Mercy Corps

Senior Advisor (Adolescent Girls and Youth Development - Technical Support Unit)

Mercy Corps

Job Description

This position is open to any Mercy Corps Global office location. 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.


Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. The TSU is also integral to global Business Development and revenue.


The Senior Advisor position focuses on providing technical leadership and support to Mercy Corps’ global teams as it relates to our work with young people and, specifically, adolescent girls. Support includes Program Design and development, promoting increased collaboration among Mercy Corps teams, helping to monitor and improve program quality and impact, technical review and/or writing of proposals, and representation in working groups, conferences and other events. This role also requires participation in matrixed teams, Capacity Building, and the integration of young people across multi-sectoral programs.


Program Quality
  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the team, providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs related to adolescent girl and youth programs and approaches, including those in complex crisis environments.
  • Support, build and link an internal network of girl champions within the agency.
  • Support effective interventions in adolescent girl and youth development programming, using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
  • Promote actions with country teams and partners to elevate safe programming, reduce risk, and encourage enabling environments for adolescents girls and boys and female and male youth.
  • Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements. In particular, advocate for and support collection, Analysis and use of age- and sex-specific program data.
  • Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff and partners to better design and implement programs.
  • Take leadership in identifying and addressing program quality needs. Collaborate with field leaders to problem solve.
  • Help set strategies and execute plans to address agency-wide program quality needs together with the Young People and Protection team.
Program and Proposal Development
  • Provide technical review and writing support for adolescent- and youth-focused proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations and US, European, and UN agencies.
  • Design or input into qualitative and/or qualitative tools and/or collect/analyze data to determine young people’s needs, assets and priorities.
  • Work with programs, country and regional teams, and TSU on prepositioning for funding opportunities and support technical approaches within regional or country strategies.
  • Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.
  • Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.
  • Participate in, or lead, complex, competitive proposals and large integrated teams following Mercy Corps’ best practices in proposal development, team management, and the appropriate sectoral area.
  • Cultivate and nurture donor relationships and strategic partnerships that positively impact Mercy Corps ability to influence program strategies and proposal design related to adolescent girls and youth, as well as strategic partnerships that result in stronger and impactful program development efforts.
  • Work closely with field leaders to influence their engagement and support of program pre-positioning, development and implementation.
Learning and Impact
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team and the field to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices in adolescent and youth development programming, while following safe and ethical practices when accessing information about young people and children.
  • Contribute to agency-wide initiatives that elevate adolescents and youth in programming and strategy.
  • Provide in-country and remote capacity building and support for Mercy Corps team members, partners, and others On the importance, benefits and best practices in the inclusion of and intentional programming for adolescent girls and young people.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the shared incentives and values that will entice partners to connect and work across sectors, both internally and within field projects.
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs.
  • Promote the value of working with adolescent girls and young people through assessments; case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external dissemination plans for all products.
  • Nurture partnerships with universities, research institutions, and other organizations to produce case studies, assessments, and other learning documentation, as well as enhance program quality.
Influence and Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at internal and external events and meetings to highlight our work with young people and elevate the agency’s reputation and influence in the adolescent girl and youth space.
  • Develop, enhance and steward relationships with high impact donors.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Advocate across global teams for making investments in programming for adolescents and young people . Share best practices, frameworks and approaches to working with adolescent girls and young people across the agency.

The position has supervisory responsibility over interns and/or volunteers (or other team members when there is no Director.


Reports Directly To: Director of Young People and Protection, Technical Team


  • Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in social sciences, international development or related field.
  • Minimum of 5 to 7 years of experience providing increasingly proficient technical support in the relevant field of expertise that includes:
    • Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied knowledge of the field of expertise (adolescent development, Positive Youth Development, Child Protection programming).
    • Using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
    • Preparing writing and analysis on proposal development.
    • Supporting or leading all aspects of large and complex proposals and managing integrated proposal teams.
  • Practical experience living and working in one of the countries in which Mercy Corps implements programming. This includes:
    • A combination of successful temporary duration assignments, longer-term assignments (two or more weeks), and/or living in the country for an extended period.
    • A number of emergency response assignments or other crisis response work that demonstrates the ability to successfully adapt support and assistance methodologies to real-world complexities.
    • Managing and implementing successful programs in a country where Mercy Corps implements programs.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Experience with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations is required.
  • Fluency in English is required; fluency in another language preferred.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will combine expertise in adolescent and youth programming, from proposal development to program implementation, with strategic and creative thinking, and the know-how to build trusting relationships across cultures and geographies. S/he will also have strong written and verbal communication skills. Prioritizing, Problem Solving, and attention to detail and the big picture are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed. 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. Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Apply Now