Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.
In Syria, Mercy Corps has been implementing emergency and life-sustaining activities since 2012. Mercy Corps currently operates with multiple institutional donors and a rigid, reporting regime.
The Grants Manager – NES will support the program department as the point person for communicating Mercy Corps Northeast Syria humanitarian activities through donor reports. This includes collation of information from each operational department into concise and clear narratives, supported by statistical evidence and case studies. The Grants Manager – NES must develop and possess an understanding of compliance and reporting format requirements for each donor and communicate those to program teams as needed. They will also serve as the focal point to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps internal systems of Program Management @ Mercy Corps (PM@MC) and must possess a basic understanding of internal standards in monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and accountability. They are an integral part of the Northeast Syria team and are expected to have a strong operational understanding of all activities and strategy. They will also be the point person for drafting new proposals and developing the initial narrative and budget requirements, in close collaboration with the Head of Grants Management in Amman. As such, the Grants Manager – NES is expected to liaise across all departments. Finally, in collaboration with the national Reporting and Communications Officer, they are the primary contact for internal communications within Mercy Corps on key program activities, success stories and other useful updates for the broader, Mercy Corps audience.
The Grants Manager – NES will work under the direct supervision of the Area Director of Programs – NES, with functional supervision from the Head of Grants Management, and working relationships with finance, PaQ, Program Managers, security and all other field departments in coordinating all grants/reporting-related tasks. Additionally, the Grants Manager – NES will coordinate closely with the desk team of Mercy Corps’ headquarters.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Reporting & Grants Management
- Coordinate the preparation of timely program and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal requirements and any relevant external donor requirements.
- Lead on the production of internal reports, including sitreps, 3Is and RTW, ensuring timely inputs from program, finance and operations teams, and ensure review and signoff processes are thorough and adhered to.
- Ensure that the filing structure meets minimum PM@MC and donor standards and folders are populated and archived accordingly.
- Support coordination and document all Program Kick-off and Close-out meetings, track action points for follow-up and record/document all lessons learned.
- In close collaboration with the Area Director – NES, provide draft answers to donor questions and requests, while ensuring compliance with donor regulations.
- Maintain and update project management tools, including funding trackers, grant trackers and dashboards.
- Work closely with the MEL team to collect information on program monitoring, progress and quality to support ongoing reporting, proposals and other operational management tools, including complex program reporting.
- Lead on the development of concept notes and funding proposals (including log frames and budgets), coordinating the development process with all departments of the team and under the guidance of the Area Director, Area Director of Programs and the Head of Grants Management. The portfolio includes a variety of donors, including major institutional donors, corporate organizations, trusts, and private donors among others.
- Lead on modification of programs in response to changing contexts and implementation realities.
- Ensure proposals and concept notes are developed in a timely manner and with realistic deadlines, and that these are communicated and understood by stakeholders both internal to the office as well as the region and HQ.
- Ensure proposals are developed in coordination and consultation with program technical advisers, finance and operations teams (including logistics, infrastructure) and that necessary support is adequately budgeted.
- In collaboration with the Area Director of Programs – NES organize/coordinate proposal kick-off meetings, maintain proposal development calendar and ensure timely contributions from teams.
- Coordinate both internally and externally, to ensure that prior to submission all proposals are reviewed and approved by the relevant parties as appropriate.
- Ensure that concept notes and funding proposals align closely with response strategies, sector program plans, and master budgets and M&E frameworks.
- Support the Head of Grants Management to track funding opportunities, including calls for funding progress of proposals, submission deadlines, financing available. Ensure all appropriate donor and Mercy Corps proposal formats are available in country.
- Support the MEL team with the planning and implementation of program review exercises incorporating learning into new proposals.
- Support the Program Managers with the development and review of partner proposals and reports as necessary.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure that complex programs are executed in alignment with the donor agreement and the applicable donor regulations, staying abreast of changes in regulatory environment related to donor/grant compliance; updating partnership process, tools, policies and procedures as necessary.
- Prepare for and participate in complex board meetings and update board members of program progress against indicators and milestones, as well as program support needs.
- Act as the focal point for full compliance with PM@MC minimum standards for program management, including complex program management.
- Provide support and training to the field teams to ensure that PM@MC minimum standards for program management are met. Conduct regular checks of adherence to PM@MC.
- In coordination with Finance and the Head of Grants Management, support BVAs and lead donor reporting meetings presenting up to date information.
- Support the finance team with initial budget development and ensure consistency with program planning.
- Produce other information and communications products for both internal and external audiences as required.
- As delegated, act as focal point for all queries and information requests from Mercy Corps and donors.
- Represent Mercy Corps to donors and other key stakeholders.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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.
Reporting and Communications Officer
Reports Directly to: Area Director of Programs – NES; maintains functional link with the Head of Grants Management.
Works Directly with: Each department: Program Teams, Finance Department, MEL, Operations and Security & Access, the HAT
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor degree or equivalent in related field. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian Assistance or International Development is preferred.
- Minimum of 3 years of experience providing coordination or management support program implementation in humanitarian contexts, including:
- Preparing writing and analysis on programmatic activities;
- Budget development and management experience;
- Managing work plans;
- Representing programs with donors and external stakeholders.
- Excellent writing and communication skills required.
- Ability to produce and edit documents under deadline pressure.
- Experience working with key institutional donors (USAID, DFID, ECHO, EC, etc) preferred. Ability and willingness to learn and follow donor reporting and compliance requirements.
- Ability to coordinate funding proposals and progress reports from key institutional donors (USAID, DFID, ECHO, EC).
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts.
- Strong understanding of key humanitarian principles and good practices.
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
- Ability to efficiently deal with competing priorities.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
- Graduate degree in a relevant field preferred.
- Experience working in the Middle East region and Syrian context preferred.
- PM@MC certified preferred.
- Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Arabic or Kurdish is a plus.
The successful candidate will combine exceptional organizational abilities and writing skills with good humor under pressure. They will learn and move between all departments to consolidate essential information for accurately reporting Mercy Corps activities in Northeast Syria. They will be able to capture strategy and planning in to concise and clear documents in new proposal development. It is critical that the Grants Manager – NES is an excellent communicator, who is supportive and solution-focused. They need to be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support complex programs with limited daily support and direction; they will be able to work remotely with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. They will be a multi-tasker with the proven ability to organize and prioritize competing priorities. The candidate will be organized and maintain a clear electronic and paper filing system. They will ensure donor compliance and best practices are upheld throughout the entire grants management process. The successful candidate will ultimately be able to provide constructive input to large relief programs and therefore, must be willing to learn from others. In particular, best practices in cross cutting issues including accountability, gender and protection. They must be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support and information management skills.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Al-Hasakeh, Syria and it requires 50% travel to all program implementation sites, security permitting and as required for coordination and reporting/proposal drafting purposes.
Personnel in this location are expected to follow all security protocols. This unaccompanied position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The position is eligible for hardship and R&Rs.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.