Full Time
Social, Structural & Behavioral Change Advisor For Nutrition Resilience . Apply Today!
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Social, Structural & Behavioral Change Advisor For Nutrition Resilience . Apply Today!


  Posted13 Jul 2023  Closing date18 Aug 2023

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.

Program / Department /Team Summary

With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps is leading a consortium of Kenyan and International partners in implementation of Nutrition in ASALs Within Integrated Resilience Institutions (Nawiri) program, a $100 million (USD) five-year Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA), which aims to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya.

Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. During phase I of the program, USAID Nawiri commissioned various studies to improve understanding of the complexities and interplay of the causalities contributing to persistent acute malnutrition in the two Counties. The evidence generated from the studies was used to inform the design of the program interventions with the aim of strengthening nutrition resilience of individuals, households, and local communities by bridging critical knowledge gaps and transforming practices.

The Mercy Corps – led consortium comprises of Save the Children, Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the BOMA Project, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Caritas Lodwar and other local implementing partners bringing together global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience necessary to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu Counties.

General Position Summary

The Nawiri Social, Structural, & Behavioral Change (SSBC) Advisor for Nutrition Resilience will provide strategic leadership and technical support in the design and implementation of coherent SSBC strategies and interventions that cut across all program areas of the project. S/he will ensure that the evidence base generated from the research and learning activities is used to inform strategic investments for driving social, structural, and behavioral change. This will include timely delivery of evidence – based SSBC interventions that address social and structural determinants of persistent acute malnutrition that are both scalable and amenable to change, with particular attention to identifying opportunities for testing modifications to existing interventions or platforms.

Nawiri recognizes that while biology and physiology are important contributors to an individual’s health and nutrition, the social determinants that underlie human interaction–including knowledge, attitudes, social and cultural norms and conventions, and behaviors–are critical for shaping health and nutrition outcomes at the individual, family, and community levels. These social determinants and their evolution are themselves influenced by the complex interplay of structural factors including political and economic systems, culture, conflict, and climate change. In-line with our core mandate of understanding and addressing the complex causality of persistent acute malnutrition, Nawiri elevates Social, Structural, and Behavior Change (SSBC) to a strategic level, above any single sector, implementing team, or stakeholder group. This birds-eye, systemic view is required to identify the critical junctures or entry points within the dynamic system where integrated investments are likely to generate the greatest impact on enabling vulnerable groups to take greater control over and improve their nutrition resilience.

Working across all program areas, and in close collaboration with the Strategic Learning and Research Teams, s/he will support the Nawiri team to routinely analyze emergent findings of research and learning activities through a systems lens with focus on implications for risks and opportunities related to SSBC. The SSBC for Nutrition Resilience Advisor will work closely with all program staff and partners in the consortium to develop implementation plans, suitable knowledge management and measurement in line with the SSBC for nutrition resilience strategy and approach.

The SSBC Advisor will report directly to the Deputy Chief of Party and provide strategic and technical guidance across the program, ensuring teams work in harmony to produce desired program results. S/he will have dotted technical support lines to SSBC personnel and functions embedded within implementing teams at the County level.

Essential Job Functions


  • Support the Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) by providing vision and strategy to the program approach and how SBCC integrates into the overall technical direction and implementation.
  • Build strong institutional linkages and maintain a productive working relationship with consortium partners, USAID, Government of Kenya, CRS – lead USAID Nawiri consortium, PREG Partners, and other relevant partners.
  • Assist in defining and analyzing Nawiri practices and priorities across all partners; identifying opportunities for integration and synergies within other sectors such as nutrition, health, water systems, and governance.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed; promote and model a culture of learning and adaptive management.
  • Ensure that cross-cutting aspects of the program such as gender equality, social inclusion, youth, climate adaptation, and resilience are included and well-integrated across all program activities.
  • Collaborate with all program components including research, implementation, monitoring & evaluation (M&E) and learning to drive overall effectiveness and coherence of program strategy from inception to scale up.


  • In close collaboration with all Nawiri technical teams and management, lead design, development, execution, and iteration of a risk-informed SSBC strategy and interventions for improving nutrition resilience that is evidence-based, tailored to local realities, and responsive to risk and opportunities.
  • Provide SSBC technical leadership and oversight of SBC activities implemented by Nawiri consortium members, including frequent travel to Samburu and Turkana to provide on-site capacity building and technical assistance, as needed, to strengthen program field staff and local implementing partners’ capacity to implement effective and quality SBC interventions as well as support frontline community change agents’ engagement with the community members.
  • Oversee identification and development of innovative approaches for changing beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and practices around decision-making for better health and nutrition outcomes across multiple levels: individual, households, community, public and private sector institutions.
  • Mobilize and engage with communities through the MOH structures including community health services and other change agents in the project to address negative social determinants of health and nutrition.
  • Develop comprehensive social behavior change tools and campaign activities using evidence-based theories and methodologies including development of appropriate SBC content for videos, radio spots, experiential fairs among others, as appropriate, in close collaboration with Nawiri and external stakeholders.
  • Support in the design of community-level interventions that target caretakers of children, household and community decision makers, farmers, and community members at large to increase demand and utilization of nutritious, diverse, and safe diets.
  • Ensure that SBC materials are pre-tested, proven effective, and used efficiently.
  • Work with the M&E lead, Program Quality and Reporting, Strategic Learning Lead, and program staff to measure and document progress and impact of SBC activities while ensuring timeliness and quality of SBC reports meet program and donor reporting requirements.


