Uganda: Program Assistant – 03 Vacancies Based in Kitgum (Open to Ugandan Nationals Only

Organization: Mercy Corps
Country: Uganda
Closing date: 30 Mar 2018


Mercy Corps has been operating in Uganda since 2006 and works to catalyze change through the Ugandan private sector, civil society and government to create resilient, economically inclusive, healthy, and secure communities. Our work focuses on building resilience and enabling economic growth, improving opportunities to attain better health and nutrition, improving governance and conflict management, and bridging humanitarian response with longer term development outcomes. We implement programs in Acholi, Karamoja and West Nile Sub-regions, as well as eastern Uganda and the greater Kampala area with funding from USAID, Sida, US State Department, SDC, DFID as well as other private donations.

Mercy Corps is starting a new program in consortium with China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) to pilot the market systems development approach to refugee response. The project aims to support 5,000 beneficiaries, including 3,500 refugees and 1,500 host community members, while indirectly benefiting the households of each of these beneficiaries to reach at least 20,000 South Sudanese and Ugandans in the Palabek settlement in Lamwo through the adaptation of agricultural practices that improve productivity and production. Given the reality that refugees arriving in Uganda have few to no assets and lack means for income generation, this kind of program supports immediate food security needs while providing refugees with the tools and experience to forge a sustainable future for themselves in Uganda. The program further acknowledges that economic resilience of the host community will help them better cope with negative effects of the refugee influx. By facilitating private business expansion among host communities, the program will support expanding consumer markets and access to employment among refugees and host community. The project will adopt a market systems development approach, working to leverage the private sector to provide inputs to farmers; offtake goods from production; as well as provide agricultural and post-harvest handling training so farmers can use agricultural land effectively and earn an income.


Mercy Corps is looking for an experienced, qualified Ugandan to fill the position of Program Assistant with a focus on the Livelihoods and Market Development/Economic Development sector. Reporting to the Program Officer in Kitgum, the Program Assistant will support implementation of the livelihoods/market development component which will include support for farmers and farmer groups; e-vouchers or cash for agricultural inputs; formation and support for income generating activities and market linkages to ensure sustainable incomes are developed. Additional support will also be needed on entrepreneurship, trade and Innovation Centre development. As needed, program assistants will be expected to support all interventions of the program. Specific activities will include strengthening relationships with existing community structures, assessing beneficiaries based on vulnerability criteria; mobilizing community members for assessments and registration of beneficiaries; development of platform for evouchers or other platform for access to agricultural inputs; implementation of evoucher and input distributions; post-distribution monitoring; overseeing agriculture extension trainers and other mentorship for IGAs. S/he will be a creative, action-oriented problem solver with strong experience in partnership management.


1. Planning, developing and implementing humanitarian cash transfer activities

· In coordination with Program Officer, mobilize community members, taking care to identify those who fit the pre-established vulnerability criteria, for registration and other activities.

· Support and lead community sensitization activities around livelihoods activities in the Palabek Refugee Settlement. Identify specific topic areas of information needed and develop clear communications plans to effectively disseminate information.

· Support development of platform to implement evouchers or other platform to distribute agricultural inputs with linkages to local traders.

· Support identification and development of IGA groups and entrepreneurs/traders; support development of specific IGA and business plan; cash grants and ongoing support.

· Support development of strategy and implementation of capital grants to IGA groups, traders and enterprises for livelihood activities along with ongoing support.

· Coordinate with other field teams as needed to ensure continuity in the program.

2. Documentation, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

· Under guidance of Program Officer and M&E Officer, participate in any market assessment and baseline/end line data gathering needs.

  • Support the development of vulnerability criteria and beneficiary registration tool.
  • Work closely with supervisor to capture data for measuring output and impact of the program; and to ensure accurate and timely flow of information from the field. Specific data collection would include post-distribution monitoring and after action reviews for key activities. Continuous improvement of activities will be expected based on this information.
  • Prepare and submit timely weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports that will be indicative of program progress during implementation. Respond to queries if and when necessary.
  • Maintain proper filing system.

3. Collaboration/Networking

· Establish and maintain good coordination and working relationships with Office of the Prime Minister, UNHCR local government officials, and other NGOs/CBOs, representing Mercy Corps and soliciting participation in activities where appropriate and as directed.

Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps Uganda and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission

4. 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 program as well as themselves.


  • Diploma in Development Studies.
  • Background in EITHER humanitarian response activities, preferably in livelihoods OR Market Systems Development/M4P/market facilitation preferred.
  • Strong community mobilization experience. 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.
  • Proactive, problem-solving action orientation is essential. Organization will prioritize candidates from Acholi or with extensive experience in Acholi.


The ideal candidate will have the ability and curiosity to work comfortably and effectively in the cultural, relatively poor infrastructure of West Nile. 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.

How to apply:

Applications: Submit your application through email to 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, 30th March, 2018. Subject of email should include the position you are applying for**.** 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

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