About Mercy Corps
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.
The Mercy Corps Iraq Team
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003. Mercy Corps Iraq has a whole-of-Iraq approach and operates across nine governorates: Anbar, Basra, Duhok, Baghdad, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salah al-Din, and Sulaymaniyah with an experienced team of nearly 250 national and international staff. Through our extensive portfolio, Mercy Corps Iraq has formed strong relations with the communities and local authorities where we operate and has an in-depth understanding of the security and cultural context in the areas where we work. Mercy Corps Iraq is currently implementing seven programs in Ninewa Governorate, with a demonstrated track record of working together with local stakeholders – from government directorates, as well as community leaders, women’s associations, local councils, Municipal Councils, Provincial Councils, Ninewa and Mosul Universities, and local and international NGOs. Mercy Corps has an especially strong background in designing and enacting social cohesion activities and peacebuilding with communities.
Mercy Corps is anticipating the potential approval of our Women and Youth-Led Peace and Reconciliation (WYPRI) project will respond to the unique gender, power, and conflict dynamics that characterize the current context in Ninewa Governorate. Ninewa Governorate, one of the most diverse regions in Iraq and among the worst-affected by mass violence and displacement, is facing a critical transition post-ISIS and with the repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDP). Low social acceptance of returnees and discomfort among persecuted minority communities, and in particular women from some of those communities, are significant challenges that require the promotion of gender-responsive and community-led transitional justice mechanisms. The WYRPI initiative ultimately seeks to strengthen social cohesion within and between diverse communities and identity groups in Al Hamdaniya District, Ninewa Governorate, Iraq.
General Position Summary
The Women and Youth-Led Peace and Reconciliation (WYPRI) Manager will provide overall program leadership and management through structured oversight and coordination government, and private and public sector stakeholders. They will be responsible for constant analysis and adaptation to an ever-changing political, economic, and social context to ensure that the program both meets its targets to the quality, scope, budget and timeframe required, while creating lasting, positive, gender-transformative change for the women and girls it serves, their households, and their communities. The WYPRI Manager will set the strategic direction and thought leadership for the program with regards to its vision to develop and deliver rights-based, holistic, gender-transformative and gender-equality focused programming in line with best practices and feminist principles. The WYPRI Manager will coordinate with Mercy Corps’ team members, Program Performance and Quality (PAQ) department, Technical Support Units and sector-specific technical staff at the program level to ensure high quality technical guidance is provided to ensure strong delivery across all components and the implementation of impactful programming based on intersectional gender and power analysis. They will be a key representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, private sector actors, local and international partners and stakeholders and most importantly, program participants.
- Build and ensure unwavering commitment to a feminist and gender transformative program strategy and reflective team culture that promotes gender equality, diversity, and inclusion not only in implementation but also within the project’s staffing, operational approaches, and governance structures.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Ensure the development and implementation of a program advocacy strategy to advance key issues with government, donors, and other stakeholders that reflect the project’s priorities and learnings.
- In partnership with the PAQ Director, ensure the development and implementation of a program research and learning agenda to build evidence and support the production of robust thought leadership and advocacy efforts.
- Lead the public engagement activities of the project, including managing program launch, press releases, documentation of success stories and dissemination of results.
- Support the program to implement Mercy Corps’ global Gender Equality, Diversity, and Social Inclusion Strategy.
- Lead the planning and implementation of the program to achieve key outcomes, outputs, and targets, overseeing all aspects (programmatic, financial, administrative, personnel management) to ensure that these are on time, on scope, and on budget.
- Ensure that all program interventions are of a high quality and lead to measurable impact. This includes, but is not limited to, overseeing the program implementation plan and annual work plan preparation, identifying external technical support needs, ensuring that appropriate management practices are being used in program implementation and the monitoring and evaluation systems are being used to provide timely management information.
- Ensure that program resources are used efficiently, effectively, and transparently towards meeting desired results.
- Regularly review program work plans, analyzing outcomes and desired impact against the ever-changing country context, making crucial recommendations for quick adaptations as needed, based on real gender-disaggregated data and analysis.
- Ensure the program fulfills Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards and donor requirements; guide the team to ensure high quality implementation approaches that are consistent with national and global strategies and acknowledge good practices.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Manage the program budget and complete financial forecasting to inform cost-efficient, on-budget programming. Develop and oversee systems to monitor monthly spending.
- In collaboration with finance staff, prepare annual budgets based on donor approved program contracts and ensure compliance with donor requirements. Coordinate the development of program standard operating procedures, manuals and policies, and other compliance guidance.
- Put in place tools for the promotion of environmental sustainability within the project’s delivery mechanisms and programming.
- Lead risk management and mitigation measures, regularly updating tools and facilitating risk awareness within the team.
PROGRAM MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REPORTING
- Collaborate with the PAQ team to ensure the design and implementation of monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL) policies and procedures that prioritize gender-disaggregation and participatory and inclusive approaches.
