Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. The TSU is also integral to global business development and revenue.
Within the TSU, the New Initiatives (NI) team is responsible for supporting and enhancing Program Development throughout the Mercy Corps world. The NI team: 1) leads the development of grant submissions to institutional donors and 2) carries out initiatives that enhance agency competitiveness. Team members lead and support strategic, high-priority proposals by: assisting country teams with pre-proposal positioning activities; assembling proposal teams; leading the proposal planning process; conducting on-site participatory assessment and design work; writing and editing technical proposals; reviewing proposals to assess clarity and competitiveness; and more. The team enhances agency competitiveness through the development of tools and processes to improve proposal quality across the agency. With all of its activities, New Initiatives works in a highly collaborative manner with the agency as a whole.
The Program Development Manager (PDM) will be a member of the New Initiatives team for 2-3 months. He/she will support strategic program development efforts by: 1) leading and/or supporting proposal development processes; and 2) writing, editing and reviewing proposal documents. He/she will help enhance agency competitiveness by working with NI team members and other stakeholders to develop/improve tools and guidance on the proposal process and conducting a scan of institutional donors to target for diversification.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program & Proposal Development (approximately 75% time)
- Responsible for leading and supporting all aspects of the development of strategic proposals Supported by the New Initiatives team, s/he will apply the agency’s best practices in proposal development efforts. Special emphasis is on supporting proposal development for 1) large or highly strategic proposal opportunities and/or 2) complex or multi-country efforts.
- Work with other TSU members on the design and writing of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.
Contribute to Activities that Raise Overall Agency State of Practice (Approximately 20%)
- As a member of the NI team, the PDM will support agency-wide initiatives that enable Mercy Corps to more efficiently produce competitive submissions. (e.g. developing improved reference materials for proposal writers, contributing to efforts that capture learnings and results from our programs, and/or assisting with networking activities).
- Keep up to date on relevant donor strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.
- 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.
Reports Directly To: Director, New Initiatives
Works Directly With: all other TSU teams, HQ, and field teams
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in International Development, International Relations or related field is preferred.
- 5 to 7 years of experience in International Development
- Successful track record in leading complex program designs and proposal development in a variety of sectors and geographic locations.
- Exceptional writing skills.
- Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run both participatory process and also meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
- Native-level spoken and written English required; writing samples will be requested of finalist candidates.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, and the EC
- Fluency in English is required; knowledge of a foreign language preferred.
The PDM will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. The PDM will have a love of writing, strong interpersonal skills, and a healthy competitive spirit, and will take a lead role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position can be located in either Portland, OR; Washington D.C.; or London, UK. The position requires travel at least 30% time to the field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to deploy to field environments on short notice in response to any emergency or crisis. When in the field the team member must able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/temporary assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws and customs, and adhere to MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Mercy Corps Diversity Statement
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 Statement
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 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.