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Food Security and Livelihoods Manager - Turkey (220059-927)

Ankaya | Ankara


As Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world we recognize that instances of sudden change within a country or region, are rare moments of opportunity. Mercy Corps is interested in strengthening presence for early as well as longer term programming for Syrians, including those who have been displaced, and will be present initially in the north, with expansion of programming to other regions over time. It is imperative that Mercy Corps present itself as a key and reliable partner with various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive change. Mercy Corps, with its global experience in working in countries undergoing major transitions, will be a key contributor in the process, bringing knowledge, expertise and strong management skills to position the agency as a partner of choice for progressive change in Syria, as well as in response to refugee and vulnerable populations in Turkey.


The Food Security & Livelihoods Manager is a member for the technical oversight and planning unit that works under the supervision of Director of Programs for North Syria. This requires being responsible for ensuring the delivery of high quality Food Security & Livelihoods interventions in North Syria and developing strategies for the continuation of the interventions. This position includes, developing tools for assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of local partners and Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and evaluation of the program and preparing periodic reports back to donors, as well as close coordination with other Mercy Corps efforts during the emergency.


Strategy and Vision

  • Lead the development of a sectorial strategy based on a strong contextual understanding of North Syria and in line with Mercy Corps values.
  • Design viable strategies that are both respectful with the local culture and sensitive towards the population.
  • Provide technical input for Mercy Corps' food Security programs including partnerships with local NGOs and CBOs.
  • Ensure inclusion of national technical staff and other key stakeholders into strategy process.
  • Promote the development of a holistic strategy through creating linkages with other sectors strategies (NFI, WASH, Protection).
  • Contribute to the technical and operational advocacy strategies of the mission, region, and headquarters.
  • Contribute to policy discussion among Senior Management Team as applicable.

Design and Planning

  • Support the Mercy Corps team in identifying additional opportunities for medium and long-term programming.
  • Contribute to design of new proposals based on sectoral and general knowledge.
  • Integrate the use of community approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of project.
  • Partake in planning and design efforts as requested.
  • Develop and provide reports and databases as required by Director of Program.
  • Work with Finance to develop and to manage program budgets to ensure appropriate spending in accordance with donor commitment.
  • Lead Food Security and Livelihoods aspects of technical assessment in coordination with other thematic areas and/or other external sector agencies.

  • Develop realistic work plans per grant in conjunction with Grants Manager, sector leads and North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.

  • Ensure provision of program quality in all aspects of design, planning, and implementation of Food Security & Livelihoods interventions.

  • Ensure the mainstreaming of core protection principles through design and planning of sector interventions.

Implementation and Programs Coordination

  • Develop surveys, need assessments, data and information collection, design interventions accordingly for on-going food security or livelihoods programs to build the capacity of Mercy Corps staff, as well as project stakeholders.
  • Provide technical oversight to the field teams and mentor senior staff in the design of Food Security & Livelihoods activities.
  • Communicate grant work plans related to Food Security & Livelihoods to senior technical staff and to North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.
  • Work with USAID/FFP, DFID grant holder and other relevant grant holder to ensure joint planning and grant compliance.
  • Work with North Syria Programs Coordination Manager to overcome implementation challenges based on practical solutions.
  • Ensure the tracking, monitoring and quality reporting of all Food Security & Livelihoods.
  • Complete budget pipeline planning, monitoring and monthly follow up in collaboration with senior technical staff and in communication with North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.
  • Ensure documentation and filing of project activities in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Supervise and monitor the implementation of the Food Security & Livelihoods activities, ensuring that all the activities are compliant with the grant requirements.
  • Work with Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings on food security/livelihoods/early recovery.

  • Understand and appropriate application of SPHERE guidelines and promotion of best practices.

Finance and Operations

  • Prepare procurement plan based on project cycle for FSL interventions.
  • Manage grant budgets.
  • Ensure all necessary requests (procurement requests, purchase orders, etc.) are accurately prepared and submitted on time.

Grants, Donor Compliance and Reporting

  • Ensure internal and donor compliance through a strong knowledge of rules and regulations applicable to the North Syrian context.
  • Stay informed of incidents as they arise through the field and are raised through the program coordination mechanism.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through supporting incident reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Maintain and coordinate reporting and documentation of FSL activities.
  • Timely preparation bi-weekly, quarterly and interim donor reports for relevant activities under the guidance of the Reporting Officer and Grants Manager.

Team Management

  • Provide technical supervision and support to technical staff.
  • Assess capacity of Mercy Corps technical staff, as well as other stakeholders, to perform functions.
  • Work with other middle and senior management staff to consider alterative ways of doing distance capacity development and learning in the Syrian context.
  • Recruit and train of field technical staff.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Programs for North Syria


  • Work with Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings.

Safety, Security and Access

  • 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 towards 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.



REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Director of Programs - North Syria

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Sector leads/ grant holders, Programs Coordination Manager, HQ-based Program Operations, Finance, and TSU staff


  • BS/BA in International Development or related field. MS/MA preferred.
  • 3-5 years of overseas experience; from starting up programs and managing Emergency and transitional programming; with particular focus on managing projects with time sensitive deliverables in complex settings.
  • Strong experience of mentoring a team, identifying talent and building their capacity.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian standards and codes, including SPHERE.
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of USAID (OFDA and FFP)/DFID programs.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Turkish or Arabic is as plus

  • Previous experience in similar contexts.

  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational skills.


The successful FSL Manager will combine exceptional technical skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have previous experience in working in large-scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict context S/he will have an outstanding ability to design and provide technical oversight of innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the area. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. The successful candidate will be able to provide technical oversight to large relief programs in an austere environment; be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support skills, good information management skills and maintain a sense of humor.


The position is unaccompanied and will be based in Ankara with frequent traveling to the field office. Personnel in this location are expected to follow all security protocols. Good medical services are available. City electricity is available in Ankara and running water is reliable also. Internet connectivity and communication is reliable in most locations. In general, road conditions in Turkey are good. Some travel to Gaziantep will be required.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

Please follow this link to apply:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Ankaya | Ankara
  • Grade: Mid level - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Nutrition
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Security and Safety
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Nutrition
  • Closing Date: 2015-12-31

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