State Program Officer at Mercy Corps Nigeria

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 part and collaborate to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: State Program Officer

Requisition Number: STATE001820
Locations: Benue, Kano, Katsina & Kogi
Job Category: Programming
Reports Directly to: Program Manager
Works Directly with: Program Manager, Senior Program Officers, Gender & Inclusion team, MEL Team, Communications Officer, Finance, Program and Operation teams

Program / Department Summary

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched one of its most comprehensive peacebuilding programs in Nigeria to date with Mercy Corps, a leading global humanitarian aid and development organization, which has been working with communities in Nigeria since 2012. The goal of the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) program, which commences in 2019, is to prevent violent conflict in the most at-risk communities across 6 states and 24 local government areas (LGA) in Nigeria’s North West and North Central regions. CIPP builds on the accomplishments and deep contextual knowledge gained by USAID and Mercy Corps through their previous peacebuilding programs in Nigeria.
  • Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long-term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, protection of the vulnerable populations, social cohesion, the inclusion of women, youth and persons living with disabilities, and local conflict management.
  • The CIPP program was implemented in six North Central & North-Western Nigerian states Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina. Since 2019 is strategically building on the past four years of the Mercy Corps former peacebuilding programs to:
    • Improve local capacity and skills to manage disputes
    • Strengthen and enable more sustainable Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) mechanisms
    • Increase collaboration among communities with government agencies, CSOs, and local leaders to address root causes of conflict
    • Strengthen women’s capacities to prevent and resolve conflict
    • Improve ability to address violent extremist recruitment tactics.

General Position Summary

  • The CIPP State Program Officer is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the program in the respective states.
  • S/he will support the implementation of activities related to peacebuilding and conflict management with key actors such as farmers, herders, religious leaders, religious institutions, government institutions and other appropriate actors.
  • The Officer will support the facilitation and implementation of joint conflict prevention and PVE plans, and the facilitation of events related to advocacy and relationship building initiatives.
  • S/he will also provide support to all other activities related to the USAID-funded CIPP Program and will ensure smooth, timely, and compliant implementation in the respective states.
  • The Program Officer will liaise frequently with implementing partners, community members, conflict actors, religious leaders, and represent Mercy Corps at relevant meetings.
  • The Program Officer in each state will work closely with the Program Manager, Senior Program Officers, Communications Officer, MEL team, and Operations staff (including finance and operations) to ensure that activities implementation are according to plan, schedule, budget and required quality.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Support:

  • Support technical aspects of the peacebuilding and conflict management program by assisting with the development of activities/agendas/curricula as appropriate
  • Facilitate and co-facilitate community meetings, events, and training as required
  • Ensure implementation of activities is on time, target and budget
  • Liaise with CIPP partner organizations and potential resource persons as needed
  • Support the Program Manager in overseeing the performance of project implementation by partners and conduct frequent field visits to program sites
  • Build strong relationships with key actors such as government, other CSOs, private sector and community at large
  • In collaboration with M&E staff, coordinate the implementation of relevant surveys, needs assessments, data and information collection for ongoing monitoring
  • Develop activity work plans and manage day-to-day activity implementation in the state
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to community needs, meets targets, and is carried out in line with best practices
  • Establish and maintain effective program reporting, and monitoring and evaluation systems (to track, analyze and report on results) for both internal and external use
  • Integrate community approaches, protection mainstreaming, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate
  • Ensure effective community engagement to create enabling environment and ownership
  • Submit weekly program updates including success stories to supervisor
  • Update Program Issue Log, Risk Register & Incident Tracker as appropriate
  • Ensure program filing system is in place, adheres to internal and donor regulation and filing is regularly maintained
  • Adhere to all MC policies related to security, operations and transport/ logistics information related to programming

Representation and Coordination:

  • Represent Mercy Corps in the state at government, donor, NGO, community meetings in close coordination with the Project Manager.
  • Coordinate activities with implementing partners, local government representatives, religious leaders, other international and local organizations operating in the same state/geographic area, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs in Nigeria

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.

Finance & Compliance Management:

  • Ensure compliance with all donor and Mercy Corps regulations


  • 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


  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and not jeopardize its peacebuilding mission
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in conflict management, social sciences, international development or other relevant fields
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English required, including report development, writing and editing. Knowledge of Hausa/local language is strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members
  • Experience engaging with State and Local Government authorities, religious leaders and local partners
  • Experience managing community-based peacebuilding and conflict management interventions
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working in the non-profit sector preferably on conflict management/peacebuilding and community development
  • Experience working in rural areas in Nigeria, particularly in target states of CIPP
  • Experience working in a multi-organizational team (international and national partners) is a plus
  • Strong training and capacity building experience
  • Demonstrated understanding of the conflict dynamics in the Northcentral & Northwest Nigeria
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.


  • Leader: Inspires teammates to follow them
  • Detail Oriented: Capable of carrying out a given task with all details necessary to get the task done well
  • Dedicated: Devoted to a task or purpose with loyalty or integrity


  • Ability to Make an Impact: Inspired to perform well by the ability to contribute to the success of a project or the organization
  • Goal Completion: Inspired to perform well by the completion of tasks
  • Self-Starter: Inspired to perform without outside help.

Success Factors:

  • Must be able to work independently and show initiative. Strong leadership, communication, and management skills are essential. Understanding peacebuilding principles and their application to program implementation is required. Ability to work independently and as part of a team. Must be able to solve problems and multi-task on a range of administrative and programmatic issues. The ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel is required. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
  • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours. 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions:

  • The positions are based in Kano, Katsina, Kogi and Benue states. They require up to 50% travel to the program sites field in the state and around the North Central / North West regions.

Deadline: 30th September, 2021.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Candidates should indicate their choice of location in their Cover Letter when submitting their applications.
  • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
  • Female candidates who are qualified are strongly encouraged to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

  • Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have a sustained global impact.
  • We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
  • In your statement, you are encouraged to discuss any relevant experience and demonstrate your interest. Your application will be reviewed by the Mercy Corps team and shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly for interviews.


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