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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps implements a variety of programming throughout the MENA/Europe region in response to the diverse humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region. Mercy Corps has ongoing programs in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. Mercy Corps is committed to delivering high quality, high impact programming that reaches communities or individuals in need, wherever they are.
Mercy Corps just launched its new global ten-year strategy, ‘’Pathway to Possibility’’, which reflects our ambitions to not only meet basic needs of communities affected by conflict and climate, but to achieve lasting, transformational change at scale. Pathway to Possibility (P2P) includes a three-layers resilience approach at its core and aims to deliver impact through four key outcome areas: Food Security, Water Security, Economic Opportunity, and Peace and Good Governance. P2P is also driven by five organizational commitments on being climate smart; evidence-driven; safe, diverse and inclusive; locally-led; and innovative and creative.
General Position Summary
The Regional Technical and Program Excellence Director (RTD) for the MENA/Europe region is a senior leader providing significant technical support and strategic direction to Mercy Corps seven country programs and initiatives across the region. The RTD works closely with the Deputy Regional Director (DRD) and Technical Advisors across the region to ensure transformational change occurs through the combination of: programmatic impact in our communities; the ability to influence change makers at local, regional and global levels; and a restlessness to innovate in search of better solutions. The RTD will collaborate with the DRD to lead, develop and promote a clear and impactful regional technical excellence strategy in-line with MC Pathway to Possibility and reflective of the countries’ specific strategies to ensure MC vision can be delivered across the region. The RTD will also strive to build and sustain a cohesive and impactful regional technical team ensuring the MENA/Europe portfolio is positioned for excellence in all programmatic functions across country teams. The Regional Technical and Program Excellence Director coordinates with program departments at the country, regional and global levels to ensure that our program portfolio is of the highest quality and standards and that programs receive the support that they need. The Regional Technical and Program Excellence Director will also lead on our program performance and quality to promote our agency’s quality standards across all technical work to ensure that the teams are driving transformational impact in the region through executing programs that are of the highest quality, with the latest technical interventions, program designs and generating documented evidence.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & PLANNING
- Work with the regional and country teams to articulate an ambitious and compelling regional strategy and vision for Mercy Corps in the MENA/Europe region in line with P2P and lead its development and implementation with the highest level of quality.
- Contribute to the sound implementation of country level strategies in line with P2P and adapted to each respective context.
- Act as a key partner for the DRDs to lead and manage an effective regional technical team that delivers programmatic excellence and significant impact and influence in the region.
- Work with regional, country and global teams to deliver on our regional Evidence and Learning agenda and priorities that are connected to regional and global strategic priorities.
- Supervise the Regional Technical Advisors and create a cohesive regional technical team to deliver technical support to country teams.
- Ensure that regional technical team members have a deep understanding of their roles and are connected to relevant stakeholders across the agency to inform and promote agency strategies and best practices.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create a work environment of respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and team culture is positive, transparent and focused on staff wellbeing.
- Assist with the on-boarding of senior team members in the countries and in the region, ensuring they are set up for success and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.
- Ensure sound performance management and staff access to high quality learning opportunities and career development.
- Support country leadership in adhering to Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures, including rollout of new initiatives and standards.
- Fill in as needed for Deputy Regional Director and for field leadership during vacations/home leave and or leadership gaps as necessary.
REGIONAL TECHNICAL and PROGRAM EXCELLENCE CAPACITY
- Develop and lead the regional technical and program excellence vision and strategy across the MENA/Europe region to deliver transformational change and impact at scale.
- Ensure country teams in the region have access to technical support and resources to deliver quality-based and technically sound programs across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
- Ensure all programs adhere to minimum technical standards and best practices and disseminate and promote new tools and guidance developed by the global team.
- Work closely with headquarters support units to ensure continuous quality improvement of field programs, and that teams are working towards achieving excellence, especially during rapid growth and sudden changes and expected operational challenges (such as large program start-up and planning phases).
- Promote the culture of technical excellence across teams and countries and develop relevant tools, systems and platforms for teams to share experiences and technical expertise.
- Lead capacity strengthening and learning initiatives across the region to ensure country teams continue expanding their technical knowledge and expertise overtime.
- Lead technical learning initiatives across the region, including developing and leading a senior technical community of practice across the region to expand knowledge sharing and strengthen innovative and creative ideas to be discussed and tested out across the MENA/Europe region
- Oversee efforts to ensure country teams in using and triangulating a wide set of relevant data sources to assess PM Policy adherence.
- Oversee efforts to ensure that all programs in the region adopt and use recommended program filing structures to improve record retention, documentation management, standards adherence, and information sharing; contribute to elaborating associated regional and global policies over time.
REGIONAL TECHNICAL SYSTEMS
- Develop efficient systems to identify support needs of country teams and ensure that programs access quality, relevant and timely support from the regional technical team and/or Global Technical team whenever needed.
- Develop systems to support the administration of regional technical team members (work plans, budgets allocations, throughout the fiscal year.
