Energy and Livelihood Advisor – Mercy Corps Ethiopia

Job Description

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. We help people overcome poverty and conflict. Working with communities, we leverage local logic to help people transform their lives. To grow more food, earn higher incomes and ultimately advocate for their needs. We see global challenges as an invitation to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions. During our 34-year history, our work has improved more than 170 million lives in more than 115 countries around the world. Mercy Corps Ethiopia invites motivated and qualified candidates to apply for the following vacant position.

Position Title:   Energy and Livelihood Advisor

 Duty Station:  Jijiga

 Open Position:  one 

 General Position Summary

Powering infrastructure in relief settings, where clinics, offices, communications towers, water pumping stations and other necessary services are commonly fueled by diesel generators, represents a substantial economic burden for humanitarian agencies & for the businesses and households located in refugee settlements and host communities. The expansion of off-grid electricity services above household scale in humanitarian settings is limited by a lack of reliable ‘anchor’ customers upon which bankable business models can be based. The application of renewable energy in the humanitarian sector is hampered by the initial higher upfront cost of solar and other renewable installations compared with diesel generators, and the perception that any investments must be short-term due to the outdated nature of humanitarian response funding cycles.

Mercy Corps has conducted a baseline study on energy access in Jijiga, Somali Region, which has resulted in the development of a scalable, replicable model for integrated renewable electrification that would improve operational sustainability for humanitarian organizations while enabling better service delivery for people living in refugee settlements and host communities. Mercy Corps will undertake this effort in collaboration with private sector actors to ensure sustainability of the business model proposed and with the aim to reach scale for access to energy in displacement settings for all segments of the population.

Position Summary

Mercy Corps is looking for an experienced, qualified Energy and Livelihoods Advisor to support the implementation of the Enter Energy programme including leading the productive use of energy livelihood activities of the project. This is an exciting opportunity to combine innovative energy & MSD programming, and a unique opportunity to become a leading expert in applying sustainable energy access approaches to refugee contexts.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy and vision
  • Supporting the technical implementation of all Productive Use of Energy (hereinafter PUE) promotion measures under the project.
  • Technical advisory of public-, private- and other stakeholders relevant for the component’s activities.
  • Support of the component’s team members as well as external consultants and other service providers hired for the implementation.
  • General support of the planning and implementation of the Enter Energy strategy and vision.
  • Contribution to monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management of all relevant activities within his/her component.


Program management

●       In coordination with Team Lead and program team members, support program start-up, management, administration and closeout of programme. Ensure implementation is on time, target and budget.

●       Lead the process of developing partnership frameworks to support program implementation, partner agreements and ensure partner capacity building;

●       Work with the program teams to ensure close relationships with key government partners, at all levels;

●       Monitor work and targets closely to ensure that programs are able to provide maximum benefit to our beneficiaries within program timeframes;

●       Work closely with team and partners ensuring we adhere to humanitarian principles, Mercy Corps’ gender policies, Do No Harm principles and beneficiary accountability standards;

●       Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities;

●       Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.

technical responsibilities – mini-grid development
  • Plan, prepare and implement project activities in support of the PUE livelihoods portfolio of the component. These shall have particular focus on technical aspects and encompass, amongst others:
    • Assess the needs and appropriateness for specific or general PUE-related electric appliances that are to be promoted during under the project’s PUE activities including creating the necessary partnerships for the financing of such appliances
    • Support and supervise and verify the development of PUE training concepts, training plans and training materials with regards to technical aspects.
    • Provide any PUE-related technical advisory required by public- and private sector actors relevant for this undertaking.
    • Supervise PUE trainings and other capacity development measures for the relevant target groups.
    • Lead the identification, development and promotion of key value chains and trades that will improve the livelihoods of target participants especially value chains that uses energy.


Team Building and Management

●       Oversee the documentation and filing systems for all programs in the portfolio, and ensure that information is organized according to the reporting and auditing needs. Ensure required levels of confidentiality;

●       Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work;

●       Develop the capacity of the program team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development;

●       Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback

●       Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Finance and Operations Management

●       Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations related to programming and operations.

●       With support of the Operations Manager, ensure adequate operational systems are in place to provide for programs implementation;

●       Ensure proper logistics, administration, human resources and transport needs of the programs are conducted within Mercy Corps policy;

●       Manage program budgets as the primary budget holder;

●       Exercise sound judgment to ensure projects’ expenses are reasonable, allocable and prudent. Ensure all projects’ funds are spent in accordance with donor rules and regulations. Work with Director of Programs to forecast expenditure surpluses and deficits to enable adjustments;

●       Strictly follow Mercy Corps’ Fraud and Prevention guidelines.


Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

●       Provides information and any other support needed by the Monitoring & Evaluation section, Knowledge Management section and PR & Communication sections.

●       Updates information concerning the progress and results of his/her activities in any required on-line and off-line databases and data management systems in line with Mercy Corps filing and ICT standards.

●       Produce progress reports and participates in regular and ad-hoc internal meetings of the PUE component/project.

●       Shares all information about activities, research findings and studies that are relevant for the project planning, implementation and monitoring of his/her component and other components of the project.

●       Contributes to the design and compilation of information material for external communication and knowledge management purposes.

●       Coordinate and share information with the Team Lead to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are being achieved. Advise on suggested improvements, as required;

●       Ensure program teams have community complaint and feedback mechanisms in place and that complaints and feedback being received are responded to within a timely manner.

policy, advocacy, Representation

●       Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions working on energy solutions for refugees.

Job Requirements

Knowledge and Experience

●       A degree in preferable in business administration, public administration or international development preferred.

●       Experience in PUE related work required. Experience working in similar context (livelihood programming for displaced populations) in Ethiopia will be an added advantage

●     Strong expertise in market systems development programming is a plus

●     Strong analytical, organizational and interpersonal skills and ability to solve complex problems

●       At least three years of experience designing, implementing and managing similar energy and livelihood initiatives (private sector partnership, economic strengthening, and market systems development) is necessary.

●       Experience in building and maintaining strong/productive relations with implementing and strategic partners is required.

●       Fluent in both spoken and written Somali languages.

●       Strong interpersonal, writing and oral presentation skills in English are required.

●       Strong leadership and proven team building experience is necessary.

●       Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

●       Excellent coordination and representation experience is needed, especially in building and maintaining strong/productive relations with implementing and strategic partner agencies and government agencies;

●       Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required. Experience in working in refugee settlements especially in the Somali Region is preferred.

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have the ability and curiosity to work comfortably and effectively in the cultural, relatively poor infrastructure of the Somali Region. S/he will be an excellent communicator, have a strong sense of humor, multi-tasker, and able to work difficult and often stressful environments. S/he will be committed to the work of Mercy Corps and the objectives of this program. They will demonstrate their dedication with a strong work ethic, attention to detail and creative problem solving. The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Ethiopia.

How to Apply

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position advertised.  All applications submitted to the Mercy Corps office include a CV, three references, and all relevant official documents. Applications will not be returned and will not be retained for future recruitment efforts.  In order to ensure fairness to all applicants personal inquiries are not permitted.

Only candidates that are short listed will be acknowledged and called for interviews.

“Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer promoting gender, equity and    diversity. Qualified female and young candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to empower women and youth.”


 Please send non-returnable applications and credentials to one of the following address:


Note: Please make sure that you mention the position title in the subject line of your email application.



Mercy Corps Recruiter

Addis Ababa: P.O. Box 14319

Arbaminch: P.O. Box 33  , Jijiga: P.O. Box 225   

Negelle Borena: P.O. Box 116

Dire Dewa: P.O. Box 974

Gambella Merc Cops Office: in person