Location: Remote in the US, UK, or Kenya Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular Salary level: The starting salary for this role will be $91,000 USD Annually for US-based staff. To be locally benchmarked if based outside of the US.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Our mission is to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression and work to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Empowering people with bold solutions to help them become drivers of their economic well-being and become major players in their economy is a cornerstone to our strategy. We are looking for a leader with the creativity and drive to lead our strategic vision for financial inclusion, execute it across our more than 40 countries of operation around the world, and build strategic collaboration with a variety of external partners— such as private financial service providers, investors, think tanks, corporations, and governments.
Program / Department Summary
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. It houses subject matter experts whose mission is to help our global teams apply the most effective solutions to the world’s toughest challenges, while building our global reputation and resources to do so. We drive innovation, grow our portfolio, and foster learning internally and with external stakeholders so that we can make a bigger difference in the lives of people we work with. TSU Team members are well versed in global practices and abreast of sector specific trends. They represent Mercy Corps with donors and other strategic partners, and inform and influence both internal approaches and global understanding on how to move the needle on some of the most intractable humanitarian and development challenges of our time.
The Financial Inclusion team supports programs across the globe with strategy development and best practices in a range of financial services, from community-based finance to new financial product development with financial service provider partners. Special attention is placed on serving the needs of the most vulnerable with more efficient and impactful digitally enabled financial solutions.
General Position Summary
The TSU Director for Financial Inclusion is Mercy Corps’ top global technical leader for financial inclusion programming in fragile contexts. They will have a clear vision for the future of financial inclusion in the geographies in which Mercy Corps works. They will drive critical technical and funding partnerships, knowing that Mercy Corps can only excel at this work through catalytic collaboration with like-minded partners, companies, funders, governments and peer organizations. And they will leverage technology solutions to transform the scale, cost and impact of our work.
The TSU Director for Financial Inclusion guides and facilitates the work of the financial inclusion team. They will grow the portfolio and team through new “wins”, guided by strong vision and related technical guidance to ensure exceptional programming. The Director is a strong influencer both inside and outside the Agency with the ability to communicate Mercy Corps’ technical strengths and overall vision. They will be a member of the TSU Leadership team composed of other Directors and Senior Directors and work closely with other TSU teams on complex, multi-disciplinary programs.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Continue to iterate, develop and deliver Mercy Corp’ approach to financial inclusion and ensure it supports Mercy Corps’ new global strategy
- Work with country and regional teams to develop and deliver financial inclusion strategies and priorities
- Lead the agency in identifying and testing bold solutions that leverage technology advancements and innovations in the Fintech space.
- Spearhead innovative technical partnership initiatives to increase measurable impact within our financial inclusion portfolio.
- Serve as key external communicator for Mercy Corps in a wide range of public fora.
- Identify long term external trends with the potential to affect or transform Mercy Corps work.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY
- Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding
- Provide counsel on strategic funding opportunities through prepositioning, technical design processes, and development of multi-sectoral program strategies.
- Explore and maximize new lines of revenue, especially relating to “big ideas”, multi-country or TSU-led initiatives. Emphasis will be on growth of the Financial Inclusion portfolio among strategic donors such as USAID; private corporations; and US and European institutional donors.
- Provide technical support to a portfolio of programs including those in complex crisis environments.
- Help improve and maintain standards of program delivery that comply with best practices, relevant regulations and requirements.
- Strengthen capacity of Mercy Corps team members to use human centered design, financial, and digital solutions in the design and implementation of programs.
- Guide teams to facilitate multi-team/multi country shared learning to standardize best practice, develop comparative advantages for new program development and advance strategic partnerships.
- Identify opportunities to increase the adoption of impact projections and modeling across financial inclusion programs to maximize program quality and impact efficiency
- Collaborate with country and MEL teams to ensure that we appropriately capture impact and support the building of evidence and learning across the financial inclusion portfolio.
- Embrace Mercy Corps’ culture and values and actively work to contribute towards its goals on gender, diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Contribute to the management of the global and regional technical financial inclusion team, including identifying support needs and direct costing opportunities
- As a member of the TSU Leadership group, engage with other Directors regularly on collective programming, strategies and issues, work collectively to advance coherence across the Unit, and ensure communications flow in a timely manner.
- Identify and manage a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.
REPRESENTATION, THOUGH LEADERSHIP, AND PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
- Strengthen Mercy Corps’ profile and representation through expert interaction with internal stakeholders, partner agencies, donors and other networks and groups in Financial Inclusion.
- Position Mercy Corps as a thought leader in the sector, particularly how financial inclusion supports economic growth, food security and resilience; the role technology can play; and how to apply a market system approach to financial service development.
- Participate in developing TSU knowledge management practices that lend coherence to TSU technical products as a whole and maximize impact through coordinated and creative dissemination practices.
The position has supervisory responsibility over the senior advisor for digital & financial inclusion, as well as any relevant consultants.
Reports Directly To: Senior Director Economic GrowthWorks Directly With: The TSU management team, the TSU leadership group (composed of all TSU Senior Directors and Directors); other members of the Program Team including the Senior VP of Program; Regional Directors and teams, Country Directors and teams, and others.
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 Qualifications and Transferable Skills
Proven track record in using financial inclusion as a tool to serve marginalized communities in improving their assets, incomes and resilience.10+ years of experience in financial inclusion with strong demonstrable experience working in at least some of the following areas – microfinance or banking; digital financial inclusion; blended finance; community-based finance (savings groups); and/or value chain and agricultural finance Candidate should have additional experience:
- Designing, budgeting, implementing and evaluating financial inclusion initiatives
- Working overseas and managing financial inclusion projects.
- Strong understanding of and experience leading a market system approach
- Substantial experience and knowledge of digital applications and the Fintech industry
- Strongly established professional networks and partnerships with key actors in the sector to increase scale and impact.
- Proven leadership, self-motivation, and interpersonal skills; and working with teams of diverse backgrounds.
- Exceptionally strong verbal and written communications skills and organizational skills are required.
- Ability to be dynamic, work flexibly and effectively in remote management situations, and manage ambiguity in the workplace
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in French strongly preferred
- Additional skills will include knowledge in human centered design and agile monitoring and learning.
The director must be a superb team player who has the technical and functional skills to be a leader in a strategic and field-responsive best in class technical unit. The director must be able to guide a team ensuring coherence of vision and strategy across groups as well as be able to identify and pursue new paths forward. They must guide vision and plan for their team(s) in ways that are mutually reinforcing with other parts of the TSU and contribute to the Agency’s Global Strategy. Directors interact expertly with other directors and senior directors and also with executive team members, peers and high profile donors to maximize MC influence and impact. In addition, the leader must have strong interpersonal and communication skills to effectively reach across departments within the agency and to networks and associations outside it to build critical partnership to further thought leadership, program innovation and ensure MC relevance and impact on the industry. The successful Director must be a self starter who demonstrates exceptional ability in leading organizational initiatives and understanding Mercy Corps’ strategic plans and objectives. The Director must have high proficiency for working in varied cultural, political, and religious environments, and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is fully remote, based in the US, UK, or Kenya. 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 be able to work in remote settings and possibly over weekends and/or evenings as required by the schedule.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.
Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.
Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees
Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities. For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment. Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations. Failure to comply may impact your employment. Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.