Consultant Roster - Program Development Specialist
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.
Mercy Corps began working in Myanmar in 2008 to help communities recover from the devastating damage of Cyclone Nargis. After the emergency phase of our work was complete, we shifted our focus to longer-term development - first in the Delta, then in other regions. Mercy Corps now works in five States and five Regions. Our overarching goal is to help bring about sustained peace, stability and economic growth that includes all people. To that end, we are helping farmers increase their productivity and incomes and improving the way agricultural markets work. We’re helping communities adapt to climate change while increasing access to life-enhancing household energy products. We’re improving the ability of local governments and civil society groups to resolve conflicts. And we're increasing the capacity of the public to meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives, as well as their access to effective and responsive services.
Mercy Corps Myanmar’s (MCM) vision is that all communities in the country are able to determine their future through responsive governance, inclusive and equitable access to economic opportunity, climate change resilience, and equal rights, leading to peace and prosperity. We believe that by addressing the root causes of fragility, peace and economic growth for all is possible and that our four interconnected objectives contribute to a higher level goal of increased ‘peace and prosperity’.
Mercy Corps has a continual need to increase capacity to respond and proactively prepare for program development opportunities. This is particularly true for complex or otherwise highly strategic submissions to major institutional donors. As such, Mercy Corps is looking to build a roster of seasoned proposal development specialists and proposal writers who can work closely with the Myanmar Country team and their partners to produce high-quality proposals and concept notes. Successful candidates will be placed on a time-bound retainer. MCM be using this roster for a total period of 12 months, after which it will be renewed. MCM will engage consultants on an as needed basis to develop concepts/proposals in the above-mentioned four outcome areas.
Given the nature of MCM’s existing portfolio, program development specialists and proposal writers with a strong background in the following technical sectors are especially encouraged to submit their CVs: agriculture, market systems development, energy, governance, peace and conflict, and climate change resilience.
A two – step process will be used to make a selection: review of a short letter of interest / CV; and face-to-face interview.
Consultancies for specific funding opportunities may involve changes to the details listed below, however in general Mercy Corps seeks candidates who can perform well at a range of program development and proposal writing activities, such as:
● Work with Mercy Corps teams to review and evaluate funding opportunities, specific calls for proposal and other solicitations;
● Review all available information on donor strategy to ensure a match with country and/or regional objectives and programmatic priorities;
● Identify key donor requirements and regulations, necessary outcomes and limitations of possible funding.
Research and Assessments
● Desk review of existing literature and external research on key topic areas, including any prior analysis by Mercy Corps or descriptions of previous relevant programs;
● Identify and evaluate relevant methodologies, best practices and lessons from a diverse range of stakeholders, organizations, and technical experts;
● Meet with Mercy Corps staff and partners to understand context and strategy, and conduct interviews with key stakeholders as needed and identified by Mercy Corps teams;
● In coordination with the country team, design relevant rapid field assessments to gather essential design data using qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies as appropriate;
● Identify and map potential program partners or other collaborators to connect Mercy Corps with the appropriate ideas and resources;
● Summarize or condense findings to provide clear basis for proposed interventions and context.
● Facilitate or participate in planning or design workshops to define program objectives and leverage the insight, experience and knowledge of Mercy Corps teams;
● Identify and raise relevant preconditions, risks and assumptions;
● Contribute to the development of a theory of change, logical framework, M&E plan, potential programmatic activities, and management and operational structures;
● Identify opportunities to incorporate cross-cutting issues and added-value elements into the program design;
● Collate design ideas into a concrete design that addresses donor objectives and requirements, and develop outlines for full proposal(s) or concept note(s).
● Lead a proposal development team and/or function as lead writer, potentially working with inputs from team members in various locations and from multiple organizations;
● Assemble a proposal development work plan and calendar for submissions that allows for appropriate review by Mercy Corps technical or management staff;
● Work with M&E staff to finalize logical framework and indicators, and where applicable data collection tools and strategy, personnel and workplan;
● Building on any approved concept notes, draft a full proposal narrative in line with donor guidelines;
● Work with relevant staff to edit and finalize a quality submission that maximize chances for success, including graphics and tables where required;
● Participate in the recruitment of key Mercy Corps team members and provide inputs for financial/cost proposal and budget narrative, as needed;
● Champion adherence to Mercy Corps’s policies and procedures, and apply Mercy Corps best practices in proposal development efforts.
Required Skills and Experience
● MA/S or equivalent in international development, social science, business administration or other relevant field.
● Demonstrable experience in the design of programs or proposal writing, and demonstrable experience of successful grant applications in contexts that are fast changing and fragile, with a focus on the above-outlined sectors.
● Preference will be given to Myanmar-based consultants.
● Experience developing logical frameworks and costed proposal submissions for USAID, LIFT, DfID, European Union and/or other institutional donors. Familiarity with other donors, including corporations or foundations, is a plus.
● Ability to work as part of diverse teams and facilitate planning processes.
● Excellent English writing and communication skills, and the ability to present information logically and concisely. Ability to speak Myanmar language is a great asset.
● Ability to work under pressure and deliver quality products under tight deadlines and in sparse working environments.
● Strong preference given to candidates with prior field experience and demonstrated understanding of the critical development issues in Myanmar.
How to Submit Your CV
This call for CVs does not constitute an offer of employment. Any description contained herein may be modified and/or revoked. Interested applicants should carefully note the minimum qualifications and submit a CV along with cover letter (one page max.) detailing previous program development experience, and a proposed daily rate to Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org). Submission of a short writing sample is recommended but not required. Candidates will be notified of specific future program development opportunities; however they may be required to submit another application to be considered for future openings which are posted and advertised.