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Livelihoods Program Manager - Iraq

Baghdad (Iraq)


Mercy Corps has been present in the Middle East since the 1980s and currently has offices in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Mercy Corps has been operating in Iraq since 2003 and currently implements programs with funding from the USAID, US Department of State, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the UN and others. Mercy Corps has been focusing its efforts on helping Iraq build a new future through development programs. With the ever-increasing humanitarian crisis currently impacting the entire country Mercy Corps has expanded its development operations to include a large emergency response portfolio focusing on conflict affected populations.


The Livelihoods Program Manager is responsible for ensuring effective high quality implementation of the key deliverables of this project, including: Conducting focus group discussions, livelihood baseline assessment and continuously monitoring the impact of the project against agreed upon indicators; Identifying market supply, demand, access routes and prices for goods and services and working with women, youth and the general community to identify feasible income generating opportunities; For Cash For Work (CFW) programs help train communities and income generation groups on successfully running small businesses and developing business plans; Facilitating or supporting training on Village Savings and Loans Group methodology; Coordinating with the Team Leader to facilitate linkages for communities with skills training; Providing written reports, case studies and success stories to the Team Leader on a regular basis; Mercy Corps will provide technical training, assistance and opportunities for shared learning with other Project teams in Iraq as needed.


Program Management:

  • Identify and prioritize strategic sectors of focus, identify market, community and government actors to partner with or support in economic recovery activities;
  • Identify feasible and market demand driven income generating opportunities and skills building small community infrastructure projects
  • Guide the development of additional proposals related to livelihoods development.
  • Implement all cash transfer program according to Mercy Corps’ guidance on best practices for cash transfer programming (cash transfers directly relating to livelihood programs (CFW));
  • Integrate Mercy Corps’ gender policy, procedures and best practices throughout all livelihoods programs;
  • Ensure integration of industry best practices such as SPHERE, SEEP MERS, and CaLP Guidelines on E-transfers and Minimum Requirements for Market Assessments;
  • Assist with documentation of case studies and lessons learned to benefit future Mercy Corps programs;
  • Community mobilization to come together to form VSLA groups, save and access credit;
  • Provide ongoing technical training, mentoring and monitoring of VSLA groups based on VSLA methodology;
  • Provide numeric training for VSLA groups on effective record keeping, loan payment calculations and VSLA cycle close out sessions;
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of all related project activities

Team Management

  • Create a working atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels;
  • Recruit competent technical staff and organize the team to perform early economic recovery programs.


  • Coordinate with counterparts, including the UN, local partners, government officials, military actors and other INGOs and donors to implement programs to complement but not overlap; synchronize economic recovery efforts with other sectoral programs of MC and other agencies as appropriate (i.e. water-sanitation);
  • Develop relationships with relevant local government bodies and the private sector.
  • Be the key focal point between VSLA groups, and relevant stakeholders including local authorities and private banks, where necessary.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership;
  • Proactively ensure 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.




WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: All Mercy Corps Iraq team and partner organization team members; Mercy Corps Program Officers; national and international NGOs, UN agencies, government officials as needed.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree in business, economics, international studies or related field.
  • At least 3-4 years’ experience in a relief/recovery setting preferred.
  • Experience with developmental programming in microfinance, rural development, VSLAs, livelihood programming or enterprise development preferred and experience with cash transfer programming a bonus.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement a program, manage a team and develop their capacities.
  • Grant management and compliance experience necessary; prior experience of managing GAC and other institutional donors preferred.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English; knowledge of local language (Arabic) is desirable;
  • Strong writing, reporting, organizational and communication skills are required.
  • Computer literate and strong organizational skills.


The successful Livelihoods Program Manager will recognize that Mercy Corps’ ability to function successfully in Iraq depends on the ability to understand the context in which programs operate. This person must have the ability to provide leadership to team and build bridges to other program teams. S/he will have excellent negotiation and communication skills providing continued development of donor and partner relationships. S/he will bring a positive approach to the job, embracing challenges as opportunities to innovate, and will write well and communicate in a manner that is confident and clear, yet diplomatic, enabling him/her to forge positive working relationships with donors and other stakeholders. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability and believe in organizational learning. Finally, the successful Program Manager will work well under pressure in a fluid operating and security environment. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members make effective communication a priority in all situations and maintain a sense of humor.


This unaccompanied position will be based in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and will require travel to areas in northern Diyala. The team member will reside in shared housing and must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for Hardship benefits and R&R breaks.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when traveling for work. 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 Iraqi venues.


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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Baghdad (Iraq)
  • Grade: Mid level - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2016-06-03

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