Mercy Corps

Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor (Peace and Governance, Temporary Leave Cover)

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 Department

The Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) Team seeks change in the policies and practices of key global institutions and policy makers in support of Mercy Corps’ mission to build secure, productive and just communities.

The Position

The Senior Policy and Advisor" id="link" class="link">Advocacy Advisor is part of the Mercy Corps Europe Headquarters, located in the United Kingdom. They will work as part of the Policy and Advocacy Team, based in London but connecting extensively with colleagues in Washington DC, Edinburgh, Brussels, other European capitals and multiple country offices.

The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor will take responsibility for delivering elements of Mercy Corps’ influence priorities on peace and governance with European policymakers, including UK and European governments and institutions. In addition, the Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor will support a small number of programme teams to both influence at country level and effect policy and practice changes related to peace and conflict with UK and European policymakers.

Essential Responsibilities


The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor will work with the Director" id="link" class="link">Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy in Europe, and the global lead on Peace and Governance Influence (based in Washington) to develop long-term strategies for influencing key policy areas. This will include:

  • Identifying and developing opportunities for Mercy Corps to effect long-term influence and thought leadership.
  • Leading the development and delivery of policy events, debates and report launches to deliver long-term influence and position Mercy Corps as expert and thought-leaders on priority issues.
  • Working with media, Fundraising, TSU and programmes colleagues to maximise the impact of policy and advocacy work.
  • Writing or contributing to policy papers, briefing papers and opinion pieces based on new research or pre-existing material.
  • Possible travel to Mercy Corps country offices to participate in internal meetings or to support with trainings and in-country influence efforts.

    A fundamental part of the role is to represent Mercy Corps with policymakers and influence key policies, including:
    • Analysing key policy processes and identifying and building relationships with decision-makers and those with influence over them - with a particular focus on UK government and EU Institutions, but some ongoing engagement in France, Sweden and the Netherlands.
    • Meeting bilaterally with key policymakers, parliamentarians and influencers to provide expert briefings on our key issues and deliver advocacy messages
    • Identifying and attending priority contact groups and forums to deliver policy change (e.g. BOND Conflict and Humanitarian Policy Groups, VOICE, EPLO etc)
    • To otherwise represent Mercy Corps as an official spokesperson when appropriate and support other colleagues in representing the organisation.
    • Working closely with country offices and colleagues in other departments to influence European policymakers on issues affecting priority contexts and our Country Programmes.

      The Senior Advisor will be an expert in understanding and shaping policy processes and decisions in the European context, particularly as they relate to Peace and Governance.
      More broadly they will play a role as an internal and external expert on peace and governance – in order to shape policy messages and strategies and produce briefs, articles and other materials for both private advocacy and media work. This will include working closely with key Mercy Corps programmes and technical experts, and continuing to monitor external research, think pieces etc. They will also support the acting global lead on peace and governance influence based in Washington DC.

      Supervisory ResponsibilityNone

      AccountabilityReports Directly To: Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy
      Works Directly With: Policy and Advocacy Team

      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

      • Minimum five years of policy or advocacy experience, including high level influencing and representation on technical issues, and experience of developing and delivering advocacy strategy is essential; Experience in the European context - particularly in the UK and Brussels - highly desirable.
      • Understanding of technical and policy issues around responding to crisis, conflict or displacement is essential;
      • Knowledge of, or experience living in, the Middle East or Africa is highly desirable;
      • Knowledge related to any of the following is highly desirable: the climate-conflict nexus, digital peacebuilding, preventing violent extremism, social cohesion, mediation, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, gender peace and security, or fostering a culture of good governance and civic engagement.
      • Educated to degree level, or equivalent experience.Success Factors

        The successful Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor should be an excellent communicator and a shameless networker, able to build strong contacts and relationships.They must have a clear passion for the sector and specific issues, and the work of Mercy Corps in this space. The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor has the ability to understand and assimilate complex technical and policy issues and communicate them effectively to a wide range of audiences. They should be a self-starter with the ability to manage and deliver complex projects involving multiple partners to deadline, and to work independently to drive forward our messages.The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor should also demonstrable research skills, be a strong team worker and be able to cope with changing priorities, often at short notice, and work well under pressure. The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor should have a proactive and solutions-based attitude, high levels of motivation, professionalism and resilience.

        The Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor will be skilled in anticipating and solving problems and communicating issues, involving others as needed.An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, along with an empathy for MC’s mission.

        Living Conditions

        The position is based in Uk, or Nl, or Belgium and will require some national and international travel.

        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.

        As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

        Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.
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