Lead Analyst, Lebanon Crisis Analytics Hub

Country: Lebanon
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 15 Aug 2021

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 developed a Crisis Analytics function to support our programming in the most complex contexts, including Syria, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo and others. The Lebanon Crisis Analytics Hub, which will be launched in Lebanon for the first time in August 2021, seeks to support Mercy Corps’ in-country programming as well as the wider humanitarian and crisis response in Lebanon, currently experiencing a highly volatile and rapidly developing series of concurrent crises. It does this through the provision of quality, timely and relevant analytical products.

Mercy Corps’ LCAH team aggregates and analyzes data to provide more nuanced understanding of both the humanitarian context and its impact on markets, households, and coping strategies to enable better decision making for donors, implementers, and policy makers in complex crises. The team directly contributes to data-driven decision making by layering information from primary sources, open sources and responders’ programmatic data, where it is analysed by subject matter experts and data scientists. This analysis is grounded in Mercy Corps’ status as an operational NGO, keeping our products constructive and relevant for policy makers, responders and donors within a given crisis. The LCAH also serves as a real-time information hub; vets potential partners and collaborations; assesses programmatic, partner, and operational risk; identifies and maps stakeholders; and works with internal partners to better enable data-driven decision making.

While current data and analytics have tended to focus on the refugee crisis and the most vulnerable Lebanese, there is an urgently growing need to provide a more comprehensive

countrywide view of what data around near daily changes in prices, devaluation, shortages, and other shocks actually mean and how they impact those living in Lebanon. They will help forecast humanitarian and economic needs and anticipated knock-on effects of multiple shocks and stresses.

The LCAH seeks to provide that contextualized analysis through monthly situation updates, forecasts, scenario building, bespoke deeper dive pieces on important humanitarian and fragility issues, and urgent flash analyses of rapidly developing situations.

The Hub’s products will also guide and influence the course of Mercy Corps’ programming, serving three distinct purposes:

  1. Provide analysis to program teams for more efficient, effective and targeted humanitarian program design, implementation, and evaluation;

  2. Provide information to program and operations teams that enables them to appropriately design risk mitigation plans; and

  3. Develop a knowledge repository and build expertise on programming landscapes and relevant actors in Lebanon, further contributing to a culture of research and learning.

General Position Summary

This position will be spearheading the design and launch of L-CAH and lead the team forming the core of LCAH’s inception, development, and service delivery. They will network and form collaborative relationships with key stakeholders in data collection, humanitarian/crisis response, crisis-related funding, relevant academics, researchers, policy advocates and makers, civil society, and relevant governance structures to create complementarity and avoid duplication or over-assessment.

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will work closely with the Mercy Corps Lebanon team as well as its global Crisis Analytics team to ensure a successful launch of L-CAH.

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will establish key localized expertise and analysis within Lebanon. Specifically, the position will deliver analysis that links trends (economic, social, political, conflict) to their impact on humanitarian and development programming decisions. They will develop timely, nuanced, and actionable products that serve the wider humanitarian community and those living in Lebanon in need of right-sized, urgent, targeted support.

They will lead a small team of analysts hosted by Mercy Corps - Lebanon in Beirut.

They will design, oversee and deliver contextualized analyses that can be used in the decision making process for humanitarian donors, implementers, policy makers, advocacy groups and others for more efficient, better targeted funding, program design, implementation, and evaluation. This will require thorough research and analytical skills, contextual knowledge of the

ever-changing Lebanon context as well as the ability to triangulate a range of information sources in order to more greatly benefit and improve understanding and targeting.

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will liaise with the donor and Mercy Corps’ own program teams, delivering briefings and presentations to provide key analysis upon request.

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will come ready with and further develop deep key understanding of local security, economic, conflict and humanitarian dynamics within Lebanon.

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will organize extensive research/analysis schedules and ensure strict quality control on all products that are delivered by the Hub.

Essential Job Responsibilities

OVERALL

  • Lead the overall coordination of the launch and quality implementation of the Crisis Analytics Hub in Lebanon.

