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Temporary - Ethics and Assurance Specialist - Erbil, Iraq

Erbil (Iraq)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Erbil (Iraq)
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-30

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This is a temporary role for 90 days. Applicants with immediate availability and current/former Mercy Corps experience are encouraged to apply.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq's current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crises.

The current humanitarian portfolio responds to a range of humanitarian assistance needs, from distribution of non-food items to cash assistance and comprehensive WASH programming. Programming is implemented across Salah al-Din, Anbar and Ninewa governorates, concurrently addressing the needs of protracted IDPs, returnees, and host communities across all operational areas. The aim of Mercy Corps’ response is to provide multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA), NFIs and WASH assistance to families affected by the violence. Mercy Corps further aims to present itself as a key and reliable partner in the MPCA, NFI and WASH sectors with various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors.

General Position Summary

The Ethics & Assurance Specialist will independently examine, review and analyze records, reports, and financial information to ensure compliance with laws, regulations and Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures. Under supervision and guidance of Ethics & Assurance Manager (EAM) he/she will be responsible for investigation of potential violations of the Code of Ethics with an emphasis on fraud corruption, bribery and human trafficking.

The Ethics & Assurance Specialist promotes and encourages a culture of compliance and ethics throughout Mercy Corps. As applicable to the position, maintains a clear understanding of Mercy Corps and donor compliance and ethics standards and adheres to those standards. Conducts work with the highest level of integrity. Communicates these values to staff and to partners and requires them to adhere to these values.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Conducts objective, fair, thorough, unbiased and timely investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption, and violations of Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures:

  • Develops action plans which determine scope, timing, and direction of investigation;

  • Obtains relevant evidence and information;

  • Reviews and research evidence/documents to draw conclusions;

  • Organizes and conducts interviews;

  • Documents all investigative steps;

  • Produces professional investigation reports with recommendations;

  • Prepares communication with donors, regulatory bodies and any third party with supervision and guidance from EAM;

  • Prepares and provides necessary updates on internal investigations to other departments as needed.


  • Ensure all reported incidents are reported to the HQ and logged in the Country Office Corruption Incident Register;

  • Ensure that all relevant evidence gathering and storage protocols are observed and that all relevant documentation is properly filed and stored;

  • Analyses data received to determine trends in types and number of allegations, common issues, potential risks and other criteria, as required;

  • Prepares analysis and reports his/her findings to EAM;

  • Perform other case management related tasks as directed by EAM.


  • Maintains complete confidentiality with respect to information acquired through the compliance process and all associated activities;

  • Contributes to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization, notably through the application of the organizations Code of Ethics, values and stand-point with regard to internal and external actors;

  • Actively promote Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and child safeguarding standards within Mercy Corps and amongst beneficiaries served by Mercy Corps;

  • Perform other duties as assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed in this document are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and not necessarily all inclusive.

  • In coordination with established on-boarding processes and direction from EAM, assist with the on-boarding of new country team members to ensure awareness and understanding of Code of Ethics policies.

  • Conduct and/or coordinate regular anti-corruption, fraud prevention and other Code of Ethics trainings for country staff and partners.


  • Promotes and encourages a culture of compliance and ethics throughout Mercy Corps.

  • As applicable to the position, maintains a clear understanding of Mercy Corps and donor compliance and ethics standards and adheres to those standards.

  • Conducts work with the highest level of integrity. Communicates these standards to partners and requires them to adhere to these values.


  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Ethics and Assurance Manager

Works Directly With: Headquarters Investigations & Intake Team (with authority for Code of Ethics reporting and investigation matters), Program Directors/Managers, Finance, Compliance, Operations and HR teams and all MC Iraq staff.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelor degree in finance, accounting or a related business field is required; and an advanced degree is a plus;

  • 3 years+ related work experience with a no-for-profit organization implementing international programs;

  • Relevant experience in fraud investigation or auditing. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designations are preferred;

  • Understanding of a wide-range of ethics violations, including fraud, corruption and human trafficking in humanitarian and/or development settings; Understanding of best practice in ethics management and accountability within INGOs, including best practices for investigations of ethical violations;

  • Proven ability to gather, analyze and evaluate facts, define problems, draw valid conclusions and to prepare and present concise written reports in English;

  • Demonstrated experience in successfully working with an administrative and program staff at all organizational levels;

  • Demonstrated experience in financial and operational data analysis;

  • Advance computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel;

  • Fluency in written and oral communication in English. Fluency in Arabic is preferred;

  • Ability to travel to Mercy Corps program locations as needed.

Success Factors

The successful Ethics & Assurance Specialist will show ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel. A demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is necessary. A high professional standard as well as the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The ability to take financial and other information (evidence) and present it in meaningful and impactful reports is essential.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Erbil, Iraq and is unaccompanied. Travel within Iraq is required to support the field offices (50% travel). This position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for hardship and R&R breaks. The position may, in the future be relocated to Baghdad, depending in the changes in context. The humanitarian objectives of Mercy Corps’ programs may require flexibility in working hours and frequent travel to field offices, program sites and subrecipient locations.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.**

Apply here

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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