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Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer – Mercy Corps Ethiopia

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Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer – Mercy Corps Ethiopia, November 5 2022
Organization: Mercy Corps Ethiopia
Position: Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer
Deadline: 11.12.2022
Employment: Full time
Location: Addis Ababa

Job Description:

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus in promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.


           Duty Station: Addis Ababa

          Open Position:  1

Program / Department Summary

The Resilience in Pastoral Areas Activity (RIPA) is a USAID funded project aimed at improving the resilience capacities of households, markets, and governance institutions across the Somali, Afar and Oromia regions, collectively contributing to enhanced food security and inclusive economic growth for over 129,129 households, while estimating that at least 50% of these households, or 64,565, benefit from a comprehensive set of interventions. Mercy Corps, in partnership with CARE, will implement an integrated program to address underlying causes of vulnerability to shocks and stresses.

RIPA’s programming is integrated across four components (with a fifth Crisis Modifier component which has not yet been triggered). RIPA has developed a coordinated and sequenced implementation plan that will ensure most households in its targeted woredas will receive a comprehensive package of interventions by the end of the program period, building even greater resilience in these vulnerable regions.

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General Position Summary

The Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer is a key position in the RIPA technical advisory, program CLA/M&E unit which provides oversight to all consortium partners in their execution of any environmental safeguarding related areas in the program. The Senior ESO will support planning and execution of environmental monitoring and management, ensure quality in accordance with accepted standards, provide essential feedback for learning, reporting, accountability and decision-making. S/he will be responsible for providing internal capacity building for team members in the RIPA consortium on Environmental safeguarding principles and practices, developing tools and supporting analysis, spearheading evaluative activities, capturing collective progress and environmental impact, and reinforcing the utilization of CLA products to support overall institutional learning, strategic planning, and advocacy. The Senior ESO will report directly to the CLA/M&E Team Lead and will continuously liaise with respective partner CLA/M&E staff, who will retain responsibility for the regular monitoring of activities.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy and Design
  • Responsible for coordinating the Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) of the project and ensure the EMMP in integral to contributing to the CLA processes
  • Ensure the integration of environmental standards to manage risks of land degradation and desertification, flood management infrastructure construction, water infrastructure
  • Provide technical backstopping during the implementation of RIPA, supporting in addressing a variety of environmental issues at all the stages of the implementation of the program. Work with Technical Leads to review project and activity plans, design, cost, and bid documents to ensure environmental factors and mitigation measures are integrated, and project documents and environmental documents are in harmony
  • Work with project and partner staff on integrating environmental donor strategies, program priorities, and technical requirements into development activities
  • Support in the development process of environmental safeguard guidelines and environmental mitigation measures to be used by RIPA staff and partners in the plan and implementation process of the project activities.
  • Prepare guidelines, design and review monitoring tools and notes for use in the project based on relevant environmental policies, acts and regulations/directives of the Government of Ethiopia, and USAID environmental standards as specified in ADS 204, when the 22 CFR 216

Technical Support

  • Undertake quarterly environmental monitoring and evaluation of program activities against environmental regulations and standards. Lead on developing and delivering a series of spot checks to ensure that proposed mitigation measures are properly implemented in line with the guidelines and unforeseen environmental and human health impacts are minimized. Prepare report (quarterly, field monitoring) on the safeguard risks with appropriate actions to be taken and ensure that timely actions are taken;
  • Develop environmental documents including IEE amendment, pesticide evaluation report and safer use action plans and ensure that they are implemented accordingly.
  • Provide technical assistance and deliver capacity building training to the project communities, Government and partners’ staff on environmental sound design and management (ESDM) and climate risk management to close knowledge/skill gaps and minimize the likelihood of risks and ensure the sustainability of the project.
  • Compile quarterly, biannual and annual reports on safeguards related issues and deliver to the program as part of the M&E report;
  • Prepare annual environmental status reports (ESR) to be submitted to the donor
  • Contribute to review of project theory of change (TOC) using evidence from the environmental monitoring assessment and results.
  • Facilitate the preparation and updating of environmental safeguard lessons/results by USAID’s requirements
  • Ensure that all the required environmental indicators are properly aligned and tracked with the overall M&E plan.
  • Develop an environmental monitoring system scorecard system that cut across all program units and work with project M&E staff on coordination of EMMP monitoring
  • Contribute to maintaining relationships with donors, peer organizations and other institutions, participate in forums in the area of environment to collect and share best practices

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Documentation and Reporting

●      Maintain a database that reflects progress on program indicators.