  • Advise the Senior Management Team (including Country Director, Director of Programs, and Program Quality and Performance Manager) and the donor with updates on evolving developments in the country as it relates to Mercy Corps programs and potential crisis/critical humanitarian response.

  • Organize and manage research schedules for the Hub team, adhering to strict deadlines and quality measures.

  • Work with the larger analytical team (regionally and globally) on major analytical projects on an ad hoc basis.

  • Ensure that products developed are timely, useful, accurate and actionable for relevant stakeholders.

  • Develop metrics and feedback loops to facilitate measurement of uptake, satisfaction, and utility, while balancing key focus on limited quality products and adaptation to developing stakeholder needs.

  • Work alongside program teams, reporting key localized analysis to inform and assist program implementation.

ANALYSIS

  • Maintain and constantly develop a strong understanding of the rapidly changing context in Lebanon (political, legal, economic, social, and conflict).

  • Develop key analytics products for the donor, broader humanitarian/crisis response community, and Mercy Corps program teams based on local area dynamics.

  • Provide presentations and updates for the donor and program teams as required.

  • Support the overall continuation of a culture of a team, which is highly aware of the context.

  • Provide contextual presentations to program teams on a regular basis.

MANAGEMENT

  • Responsible for recruiting, supervising and integrating two data analysts.

  • Develop skills of the analytical team.

  • Ensure strict adherence to quality control of the Hub.

  • Manage L-CAH research and analysis portfolio, reporting through the Director of Programs to multiple program teams and/or donors as required.

  • Be adaptive to remote working and management techniques if needed.

  • Organize and prioritize outputs based on context and needs from the donor and Mercy Corps - Lebanon.

.

STRATEGY & CULTURE

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

  • Contribute to the development of humanitarian, crisis response, country-level and regional strategies, as well as other key thematic sectors of interventions (economic development, governance, etc) for Mercy Corps in Lebanon.

  • Understand and express conflict in terms of humanitarian and economic needs, gender, conflict sensitivity, diversity and inclusion, protection, shocks, stresses, and threats.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY

The Lead Analyst/Project Manager will lead a team of two data analysts.

Accountability

Reports directly to: Country Director

Works directly with: Director of Programs, Program Performance & Quality (PaQ) Manager, Finance Director, Senior Operations Manager, HR Manager, Country Director, Program teams, relevant TSU teams, and other Crisis Analytics/Humanitarian Access Teams both regionally and globally.

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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Degree in Economics, Politics, Law, International Relations, conflict studies or a related field is an asset

  • Excellent written and spoken English

  • Excellent written and spoken Arabic is a definite asset

  • Experience with both quantitative and qualitative research is a must

  • Analytical experience within a think-tank, UN, or NGO experience or a similar Crisis Analytics Unit

  • Previous and/or current analysis work in the MIddle East or on Lebanon is a strong plus

  • Primary and secondary research/academic experience in political science, sociology, economics, or conflict analysis

  • Experience working in the MENA region, and Lebanon in particular, is an asset, specifically for understanding political, social, conflict, and security dynamics

  • Strong project/program management skills are crucial

  • Strong team management skills are skills are crucial

Success Factors

A successful candidate will see opportunities where Mercy Corps programs can complement policy related to refugees, extremely vulnerable, and newly vulnerable, and explore new partnerships or program modalities with private sector and local government. They will be able to relate programming in Lebanon with policy and work closely with regional teams to enhance our capacity and approach towards risk and access strategies. They will work on short deadlines, often under challenging circumstances, while remaining calm, flexible, patient and creative. They will be comfortable speaking and presenting quite complex information in digestible formats before groups both big and small, sometimes with potentially controversial content, while remaining confident, professional, and open. A good sense of humor and excellent interpersonal skills are key.

Living/Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Beirut and is accompanied. Housing for this role is in individual housing. The security situation is currently uncertain in Beirut; all security guidelines and protocols must be closely followed at all times.

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.**

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