Consultant - Partnerships Officer - Romania
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.
Purpose / Project Description:
The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in over 5M people fleeing the country and many millions more displaced within Ukraine. There are many more who are unable to safely leave their homes. The circumstances and populations are constantly evolving with the conflict. Mercy Corps has reopened its registration and presence in Ukraine as well as offices to support people in neighboring Poland and Romania. This includes partnership models, cash, information provision and other emergency response activities in a very fluid environment. Partnerships with Romanian organizations are expected to be a key Mercy Corps approach, which leverages the skills of diverse civil society groups to provide much-needed assistance to Ukrainian refugees. As Mercy Corps’ standards for cash assistance are new to many Romanian organizations, we will need to adapt and create practical orientation sessions, training, and coaching models to onboard our partners to our processes, formats, and program management standards. In addition, we will want to support organizations with monitoring, evaluation, and accountability in order for us to demonstrate our impact and account for responsible use of funding.
The Partnerships Officer will be responsible for networking with and identifying potential Romanian civil society partners, onboarding them to Mercy Corps’ subgrant application processes, and accompanying them to strengthen grant management skills if selected by Mercy Corps’ leadership for a partnership opportunity. They will adapt and develop orientation and training sessions for our partners, onboarding them to Mercy Corps’ vision, mission statement, and key objectives, as well as our program management and subgrant standards. While we will find some high-caliber partners, we also anticipate many organizations to be non-traditional or smaller civil society organizations that excel at serving their communities in a time of need but may not have the resources or experiences usually expected of a partner. Therefore, this role will actively engage with partner organizations to right-size support for diverse organizations, ensuring that their monitoring, evaluation, and reporting systems are compliant according to the complexity and size of their grant.
Consultant Activities & Deliverables:
The Consultant will: Conduct the following key assignment responsibilities
Strategy and Vision
- Contribute to the development of transparent calls for applications, with a specific focus on the Emergency sector.
- Support the launch of these calls by reaching into existing Romanian civil society networks, collaborating with other MC teams in the region, and coordinating with other INGOs operating in Romania, and working with diverse civil society networks.
- Participate in internal partner selection processes and review committees when relevant, including contributing to the development of technical selection criteria.
- Support potential humanitarian partners in project design and proposal development, contributing to program quality and ensuring soundness of technical approaches.
- Work closely with selected humanitarian partners to develop M&E plans, work plans, and other relevant programming documents that will guide project implementation.
- Coordinate and lead kick off calls and introductory trainings for partners
- Serve as a focal point with humanitarian partners during sub-project revisions and negotiation processes and throughout the sub-grant lifecycle.
- Review sub-grantee narrative reports to ensure implementation is on track, and collaborate closely with Finance Officers and M&E teams to track alignment of partners’ activities with expenditures.
- Follow up with partners on any issues that emerge from the reports, and work with them to realign or revise project strategies and plans as necessary.
- Maintain sub-grant project files for each partner, and track submission of narrative reports and other deliverables.
- Ensure proper maintenance of project files for the partner(s), keep all trackers up-to-date, and ensure project related deliverables are completed in a timely manner.
- Ensure timely preparation partner payment packages.
- Ensure compliance with donor regulations.
- Assist in the completion of monthly projections and other requested documents.
- Contribute to drafting and reviewing accurate reports (monthly, quarterly and final).
- Work with partners to ensure timely coordination of the subaward closeout process
Coordination & Communication
- Contribute to the development of the overall project strategy, specifically in terms of humanitarian needs, emergency priorities, and geographic location for partner projects.
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with all stakeholders - including NGOs, clusters, UN agencies, community based organizations.
- Ensure that information from coordination meetings is shared internally and with other sectors, as appropriate.
- Work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator to aggregate and analyze data provided by partners to both influence programmatic decision making and contribute to reports to the donor and/ or Mercy Corps stakeholders at headquarters or in the region.
- Adherence to all Mercy Corps policies and procedures as outlined in Mercy Corps policies and procedure manuals.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Other duties as assigned.
Timeframe / Schedule:
This is a 3 months’ assignment
The Consultant will report to:
Emergency Program Manager, Partnerships
The Consultant will work closely with:
Program Departments, PAQ, Operations Team, Security Management, Finance
Required Experience & Skills:
- 5-10 years of experience in relevant technical field (required)
- Diploma or University Degree in international studies, social, economic or other relevant field is desired.
- Experience coordinating peer associations and providing training, coaching, and support to partners
- Basic understanding of structures and processes of NGOs - including contract mechanisms
- Demonstrated capacity to collaborate closely with a broad range of stakeholders in different geographic locations; experience with remote management or monitoring a plus
- Familiarity with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is required
- Self-starter — must be productive with minimal direction and flexible to sudden changes in requirements
- Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced environment within and across departments/functions/geographic locations, and develop positive relationships with locally and remote based staff
- Excellent oral and written Romanian and English is required. Ukrainian or Russian language is desirable.
- Knowledge of humanitarian standards and codes, including SPHERE, HAP is an asset
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 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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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 in-country venues.
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