Food Security Advisor
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:
The Food Security Advisor position focuses on providing technical support to Mercy Corps field teams in food security, in line with Mercy Corps' Food Security Approach. The support includes program design and development, network and partnership development, representation at key sector forums and events, 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 Food Security Advisor will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others.
ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
Program and Proposal Development
- Write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and US, European, and UN agencies.
- Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps' competitive advantage for funding.
- Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program strategies.
- Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that address the multi-dimensional drivers of food insecurity and encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience and youth development.
- Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.
- Participate as an active, integrated member of the team providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs including 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 and comply with relevant regulations and requirements.
- 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.
- Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement programs.
Learning and Impact
- Coordinate with other TSU teams and field teams to document and disseminate emerging best practices about addressing root causes of food insecurity.
- Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team and the field to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices.
- Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around Thought Leadership priority topics.
- 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.
- Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external disseminate plan for all products.
Policy, Advocacy, Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps with key food security donors, including USAID's Office of Food for Peace and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
- Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in area of expertise.
- Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
- Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.
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.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: None.
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Director of the Food Security TSU team
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: all other TSU teams, the Policy & Advocacy Team, other HQ and field teams
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor's degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in a field related to the TSU team specialty and relevant technical certifications are preferred.
- 3 to 5 years of experience providing technical support in Food Security, and/or relevant fields such as Nutrition, Agriculture, or other sectors. Experience preparing writing and analysis on proposal development.
- Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied knowledge of the field of expertise and familiarity using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
- Experience producing and publishing influential articles and blogs.
- Practical field experience that may include a successful temporary or long term field assignment =Or an emergency response assignment or other crisis response work
- Experience delivering Capacity Building curriculum or other processes for field teams
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language preferred.
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 multi-task, 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 is based in Washington D.C. The position requires 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 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.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/temporary assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws and customs, and adhere to MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
- Organization: Mercy Corps
- Location: Ankara
- Grade: Mid level - Internationally recruited position
- Security and Safety
- Project and Programme Management
- Security and Safety
- Closing Date: 2017-02-18