  • Provide leadership and oversight in the development of risk-informed and shock-responsive SSBC tools, materials, and communication channels.
  • Work closely with management, technical and County – level leads to streamline SBC strategy and interventions in all program activities
  • Provide strategic, technical guidance and direction to the program, ensuring alignment with latest technical information, evidence and approaches in the SSBC field;
  • Oversee programmatic and technical aspects related to SSBC activities ensuring SSBC efforts are evidence-based and coordinated, and in line with the Nawiri goal and principles.
  • Function as the “lead learner” (equivalent to “principal investigator” for research) on at least one of Nawiri’s strategic learning areas; provide leadership and management in all aspects of the activity.
  • Support in the development of research and learning agenda and activities; provide strategic support across all research and learning activities, including by identifying and actioning strategic opportunities for rapidly testing and adapting innovative approaches for addressing social and structural determinants of persistent acute malnutrition.
  • Transfer capacity of SSBC frameworks and approaches within the consortium and across the larger community of practice.
  • Lead and motivate the SSBC team and other program staff to ensure effective project implementation with overall management responsibility for the direct reports.
  • Manage the direct reports; define expectations, provide leadership and support as needed, and evaluate performance regularly.
  • Support recruitment, training, and performance management of staff as appropriate; including sharing of appropriate professional development opportunities with USAID Nawiri program staff.
  • Participate in the annual work planning process in close collaboration with USAID Nawiri program staff and relevant County government teams.
  • Monitor program outputs and results and work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research team to ensure that results are documented and reported accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Prepare narrative reports for USAID Nawiri and donor as required, ensuring these are of a high quality and submitted for review in a timely manner. This will involve compilation of information from a range of USAID Nawiri program staff, local implementing partners, relevant County departments and other partners.
  • Support documentation and dissemination of best practices, lessons learned and innovations in the project internally and externally to donors, governments, consortium partners and other key actors for replication and advocacy together with programme team. Identify and share relevant technical resources to support program learning.
  • Work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning team to ensure all SSBC components have robust monitoring plans, baselines, reviews, and evaluations in line with the project design and donor guidelines.
  • Represent USAID Nawiri in relevant internal and external fora including donor meetings (as appropriate).


  • Work closely with the Systems Strengthening and Institutionalization Lead and team to cultivate county leaders’ commitments to policies and programs that support nutrition resilience and promote changes in social and structural conditions that contribute to persistent acute malnutrition.
  • Work closely with the Strategic Learning Lead to drive the learning agenda within Nawiri and other partners in Turkana and Samburu, and the wider community of practice
  • Work with other team leads to coordinate reporting to the donor
  • Represent Mercy Corps and Nawiri at strategic meetings, events, and conferences.
  • Develop case studies and other products to communicate key program learnings related to SBC
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of M&E activities, including any baseline, end-line, or other activities related to SBC.
  • Assist in the development of all program reports, work plans and budgets as appropriate.
  • In accordance with the Deputy Chief of Party, take on representation role on specific coordination forums. Communicate effectively to ensure the program is accurately represented.
  • Any other task, as identified in consultation with supervisor.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to promote and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members. Ensure that gender specific needs and interests of program staff in relation to safety and security are identified and responded to appropriately.


  • 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.


  • Mercy Corps team members are required 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.

Supervisory Responsibility:

No direct supervisory responsibility. The SSBC Advisor provides technical support to twelve field – based social and structural behavioral change (SSBC) and other program staff. Operational and technical oversight of field-based activities is undertaken by Field Director / Sub – Office Field Coordinators and partners.


Reports Directly To: Director of Implementation and Nutrition Resilience

Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party,Strategic Learning Lead, Research Design Lead, Institutional Strengthening Lead, M&E team, Technical Leads, partner agencies, local implementing partners, local government, USAID, and support departments (Finance, HR, and Operations). Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit (TSU)

Knowledge and Experience

  • A Master’s degree in Behavioral or Social Sciences, Anthropology, Public Health, Social Psychology, Communications, Marketing, Health Communication, Behavioral Economics, or other relevant behavioral/social science field or Bachelor’s degree with at least 7-10 years of relevant experience.
  • At least 7-10 years of demonstrated experience in design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of SBC interventions in maternal and child health, nutrition, ASRH, WASH, livelihoods, or similar programs in Kenya, preferably in northern Kenya, including management of large community – based and inter–disciplinary teams. Demonstrated success in generating and executing innovative and effective social, structural and behavior change solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and apply a range of effective social behaviour change strategies and approaches including community engagement, social marketing, mass media, innovative experiential learning activities and willingness to learn to apply a range of new and innovative SBC approaches.
  • Knowledge and understanding of local cultural practices, social networks, and gender and age dynamics in Northern Kenya.
  • Experience collaborating with county officials and leaders, building community capacity and leading community mobilization.
  • Experience building capacity of civil society and/or government entities in social and behavior change.
  • Demonstrated success in building and managing relationships with various donors and implementing partners.
  • Ability to deliver quality work within deadlines, work independently with minimum supervision as well as effectively collaborate in matrix management environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Systems thinker with strong analytical skills with the ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner and challenge existing mindsets.
  • Excellent written and persuasive oral communication skills in English required.
  • Ability and willingness to travel to Samburu and Turkana at least 60% of the time as needed.
  • Demonstrates patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination, and a sense of humor.
  • The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Success Factors

A successful SSBC for Nutrition Resilience Advisor will be proactive, flexible, and comfortable with the likely reality that the roles and responsibilities of this position will evolve and change as this unique program progresses. S/he will have strong technical skills combined with strategic visioning and leadership. S/he will have an outstanding ability to inspire teams to deeply understand the social determinants that underlie human interaction and integrate this understanding into activities to enhance program impact. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. With a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, the successful candidate will thrive in the evolving and changing environment. The Advisor must make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

How to apply

Apply through the link

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