Temporary Food Security Advisor – Technical Support Unit At Mercy Corps


Location This position is open to other Mercy Corps’ operations offices in the US, London, Africa, and the Middle East.
Position Status Full-time, Temporary

The anticipated start date is early/mid-January 2022 with a duration of employment through May 2022.

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 field-led work that delivers measurable impact. 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.

General Position Summary

This is a temporary position through May 2022, assigned to the Food Security and Nutrition TSU. The advisor position focuses on providing technical support to Mercy Corps field teams in food security in emergency or crisis contexts. The position will ideally have a special emphasis on Gender, Age and Social Inclusion in emergency food security analysis and program design and implementation. The support includes program design and development, network and partnership development, helping to monitor and improve program quality and relevance, staying current on industry innovation and best practices, writing competitive proposals for submission to donors, delivering training, and disseminating information to internal and external partners. The advisor will also participate in internal matrixed teams (including food security matrix team), share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Technical Support and Products

  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the team providing technical support to a portfolio of programs including especially those in complex crisis environments.
  • Support effective interventions in the areas of the assigned team’s focus, using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
  • Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities.
  • Help the team gather, refine, and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools related to food security.
  • Contribute directly to IDEAL grant outputs related emergency programming, including continuing active engagement and promotion of the Emergency Practitioners’ Forum, as well as any emergency-related guidance and action on IDEAL technical advisory panels focused on integration/sustainability and social cohesion.
  • Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource.

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 within food security programs.
  • Provide in-country and remote training and support for Mercy Corps staff, partners, and others.
  • 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**,** including specifically needs and vulnerability assessment tools related to emergency food security proposals (to align with new USAID/BHA guidelines**).**
  • Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external dissemination plan for all products.

Program and Proposal Development

  • Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program strategies.
  • Write and contribute to design workshops and technical approaches in food security proposals.

Supervisory Responsibility

None.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Food Security Portfolio Director.

Works Directly With: all other TSU teams, 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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in a field related to food security (such as international development, agriculture, nutrition, economics, etc.) are preferred.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience providing technical support in food security that includes:
    • Preparing writing and analysis on proposal development, particularly within emergency contexts with the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (or previously with Food for Peace of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance).
    • Producing and publishing influential articles and blogs.
    • Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied knowledge of the field of expertise.
    • Familiarity using market-based and integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
  • Practical field experience that may include:
    • A successful temporary duration field assignment (under two weeks), a longer-term field assignments (two or more weeks), or living in a field location for an extended period to work in a country or field office.
    • An emergency response assignment or other crisis response work that demonstrates the ability to successfully adapt support and assistance methodologies to real-world complexities.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Familiarity with major donors such as USAID (including specifically the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (or previously with Food for Peace of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance), DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
  • Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language is preferred.

Success Factors

The Advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. 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. The Advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide technical data and support in the most efficient and effective form possible for each unique field team and environment. All TSU 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 has locations anywhere Mercy Corps has an office. Depending on COVID-19 trends, the position may require travel at least 30% time to the field 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 any emergency or crisis. When in the field the team member must be able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions.

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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