The Senior Advisor will work at the intersection of peacebuilding and humanitarian assistance to enhance Mercy Corps’ impact and influence in complex crises, as laid out in the agency’s Compass objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. They will:
Lead intra-agency collaboration between the Peace and Conflict technical team and the Humanitarian Leadership and Response team to enhance the agency’s thinking and approaches for advancing peace in complex crises, while working closely with other technical teams (Governance and Partnerships, Resilience, etc), Policy and Advocacy, and Research and Learning.
- Lead finalization of guidance on “Advancing Peace in Complex Crisis,” including leading on internal and external dissemination;
- Work closely with aforementioned teams to ensure that related methodologies and approaches (e.g., moving towards resilience in complex crises) complement the evolving “Advancing peace in complex crises” approach and vice versa;
- Proactively engage with HQ and country leadership to identify opportunities to strengthen agency capabilities in this space;
- Support internal capacity-building efforts on negotiating for humanitarian access, including in-country workshops and webinar orientations to the playbook.
Engage directly with Mercy Corps country teams, including country leadership and field teams, operating in complex crises to build consensus on the agency’s approach to advancing peace in complex crises. Specifically:
- Orient senior leadership teams to guidance on strategic decision-making for how/when to move from emergency relief to layering in peacebuilding and development interventions;
- Advocate internally for the development and implementation of programming to advance peace in complex crises;
- Support country team development of strategies to advance peace during complex crises;
- Train program staff on technical approaches that include conflict-sensitive humanitarian assistance, conflict management approaches that address proximate causes of violence, and development and peacebuilding approaches that address underlying social, economic, ecological, and political root causes of conflict;
- Support team-led social cohesion assessments and adaptation of emergency assistance based on identified risks of fueling tensions between groups; and
- In collaboration with the New Initiatives team, help integrate “advancing peace in complex crises” framework into development of new proposals.
Represent Mercy Corps at conferences, donor meetings, and other external foraby sharing evidence of / approaches for advancing peace in complex crises:
- Collect successes, challenges, and lessons from country teams operating in complex crises;
- Inform Research and Learning agenda to test theories of change and generate evidence for advancing peace in complex crises; and
- Support roll-out / dissemination of the “Negotiating for Humanitarian Access” playbook, including external presentations on this resource, for the broader humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding communities.
- 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 programs.
Reports Directly To: Technical Support Unit (TSU) Peace and Conflict Director for overall strategy, project management, and work plan approval. Lead will also report indirectly to a management team, including TSU Senior Director, the Interim VP for Humanitarian Leadership and Response, and the Senior Director for Humanitarian Leadership and Response for integrated ownership of effort and outcomes. The Technical Lead’s workplan will clearly delineate key stakeholders for deliverables to ensure appropriate alignment on outcomes. The Technical Lead will provide regular updates to the management team to gather input, direction and feedback, and share results for use in their Compass-level reporting to agency leaders.
Collaborates With: TSU, HLR, Policy and Advocacy, Research and Learning, Performance and Quality, Strategy and Learning, regional and field teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- S./M.Sc. or equivalent or above in a relevant technical field is preferred.
- 7+ years of experience in international development, with expertise in humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding programming:
- Working overseas and managing field-based projects.
- Proposal development and donor cultivation.
- Presenting strategy and results to donors, government, and other official stakeholders.
- Producing policy and donor relevant research.
- 1 to 3 years of management and supervisory experience that includes:
- Effective coaching, development, and management of individual staff and teams.
- Proven leadership, self-motivation, and interpersonal skills.
- Working on matrixed teams and in non-hierarchical settings.
- Working with teams of diverse backgrounds.
- Exceptionally strong verbal and written communications skills and organizational skills are required.
- 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, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language preferred.
The successful Technical Lead must be a self-starter who demonstrates leadership in peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, communications, and team and stakeholder management. Proven ability to manage competing priorities, follow procedures, and meet deadlines is required. The Lead manages the “Advancing Peace in Complex Crises” initiative to impact strategy, program quality, influence and donor/partner cultivation. He or she leads and nurtures individual team member contributions and works effectively with different work styles. The Lead is flexible and creative in planning and problem solving, and has a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. The Lead has the vision and drive to lead initiatives in the agency and demonstrate understanding for the larger picture while remaining focused on and able to handle the details. S/he must be able to deliver results on behalf of multiple teams with a clear strategy, workplan, and communication process. The individual must have high proficiency for working in varied cultural, political, and religious environments, and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is located in one of Mercy Corps’ headquarter offices. The position requires travel at least 15% 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 and over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule.
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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity.