Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
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 collaborate to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit, supports effective, efficient and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management, to achieve greater impact for those that matter most — our program participants. PaQ enables the delivery of high-quality programs by establishing and maintaining standards, championing an evidence-based practice to improve program performance and generate learning and leverage our programs’ impact across the region both internally and externally. The role is accountable for the development of efficient and effective monitoring, evaluation and learning and program management processes, policy and integrated program standards, as well as the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM), and Research to strengthen and expand further the Evidence-Driven framework. This is a challenging, complex and responsive role that requires flexibility, strong management and leadership skills and expertise in critical thinking and partnership.
The PaQ team is responsible for creating organization-wide systems that standardize and support Mercy Corps’ work and the PaQ director works with teams to ensure that practices that support the mission are mainstreamed. The PaQ Director leads on monitoring, evaluation and learning, the application of best practices across the program portfolio including gender and protection mainstreaming and oversees the technical advisers responsible for quality technical design in FSL, Peace & Good Governance, and GESI/Protection/Safeguarding. Additionally, the responsibilities of the PaQ Director include the development of and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact. This work includes supporting or leading proposal development and review, working with directors and staff across Mercy Corps Syria’s geographies including Area Directors and the Grant Management Director, and the implementation of Mercy Corps’ Suite of Minimum Standards (PM@MC).
The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality and capacity building. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps Syria’s diverse and challenging portfolio, focused on humanitarian response, livelihoods and economic opportunities, peace and good governance and climate objectives.
- Lead a strong and coordinated PaQ unit, overseeing results, objectives and work-planning across all PaQ domains.
- Participate in the Extended Senior Management Team, supporting overall strategic planning for Mercy Corps SY with evidence-based contributions, and leading the tracking of MCS country strategy commitments and results framework.
- Contribute to an adaptive management and learning culture, including facilitating after-action reviews, regular learning meetings, or strategy workshops.
- Support country systems and process improvements, integrating cross-program learning and new insights in strategy design and implementation.
- Play a leadership role in the design of new complex programs, leveraging evidence and learning from the existing portfolio to inform technical and management design.
- In collaboration with the Deputy Country Director, Area Directors and Directors of Programmes, identify programmatic synergies and support the development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective learning, collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions, and within and across programme portfolios.
- In collaboration with the MEL and Research team, identify and develop research and learning priorities that are connected to country, regional and global strategic objectives.
PROGRAM QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- Oversee programs’ alignment and adherence to Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC): ensure regular updates of assessments and provide targeted support to improvements against specific standards.
- Serve as a resource for program staff, advising them on activity design (including theories of change), gathering of baseline data, evidence-based programming, developing and implementing M&E plans, and impact assessments.
- Participate in new business development processes from the kickoff to submission stages – providing input not only on MEL but also on program design, feasibility, logic, etc.
- Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception review and programme performance meetings.
- Support robust accountability mechanisms at the country and program level, maintaining country Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), coordinating with the Ethics department and programs to ensure functioning community accountability reporting mechanisms (CARM) feedback channels, maintain high response and closure rates.
- Support adaptive management based on learning from CARM data, promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ CARM Minimum Standards.
- Oversee the mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and protection across all country programs from design to closeout, supporting GESI analyses and the use of sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD).
- Promote the PM@MC Gender minimum standards in program practices, including data collection tools, SOPs, guidance and procedures for protection/gender engagement.
PROGRAM EVIDENCE DATA SYSTEMS
- Improve the quality and harmonization of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to feed into a centralized MEL unit, designing MEL and information management systems, including high quality monitoring approaches, data quality assessments (DQAs), ensuring use of Mercy Corps’ TolaData platform for indicator tracking and reporting, strengthening data protection and privacy systems and promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ MEL Minimum Standards.
- Collaborate with the Crisis Analysis – Syria team (CA-SYR) to ensure ongoing analysis and use of evidence.
- Lead, promote and adapt as needed the Country level Evidence and Learning Agenda and ensure that country and program-level learning and research priorities feed into each other while aligning with MC Regional and Global priorities in this domain.
