Home RECRUITMENT Advisor – Access to Financial Services at Mercy Corps Nigeria

Advisor – Access to Financial Services 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 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 Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond primarily to growing humanitarian needs in the Northeast. With a strong and growing team of over 200 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 1,500,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in the South; Kaduna, Benue, and Plateau in the Middle Belt; Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno in the North. Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response that has a strong emphasis on WASH, Shelter, Cash and Protection. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian response, and market systems development.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:


Job Title: Advisor – Access to Financial Services

Requisition Number: ADVIS004481
Location: Abuja (FCT)
Employment Type: Full-time, Regular
Job Category: Programming
Supervisory Responsibility: Yes
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party


Program / Department Summary

  • Working with a diverse funding base that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations (UN), European Commission (EC), and several foundations, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. In 2019, Mercy Corps was awarded a five-year, $30 million USAID-funded Rural Resilience Activity in Nigeria’s northeastern states.
  • The purpose of the Rural Resilience Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty. The Rural Resilience activity will enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance and faltering with each new shock.
  • The Rural Resilience Activity is a five-year, $49 million USAID-funded Program in Nigeria’s northeast. The purpose of the Rural Resilience Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty.
  • The Rural Resilience Activity will enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance and faltering with each new shock. To achieve this purpose, the Activity will have four components and four cross-cutting elements:
    • Component 1: Provide up-to-date evidence for selecting market systems, livelihoods and employment opportunities that contribute to inclusive and resilient growth and improved nutrition.
    • Component 2: Stimulate market systems growth and diverse economic opportunities (Pull activities).
    • Component 3: Build capacity to take advantage of market systems opportunities (Push activities).
    • Component 4: Sequencing, layering, integrating (SLI), and collaborative learning to improve activity effectiveness, sustainability, and scale.
    • Component 5: Supporting Market Resilience to COVID-19 Shocks.

General Position Summary

  • The Advisor – Access to Financial Services is vital at the intersection of finance, community resilience, and market dynamics. An experienced professional with a deep understanding of the Nigerian financial landscape and a strong commitment to promoting economic stability and resilience in the region.
  • This position entails leading strategic efforts to strengthen financial systems, enhance market linkages, and empower local communities to withstand economic shocks. Responsibilities include conducting in-depth market assessments, identifying innovative financial solutions, and collaborating with local partners to design and implement impactful interventions.
  • The Senior Advisor will navigate the unique challenges and opportunities of the Nigerian context, building partnerships with government agencies, financial institutions, and community stakeholders to drive sustainable economic growth.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • The Advisor – Access to Financial Services provides strategic leadership and technical expertise within the Resilience and Market Systems Development program. Key responsibilities include conducting comprehensive market assessments, identifying innovative financial solutions, and designing interventions to enhance the financial resilience of target communities.
  • The advisor will collaborate with local partners, government agencies, and stakeholders to implement projects that improve access to financial services, strengthen financial literacy, and promote inclusive economic growth.
  • They will navigate complex challenges, leverage financial tools, and drive transformative change to support the program’s objectives, all while ensuring alignment with the unique context and needs of the region.
  • S/he will liaise with the CoP, DCoP, Advisors, Communications Manager, and MRM Manager to identify and design key communications materials and disseminate them to identified audiences. S/he will be responsible for ensuring strong linkages between the Activity interventions and the Results Measurement team of the program. This position is based in Gombe but requires frequent travel to the other states of the Northeast.

Specific Responsibilities
Knowledge Management:

  • Knowledge Dissemination: Develop and implement strategies for sharing relevant industry insights, best practices, and innovative financial solutions with financial institutions, FinTechs, and the Central Bank of Nigeria to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Research and Analysis: Conduct in-depth research and analysis of financial trends, regulatory changes, and emerging technologies, providing stakeholders with timely information to make informed decisions and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
  • Capacity Building Workshops: Organize workshops, seminars, and training sessions for financial institutions, FinTechs, and regulatory bodies to enhance their understanding of the latest financial service innovations and global best practices, ultimately influencing their strategies and policies.
  • Policy Advocacy: Utilize knowledge and insights to advocate for policy changes and regulatory reforms that support financial inclusion and innovation in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, helping to shape a conducive environment for financial services development.
  • Thought Leadership: Position the program and its stakeholders as thought leaders in the financial services sector by producing thought-provoking research papers, articles, and policy briefs that influence industry discourse and decision-making, promoting the adoption of inclusive and resilient financial services practices.

