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 Program The Strategy Realization Unit (SRU) ensures that Mercy Corps has the strategies and vision that will enable it to be a world-class, cutting edge, humanitarian organization, creating transformational change in the world. The Strategy Realization Unit’s goal is to drive forward the agency’s strategic future, providing a unifying vision while also enabling teams to be adaptive. The underlying intention is to create clarity and focus to enhance decision-making. The SRU also drives the successful implementation of critical initiatives that enable the organization to successfully realize the Mercy Corps Vision and Pathway to Possibility.
In 2022, we developed our 10-year strategy called Pathway to Possibility (P2P), which reflects our ambitions to not only meet the Basic Needs of communities affected by conflict and Climate Change, but to achieve lasting, transformational change at scale. The Pathway tells the story of who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we center the needs and aspirations of our partner communities in all we do. A better world is possible.
In 2022 we piloted a mechanism to measure our progress towards our strategic intent and are in the process of scaling it agency wide. Our strategy measurement mechanism includes two important components: 1) measuring the alignment and the progress of our programs towards participant-facing strategic goals and outcomes (“Strategy Results Measurement”); and 2) tracking internally facing indicators of operational health (“Organization Performance Indicators,” or OPIs).
The Position We are looking for a MEL Advisor with a focus on OPIs to join the Strategy Realization Unit (SRU). The Advisor will work closely with our Strategy Measurement team, which sits within PaQ. S/he will work under the supervision of the Strategy Measurement Lead, and, in collaboration with various departments, will develop systems and structures to periodically collect, report, and track our OPIs. In addition to working closely with PaQ and MEL, the Advisor will also work closely with the office of the Chief Operating Officer and with the Director of Operations Management.
The Advisor will develop systems and structures enabling Mercy Corps to collect, analyze, visualize, track, and report progress of our OPIs, and relevant targets on a regular basis. Additionally, the Advisor will periodically support the Strategy Results Measurement process With OPIs feeding into the recurring Analysis of outcome areas to show how operational indicators impact programmatic results. The Advisor will work closely with the rest of the Strategy Measurement, the COO office and SRU teams to conduct a comprehensive deep dive of the operational indicators and or, r strategy measurement results, identify areas where programmatic work and operational work may be co-dependent, and influence our overall progress towards our strategic intent. S/he will be asked to write sections relevant to their work in our annual strategy measurement report, and present findings at senior management meetings as needed to inform necessary improvements and adaptations.
The MEL Advisor for Strategy Measurement – OPIs is a critical role that requires the incumbent to be familiar with agency-level performance, knowledge of Data Collection, analysis, and reporting, as well as strong familiarity with visualization platforms.
COORDINATE AND SUPPORT THE ALIGNMENT OF OPIS ACROSS VARIOUS UNITS AND DEPARTMENTS, REGIONS, AND COUNTRY OFFICES. (30%)
- Manage the OPI working group in refining OPIs, determining data collection cycles, aligning data protocols, developing clear standard operating procedures, promoting integration across technology platforms, and continuously improving these processes. The working group will consist of team members from each department contributing OPI data.
- Serve as a representative in explaining OPIs, disaggregating OPIs, and adjusting OPIs with a broad range of agency stakeholders, ensuring that OPIs remain as accurate and relevant as possible for organization decision-making.
- Work closely with the SRU to integrate the selected OPIs in country and regional strategies, by conducting webinars, leading key communication events as needed.
- Provide Technical Support to Country and Regional teams as necessary, ensuring appropriate integration of OPIs in their strategic workplans. This may include ensuring measurement units are standardized across the board, or that reporting schedules and data sources are aligned with agency-wide reporting mechanisms.
- Conduct periodic stakeholder feedback surveys and sessions to understand the degree to which OPIs are meeting agency needs and adjust accordingly.
Work closely with the Director of Operations Management to define, develop, and implement scorecards for measuring effectiveness of operational support at both HQ and country program level.
COLLECT, ANALYZE AND REPORT PROGRESS AGAINST AGENCY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (65%)
- Working with OPI working group members, develop and scale a process for the regular collection and reporting of OPIs.
- Oversee the collection of OPIs from various units, ensure data quality and consistency over time and identify areas for improvement.
- Clean, analyze and produce periodic machine-readable, standardized datasets of OPIs, adapting existing PowerBI-based reports to meet OPI reporting needs.
- Work with data-contributing teams to refine their data collection and management processes as needed for individual APIs.
- Over time, automate the process within Mercy Corps systems to the extent possible, identifying efficient solutions to streamline data collection, cleaning, reporting, and data quality.
- Work with current global program dashboard (a descriptive portfolio-level report produced in PowerBI by PaQ on a quarterly basis) owners to adapt its underlying data model for OPI reporting and integrate OPIs into reporting and communication cycles.
- Design and build visualizations for individual OPIs in consultation with Strategy Measurement team. Continuously improve visualization and analysis with each reporting cycle.
- Analyze OPI data on a regular basis or on demand by various units, producing brief reports as requested. Conduct, facilitate and co-facilitate sensemaking sessions, to contextualize, localize and ground truth the observations and analysis generated from the findings.
- Design and facilitate regular OPI reporting sessions for agency stakeholders, recording these for dissemination via communication platforms.
- Work closely with the other Strategy Measurement team members to identify areas where OPI progress analysis can be integrated in the overall Strategy Results Measurement and progress tracking, identifying interdependencies between OPIs and program results.
- Write specific sections within the Strategy Measurement Reports, relevant to OPIs.
Strengthen data literacy within the agency on appropriate use of OPIs at various levels..Supervisory Responsibility
Reports Directly To: Strategy Measurement Lead with dotted line to the VP for Strategy Realization
Works Directly With: MEL, PaQ. Regular engagement with the wider agency units, such as People, Operations, Finance, Ethics & Compliance, Research and Learning, and the Technical Support Unit, as well as regional and country portfolios.
Accountability to Participants and StakeholdersMercy 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
- BA/MA in international development, social science, MEL, Data Analysis, or related sector (or equivalent hands-on experience) and relevant certifications preferred.
- 4+ years of experience in aggregating and reporting data across various programs, or for agency-level indicator measurement, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) measurement. In some agencies they are known as internal progress indicators, KPIs, and others. Experience with similar agency reporting mechanisms, such as Balance ScoreCards, and ESG reporting highly preferred.
- Expertise and Knowledge: Deep knowledge of data management is required, including standardization of data variables, data cleaning, data analysis and reporting. Expertise in producing interactive Data Visualizations, communicating data findings, ground truthing and producing reports on data findings that is understandable and accessible to a wider audience is going to be a core part of the job and skills and knowledge in this area are mandatory. Therefore, the candidate will be required to demonstrate previous success in other employment opportunities.
- Technology and Data Literacy: Knowledge of how to produce and communicate accessible interactive dashboards, help interpret and communicate findings are mandatory for this role. Candidates with prior experience of supporting or leading development of databases, and with a strong understanding of data engineering, data structures, and building data models will be preferred for this role. Familiarity with mobile data collection platforms , Advanced experience with Power BI, including DAX and M languages is required. . Familiarity with data automation, Microsoft Azure and SQL is an added advantage.
Strategic critical and evaluative thinking skills:
- Demonstrated abilities and track record in strategic systems and holistic thinking, managing resistance to change and understanding of organizational culture and behavior, learning and Change Management.
- Strong organizational and process management capabilities. Ability to effectively set priorities and handle competing time and resource demands for self and others. Comfortable working independently and with limited oversight in a fast-paced environment across diverse teams.
Effective Communication and Teamwork:
- Ability to prepare compelling presentations, written reports, data visualizations, and effectively present work/findings in international forums. Strong communication and facilitation, mentoring and training skills both in person and virtually.
- A strong team player, able to successfully cultivate and maintain relationships not only internally within Mercy Corps across various HQ teams as well as regional and field offices, but also externally with and through professional networks.
- Demonstrated conversation and presentation skills that can influence decision makers and foster organizational change, as well as the ability to implement and adjust them within a complex organizational setting.
Development of Resources:
- Proven experience in development of toolkits and resources based on scope and sequenced approach
Knowledge of English is required and knowledge of French, Arabic or Spanish is preferred.
Success Factors The MEL Advisor will contribute towards and establish the foundational systems and practices for promoting components of strategy measurement within Mercy Corps. S/he will engage stakeholders at all levels with flexibility, creativity, respect, and enthusiasm, contextualize their technical support accordingly. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. S/he must also apply a system thinking to all the initiatives they support. The MEL Advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide support and build skills among various team members, in the most efficient and effective way possible for each unique team and environment. All PaQ positions require strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions This position will be located in one of the countries where Mercy Corps implements programs, including Europe (UK, Netherlands, Switzerland) and US Headquarters. International travel with at least one month prior notice may be required and may include travel to support programs in fragile and/or conflict-prone zone.
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 venue.
Ongoing LearningIn 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 & InclusionAchieving 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 & EthicsMercy 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.