Youth & Protection Specialist

Mercy Corps, Bentiu, South Sudan

Skill Required:, HR and AdminProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
20th January, 2017

Job Description

This position is contingent on donor funding.

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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people's immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan's priority areas are food security and livelihoods (focusing on cash assistance, market-based solutions in agriculture and economic development), WASH, Education, youth development and conflict resolution. Mercy Corps has been implementing project which combine agricultural, economic development, WASH, Education and other humanitarian interventions to tackle the convulsive crises affecting vulnerable communities. Mercy Corps has worked to build relationships with local government and other actors, which has enhanced our understanding of local contexts and the multiple stakeholders involved. With the Peace Agreement and formation of a Transitional Government, Mercy Corps is expanding and intensifying multi-sector programming to rural areas in Rubkona and Panyijiar Counties, especially areas inaccessible in 2014 and 2015. From 2017 Mercy Corps plans to also operate in Equatoria States.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is currently implementing different integrated Livelihood and Conflict Resolution Programme across multiple sites in Unity State with a focus on youth, and expanding in Unity State and Equatoria Education in Emergencies programming to include a focus on youth and protection. In an emergency and early recovery context, a Youth/Adolescent Specialist is sought to be the technical lead on youth programming for livelihoods, education and integrated psychosocial support/conflict resolution. The position is responsible to strength the current strategy and provides direction of the country program's youth development programming while providing technical guidance on youth/adolescent-centered and child protection interventions. The position is responsible for conducting rigorous needs assessments, and implementing M&E systems. S/he has a key role in ensuring program quality, new program development and contributing to the Emergency Response/Early Recovery program strategy for South Sudan

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision

  • Provide program support, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives.
  • Contribute to the strategic planning process and provide regular updates.
  • Assist with development, design and proposal writing for related and future programming.
  • Lead field and country level discussions and dialogue on youth development, youth in conflict and youth/adolescent-centered programming
  • Support the country education to include child protection activities in the current education programs

Team Management

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Influence & Representation

  • Lead the Bentiu Youth Task Force and youth/adolescent strategy at Bentiu and Equatoria field level.
  • As needed, liaise with local government officials, local NGOs and civil society organizations, local religious leaders and other community members to ensure support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps' youth/adolescent and protection programming.
  • Maintain close relationships with other humanitarian and development organizations, human right organizations, and local partners.
  • Participate in local and national level coordination bodies as needed.
  • Actively advocate for integrated youth/adolescent programming including development of advocacy or practice briefs, presentations to partners, community members, donors etc.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Protection and PSS officers (EiE UNICEF Program)


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Education and FSL team members

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field (child protection, social work, psychology/social work, public health, livelihoods). Advanced training on youth/adolescent development and conflict resolution a plus.
  • 3-5 years of youth/adolescent and child-protection programming in emergency/early contexts (urban, peri-urban and rural) with vulnerable communities.
  • Economic strengthening and social integration experience preferred.
  • CAAFAG experience highly desirable.
  • Strong technical background in a broad range of youth development interventions in emergency/early recovery situations. Experience in trauma-healing and conflict resolution required.
  • Demonstrated capacity in management, managing activities and teams.
  • Demonstrated experience and abilities in donor and host government representation at field level, in capacity building of local staff and local government, in negotiation, and monitoring.
  • Effective multi-tasking, organizational capacity, prioritization skills are necessary.
  • English (written and spoken) is required, Knowledge of local languages would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is essential.Success Factors
    A successful candidate will have a strong technical background and will have demonstrated management of similar projects in the past. S/he will have the capacity to deliver and meet deadlines, be conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment and have an ability to foster solid working relationships with communities, GOs, INGOs, and NGOs and other stakeholders. S/he will have an ability to work simultaneously on multiple tasks with strong computer literacy and exceptional organizational skills.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in 60% in Bentiu (Rubkhona County) and requires frequent travel to rural areas in the county and two sites in Panyijiar County and 40% in Mundri East (Western Equatoria State). Accommodation will likely be shared in a container/pre-fab (Bentiu) or single-occupancy tent (Panyijiar and Mundri East) as part of the Mercy Corps field office at all above mentioned locations. Candidates must be able to be away from secondary and specialized medical care. The security situation will be closely monitored as the response develops. Team members should expect variable levels of insecurity. Air travel will be necessary to move between the established operations base and affected areas during rainy season. During dry season, road movement is feasible

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in 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.


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