●      Visit sites and partners to collect supplementary data, stories and conduct qualitative research

●      Support component leads and partners to maintain proper documentation and produce detailed and timely donor reports.

●      Produce quality and evidence-based program reports that reflect program progress related to environmental safeguarding and sustainability.

●      Regularly document lessons learned, best practices, data analysis, and evaluations and provide evidence-based information, success stories, case studies and other high quality, results-based documentation for internal strategic and advocacy purposes.

Capacity Building

●      Maintain an active advisory role with consortium partner program and CLA/M&E teams to help guide towards robust and relevant environmental impact related data collection.

●      Assist and train the program staff on environmental management, specifically focusing on strengthening institutional capacity, improving environmental quality and the sustainable management of natural resources, and promoting equitable solutions in managing commons such as climate change, sustainability, biodiversity conservation and others.

●      Build the capacity of team members across all consortium partner staff through the circulation of resources and ad hoc mentorship.

●      Facilitate synthesis of best practices and lessons learned and promote an overall culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection on program data.

●      Support documentation, sharing, and integration of lessons learned into strategic design and implementation.


·       Be a thought partner in the recruitment of diverse team and promoting inclusive and safe work environment including supporting early career team members to fulfil their professional goals)

·       Lead by example to promote gender equal and inclusive workplace culture in a day-to-day interaction with team members, partners and program participants


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

• 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.

• 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.

Safeguarding & Ethics

·       Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to theInteragency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.


Job Requirements:

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Knowledge and Experience

·       Degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Planning and Management, Natural Resources management, Environmental Health and Environmental Engineering or related field. Additional experience may substitute for some education.

·       Technical Training in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), climate risk and vulnerability, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and environmental audit and sustainable livelihoods a plus.

·       Minimum of 3 years relevant work experience, ideally with an international NGO, with relevant field-based experience in the environment safeguarding sector.

·       Registered with the state authority in Ethiopia to undertake EIAs

·       Experience in undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

·       Knowledge of technical principles and concepts in environment safeguarding. Thorough knowledge and understanding of Ethiopia environmental laws, procedures and guidelines.

·       Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices.

·       Strong relationship and networking skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings

·       Strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment

·       Good technical writing skill

·       Proficient analytical skills that demonstrate an understanding of the current concepts, priorities, and issues in program monitoring, data collection, and evaluation.

·       Highly developed written and oral communications skills as well as strong interpersonal communication to ensure effective coordination within USAID.

·       Advanced computer skills and experience developing data management systems.

·       Team player who takes initiative and is a problem-solver.

·       Effective verbal and written communication, multitasking and organizational skills

Success Factors

A successful Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer will work as an integral part of the technical assistance team to ensure that environmental and climate issues are properly considered and addressed, and that operations are supported in order to comply with USAID’s safeguard policies during program re-design and implementation. S/he will be a self-starter who can work independently or in a team setting, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communication while forging productive relationships with colleagues throughout the agency. S/he must have a deep interest in Mercy Corps’ programs and a commitment to the goals of the organization. S/he needs to be able to prioritize, multi-task and organize many urgent tasks, often under intense deadline pressure. S/he will demonstrate creativity and flexibility, as well as a proven ability to learn quickly and be accountable for results. Even temperament and a good sense of humor appreciated.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and it requires up to 20% travel to field offices in RIPA program areas.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to 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.


How To Apply:

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All interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the position advertised.  All applications submitted to the Mercy Corps office or electronically include a CV, three references, and all relevant official documents. Applications will not be returned and will not be retained for future recruitment efforts.  To ensure fairness to all applicant’s 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 your applications and credentials to this link

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