Regional Livestock Market Systems Program Director Job Vacancy in Kenya

Mercy Corps

Position Title: Regional Livestock Market Systems Program Director - Kenya


Nairobi, Kenya

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible.

To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong.

We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been a leader in the drylands of the Horn of Africa for the last decade, supporting households affected by climate change, drought, conflict and other challenges to adapt and thrive in the face of increasing shocks.

Our programming focuses on strengthening livestock production and markets, enhancing food and water security, addressing gender inequality and youth opportunities, and strengthening devolved governance outcomes to support dryland communities to break from the cycle of humanitarian need and lay the foundations for a more food secure, resilient future.

Working across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, Mercy Corps will soon be launching our 12-year Regional Livestock Program (RLP), which looks to leverage the significant potential for livestock production and trade within the region by building vibrant regional livestock markets, strengthening livestock production and trade, supporting climate adaptation and enhanced regeneration and governance of rangeland in order to enhance household food security and livelihoods.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking a Program Director for our Regional Livestock Market Systems Program, a senior level position with overall responsibility and oversight of program strategy, delivery and resource mobilization across the targeted livestock corridors in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Working closely with matrixed teams across the three countries, the Program Director will supervise program and support staff based within the regional and country teams and build strong partnerships with Mercy Corps country-level leadership to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget while ensuring accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations.

A senior level expert on livestock systems in the region and an experienced Market Systems Development practitioner, the Program Director will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementors and stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Provide overall technical leadership and oversight of program strategy development and delivery adhering to sound principles of Market Systems Development.
  • Lead the development of detailed intervention plans and partner engagement approach, working closely with techncial support teams and in-country experts to ensure that program activities are technically sound and contribute to the program’s overall strategic outcomes.
  • Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic outcomes of the program and the country offices, including identifying additional interventions or partnership opportunities to deepen program impact.


  • Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, scope and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impact.
  • Oversee consortium governance structures including establishment of a steering committee, donor advisory group, and development of MOUs, decision-making and coordination structures, reporting systems, etc.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from strategic annual work plans and ensure delivery of the interventions is based on Mercy Corps best practices for Market Systems Development programs.
  • 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.
  • Ensure project partners are identified according to transparent and well-communicated criteria.
  • Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/memoranda of understanding, and oversee partner capacity building.
  • Integrate community engagement approaches, social inclusion, 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.
  • Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practices.
  • Document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated.
  • Develop effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with donors, regional and country-based team members, partner organizations, Mercy Corps’ country and regional management, Mercy Corps HQ, government partners and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate closely with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure that operational systems effectively support field activities.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on Mercy Corps’ organizational policies.


  • Develop the capacity of the program team ensuring that program team members understand the program’s Market Systems Development and private sector engagement approaches; support teams to deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Develop systems for managing a complex, matrixed team structure across three countries, including sound communication and decision-making frameworks and systems to build team cohesion, information exchange and collaboration across borders.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally through regular exchanges and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.


  • Ensure financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics are conducted in alignment with donor and Mercy Corps procedures and to the maximum benefit of the program.
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
  • Create frameworks to transparently manage multiple donor contributions and to track co-financing in order to effectively report to donors on financial resource use and mobilization.


  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Deputy Regional Director, relevant Country Directors and others.
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local government stakeholders.


  • Work closely with regional and country-based security focal points 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Regional Livestock Program Team members, both regionally-based and country-focused


  • Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director
  • Works Directly With: Country Directors, Directors of Programs, Finance Directors, Operations Directors, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work.

We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S in agriculture, business, economics, public policy, international development or other relevant field, MA/S is strongly preferred.
  • Experience leading large, complex programs required, with relevant previous experience, such as a Chief of Party, highly beneficial.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience, including 5 years in a senior management position.
  • Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
  • Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management, or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing; competency in a relevant local language beneficial.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in food systems, livestock markets, market systems development and/or agricultural sector preferred.
  • Experience in the Horn of Africa required, with prior experience in the drylands / Arid and Semi-Arid lands an added advantage.
  • Experience managing locally-led, innovative and evidence-driven programming is critical
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is an asset.

Success Factors

The successful Program Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships with a strong understanding of regional market systems approaches, preferably in the livestock sector within the region.

S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region.

S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, capacity building of partner institutions and of individual staff, with strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.

S/he will be conversant in a diversity of cross-cutting technical themes, including market systems development, governance, climate change adaptation, women’s empowerment, among others.

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 / verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Candidates from the Horn of Africa region are strongly encouraged to apply.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Program Director is based in either Nairobi, Kenya or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This position will require approximately 40% travel (by road and air), including to field offices and areas which may lack basic services.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. 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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

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 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, color, 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 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 to adhere toMercy 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.

How to Apply

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