- Collaborate with the PAQ team to oversee the development and updating of the program monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that the program meets its expected results, as well as its implementation to collect baseline and routine monitoring quantitative and qualitative data to track program performance and support decision making.
- Engage and support the PAQ Team in carrying out gender and power analysis; to develop innovative program quality and monitoring tools; and to conduct quality monitoring through participatory methodologies that promote gender equality, diversity, and social inclusion.
- Collaborate with the PAQ team to plan and conduct quarterly and annual program and review meetings to assess progress, adjust plans, and draw/disseminate lessons learned.
- Collaborate with the PAQ team to plan and conduct program mid-term and final evaluations.
- Coordinate donor reporting and ensure submission of comprehensive and high-quality program reports, and the timely submission and approval of financial and narrative reports.
- Support the development of knowledge management products to increase the project’s understanding of successful implementation strategies; distill learnings and evidence generated into program guidance and thought leadership for internal and external consumption.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where accountability is promoted, alternative viewpoints welcomed, gender equality is prioritized, where the team strives to achieve excellence, and is conducive to professional growth. Foster a strong team spirit.
- Promote and instill a focus on capacity development, deepen understanding and ownership of individual’s roles and strengthen performance management systems through the implementation of a comprehensive staff training plan.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Structure, recruit and provide inductions for team members, striving to ensure that the team structure and staffing reflects the project’s vision for gender equality and ensuring that staff are set up for success and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.
- Provide ongoing supervision, leadership, support, guidance, and mentorship directly to program staff reporting to the WYPRI Manager.
- Support national staff development in line with the program objectives so that national staff are increasingly taking decisions and in management roles.
- Complete all required performance management activities including performance planning, monitoring, and annual performance appraisals in coordination with Mercy Corps’ processes and systems.
- Ensure high standards of prevention and response measures for sexual exploitation and abuse are in place consistent with the Mercy Corps’ Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.
COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION
- Represent Mercy Corps and the program at relevant external meetings and events, leading to greater coordination and information sharing.
- Develop and maintain working relationships to promote support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps and the inclusion of local and women and girls’ perspectives in the project’s approach, highlighting the importance of advancing gender equality.
- Support the programmatic and strategic relationship with the donor.
- Lead in documenting and coordinating information dissemination activities that share program achievements and results with the aim of influencing decision and policymakers.
- Prepare and deliver presentations to stakeholders about program progress, challenges, learning and adjustments.
Directly supervises 3-5 team members
Reports Directly to: Deputy Director of Peace and Governance
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Program Team, Technical Advisors, MEL Manager, PAQ Team, Finance, HR, Operations, Senior Management, and Senior Representative (Canada)
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically toward partners, 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 Qualification and Transferable Skills
- Demonstrated experience in participatory, inclusive community-based programs of a similar size and complexity, with 3-5 years of relevant program management experience with at least 2 years in a management position.
- Firm belief in and demonstrated commitment to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Experience in implementing Government of Canada Programming.
- Expertise in one or more of the following programming areas: gender, good governance, resilience, conflict management.
- Practical experience in feminist implementation approaches highly desired; experience in applying rights-based and gender transformative approaches to programming required.
- Experience using a conflict sensitive and Do No Harm approach.
- Proven track record in delivering and prioritizing capacity building, performance development, training, and mentoring.
- Excellent verbal and written communication, network building and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with both internal and external stakeholders; ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
- Excellent problem solving and analytical skills with ability to identify problems and opportunities within a rapidly changing context, and propose and implement sound, forward looking, solutions in a flexible and creative style; experience using adaptive management strategies.
- Proven ability to work effectively with a multicultural and diverse team of women and men in a sensitive environment.
- Adept at leading procurement, administrative and finance systems.
- Fluency in English. Knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.
- Solid knowledge and application of established inter-agency standards and guidelines relevant to protection and the prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
- Knowledge and understanding of and/or prior work experience in Iraq is a significant advantage.
The successful WYPRI Manager will have the ability to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly fluid work and security environment with a capacity to spark innovative and gender transformative approaches and inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programming. They must be sensitive to multicultural international development work and have a commitment to working with women, men, girls, and boys to create safe, inclusive, empowering platforms and opportunities for women and girls that foster their greater acceptance, voice and agency in the community. They must be committed not only to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the project’s implementation, but also to feminist principles in its implementation approaches, structures, and governance processes. The ability to solve problems creatively, juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and diplomatically manage unexpected and sudden events affecting program operations is essential. They will foster a positive, open culture of growth, innovation and collective problem solving.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Mosul, Iraq and requires up to 30% travel to other field locations to support team members with implementation. This is an unaccompanied position. The location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts. This position is contingent of KRG Residency permit, which includes a blood test.
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.