Consultant-International Advisor, Market Analysis Unit-Remote
IT / Development
DescriptionAbout Mercy CorpsMercy 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.BackgroundMercy 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.Mercy Corps began working in Myanmar in 2008 to help communities recover from the devastating damage of Cyclone Nargis. After the emergency phase of our work was complete, we shifted our focus to longer-term development - first in the Delta, then in other regions. Mercy Corps now works in five States and five Regions. Our overarching goal is to help bring about sustained peace, stability and economic growth that includes all people. To that end, we are helping farmers increase their productivity and incomes and improving the way agricultural markets work. We’re helping communities adapt to climate change while increasing access to life-enhancing household energy products. We’re improving the ability of local governments and civil society groups to resolve conflicts. And we're increasing the capacity of the public to meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives, as well as their access to effective and responsive services.Mercy Corps Myanmar’s (MCM) vision is that all communities in the country are able to determine their future through responsive governance, inclusive and equitable access to economic opportunity, climate change resilience, and equal rights, leading to peace and prosperity. We believe that by addressing the root causes of fragility, peace and economic growth for all is possible and that our four interconnected objectives contribute to a higher level goal of increased ‘peace and prosperity’.The COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing economies, healthcare, and food systems throughout Myanmar. Although the health effects will certainly be felt very strongly, it is expected that the negative economic impact on the most vulnerable will be much greater in scope and duration. While it is not possible to fully grasp the geographic reach and severity of this rapidly evolving crisis in Myanmar, current analysis and experience from recent outbreaks paints a picture of the likely impacts on food security of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will most likely be multiple layers of economic impacts related to the COVID-19 crisis that will create breakdowns in supply chains, potential shortages and price spikes of inputs, reduced market outlets for agriculture, distortions in the labor market, and reduced cross-border trade, all affecting food production and food security. While the health effects will be severe, the economic shock on the most vulnerable is expected to be harsh and lasting. These shocks will be exacerbated in geographies where conflict-related - and potentially natural disaster-driven (esp. during the rainy season) - displacements of populations will further limit populations’ access to basic services, markets, and health facilities.With much of the attention currently focusing on the health and hygiene response, there are difficulties obtaining information on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on households and markets in Rakhine State. It is now essential to direct resources into evaluating the overall impact COVID-19 has had on sectors outside of healthcare. It is vital that credible data collection and analysis are conducted regularly, at household, State / Region and national levels, to inform early recovery, economic policies and to ensure programme design and responses are well targeted and effective.Purpose / Project DescriptionContinued in-depth, targeted and on-the-ground assessments are vital to clarify the market constraints and needs specific to individual affected areas, in order to inform early recovery, economic policies, and programme design. Mercy Corps proposes to setup a Rakhine Market Analysis Unit to gather much needed hard data and provide analysis that will help development practitioners and policymakers make informed decisions based on a better understanding of the present and potential impacts of COVID-19 on:Households’ access to basic needs, purchasing power and coping mechanisms, with a focus on key factors that are currently driving economic vulnerability and potential food insecurity in target areas and a disaggregated analysis by specific vulnerable groups;The market functionality, with a focus on the broader food systems in the country as well as other households’ basic needs;Trade (agr. inputs and supply, machinery, commodities) and cross-border dynamics;The performance, resilience and liquidity of the financial services sector; access to finance for households and businesses; and trends in remittances; andThe labour market, both for formal and informal employment, and with a focus on agricultural labour and low wage sectors (construction, factories, food services).A mixed methodology approach will combine qualitative data obtained through remote key informant interviews (KII) with quantitative data collected through a mobile survey platform. Mercy Corps will prioritize remote data collection to limit the frequency, proximity, and quantity of person-to-person contact in order to protect everyone’s health.The Rakhine Market Analysis Unit will provide a broad geographical coverage of market functionalities across the country, with a specific focus on archetypical (case study) geographical hubs, namely the Delta, the Dry Zone, Rakhine State, the Southeast, Yangon Region, Chin State, as well as Northern Shan and Kachin State if partnerships and access allow.The analysis will be widely and regularly shared with key stakeholders in Rakhine State (local NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies, embassies and donors, government) to inform the design and implementation of future COVID-19 response and recovery programs. For an initial proposed period of 6 months, a weekly brief, which will focus on key market stability indicators, will be produced and shared. Additionally, Mercy Corps will produce more in-depth monthly analysis reports on some of the above-mentioned specific issues or on specific geographic areas.Consultant ObjectivesMercy Corps Myanmar is looking to hire several international advisors to support its Market Analysis Unit team on a short-term basis (20 to 40 days TBD). While some of the hired international advisors will work on Lead Researcher on specific in-depth studies (e.g. impact of Covid-19 and conflict on fishery, labour market, borrowing patterns, vulnerable household dynamics, etc), others might take on Writer or Analyst functions. Other functions might be identified on a rolling basis based on the needs of the Market Analysis Unit.The Lead Researchers will be expected to conduct desk reviews, data collection tool development, data collection team training, supervision of field research, data analysis and report writing.The Writers and Analysis will for their part be expected to support on the production of written research products, synthesize qualitative and quantitative data into reports, produce research briefs, summaries, and or executive summaries for research products, and edit and proofread reports drafts.Timeframe / ScheduleNovember 16, 2020 to December 31, 2021, with possibility of extension into 2021The Consultant Will Report ToDirector of ProgramsThe Consultant Will Work Closely WithMarket Analysis Unit’s Team Leader, Director of Strategy & Program Development, Markets Program Manager, Country MEL Manager, Project officers / enumerators, Technical Support Unit, and additional headquarters-based support departments as neededRequired Skills And ExperienceMercy Corps seeks candidates with solid market systems development and humanitarian response programmatic background, excellent analytical and writing skills, and preferably experience with the Myanmar and Rakhine context. Key requirements include:MA/S or equivalent in international development, social science, business administration or other relevant fields.Demonstrable experience in humanitarian assistance and/or market systems development analysis and market impact assessments in contexts that are fast changing and fragile, with a focus on the above-outlined sectors.Excellent English writing and communication skills, and the ability to present information logically and concisely.Ability to work under pressure and deliver quality products under tight deadlines and in sparse working environments.Ability to work as part of diverse teams and facilitate planning processes.Strong preference given to candidates with prior field experience and demonstrated understanding of the critical development issues in Rakhine State.Mercy Corps Diversity StatementAchieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.Equal Employment Opportunity StatementMercy 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 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, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.