Consultant – Digital Work Proposal Development and Strategy – Remote

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 4 Feb 2022


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.

Mercy Corps’ global youth employment strategy is focused on two key workstreams: (1) MSD4E, or Market Systems Development for Employment. We seek to deliver youth employment programming that takes a market systems approach to change the way that labour markets work; and (2) Jobtech @ Mercy Corps. We seek to work sustainably with market actors in the jobtech space, and build the supporting ecosystem for jobtech to thrive. Mercy Corps’ global youth employment strategy has a specific focus on Africa (and the Middle East), given the significant need and opportunity, as well as interest of country teams. While Mercy Corps has a strong model for working with platforms for offline work (otherwise known as ‘location-based platforms’) like Uber, Lynk, and Safeboda, Mercy Corps has less experience working with digital work (including online freelancing and microwork). Specifically, while small pilots and activities have taken place, Mercy Corps does not have a coherent ‘approach’ of how programs should promote digital work in a sustainable and system-changing way.

At the same time, Mercy Corps Uganda has a particular interest in livelihoods development opportunities for refugees, with a portfolio of current and planned programs looking at the digital work space. Also as relevant context, Gaza Sky Geeks is in the process of evolving its strategy to offer more impact sourcing function. Potential avenues for Mercy Corps’ global digital work strategy include:

  • Social enterprise/becoming an implementer (potentially leaning on Gaza Sky Geeks/The Sky Geeks model)

  • Taking an MSD approach to analyse all the market functions in the digital work space, and exploring how to nudge where/how/what they operate to make that work more reliable/ inclusive/ scalable/ appropriate for target group.

  • A combination the above. This could operate as a ‘lab’ of both different direct implementation models, and systemic interventions for the sector.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps is seeking a consultant in order to help develop its strategy with digital work (microwork/data annotation and freelancing), anchored it in the practical use case of Uganda. Specifically, there are two layers to the consultancy:

  1. Develop a digital work strategy for an upcoming $1-2m proposal which seeks to provide access to digital work for refugees in multiple urban centres in Uganda. Consider how this strategy relates to other opportunities in Mercy Corps Uganda.
  2. Scaling out yet wider to the organizational level, develop a strategy on Mercy Corps’ digital work approach across the organization.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Internal consultations: Speak with Mercy Corps Uganda teams, Mercy Corps Youth Employment TSU team, the Gaza Sky Geeks team, and potentially with the target donor, to develop a clear understanding of the potential role MC could play with digital work for urban refugees, which marries program objectives with Mercy Corps’ market systems development and jobtech approaches.
  • External consultations: Speak to potential partners and other actors in the digital work space to identify possible mechanics/models for implementation in Uganda and beyond. There is potential interest in establishing a Catalyst Fund for refugees & jobtech, which could become a model for the program.
  • Develop recommended implementation model for digital work in Uganda proposal.
  • Develop global digital skills strategy

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  1. V0 deck presenting hypotheses, options, and recommended plans for digital work at two levels:
    1. Uganda proposal approach
    2. Overarching digital work approach (including recommended modifications/partnerships/opportunities in different contexts)
  2. Final deck presenting proposed digital work approach for Uganda proposal including:
    1. Methodological approach
    2. Potential reach/impact (refugee-level, private sector actor-level, system-level)
    3. Recommended partners
  3. Final deck presenting MC Global digital work approach including:
    1. Methodological approach
    2. Recommended partners
    3. Example applications in different contexts

Timeframe / Schedule:

The consultancy will be delivered between February and April. It is expected to take 30-40 days.

The Consultant will report to:

Director, Youth Employment

The Consultant will work closely with:

MC Uganda team, Gaza Sky Geeks

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5 years working in impact sourcing and digital work, with a focus on marginalized populations
  • 5 years working in strategy, partnerships and/or program development
  • Experience working with refugees and/or on programming in Uganda a strong plus
  • Familiarity with MSD approaches

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 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.

Safeguarding & Ethics Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging 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.

How to apply:

To apply: