Mercy Corps

Program Performance and Development Specialist

Mercy Corps

Job Description

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 / Department Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq’s goal is to work with civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate needs and reduce longer-term vulnerabilities of communities within Iraq. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) providing humanitarian assistance to conflict affected populations to meet Basic Needs, maintain human dignity and facilitate self-empowerment; (2) supporting income-generating opportunities that transition individuals and households from financial dependency towards financial independence while facilitating market-system approaches; (3) working with young females and young males to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society, as well as access to education, Psychosocial Support, and economic opportunities; and (4) promoting reconciliation and foster trust across community divisions by strengthening conflict management and prevention mechanisms and enhancing social cohesion.

The Program Performance & Development (PPD) team, within the Programs department.

The Position The Program Performance & Development (PPD) Specialist will support the overall Grants Management of current portfolio of programs, as well as the development of new programming, in close coordination with the PPD Manager and Programs Leadership Team (PLT). The PPD Specialist will be responsible for tracking and scheduling key Program Management meetings, including BVA and 90 day close out meetings. The PPD Specialist will also be responsible for timely submission of quality donor reports. The PPD Specialist will assist the PPD Manager in securing new programs by supporting proposal development processes, including the generation of new programming to fully operationalize the humanitarian-development nexus. The PPD Specialist will ensure that Program teams (Program Managers, Senior Program Managers and Heads of Sectors) have the support to ensure programs are on-time, on-scope and on-budget, as well as ensure that we provide high-quality programming to our program participants. The PPD Specialist will be expected to be familiar with and to advise program teams on donor rules and regulation to ensure all programs are compliant with our internal and donor regulations. The PPD Specialist will contribute to Mercy Corps Iraq’s nationalization strategy through supporting Capacity Building of program managers, particularly on reporting and proposal development. At times, the PPD Specialist may be asked to step into interim or acting roles as a Deputy Program Manager or Program Manager, should the need arise. The PPD Specialist reports to the PPD Manager and is a member of the Program Leadership Team.

Essential Responsibilities

Reporting & Grants Management ● Coordinate the preparation of timely program and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal requirements and any relevant external donor requirements. Lead the maintenance of a reporting tracker and share regularly with Program and MEL Teams.

● Support the production of internal reports, ensuring timely inputs from program, finance and operations teams, and ensure review and signoff processes are thorough and adhered to.

● Support the maintenance of a filing structure that meets minimum program management standards, and ensure folders are populated and archived accordingly.

● Ensure implementation of the system to track how all programs are meeting basic Program Performance (on-time, on-scope, on-budget), in close coordination with relevant support departments. Support coordination and document all Program Kick-off and Close-out meetings, track action points for follow-up and record/document all lessons learned. Update project management tools, including funding trackers, grant trackers and dashboards.

● Develop a thorough understanding of relevant Mercy Corps and donor policies, regulations and procedures, including kick-off and closeout procedures, and train other team members. Provide guidance to program teams and program support functions on grant requirements and donor rules and regulations.

● In close collaboration with the Deputy Country Director and PPD Manager, provide draft answers to donor questions and requests.

● Maintain effective communications with headquarters staff, providing timely updates on grants and flagging potential issues promptly.

Proposal Development ● Support PPD Manager with or lead (as needed) proposal development processes, including coordinating, drafting, and producing high quality concept notes and proposals (including coordinating with other departments for budget development) that support Mercy Corps Iraq’s strategic programming goals and are in line with donor priorities and guidelines.

● Develop, manage and share the proposal development calendars in-country and with headquarters, ensuring funding proposals are submitted in a timely manner.

● Coordinate both internally and externally, to ensure that prior to submission all proposals are reviewed and approved by the relevant parties as appropriate.

● Maintain Mapping of donor strategies and track on upcoming and future new funding opportunities.

Program Management Capacity Building ● Support the maintenance of a nationalization strategy and/or system that allows all managers and supervisors to build capacity (and track it) in key technical, leadership and other skills for next level of leadership.

● Develop and implement a strategy to build in leadership on reporting in each program and/or sector, as a means to nationalizing the skills of reporting and communications.

● Where relevant, be ready and willing to step into interim or acting Deputy Program Manager and Program Manager roles (either full or part-time Level of Effort).

Communications ● Develop and implement a communications strategy in conjunction with program staff. Ensure compliance with all donor regulations and Mercy Corps Iraq, regional and global communication initiatives.

● Develop strategic communication materials, such as sector profiles, impact reports, program briefings, leadership and positioning pieces, key messages, talking points, and other relevant pieces.

Security ● Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

● Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Program Performance and Development Manager Works Directly With: Program Leadership Team, Program Support Function counterparts, Program Managers, HQ desk, operations and Technical Support Unit team members

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

● BA degree in relevant field.

● At least 3-4 years of progressive work experience, with demonstrated experience in donor reporting, program management and/or donor reporting.

● Familiarity with US, EU and other donor regulations related to reporting requirements and ability to understand and adjust to the donor contractual requirements preferred.

● Excellent planning, management and coordination skills, with the ability to organize a workload comprised of varying and changing tasks and responsibilities.

● Strong communication skills and high emotional intelligence.

● Experience in staff management, supervision and capacity building.

● Demonstrated experience in working in a multi-cultural and high-stress environment.

● Excellent writing and editing skills in English required.

● Arabic and/or Kurdish language skills highly preferred.

● Excellent representation skills required.

● Previous work experience in conflict and/or post-conflict environments, particularly in the Middle East, preferred.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will be eager to learn through doing and will not shy away from tough challenges. This position has a critical function in ensuring grant Management Systems and processes are successfully implemented across the life of a grant and key controls are in place to support effective management of the funding portfolio and compliance with the donor requirements. As such this person will be very closely working with the different departments.

The successful candidate is passionate about humanitarian and development work and is committed to the delivery of high quality products while respecting deadlines. S/he will be patient and flexible, and is able to improvise and remain responsive and communicate clearly and effectively under pressure. S/he will master the art of prioritizing and organizing processes and is detail-oriented. S/he will have a passion for writing.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Erbil, Iraq and requires up to 30% travel within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Federal Iraq to support Mercy Corps Iraq’s offices and programs. This position is unaccompanied and the location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R benefits. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.

Ongoing Learning

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.

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