Youth Engagement Program Officer at Mercy Corps

Since 1979, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive – and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: We help communities turn crisis into opportunity. Throughout our history, Mercy Corps has demonstrated innovation, timeliness and the ability to adapt quickly to changing realities.

  • Experience 3 years
  • Location Abuja

Program / Department Summary

This is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP). The CIPP program aims to strengthen conflict prevention, mediation and early warning by facilitating community-led analysis and action to prevent, manage, and mitigate conflict and violent extremism. The program will work in twenty-four (24) high-risk local government areas in Benue, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi and Plateau states. Mercy Corps is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to support the engagement of women, gender and social inclusion in the implementation of the Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP).

General Position Summary

The youth engagement program officer will lead the coordination of youth groups and the established youth peace network to enhance the role of youths in addressing root causes and drivers of conflict and operationalize the youth-led research recommendations at the community and state levels across the six CIPP states. She/he will focus on facilitating the inclusion of youth in peace and security to address more effectively the problems of young women and young men and to increase opportunities for their meaningful participation in peace processes and peacebuilding in target communities. She/he will support gender team as a focal point in mobilizing youth to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem and engage constructively in peace and security effort.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with the community and state-level peace structures to promote the participation of youth peace network members in CIPP interventions/activities, particularly the youth-focused events and community governance process
  • Worked with MEL team to conduct youth-led Action Research and ensure the operationalization of the research recommendations at the community and state levels
  • Prepare documents, reports and other material in support of youth engagement in CIPP’s peacebuilding intervention
  • Supports the coordination and monitoring of coherent and integrated youth inclusion in peacebuilding initiatives
  • Provide mentorship to CIPP Youth Peace network to develop and implement youth-led conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives
  • Oversee the activities CIPP Youth Peace network, consisting of representatives of both formal and informal youth groups and youth-focused organizations and networks to facilitate the inclusion of youth in peace processes and peacebuilding across CIPP states
  • Provide input into the development of knowledge products related with youth engagement and participation in conflict mitigation and peacebuilding interventions at the community and state level
  • Ensures that the youth-led Action research conducted in the North-West and North Central informs the development of youth-led initiatives and follow-up as required
  • Provide guidance to the youth peace network to ensure collaboration with other peace structures and the integration of GESI in youth-ed initiatives
  • Support the development and implementation of capacity building plan for the youth peace network towards strengthening their advocacy skills in promoting youth leadership and ensuring the inclusion of their voices and perspectives in peace processes in target communities
  • Provide input and support for developing Information, Education & Communication (IEC) materials for awareness-raising in the community
  • Share success stories and best practices on youth engagement in peacebuilding in CIPP target states;

Strategy & Vision

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Contribute to agency-wide GESI integration efforts and communities of practice as appropriate

Team Management

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Supports and liaise with project team and women peace councils and provides capacity building including training and coaching on GESI

Influence & Representation

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, development partners, women-led organizations, Ministry of Women Affairs across the six CIPP states
  • Communicate effectively and ensure coordination with community peace structures on GEDSI-related issues


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

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.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly to: GESI Manager

Works Directly with: GESI Manager, Program Manager, Senior Monitoring, evaluation and learning Manager, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, state officers, subgrant and finance department, etc.

Knowledge and Experience

  • University degree in Gender Studies, Sociology, Conflicts, International Development or related field required.
  • Minimum of Three (3) years of progressively responsible experience working on youth development initiatives, and  gender and social inclusion issues within community and civil society development programs, preferably with USAID or other U.S. Government programs.
  • Experience in conducting youth-led action research and implementing the research recommendations
  • Knowledge of gender and social inclusion issues in Nigeria including social, political, and cultural gender norms and challenges.
  • Excellent knowledge of the status of vulnerable and marginalized populations within Nigeria and their engagement in social, political, and cultural realms.
  • Experience integrating social inclusion in community participatory engagement or advocacy preferred.
  • Experience engaging local stakeholders, including youth groups, political leaders, and other local and national government leaders in gender and social inclusion initiatives.
  • High level of interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment, as well as work effectively with civil society organizations, donors, project staff, and other beneficiaries.

Success Factors

  • The successful youth program Officer will combine exceptional implementation skills and technical skills with a focus on innovative interventions to bring communities together.
  • An ideal candidate will be conversant with the challenges inherent in youth peace and security, gender and social inclusion and will be a self-starter who has led grassroots youth development efforts.
  • He/she will have an outstanding ability to support innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in Nigeria. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem-solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.
  • The candidate must have excellent attention to detail.

In particular, the successful candidate will be willing to travel to locations within North West and North West States according to the needs of the Mercy Corps program. This will mean sometimes staying and working in stressful environments with very basic living conditions, strictly following security protocols at all times and sometimes working long and irregular hours).

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.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to Mercy Corps on to apply

April 2024