Intervention Management:

  • Support the implementation of teamwork plans and the successful implementation of livelihoods and market systems development activities, ensuring timely implementation of work plan activities, identification of target groups within the approved budget, and achieving program deliverables for the desired impact.
  • Support the provision of technical guidance on livelihoods and market systems development and ensure that interventions are responsive to stakeholders and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards, and strategic plan.
  • Formulate strategies to develop markets in the selected commodity chains and seek opportunities to work as per the RRA sector strategy. Develop intervention strategies and implementation procedures in a participatory manner with key stakeholders.
  • Ensure the appropriate communication of clear intervention guidelines, expected outcomes, timeframe, and workplan to all relevant parties.
  • Remain well aware of developments in the relevant sectors/markets/commodity chains
  • Refine and adapt the intervention strategies in light of participant and stakeholder requests and changing needs and opportunities within the overall program of RRA.
  • Help identify market failures and pressure points for addressing these; help identify ways to render a given market more functional and efficient to benefit the program targets.
  • Refine and adapt the selected intervention strategies in light of participant and stakeholder requests and changing needs within the overall program.
  • Identify priority areas for interventions that will change as opportunities pass or are realized, and new ones emerge.
  • Collaborate closely with and support the technical advisory and implementation team to manage the Grant Facility aspect of the program to catalyze new investment in viable economic opportunities (market systems, livelihoods, agribusiness, and employment) through grants that stimulate rather than distort market development and avoid exacerbating conflict dynamics.

Stakeholder Management:

  • Strategic Partnership Development: Forge and nurture strategic partnerships with financial institutions, FinTech companies, and the Central Bank of Nigeria to align program goals with the interests of these stakeholders.
  • Needs Assessment: Conduct thorough needs assessments with financial institutions to understand their specific requirements and constraints in serving vulnerable communities.
  • FinTech Engagement: Act as a liaison between the program and FinTechs, identifying opportunities for technology-driven solutions, fostering innovation, and facilitating partnerships for financial inclusion initiatives.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Maintain a deep understanding of regulatory frameworks. Work closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure program activities align with financial regulations and advocate for favorable policy changes when necessary.
  • Capacity Building: Provide guidance and support to financial institutions and FinTechs in enhancing their capacity to deliver financial services to underserved populations effectively.
  • Investment Facilitation: Collaborate with financial institutions to explore investment opportunities and secure funding sources to sustain and scale program activities.
  • Risk Management: Evaluate and mitigate potential risks associated with stakeholder engagement and ensure compliance with risk management protocols.
  • Communication and Advocacy: Develop communication strategies to advocate for policy changes that promote financial inclusion and disseminate program successes to stakeholders, fostering a positive narrative around program impact.
  • Conflict Resolution: Address conflicts and challenges that may arise between different stakeholder groups, working towards consensus and shared objectives.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Implement a robust system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement efforts, regularly reporting progress and identifying areas for improvement in stakeholder management strategies.

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 international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in designing, monitoring, and evaluating our field projects.

Representation and Advocacy:

  • In coordination with the other technical leads, develop and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders in Nigeria, including local communities, donors, government actors, UN agencies, international and local NGOs, and other relevant actors. Ensure RRA’s active representation and participation in the relevant clusters/sectors coordination. Develop strategic partnerships with local organizations.
  • In coordination with the CoP and other technical leads, assist in organizing donor visits by supporting staff in the smooth design and running of field visits.

Works Directly with:

  • DCoP, Communications Manager, Managers, MEL team, Technical Advisors, Communications Officers, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/BSc. in Social Sciences
  • The ability to work within a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  • Excellent communications skills
  • A passion for the international development sector
  • Exceptional analytical and writing skills.
  • A strategic and creative thinker with proven experience in working on diverse and wide-ranging communication strategies, including all forms of media.

Success Factors

  • A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem-solving.
  • S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take the initiative, be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem-solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting, and follow laws and security protocols.
  • The most successful Mercy Corps team members are strongly committed to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments, and prioritize effective written and verbal communication.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

  • Achieving 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:

  • 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 (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics:

  • Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity.
  • We are committed to the core principles regarding the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary-General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members.
  • As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and adhere to the Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times.
  • Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2023.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Applicants should have their CVs and Cover Letters in one document addressing the position requirements.
  • Female candidates who are qualified are strongly encouraged to apply.