis and dissemination to stakeholders. Carry out documentation of best practices.
  • Assist to develop and institute a simple yet robust NRM monitoring plan.

Capacity Building:

  • Assess training needs of project staff, government staff and beneficiaries; develop appropriate training curriculum, training material and support training implementation.
  • Provide technical backstopping to the project staff in NRM, particularly in planning and implementing community-based natural resource management initiatives, and development of operational action plans.
  • Contribute to developing technical guidelines, manuals, handbooks, information materials relevant to project implementation and building capacity of project staff, government staff and community beneficiaries.

Program Implementation:

  • Support with the identification of the targeted intervention sites and program participants and help formulate indicative project activities. Coordination of overall site selection process for all on-the-ground interventions (in consultation with stakeholders)
  • Review costed community action plans for implementation.
  • Support the development of ToRs of technical consultancies related to the subject matter.

Programme Quality Oversight:

  • Review of national, and local policy and legislative frameworks related to land use planning (including the possibility of conservation/restoration), commodity production, water management and sustainable forest management; identification of trends and opportunities for change;
  • Review of relevant past and ongoing initiatives for lessons learnt and synergies;
  • Profiling of the delineated project landscape, including working with the state governments e.g. Land & Survey, Forestry sectors on mapping current land use and natural resource management;

Technical Leadership:

  • Provide safeguard and gender implementation support to the project and wider program team to enhance project and initiative quality and ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures, including advice on improving implementation to meet project targets and compliance.

Team Management:

  • Sustain a work environment of mutual respect you and other team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Provide other team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives

Finance & Compliance Management:

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to the project implementation.

Influence and Representation:

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with Consortium partners, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure project implementation targets and technical quality standards are met.
  • Participate in coordination meetings and workshops to the project at both Local and State level as delegated.

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.

Accountability Reports Directly to:

  • Programme Manager, works closely with the Senior MEL Officer, Conflict and Governance Specialist, Infrastructural Advisor, Technical Support Unit: Climate, and PAQ.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Minimum BA / BSc in relevant field or other similar fields; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent preferred in, Natural Resources Management, Environment Sciences, or related Biological Management, or other related fields.
  • Minimum of 4 years of working experience in a similar context and issues.
  • Familiarity with global and localized climate change priorities, standards and compliance requirements.
  • Familiarity with global NRM and climate frameworks that can be adopted for the management local resource-related issues
  • Good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues in a highly insecure environment.
  • Previous experience in implementation, monitoring and evaluating sustainable NRM management
  • Demonstrated capability in policy formulation.
  • Expertise in forestry, water and land management and development.
  • Understanding of national and regional/global issues related to NRM.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to motivate, inspire and promote teamwork in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, context.
  • Experience in supporting institutional capacity building.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Excellent writing, editing and analytical skills and ability to formulate well-targeted documents.
  • Strong negotiation and coordination skills.
  • Fluency in English; fluency in Hausa is a plus

Success Factors:

  • S/he will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive communication 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions:

  • The position is based in Yola, Adamawa State and it requires frequent travel to other project field locations in Adamawa and Taraba States, as well as Abuja.
  • Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics.
  • Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available. Security in the field locations requires additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously.
  • Access to good medical services in the field is limited.
  • Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic. The location is not eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme.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 the Merry Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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