Youth Program Advisor (ASPIRE)
This is a transition role for 3 to 5 months
About Mercy Corps
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 partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
This role will provide overall coordination and management advisory for an ongoing Global Affairs Canada (GAC)-funded program focused on supporting conflict-affected women and male and female youth, including marginalized groups such as IDPs inside Syria. The program is taking a comprehensive approach towards livelihoods programming that addresses a lack of economic opportunities through 'soft' and 'hard' skills development, increase in access to income opportunities, and empowerment of women and youth to address inequality and harmful socio-cultural norms. Mercy Corps will improve the capacities of conflict-affected women and youth in Syria to cope with the ongoing effects of conflict through activities in order to increase demand for women and youth economic activities.
General Position Summary
The ASPIRE Program Advisor is an exciting, new position which is based in the Mercy Corps regional office in Amman, Jordan. This position will provide overall coordination of a Global Affairs Canada (GAC)-funded program focused on supporting conflict-affected women and male and female youth, including marginalized groups such as IDPs inside Syria. This program is ongoing and is implemented in several distinct areas in Syria. Working closely with the field management and program teams, the Program Adviser will be in charge of keeping track of the program as whole look, ensure overall coherence and that the project is delivered on scope, on budget and on time. Day to day management of the program will sit with Mercy Corps' three Syria field offices. This position will also make the link with the technical support that will be provided by the Gender and Protection Technical Advisor for Syria.
The role will include regular travel to Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. It is critical that the ASPIRE Program Advisor is an excellent communicator, who is supportive and solution focused. The ASPIRE Program Advisor needs to be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support our complex portfolio of livelihoods and protection programming inside Syria with limited daily support and direction; s/he will be able to work remotely with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Promote active learning, information sharing and adaptive management across the three Syria hubs, through documentation and knowledge sharing around best practices and lessons learned.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.
- Overall program vision and coherence of the Whole of Syria program approach.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps' relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Establish and implement clear guidance for information sharing and approvals along with field teams
- Ensure program implementation, including through periodic field visits, is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Responsible for overall financial management of the program in consultation with field finance teams and the Regional Finance Director, including: ensuring compliance with GAC, regular tracking and interaction with field teams on project spend, and leading on any budget revisions
- Work closely with regional technical support unit or other technical resources for Syria on technical strategy, guidance and tools, as needed
REPORTING AND MEAL
- Maintain oversight and ensure quality of reporting. Responsible for compiling annual reports from field office inputs in partnership with Syria Desk team and the Regional Finance Director
- As needed, work with monitoring and evaluation teams to ensure quality and cohesiveness
- Work with regional advisors to move forward research agenda
- Support to ensure that learning feeds into programmatic adaptations and solutions to meet needs on the ground.
Influence & Representation
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Serve as the main point of contact for GAC and provide regular updates
- Develop relationships, linkages and share best practices with organizations implementing similar programming in Syria
- Collect and share learnings and best practices from this program with the Mercy Corps world.
- Participate to working groups or other forums as prioritized by the Syria team
- 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: None
Reports Directly To: Syria Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Project Managers, Gender and Protection Technical Adviser for Syria and/or Regional, Finance focal points.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor's degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- 2+ year of program management experience, preferably with experience in remote management
- 2+ years of experience implementing youth and gender focused programming
- Experience working in the Middle East region and Syrian context 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.
- Understanding and experience of adaptive management.
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts, including the collection and analysis of sex and age disaggregated data (SADD).
- Excellent writing and communications skills required.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field. locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Arabic or Kurdish is a plus.
- Highly developed interpersonal communication skills
- Strong remote management skills
- Deep commitment to humanitarian principles and values
- Ability to work under pressure, independently and with limited supervision
- Demonstrated creative problem-solving skills
- Demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied experiences and work styles, follow procedures, and meet deadlines.
- Multi-tasker with the proven ability to organize and prioritize competing priorities.
- Proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results.
- Demonstrate a strong understanding for cultural, political and religious environments and be able to live and work successfully in those environments.
- Ability to maintain a sense of humor in stressful situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Amman, Jordan. It is an unaccompanied post. Jordan is 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. Although neighbouring countries continue to experience political unrest, Jordan has been a stable monarchy for over 30 years and the destination preference for many people from the Middle East to relax or gain access to available services. In recent months events unfolding in Syria and Iraq have increased local concerns over the continued stability of Jordan but to date there have been no incidents.
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.