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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Edinburgh
  • Grade: Mid level - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2019-08-11

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Assistant Programme Officer (APO), Africa - Edinburgh

Edinburgh (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

Location Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Position Status Full-time

Reporting to Senior Programme Officer, Africa

Travel Up to 30% is potentially required of the role
Salary Circa £20,000
Closing date July 26, 2019

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In conflict, 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 Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly in terms of volume of activity and complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London and Geneva, we now attract over £90m in income, and employ around 100 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment.

The Role

The Assistant Program Officer (APO) provides administrative support to the Senior Program Officer (SPO), Program Officer/s (POs), Regional Director (RD), Deputy Regional Directors (DRD) and the field teams for the growth and implementation of high quality and impactful programming in the Africa region. The APO works as a key part of Mercy Corps Europe’s Africa Regional Programmes Team. The APO will work to support the implementation of key projects and workstreams that contribute towards the fulfilment of the Mercy Corps’ Africa strategy. The APO will play a key role in managing information and data that comes in from the country teams to facilitate use and access of it for other HQ departments and retention of institutional knowledge. The APO effectively supports the SPO/POs to provide the secondary check and support the field (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations and is responsible for administrative duties for the region. S/he also provides important project information to support the London-based Africa Regional Representative.

Reporting to the Edinburgh-based Senior Programme Officer or Programme Officer, the APO will work with a variety of other HQ Programme units and other departments, including Resource Development, Finance, People & Strategy, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Grant Administration

  • Support the SPO/POs with administrative tasks such as maintaining required documentation, as per the internal Programme File, and knowledge management of the grants, updating all internal information systems (server and Grant and Award Administration Tracker).
  • Assist in monitoring and ensuring compliance with donor regulations and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Advise country teams on formats for donor reporting and define timelines to review.
  • As needed, support the reviews of donor reports and ensure that reports are submitted in accordance with reporting standards and in adherence to deadlines set out in the grant agreement/contract.
  • Initiate, coordinate and send out New Award Initiation Summaries and project close-out messages.
  • As needed, act as focal point for proposals submitted in search of co-financing and liaise with Fundraising and Finance Departments.
  • Support the SPO in the management of the complex programme oversight process.

Proposal Coordination

  • Undertake donor research and identify appropriate funding opportunities from donors, also reviewing donor guidelines and carrying out eligibility checks for new funding opportunities identified, and initial liaising with country offices on opportunities.
  • Provide administrative support for proposal development such as drafting Past Performance Reports/capacity statements/or other required documents, copy-editing, and final compilation for submission as needed.
  • For EC-funded programmes, lead on coordinating PADOR partner registration in proposal development.

Internal Communications

  • Serve as the primary point for internal communications, facilitate use of Mercy Corps web-based information systems to draft and update programme material (e.g. country fact sheets, country pages on web, etc.).

Knowledge Management

  • Maintain up to date country and grant information in Mercy Corps’ knowledge management tools and platforms.

Recruitment Support & Deployment

  • Manage consultant contracting processes; ensuring necessary documentation has been submitted to relevant people, follow up with teams when field have not received a response; support new hires/consultants/interns/etc.


  • As needed, lead on travel/logistical support for field and headquarters teams.


  • Facilitate the training of new Programme and other staff as appropriate on internal grant management, administration and proposal development processes, tools and systems.


  • Represent Mercy Corps at meetings and events when required.


  • Act as a focal point for backstopping for SPO/PO during field trips or short-term absence.
  • May be required to travel to the field to support any of the above.
  • Any other duties as assigned.

Organisational Learning

  • As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations 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 toward 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:** Senior Programme Officer, Africa

Works Directly With: Field based programme teams, Country Directors of Programmes, MCE Programmes team, Finance, Compliance, Communications, Policy and Advocacy, the Africa Regional Representative, New Initiatives, Programme Accountability and Quality, Strategic Partnership Team.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in relevant field.
  • Experience in international relief or development, particularly in grant administration and compliance preferred.
  • Awareness and understanding of the international development sector.
  • French proficiency or knowledge is a plus.
  • Two years of demonstrated experience in providing administrative/coordination support.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with colleagues from various backgrounds and cultures.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Prior NGO or international development experience preferred.
  • Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in Africa.

Success Factors

The Assistant Program Officer must be a detail-oriented multi-tasker who is able to communicate clearly and work under pressure. S/he must demonstrate patience, flexibility, and taking initiative to solve problems. Vital skills include communication (both written and verbal), as well as building and maintaining effective internal and external relationships. S/he must demonstrate the ability to understand and follow agency procedures, meet deadlines, and work both independently and as part of a complex distanced-based, multi-cultural team. An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, and an understanding of the complex challenges faced by programme teams operating in overseas environments is critical.

MCE team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short-term assignment or trip to country offices. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all Mercy Corps locations.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.


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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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