Senior Program Officer – Nutrition at Mercy Corps

Since 1979, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive – and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: We help communities turn crisis into opportunity.
Throughout our history, Mercy Corps has demonstrated innovation, timeliness and the ability to adapt quickly to changing realities.Reference Number: MDG / HUMOPS / 2020 / 00020
Location: Damboa, Borno
Position Status: Full-time regular employee

Program / Department Summary

With the insurgency affecting North East Nigeria and displacing millions of people, Mercy Corps is expanding its nutrition sensitive humanitarian programming to support the conflict-affected population in Damboa LGA.
To increase access to food and mitigate the need for harmful negative coping mechanisms, Mercy Corps is implementing a food security response with a multi-pronged approach that increases access to both staple and nutrient-dense food through local markets, while also shaping behaviors to support optimal nutrition and increase the availability of nutrient dense foods
The program is designed with integrated outcomes that encourage availability, demand, and consumption of nutrient-dense foods.

General Position Summary

The Senior Program Officer – Nutrition is responsible for the coordination, supervision and provision of technical support in the implementation of nutrition and related activities planned in the Responsive Economic Assistance to Conflict-affected Households (REACH) project implemented in Damboa LGA.
The activities include social behavior change activities to promotion and support appropriate IYCF, Nutrition surveillance activities i.e. community nutrition screening, nutrition surveys and assessments and activities aimed at improving dietary diversity among targeted households i.e. distribution of Fresh Food Vouchers, Kitchen gardening and backyard poultry farming.
The senior program officer will work closely with the Nutrition Advisor, Program Manager, CASH team, MEL team, and operations staff (including finance and operations) to ensure that activities implemented are according to schedule, budget and required quality.

Specific Objectives:

Provide technical and managerial support to staff under his/ her supervision to ensure that staff are effectively engaged in their tasks.
Supervise implementation of planned nutrition and food security activities i.e. IYCF promotion and support, community nutrition screening, nutrition surveys and assessments, distribution of Fresh Food Vouchers, Kitchen gardening and backyard poultry farming.
Closely collaborate with other sector teams to ensure an integrated Nutrition approach internally with MC sectors and externally with complementary activities implemented by other nutrition actors.
Participate in periodic program monitoring and evaluation including baselines, end lines, midterm reviews and lesson learning exercises.
Ensure that the program performance is on track according to Mercy Corps minimum standard- in case results would not meet expectations, propose solutions, implement the proposal and ensure activities follow-agreed standard protocols.
Discuss and follow up of any technical problems related to nutrition programming and brainstorm solutions.
Conduct regular trend analysis for nutrition and food security situation in targeted communities and give recommendations on how Mercy Corps can better position itself.
Actively participate in area level nutrition, food security and Health sector meetings.
Serve as technical focal person for all field level engagements.
Consolidate and submit quality nutrition and related activity reports (including success stories and lessons learned reports).


Supervisory Responsibility: Livelihood Officer, Nutrition Assistants, Livelihood assistants.
Reports Directly To: Humanitarian Program manager-FFP with dotted line to Nutrition Advisor.

Requirements, Knowledge and Experience

Minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition or other related field. A relevant Master's Degree is a plus.
Minimum of 4 years experience in nutrition and/or food security and livelihood programming, policy or research, with at least two (2) years’ experience in a resource-challenged setting.
Substantial hands-on experience in social and behaviour change programming is required.
Familiarity of the intervention areas
Knowledge of nutrition assessments and or surveys a plus.
Microsoft Office Skills (Outlook, Excel, Power Point, Word).
Excellent analytical, written and oral communication skills.
Willing and able to be based within remote areas, where services are limited.
Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team, including cross-cultural teams.
Fluency in Hausa, Kanuri, Marghi and English.

Success Factors:

The successful candidate will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring 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.

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