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Jordan: Technical Advisor, Food Security and Livelihoods, Jordan

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Mercy Corps
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 04 Jan 2018

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been meeting the needs of conflict-affected communities inside Syria since 2012. Mercy Corps Syria currently operates from three locations in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria with an experienced team of staff and partners who are supported and led by a Country Team based in Amman that ensures consistent, technical and quality driven programming. Mercy Corps implements a range of activities aimed at supporting positive coping strategies by addressing the basic needs of vulnerable families while strengthening opportunities to generate income and increasing access to livelihoods.

Globally, Mercy Corps has made a high-level commitment to achieving greater impact through evidence and learning, adaptive management, using data driven evidence to demonstrate results and contribute toward solving complex global challenges. It is in this context that the Syria Team created this position.

General Position Summary

The Technical Advisor for Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) will be a member of the Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) unit and will provide technical support and direction in the design, implementation, quality assurance and program strategy development for the Whole of Syria (WoS) FSL program. The role will input into the scale-up of core project models in alignment with Mercy Corps' global sectoral strategic objectives while keeping in line with the WoS response strategy. This position will play a role in raising new institutional funds and provide a voice in discussions about WoS sector policy, situation analysis and response. S/he is expected to provide support remotely and through regular country visits, working closely with a range of program implementers and senior management teams.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Technical Support and Strategy Development:

  • Strive to create and use standardized tools and practices, including SOPs, training manuals and work-plans,where appropriate, across projects/programs/field offices.
  • Carry out systematized project/program monitoring visits and provide structured feedback in a way that can improve project/ program progress and impact.
  • In collaboration with the MEL team, support in rolling out qualitative monitoring and evaluation approaches aiming to build contextually-grounded learning into program activities for WoS FSL response.
  • Ensure lessons learned and emerging best practices are evaluated and built into the new program design and implementation.
  • Provide support to hub offices in the integration of resilience into programming and assist in creating emergency preparedness plans to achieve targeted response to food insecurity. When needed support emergency responses in Food Security / Livelihoods theme.
  • Quality review of donor reports related to the FSL.
  • Support the contextual revision and roll out of MC's WoS FSL Strategy, ensuring strong programmatic rationale for pursuing programmatic investments as well as coherence and synergies with other technical sectors and humanitarian assistance programming·
  • Ensure that key cross-cutting themes, such as community participation, partner capacity building, good M&E, coordination, inclusion of women, and inclusion of disadvantaged groups are emphasized and integrated into all projects/programs.

Programme Development

  • Proactively identify programming opportunities through field observation as well as by developing relationships with key donors and partners working in FSL, economic empowerment, and resilience-based programming;
  • Support proposal development and lead in the technical design and review of concept notes, logical frameworks, budgets and full proposals in relevant technical sectors with close coordination with field teams.
  • Engage directly with donors as required, presenting approaches, concept notes and funding proposals in collaboration with hub and regional office.
  • Work with hub offices and desk officers to ensure that proposal budgets adequately incorporate technical resource requirements to deliver on stated objectives.

HR and Capacity-Building:

  • Support field offices in effective resource management, including identifying and addressing technical capacity gaps and if necessary staff recruitment.
  • Provide support and technical capacity building to key staff in field offices

Internal Networking and Coordination:

  • Encourage the development of peer networks of livelihoods staff across field offices to help create a WoS FSL team.
  • Ensure coordination across field offices and thematic activities, maximising synergies in programmes and cross-cutting thematic areas.
  • Work closely with internal Mercy Corps stakeholders to ensure programmes are in line with Mercy Corps' global vision and keep updated on the latest policy development, global objectives and targets and training opportunities.
  • Participate in key relevant internal meetings including regional or global meetings as required.

External Networking & Representation:

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with WoS cluster technical groups.
  • Ensuring high-visibility of Mercy Corps' WoS portfolio, representation and technical leadership among peer organizations
  • Represent Mercy Corps FSL programming on a regional level to relevant bodies and networks, including clusters, working groups, task forces and donor meetings, and identify changes to their policies and priorities that may create opportunities or threats for the programme objectives.
  • Engage with donors at regional level in support of fundraising, profile-raising and scoping of opportunities, working in close collaboration with colleagues at Regional and Headquarters level.


  • 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.

Organizational Learning

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Performance and Quality Director

Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Directors of Programs, PaQ Unit, and program teams

Knowledge and Experience

  • 5-7 years of international experience in food security and livelihoods programming
  • Strong commitment to capacity building of national staff with willingness to adopt a participatory and consultative management approach.
  • Significant international experience in relief and rehabilitation programs in developing countries, with a focus on food security and livelihoods.
  • Experience in remote management and Syria response
  • Develop market based programming promoting better livelihoods development in an integrated approach
  • Strong report writing skills, including experience in writing proposals and donor reports. For this excellent analytical skills and computer literacy is required.
  • Sound and mature understanding of rights-based approaches to development and participatory concepts and practical experience in similar context.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate and negotiate clearly and effectively at all levels, taking into account cultural and language difficulties. Tact and diplomacy are essential.
  • The ability to work closely in a team, be patient, adaptable, flexible, able to improvise and work in an environment that is often stressful and potentially volatile.
  • Willingness to travel regularly to other hub offices
  • Fluent in spoken and written English. Arabic preferred.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will have existing knowledge regarding the Syrian context ,as well as FLS sector. Will have the ability to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a high intensity and fluid work environment and will be able to communicate effectively in a situation that relies primarily on remote management skills. S/he will multitask, take initiative, and have proven experience with capacity building. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Amman, Jordan and it requires up to 40% travel to Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. This is an unaccompanied post. There are several good International schools in Jordan. Staff have easy access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc

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


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