Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Senior Advisor – Technical Support Unit At Mercy Corps

Location: Any Mercy Corps office location
Position Status: Full-time, Regular
Salary: US: $76,000 – $84,000, based on local benchmark for candidates outside of the United States.

About Mercy Corps

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.

Program / Department Summary**

Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Program Department supports locally-led work that delivers measurable impact.

Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. Mercy Corps’ TSU houses subject matter experts whose mission is to help our global teams apply the most effective solutions to the world’s toughest challenges, while building our global reputation and resources to do so. By advancing technical excellence the Unit plays a key role in driving Mercy Corps’ impact, innovation and influence around the world. Current TSU teams are: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion; Food Security and Nutrition; Resilience; Economic and Market Development; Financial Inclusion; Agriculture Systems; Governance and Partnerships; Peace and Conflict; Young People & Protection; Environment, Energy and Climate; and New Initiatives.

The TSU helps set agency-wide strategy and develops strategic approach documents and other technical briefs for their practice area to inform the entire organization’s work. In addition, it offers technical expertise to offices worldwide – supporting country strategy development and assessments, and engaging throughout the program life cycle from project design and proposal development to quality implementation and evaluations.

As technical experts in their field, TSU Team members are well versed in global practices and abreast of sector specific trends. They also represent Mercy Corps with donors and other strategic partners, and inform and influence both internal approaches and global understanding on how to move the needle on some of the most intractable humanitarian and development challenges of our time, especially in fragile settings. This agenda requires the team to know about progress and results across programs and paint a picture of the best that Mercy Corps has to offer based on thematic learning from across our regions. This drives innovation inside the agency, grows the portfolio, and fosters learning internally and with external stakeholders so that we can make a bigger difference in the lives of people we work with.

General Position Summary**

The Senior Advisor for Gender Equality & Social Inclusion resides within the Technical Support Unit and will lead and support country teams in high-quality program design, ensuring gender and social inclusion approaches are firmly rooted and advance gender equality outcomes. They will also focus on providing expert technical guidance to priority programs, including through transferring knowledge and building skills in ways that fortify the capacity of field teams to deliver program and practice excellence. The Senior Advisor also ensures the team is guiding Agency best practice on measurement, and is committed to knowing and facilitating understanding of Agency results.

The Senior Advisor will develop and grow the agency’s gender and social inclusion portfolio and build an extended team of specialists and focal points, with a focus on deepening Mercy Corps’ expertise and influence. Working with headquarters, regional leadership, country teams, technical support teams and partners, they will: 1) identify and pursue strategic growth opportunities in priority contexts and sectors; 2) support gender and social inclusion assessments and innovations to test gender approaches in priority contexts and build influence; 3) provide technical oversight to priority programs; and 4) deliver capacity building support and mentorship to specialists and country team members.

The Senior Advisor plays a key role facilitating learning and information sharing on gender equality and social inclusion. They work closely with the other members of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion team and the Young People and Protection teams to ensure learning and best practices are captured and shared.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Provide technical leadership for the inclusion of gender integration into agency-wide growth resources and plans, including strategy, donor guidance, promoting local partners and networks, and strengthening donor relations.
  • Provide technical leadership to Mercy Corps’ priority gender and social inclusion sectors with relevant partners and teams, particularly peace and conflict resolution, climate and resilience, and economic opportunities.
  • Lead and nurture relevant communities of practice
  • With Sr. Director, set a distinctive strategic vision for gender and social inclusion in close coordination with the field and other agency departments and ensure that it is continuously updated to reflect our values and principles, trends in the field, learning over time and emerging capacities.
  • Influence country and regional strategies, based on technical expertise, practical experience and understanding of Mercy Corps’ comparative advantages, with an eye towards both impact and growth.
  • Identify internal and external trends with potential to inform or affect TSU work and assure team readiness to adapt to changing conditions and expectations.
  • Play a leadership role in collaborating with the Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative and bridging the operational-programmatic nexus.


