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
Mercy Corps has been working in Afghanistan continuously since 1986. Presently, Mercy Corps is working in ten provinces in Afghanistan with a portfolio of programs aimed at promoting improved prosperity for Afghan citizens through agri-business, natural resources management, youth vocational skills and deployment of renewable energy. These four strategic pillars support livelihoods, increasing food security, access to financial services and strengthening private sector, civil society and government institutions. Donors include BPRM and OFDA from the US Government, UNODC, GIZ KfW, the European Delegation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the British Council.
General Position Summary
The Early Recovery Advisor serves as a strong leader for developing Mercy Corps Afghanistan (AFG) humanitarian program with a focus on Early Recovery, represents the interests of the agency and partners to ensure all parties are working effectively and efficiently. They are detail oriented and has excellent planning and strategic thinking skills. They will also be experienced in networking and donor representation. They will be an effective communicator with exceptional team building and coordination skills. The Early Recovery Advisor will participate in providing strategic leadership for developing MC - Afghanistan’s humanitarian programs with a focus upon Early recovery and develop relationships with current and future primary donors. They will be the representative MC with donors, coordination system, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. They will also support the Country Director, Deputy Country Director – Programs in the identification of new humanitarian funding opportunities, as well as proposal design and development.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Development (50%)
- Development of MC’s humanitarian response strategy for the country in coordination with the Deputy Country Director - Programs (DCD-P) and Country Director (CD), including monitoring crises and emerging situations, providing analysis and recommendations to inform and develop programming opportunities
- In conjunction with MC’s Humanitarian Leadership and Response Team, lead on the technical design of humanitarian projects
- Develop a portfolio of Early Recovery programs that compliment MC’s Development programs and which link to the Government of Afghanistan’s overall national priorities.
- Develop sound understanding of external environment and MC strengths to inform strategic planning and positioning on humanitarian issues and programming opportunities
- Work closely with the DCD-P to prioritize programmatic needs, explore new donors, develop high quality proposals and concept notes and expand partnership based on the country needs.
Program Support (25%)
- Support the MC humanitarian response with training for staff as part of MC’s Humanitarian Leadership program.
- Revise and update the Humanitarian Preparedness Plan (EPP) and Admin Manual for the humanitarian response team including the development of SOPs for new emergencies/crises.
- Ensure integration of cross cutting issues into programming
- Manage, maintain and develop information systems to ensure accurate, timely and complete data and information for assessments, monitoring and evaluation, internal and external reporting, planning, decision-making and program learning.
- Assess local capacities and capacity development priorities for Early Recovery
- Liaise with the MEL Director to facilitate systematic program monitoring and evaluation are in place and ensure that lessons learnt are documented and shared for cross-program learning in the country, and with the MC region and HQ.
- Manage coordination with key stakeholders e.g. government authorities, donors, and Humanitarian partners and represent MC in coordination forums e.g. humanitarian clusters (protection, WASH, FSAC, Cash working group etc.) Afghanistan Humanitarian Forums, and UNOCHA
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director, Programs
Works Directly With: Country Director, Field teams
Knowledge and Experience
- Degree / Post graduate degree in humanitarian aid, international development, public administration business science, social science or other relevant area or equivalent professional experience.
- Five years of experience with excellent professional track record with at least three years of international management level experience within NGO leadership working in humanitarian/ humanitarian program implementation within conflict or immediate post conflict or complex environments.
- Experience of designing, and leading humanitarian response programs with a focus on Early Recovery.
- Excellent program development, proposal and report writing skills.
- Experience or familiarity with requirements of institutional donors e.g., OFDA, ECHO, SIDA, CHF, DFID etc.
- Experience in successfully establishing and managing relationships and partnerships.
- Strong commitment to support/ develop capacity of national staff and developing second layer of leadership.
- Proven management ability and interpersonal skills - team player.
- Problem solving and leadership skills.
- Ability to deal with difficult, often frustrating work situations.
- A willingness to live and work in a very insecure and unpredictable environment with movement restrictions.
- Sensitivity to Islamic and traditional culture.
- Ability to manage conflicting priorities in personal workload.
- Technical expertise in one of MC’s priority sectors: Livelihoods, Agriculture, NRM, Youth is considered an asset.
- Previous work experience in Afghanistan.
Critical problem-solving skills while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. Maintaining strong relationships with other departments is crucial. A successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Kabul, Afghanistan and is unaccompanied. The security situation is volatile and may spike into acute periods of insecurity. OPM is expected to follow all security protocols including limited movement when necessary. A certain international standard of medical care is available in Kabul, however for serious cases, evacuation is required, and staff must be able to be 24 hours away from medical care. All offices have internet connectivity and communication is reliable. Accommodation is shared housing, equipped with generators and heating, with cooks and cleaners provided by MC. This location is eligible for hardship and R&R breaks.
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.
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.