Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist at MCA Lesotho II

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Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) Specialist – Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Lesotho II

About MCA

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government corporation focused on assisting countries dedicated to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in people. In May 2022, MCC signed a five-year agreement (“Compact”) with the Government of Lesotho (GoL) aimed at poverty reduction through inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) – Lesotho II, is an entity established by the Government to act as the accountable entity to implement the Compact, with the authority to bind the Government with regard to all program activities.

Lesotho Compact

The Lesotho Health and Horticulture Compact aims to benefit 2.5 million people by growing, strengthening, and organizing the private sector in Lesotho and improving the government’s coordination to deliver critical services necessary to support private sector development.

It will achieve this goal through investments in Health System Strengthening (HSS), strengthening of the business environment and Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture (MDIH), providing sustainable income for smallholders and increasing climate resilience by replacing rain-fed subsistence farming with irrigated commercial horticulture in select locations.

The GoL is committed to passing several key reforms that will help make this compact successful, including reforms that address gender equality, working conditions and worker safety, as well as land and water rights. All of the Compact’s projects focus on overcoming barriers to the economic inclusion of women, youth, and the rural poor.

Business Environment and Technical Assistance (BETA) Project

The $62 million BETA Project objective is to support increased profits and formal employment of a pipeline of businesses, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), especially those owned by women and youth, and businesses in rural areas. The project will include public-private dialogue and support policy, regulatory, and legal reforms, strengthening financial institutions that can enable greater access to finance for MSMEs. The project includes grant opportunities for women and youth entrepreneurs. This project is strongly linked to the MDIH Project to provide technical assistance and business development support to MDIH Anchor Farmers and to develop horticulture value chains.

Position Objective

The Business Environment and Technical Assistance (BETA) Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) Specialist, reporting to the GSI Director of the Office of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Lesotho II, provides technical expertise and management skills to ensure the high-quality implementation of all gender and social inclusion-related sub-activities and tasks under the BETA Project.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assume primary responsibility for the oversight of implementation of the GSI sub-activities and tasks across the BETA Project’s 3 activities: (i) Pipeline Development; (ii) Business Ecosystem Strengthening; and (iii) Financial Ecosystem Strengthening. This includes technical and administrative management to ensure that the BETA Manager is successfully carrying out its terms of reference with respect to gender and inclusion objectives, designs, implementation processes and outcomes, with respect to its technical and financial assistance programs, targeted at participation of women, youth and MSMEs; support of public-private dialogue platforms, and other areas of BETA.
  • Serve as the MCA-L technical point of contact and provide oversight of the gender work done under the MCA-L collaboration with the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab on innovation in digital financial products under the BETA financial ecosystem activity.
  • Serve as the MCA-L technical point of contact and provide oversight of the GSI collaboration with the National University of Lesotho on applied ethnography, in close collaboration with the MCA-L MDIH GSI Specialist.
  • Provide technical recommendations; review consultant and contractor deliverables; monitor risks; troubleshoot; and identify solutions to problems.
  • Work closely with MCA-L’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Director to develop a monitoring framework for each activity under the Specialist’s responsibility, including KPIs and other metrics and indicators, to monitor GSI progress aligned with the program logic and other GSI objectives. Do spot checks of consultants’ monitoring systems, and use these and reports to track progress and identify risks.
  • Work collaboratively as a member of the BETA Project team, and the Gender and Social Inclusion team at MCA-L and MCC, sharing ideas and experience, and problem-solving, and ensuring strong integration of gender and inclusion objectives and activities, and strong coordination across contracts and sub-activities. Keep other MCA staff informed of progress, risks and problems, and jointly identify solutions, and ways to improve quality control systems.
  • Provide technical expertise on overseeing the BETA Manager’s compliance with their own activity-level gender and inclusion action plans, ensuring that they are being designed and implemented in a way that will be effective and fit for purpose.
  • Participate in stakeholder engagement, from ministry to community level, as part of activity management.
  • Participate in Technical Evaluation Panels and contract negotiations.
  • Develop risk mitigants, solutions and design changes or supplementation as required to meet GSI objectives. This system should include data collection and analysis, regular site visits, and regular meetings with MCA-L staff and implementing entities. This includes risks to achieving BETA’s gender and inclusion economic empowerment objectives, as well as any social safeguards related risks, such as sexual harassment that may occur in connection with BETA activities.
  • Support the development and monitoring of, and stakeholder engagement around, the BETA sections of the MCA-L Social and Gender Integration Plan (SGIP), encompassing GSI objectives and designs in all project activities, as well as workplans, responsibilities, and metrics. Manage the relevant portions of the SGIP management and tracking system, and update the SGIP regularly, in collaboration with other GSI staff.
  • Ensure compliance of BETA project with the MCC Gender Policy and the MCC Gender and Inclusion Operational Requirements, as they pertain to MCA-L.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in development studies, business, economics, gender studies, anthropology, human geography, or relevant social science field.
  • Advanced university degree in a related field is an added advantage.
  • Minimum 7 years’ experience leading the integration of gender in MSME technical and financial support programs in sub-Saharan Africa. This should include work related to skill acquisition in business planning, production, marketing and finance.

Skills and Competencies

  • Experience in capacity building for women and/or youth entrepreneurs through efforts such as incubators, accelerators, and mentoring programs an added advantage.
  • Experience with technical and financial support programs targeting youth and/or smallholder farmers is a strong added advantage.
  • Experience working on gender in government policy aimed at increasing women’s economic empowerment through business development is a strong added advantage.
  • Experience in reviewing, processing, and strengthening project proposals from a gender and inclusion perspective.
  • Fluency in English and Sesotho required.

How to apply

Complete applications must be submitted online, on or before Friday June 14th, 2024.

Applications should be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae containing detailed work experience;
  2. Cover letter confirming interest and availability;
  3. Soft copies of higher education and professional certificates (if available);
  4. A completed online application form (can be accessed from https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app   – CV Template MCA Lesotho II)

Only applications that are submitted on or before the deadline will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Submit your application online via: https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app – Hard copy applications will not be considered.

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