- Develop an efficient and clear system to provide visibility and regular updates to country, regional and global teams on the regional technical team’s work, achievements and priorities.
- Ensure effective human, material, financial and technical support for all country programs, in cooperation with senior staff, prioritizing resource allocation with DRD as necessary.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
- Work closely with regional and country teams on any new business opportunities that require strong technical leadership, inputs and review.
- Identify, explore and pursue funding opportunities that support regional and country technical strategy objectives.
- Support – and when relevant – lead, the development of technical concept notes, proposals and other funding requests, ensuring quality submissions that maximize chances for success, including sourcing internal or external technical expertise to assist, in close collaboration with our regional New Initiative Advisors.
- Position Mercy Corps for strategic funding opportunities that build on country and/or regional programmatic priorities and technical excellence.
- Develop systems to ensure that all programs in the region receive support to achieve the highest possible impact and are in line with overall regional and global strategies.
- Work closely with country teams to ensure sound program implementation throughout the program lifecycle.
- Work closely with the global program support units to ensure continuous quality improvement of field programs, and that teams are working towards achieving excellence, especially during rapid growth.
PROMOTING INNOVATION, EVIDENCE GENERATION AND LEARNING
- Co-Lead efforts with the Evidence and Learning Regional Team and country and global teams to build the culture of adaptive management, evidence and learning in each country in the region.
- Support regional knowledge networks to enhance technical excellence across the MENA/Europe region and lead on new technical communities of practice across the region and across regions to share knowledge and best practices.
- Participate actively in the evidence-driven commitment workstreams by contributing to the regional, global and country-level evidence and learning agendas.
- Support collaborative action and common programmatic approaches to fostering greater regional coherence.
- Act as a key liaison between global, the regional team and country teams to effectively publicize program innovations and success stories and share knowledge across countries and regions.
- Help to ensure timely and targeted communication and information flow that highlight Mercy Corps’ regional and global impact.
- Connect teams to ideas, partners and resources to drive creative solutions for greater impact.
EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL REPRESENTATION
- Ensure program coordination and information sharing within and between the regional team.
- Work closely and participate in various Global Technical team meetings and work streams to represent the MENA/Europe region region to ensure effective coordination and collaboration, promote cross-learning and to advocate for support and resources when needed.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships with global and regional technical and research partners/organizations/universities that contribute to technical expertise and excellence.
- Represent Mercy Corps at external events and with donors to build voice, brand and influence.
Supervisory Responsibility: Regional technical and program standards advisors (GESI, MSD, Water Security, Energy, Program Standards) and any other technical advisors to be recruited in the future
Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director, MENA/Europe region
Works Directly With: Regional Leadership Team, Regional Evidence and Learning Teams Country Directors, Country-level Senior Management Teams, Regional Program Team (RPT), Global-based Technical Team, MEL, and Program Quality teams, and other Global departments such as communications, fundraising, learning, etc.
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.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA or equivalent in international development, political or social science, public administration, business management, required and MA preferred;
- At least 7 to 10 years’ field experience in senior management related to technical support and advisory, and/or, direct program development and implementation;
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically, and to solve complex problems at an organizational level;
- Detailed understanding of the finance, operations and administration mechanisms that support a grant/project implementation life cycle;
- Demonstrated technical experience in one of MC’s outcome or sub-outcome/distinctive areas of P2P.
- Direct experience managing and supervising large teams, as well as mentoring and development;
- Confident communication skills applicable to donor relations, media outreach, and inter-agency coordination;
- Ability to handle multiple issues at one time, especially in emergency situations, and to organize and prioritize accordingly;
- Demonstrated proficiency and experience with US, UK, EU, UN and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements;
- Demonstrated understanding of the critical humanitarian and development issues in the MENA/Europe region, and significant experience with the challenges of operating in the region;
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
- Fluent in English required and Arabic fluency strongly preferred.
The successful candidate will apply a strong combination of technical expertise and leadership, strategy development, entrepreneurship, management, coordination, and relationship-building skills with an outstanding ability to support innovative, impactful programs. With a high capacity to deliver results under tight deadlines with multiple priorities, the Regional Technical Director will have strong team management skills, be a strong systems thinker, and have the ability to think ahead and align teams and resources to achieve high-quality outcomes. Commitment, flexibility and openness to new practices, concepts, ideas and change for continuous improvement will serve the position and team well. Public relations skills are integral success factors in this position. Excellent negotiation and communication skills will foster the development of donor and partner relationships. The role also requires a deep understanding of the region, its recent history, current trends and political environment. Being a team player, a positive attitude and a sense of humor are definite pluses, along with strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and a commitment to the values and mission of Mercy Corps.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in a Mercy Corps country program in the MENA/Europe region. This role is open to both international and national candidates in one of MC MENA/Europe countries. Up to 40% travel to the field to support Mercy Corps programs as requested.
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.
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. 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.