  • In partnership with the Senior Director, explore and maximize new lines of revenue for multi-country or regional approaches that align with the agency’s strategic direction.
  • Strategically engage and guide field teams in new program design and quality implementation based on agency priorities.
  • Building on the above, also work with country teams to ensure budgets and staffing plans are gender-sensitive and reflective of gender and social inclusion commitments taken at agency, regional, and country levels. Ensure teams are set up to succeed with evolving donor requirements around gender and inclusion.
  • Ensure new insights from field assessments, small grant projects, and industry learnings are incorporated into new program designs and implementation.
  • Develop strategy and approaches to facilitate multi-team/multi-country shared learning on what is working in order to standardize best practice, develop comparative advantages for new program development and advance strategic partnerships. This could include regional webinars, regional meeting presentations, etc.
  • Contribute to a roster of qualified gender and social inclusion specialists for on-call support to our program development and quality needs.
  • Mentor regional, country, and project-level gender and social inclusion specialists.
  • Manage gender equality and social inclusion grants focused on institutional capacity building and learning


  • As part of new program design efforts, ensure that gender and social inclusion are integrated into theories of change, indicators, and logframes.
  • Work with relevant sector and country teams to advance key learning questions around gender and social inclusion.


  • Advance external Influence through work with other Agency leads, including Policy, Program and Quality, Marketing and Communications teams to raise Mercy Corps global profile and a go-to partner, including USAID, FCDO, and other actors.
  • Strengthen Mercy Corps’ profile and representation through expert interaction with internal stakeholders, partner agencies, donors and other networks and groups, particularly around key thematic areas of climate and resilience, economic opportunity, and gender, peace and security.
  • Actively engage in internal relationship building, providing project and unit updates with other departments.

Supervisory Responsibility**



Reports Directly To: Senior Director for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, Technical Support Unit

Works Directly With: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion team, Young People and Protection team, other TSU units, Program Performance and Quality team, Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion team, Regional Program Team, and other HQ and field teams.

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 Qualifications and Transferable Skills

  • M.S./M.Sc./M.A. or equivalent field experience in a gender, social sciences, public health or related field
  • Demonstrated leadership in gender and social inclusion in development and humanitarian industry
  • 5+ years of experience in gender technical leadership including demonstrated experience in at least one of the following:
  • women’s economic empowerment and inclusion, including financial inclusion, market systems development, or labor.
  • gender and social inclusion in climate change and resilience building efforts
  • gender, peace and security
  • At least three years experience working in countries where programs are located and working directly with implementing teams.
  • Experience managing projects, including team and budget management
  • Proposal design and program development experience.
  • Experience building strong working relationships with government and private sector donors, peer agencies, corporations and/or foundations.
  • Experiencing proving technical coaching and mentorship to colleagues
  • Exceptionally strong verbal and written communication skills and organizational skills are required.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, SIDA, AfD, Global Affairs Canada, and relevant foundations and corporations.
  • Fluency in English is required; strong preference for fluency in French and/or Spanish, with consideration for other languages.
  • Preference for a team member with experience working in and/or supporting programs in Asia or the Americas regions.

Success Factors**

The successful Senior Advisor must be a self-starter who demonstrates leadership in communications, partnership development, and team management. Multi-tasking with proven ability to manage competing priorities, follow procedures, and meet deadlines is required. This individual must communicate and work effectively with a variety of external groups including private sector partners, peer agencies, academic institutions, and donors. The Senior Advisor is flexible and creative in planning and problem solving, and has a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative and be accountable for results. The individual must have a high proficiency for working in a variety of cultural, political and religious environments and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position can be located in any country where Mercy Corps is registered, with preference for Washington DC, London, Nairobi. The position requires travel at least 30% of the time to other regional and country offices where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to deploy to field environments on short notice in response to an emergency or crisis. When in the field, the team member must be able to work in remote settings and over weekends and/or evenings as required by the schedule.

At Mercy Corps, we believe that empowering people and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where all feel equally respected and valued will help us create a secure, productive and just world. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and welcome applicants of all religions, ethnicities, citizenships, educational backgrounds, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic statuses, disabilities, and veteran statuses.

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 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.

How to apply

Apply here

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