- Contribute to the Mercy Corps Syria Evidence, Research and Learning Agenda, and ensure the PAQ unit supports the development of appropriate partnerships and strategy for research and learning opportunities.
- Ensure the MEL Staff/Unit supports program teams in program evaluations and research, including drafting SoW, reviewing questions, designing data collection tools, and incorporating relevant learning, including ensuring protection risks and gender sensitivity is incorporated.
- Cultivate an environment for learning and adaptive management within programs through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
- Lead the development of processes to support programs team in integrating cross-programmatic learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design.
- Support program teams to develop learning plans, implement research and learning agenda, including needs assessments, thematic research, and internal use of data and information in programs.
- Oversee the continued development and quality of data systems and MEL systems in line with Mercy Corps’ MEL Tech Suite. This includes the on-going Data Automation Project.
- Ensure that members of the PaQ team have a deep understanding of their roles, coordinate closely in their work, actively engage with and support country teams, and are connected to relevant stakeholders across the agency to inform and promote agency strategies and best practices related to performance and program quality.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect and team spirit where team members feel supported, engaged and strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Ensure the functions and responsibilities of the team are aligned and contribute to the Country Strategy; clearly set up effective workflows and coordination between unit members. Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on one meetings and performance reviews to direct reports.
- Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
REPRESENTATION AND COORDINATION
- Contribute to global and regional conversations around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, and global program quality initiatives: PM@MC, minimum standards, GESI, localization, adaptive management, CARM, TOLA, MelWiki etc.
- Attend coordination meetings and/or represent Mercy Corps in relevant forums to ensure that information is shared internally and with other sectors, as appropriate.
- Working with Regional Leadership and Regional PaQ Unit, on optimal performance and quality position definitions and staffing structures, ensuring consistency to help advance a shared understanding of these roles and their purposes.
- Develop and nurture strong external relationships and networks to support program success and identify new solutions, including the use of technologies whenever relevant and in line with Mercy Corps MEL Tech strategy.
- Identify and seize opportunities to position Mercy Corps Syria as a lead agency in M&E, CARM and Gender Integration/Transformative practices through strategic research, assessment initiatives and other evidence-based processes.
- Represent Mercy Corps in external fora as appropriate, including with donors and partners.
Deputy PaQ Director, Information Management Manager and the Technical Advisors (three).
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly With: European Senior Director of Compliance, Governance & Risk, various team members and leaders.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- A Bachelor’s degree required. A Master’s or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- At least 8 -10 years’ of increasingly senior experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation.
- Experience working in the Middle East region and high-risk contexts preferred.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.
- Extensive experience with program quality, monitoring and evaluation and learning, information management, and other learning efforts and technical areas in key Mercy Corps Syria Sectors – Food, Security and Livelihoods, Water, Peace and Good Governance with GESI and climate as cross-cutting embedded areas.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations in Syria, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Excellent listening, interpersonal, communication and networking skills; and the ability to work with diversified populations.
- Skilled at delivering and facilitating training and capacity building interventions, e.g. coaching, mentorship.
- Analytical, problem solver, with strong experience and understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
- High level of self-awareness and self-development with the maturity to deal with constructive feedback.
- The willingness and ability to adapt leadership and management style as appropriate.
- Experience of conducting research, drafting, and presenting reports to varied audiences.
- Fluency in English is required, and Arabic is desirable.
The successful candidate is an experienced critical thinker and leader with a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging quality, innovation and accountability. S/he should have good listening and diplomatic skills. S/he should be able to navigate complex team dynamics and stressful situations to deliver results. S/he should have excellent analytical and creative problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively. S/he should take initiative to contribute to innovative programs that respond to the achievement of the mission of Mercy Corps in Syria.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is an “accompanied” post based in Amman, Jordan. Jordan is a middle-income country with excellent education, medical, and other facilities in the capital Amman. Jordan is a very safe country with excellent communications, transportation, and housing infrastructure. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.
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
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.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.
Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.