19 Oct 2016

Mercy Corps Job Vacancy : Livestock Adviser

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PROGRAM/DEPARTMENT SUMMARY: Mercy Corps specializes in development in transitional areas. Mercy Corps has been operating in Uganda since 2006 and works to catalyze change makers within the Ugandan private sector, civil society and government to create economically dynamic, healthy and secure communities. Our works focus on building resilience and to enable economic growth, improve opportunities to attain better health and nutrition, and improved governance and conflict management. Mercy Corps Uganda’s largest project, The Northern Karamoja Growth Health and Governance Program (GHG) is a Five-Year Development Food Assistance Program (DFAP) that is being implemented in Northern Karamoja in the districts of Kaabong, Kotido and Abim.

The Livestock Sector Pilot Project will be layered on GHG’s existing three strategic objectives which are: SO1 – Livelihoods Strengthened, SO2 – Nutritional Status of CU5 Improved, and SO3 – Reduced Incidences of Armed Conflict. It’s primary goal is to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the livestock sector in Karamoja, thereby building resilience capacities. GHG’s expanded livestock strengthening activities will build transformative capacities for market access, livestock health services, and optimal use of rangeland through improved governance/land use. The combined result will be improved knowledge and learning on livestock productivity and market competitiveness in Karamoja, feeding squarely into many of the prioritized dimensions of the Feed the Future Learning Agenda, providing data driven learning to prioritized research questions with relevance to Karamoja but also applicable across pastoral areas currently facing similar challenges. Outcomes from the Livestock and Market Strengthening in Karamoja pilot will inform policy dialogue and reform as well as design of future livestock sector support activities financed by donors and the Government of Uganda that will drive economic growth and improved household and community resilience

GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY: The Livestock Advisor has primary responsibility for the oversight and implementation of the new 23 month livestock pilot program. Building on the experience and learning from the GHG project (started in 2012) and drawing on learning emerging from the recently completed EU funded Karamoja Livelihoods Program (KALIP) and technical studies relating to the livestock sector conducted by FAO and Oxfam, the GHG Livestock Sector Pilot will test and document the socio-economic viability of scalable, high impact interventions to strengthen the livestock production and market system in Karamoja.

Among the interventions to be tested are included

  • Formation of livestock marketing groups
  • Facilitated linkages between N. Karamoja producers and feedlot operators
  • Strengthened private sector networks through livestock fairs
  • Livestock buyer fact finding trips
  • Participatory land-use mapping (and documentation of customary institutions and practices relating to land use and natural resource governance)
  • Appropriate processing, storage and use of agro-by-products
  • Developing and testing a model for private sector delivery of comprehensive animal health services
  • Small scale animal feed enterprise development (producing and distributing supplementary nutritional blocks (engaging youth and marketing through agrivet stores)
  • Strengthened calf health and production management
  • Improved management of milking cows boosting milk production and milk offtake for household consumption

Together with key government counterparts, donors, the UN agencies and private sector stakeholders, the Livestock Pilot will also work to facilitate the development of a Livestock Development Plan for Karamoja that will complement the overarching KIDP and strengthen the umbrella structures that will support the integration of the livestock plan. By developing both the plan and the processes and structures that will implement and support the plan, the successful activities achieved in SO1 and SO2 of the pilot activity will have an opportunity to provide tangible actions as well as transformative and sustainable development once expanded.

The Livestock Advisor will directly oversee the development of the enabling livestock environment, will provide a global perspective on livestock markets and key competitiveness issues, and will supervise staff involved in livestock production, marketing and agricultural economics. The position’s three success factors include: 1) His/her ability to push forward market-driven approaches at all stages of programming, 2) the degree to which the person promotes and captures learning with her/his team, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying and evaluating preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisition, and 3) her/his passion to drive results, make critical decisions and produce scheduled outputs at deadline and to the expected quality will be.


In collaboration with team members and supervisor:

  • Directly and indirectly manage a diverse team of development professionals (including livestock and poultry specialists, agricultural economist) to plan, implement, monitor and report program activities, outputs, outcomes and impact.
  • Engage with private sector livestock actors to identify and facilitate the formation of new market linkages and business opportunities, such as livestock feed production, fattening/feedlots, private veterinary pharmacies, and others.
  • Facilitate a Karamoja policy development strategy and a more targeted Livestock Development Plan, considering current policies and processes, institutional/stakeholder analyses, and targeted studies through coordination and thought leadership with local and regional government and other stakeholders. Specific activities will include policy development forums, analyses, use of a stakeholder advisory group, and strategic communication to ensure that the process is inclusive and informed.
  • Build a strong comparative evidence base of policy and intervention options through; (a) quantitative assessment and evaluation of current livestock production performance and (b) the impact of livestock and alternative crop production interventions. The focus will be on engaging policy makers and key private sector actors through a mix of study tours to regional projects where livestock market development has been the focus, leveraging considerable investment, lessons learned and impact across the region (potential study tours include PRIME, Mercy Corps, Ethiopia and REGAL-IR and REGAL-AG, Kenya, Northern Rangelands Trust, Kenya).
  • Monitor intervention activities and collect beneficiary qualitative and quantitative information, document success stories and maintain proper records and filling systems.
  • Prepare and submit periodic work plans and activity reports.
  • Apply a gender and youth lens to activities in the program cycle.

Partnership Management:

  • Identify, assess and develop networks and strategies for potential private, public and civil society sector partnership with GHG program.
  • Establish and maintain productive working relationships with community, sub-county and district level leaders and soliciting their participation in all activities where appropriate.
  • Make on-site field visits regularly to monitor progress of activities and provide strategic measures for progress to maximize the programs’ economic and social impacts to the community.
  • Work with team leader(s) and Mercy Corps technical staff in order to bring synergy among different components of the project.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Create a dynamic program environment that promotes inquiry.
  • Take primary responsibility for sector-focused data gathering.
  • Establish procedures and guidelines to monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of economic development support work including setting and measuring benchmarks along results chains.
  • Analyze project implementation strategies to identify constraints to program success and provide timely recommendations.
  • Provide data in support of team’s submission of timely weekly and quarterly reports that will be indicative of program progress during implementation.
  • Where needed, support external evaluations by research partner Feinstein International Centre and other organizations.
  • Work with Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Information Officers (MELIOs) to ensure accurate and timely flow of information from the field into database and for preparation of communication reports.


  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner that brings credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Other duties as assigned by the COP.

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 towards 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 RESONSIBILITY: Supervises the Livestock Pilot staff to include a veterinarian, livestock marketing officer, livestock production officer and poultry adviser

Reports Directly To: COP, GHG

Works Directly With: GHG livestock team, MC’s FAO livestock staff, BRACED project staff, M&E and other Mercy Corps program and operations staff


  • Master’s Degree in Livestock Production, Veterinary Medicine, or similar discipline.
  • 7+ years experience in livestock production (beef, sheep, goat, poultry, dairy), livestock value-addition (feedlot, slaughterhouse, feed production, etc.), livestock marketing, and enabling environment, including at least 2 years of direct experience in the private sector.
  • Knowledge of pastoral, and/or agro-pastoral livestock production practices, similar to those practiced in arid areas of the Horn of Africa.
  • Knowledge of livestock enabling environment issues and regulations such as phytosanitary standards, quarantine regulations, veterinary drug protocols, livestock taxation models, livestock traceability, banking regulations to support export/import, among others.
  • Willingness to travel and work in rural areas with livestock producers, traders, and other market players.
  • Ability to interact effectively with a wide range of partners: private sector, government, donors and civil society.
  • Skills in team work, holding community consultations, participatory methods, and organizational development.
  • Excellent reporting, communication and representation skills.
  • Excellent spoken and written English.
  • Strong writing, communication, organization, prioritization and negotiating skills.
  • Excellent (English) verbal and written communication skills with proven financial management skills.
  • Experience in building and maintaining effective partnerships with implementing and strategic partner agencies, and government authorities and counterparts.
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

How to Apply

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