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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps is an international, non-governmental humanitarian relief and development agency with headquarters in the UK and USA operating in over 44 countries. The agency exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps’ work emphasizes community-led, market-driven interventions through public, private and civic sector partnerships. After more than a decade of operation in Uganda, the Mercy Corps country team has differentiated itself as a forward-thinking, market-driven agency, having implemented or currently implementing nearly 40 programs, valued at over $141 million, changing the lives of over 2.5 million Ugandans and refugees. In Uganda, some of our donors include USAID, SIDA, DFID, WFP, US Department of State; MasterCard Foundation, and ECHO. With over 20 programs and projects currently in operation in 30 districts.
Working in consortia with GOAL, VSO and Restless Development, the Driving Youth-led New Agribusiness and Microenterprise (DYNAMIC) program will strengthen systems and facilitate creation of sustainable economic opportunities for disadvantaged youth. DYNAMIC’s goal is to increase the number of young people who are in secure employment or self-employment and to promote agricultural market systems for youth. DYNAMIC will reach 125,000 out-of-school youth aged 15–24 in nine districts of northern Uganda over five years. Through a market facilitation approach, youth already engaged in on-farm activities will move from subsistence to more productive and profitable farming. DYNAMIC will increase the employability of youth by facilitating access to demand driven technical skills, knowledge and market information. In parallel, DYNAMIC will link agribusinesses and microenterprises to market opportunities and diverse stakeholders and ensure they can utilize financial services.
General Position Summary
The Financial Services Advisor will work to enhance DYNAMIC’s ability to deliver high impact financial inclusion programming to expand access to financial services for youth; development of interventions, tools and resources in the financial services sector; and the empowerment and upskilling of other DYNAMIC team members to implement financial services interventions, particularly Market Development Officers, Youth Engagement Officers and their supervising Program Managers. The Financial Services Advisor is an integral member of the Program Management Unit and will contribute to strategic and technical direction for the DYNAMIC program. The Financial Services Advisor will work closely with the Market Development Advisor as part of the DYNAMIC approach.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategic Direction of Financial Services Component:
• Provide technical oversight and direction on financial services and inclusion in collaboration with other aspects of DYNAMIC program activities.
• Develop tools and resources to assist with the assessment of the current status and opportunities in the financial services sector, corresponding program design, activities implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
• Lead development of DYNAMIC Financial Services Strategy in collaboration with field teams, PMU and consortium partner head of programs.
• Conduct refresher and specialized trainings as needed with staff, Peer Educators and partners and design and roll out the necessary didactic materials (manuals, handouts etc.).
• Engage in development and rollout of agency tested tools and initiatives to ensure consistent high-quality implementation, documentation and learning.
• Work closely with all district-level program teams to identify clients for financial services and support service extension as well as ensure synergy and maximize program impact.
• Develop partnerships and manage relationships with partner financial institutions including Banks, MFIs, and SACCOs.
• Work with the Market Development Advisor and district teams to identify and implement supply financing options for youth to support acquisition of productivity enhancing inputs and technologies.
• Identify and champion innovative interventions in the financial services sector geared towards improving the inclusion of youth into financial sector.
Support Implementation of Strategy Direction:
• Advise district level program teams in field activities that may include conducting light due-diligence on potential financial institution partners and finalizing teaming and partnership agreements; identifying capacity gaps of potential private sector actors, designing and implementing most feasible capacity building activities based on identified gaps; and providing continuous support and oversee activities of the private sector partners.
• Support the district implementation teams in establishing vibrant saving and lending schemes (VSLA) within peer educator and other youth groups which are enrolled on to the program.
• Provide guidance to the Program Managers and consortium partners in development of financial services component of work plans and budgets.
• In coordination with the district implementation teams and advisers, conduct monitoring activities on financial services interventions, review the adequacy of program execution according to approved plans, targets and standards.
• Participate in internal and external meetings, provide performance updates with a commensurate level of strategic analysis and guidance in line with work plans and targets.
• Document progress, lesson and partnership activities and provide input to program managers during the compilation of internal and donor reports, presentations and publications.
Contribute to, Capture and Champion Best Practice
• Contribute to the suite of financial services and inclusion resources available to support and promote quality practice in the field.
• Help mentor and develop financial services technical skills in Market Development Officers, Youth Engagement Officers and other staff across program field teams.
• Connect best practices and learning from programs across Mercy Corps countries to ensure an evolving and effective learning system for improving program implementation.
Organizational Learning: As part of Mercy Corps Uganda’s 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 the DYNAMIC program as well as themselves.
Reports Directly to: Deputy Program Director, DYNAMIC
Works Directly with: DYNAMIC program team members, finance officers and manager, Mercy Corps program team, director of programs, operations and finance teams
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree in finance, business, economics or other relevant field required; Master’s Degree in a related field is strongly preferred.
- Background and Experience:
- Minimum of 8 years practical experience at a financial institution, similar post in the NGO sector or related industry.
- Experience in developing partnerships or contracts with financial institutions and financial services providers for the purpose of supporting youth and/or vulnerable and marginalized communities needed.
- Experience in similar work in particularly with youth will be an added advantage
- Knowledge and experience in business financing for SMEs and/or youth engagement is highly valued.
- Knowledge of the rules and regulations in the banking sector in Uganda
- Products and services offered by the financial institutions in Uganda
- Financial literacy guidelines by Bank of Uganda
- Skills and competencies
- Dynamic leader who can guide teams in forward-thinking, creative approaches to financial inclusion and financial services provision.
- Strong analytical and quantitative skills as well as familiarity with financial accounting required.
- Strong group process design and facilitation skills, including developing and leading workshops, as well as group consensus building around market development philosophy.
- Proven track record in adaptive management in fast-paced, flexible, entrepreneurial work environment required.
- Strong writing, communication, organization, prioritization and negotiating skills.
- Excellent (English) verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
- Willingness to spend much time in the field and work closely with various district-level program teams.
The successful Financial Services Advisor will apply a strong combination of team leadership, program development and relationship building abilities along with a sense of curiosity, urgency, and joy for the work. Excellent negotiation and communications will provide for continued development of partner and team relationships The Financial Services Advisor should be ready for any challenge at any moment. A constant entrepreneurial spirit and deep motivation for the work is a must. The successful Financial Services Advisor will have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability and the principles of participatory community-led and market driven development. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members make effective communication a priority in all situations and maintain a sense of humor.
Ethics and Integrity
All Mercy Corps staff member are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination.
Applications: Submit your application through e-mail to: email@example.com addressed to the Senior HR and Legal Manager, Mercy Corps Uganda. Include a cover letter clearly stating your salary requirements, CV (with 3 referees), and copies of academic qualifications/ certificates. Deadline for Submission: Close of business on Friday, September 07th, 2018. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted by Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer; qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.