Regional Community Accountability & Learning Advisor – Americas

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Mercy Corps

Location Colombia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and US

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ operations in The Americas are focused on the countries of Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, in the Northwest United States, as well on the Venezuela regional humanitarian crisis, and supporting resilient communities across Caribbean states and territories in the face of climate change and natural disasters. These are a disparate collection of contexts with many different challenges and opportunities that are all undergoing dramatic transitions that have the potential to create significant opportunity for development and change. Mercy Corps is well-placed to play a meaningful role in supporting forces for positive change in these places.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps’ Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) function supports effective, efficient and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management for those who matter most – our program participants. We do this by creating and supporting systems and processes to enable all programs to be managed well; while, providing targeted management and leadership support to our most strategic programs and portfolios. PaQ is not a single function but rather a collection of functions that includes Program Management; Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and MEL Technology; Community Accountability; Strategic Support to Programs and Portfolios.

The Community Accountability and Learning Advisor is a member of the regional team and works across country and HQ teams. They will serve in a technical advisory role to support country programs in the design and implementation of Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanisms (CARM) that result in the delivery of impactful programs that are responsive to community needs and feedback. Additionally, they will provide a critical leadership role in supporting country teams to set a high standard in program performance and quality by strengthening an organizational culture of and providing the necessary capacities for community accountability and high-quality, evidence-driven program implementation. The role will work most closely with Program Managers (and other Program Leads), Directors of Programs, MEL Managers, and country CARM focal points in the region. As a member of the regional team, the Advisor will also support the Regional Director in compiling regional analytics to assess portfolio performance.

Essential Responsibilities

SUPPORT TO COUNTRY LEVEL CARM

  • Supporting the hiring process, onboarding and ongoing learning and development of new and short-term in-country CARM staff
  • Provide technical support to country programs in designing and implementing their CARM, including to teams implementing high value complex programs, programs in high-risk or emergency contexts, or in specialized technical areas such as disaster preparedness, cash assistance, or rural development
  • Lead teams in in-depth process mapping and improvement to identify and address gaps in their CARM
  • Track CARM progress at a regional level to enable prioritization and to identify countries requiring focused technical support, and liaise with the HQ CARM team and Regional Director as needed
  • Support country programs in CARM analytics, establishing processes for using CARM data for learning and improved programming and prepare regional aggregations and reports
  • Create and lead a regional community of practice for country CARM focal points

PROMOTE LEARNING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT WITHIN PROGRAMS

  • Support program teams to determine right-fit MEL data for adaptive management. This could include integration of new and innovative data collection, analysis, visualization and communications methods and tools such as automated MEL and data products (data dashboards, IPTT reports from TolaData, SRRs-summative results reports)
  • Provide direct technical support and advice on how to implement MEL policy standards for learning and adaptive management. This may include promoting effective program learning initiatives, such as pause and reflection sessions, internal performance reviews, and others.
  • Encourage documentation of learning, evidence of the improvements and other knowledge that may help Mercy Corps to replicate and scale effective learning practices.
  • Review MEL plans to ensure adequate collaborative, learning and adaptive (CLA) management practices, systems and mechanisms are integrated, planned and resourced, and that the team has the capacity to implement them.
  • Develop training, webinars, coaching and mentoring guidance on effective CLA, program learning and adaptive management.
  • Establish regional and contribute to Mercy Corps’ global CLA Community of Practice by engaging program staff who are responsible for promoting learning, adaptive management, and program improvement.
  • Collect impact stories and evidence from Mercy Corps’ country teams on a regular basis.
  • Coordinate with Research and MEL teams to tie metrics and impact with research that promotes theories of change evident in our programs.
  • Guide program teams to stay abreast of and utilize MEL resources as appropriate.

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL COLLABORATION

  • Coordinate closely with Program Performance and Quality Unit team members to ensure guidance and best practice is well aligned with our broader performance and quality work
  • Contribute and lead on agency wide initiatives as identified and prioritized by regional leadership.
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships across country programs
  • Represent Mercy Corps as needed with peer agencies and external accountability focal point

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our participants 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

None.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Regional Director

Works Directly With: Americas RPT, Program Managers, MEL Managers, Directors of Programs, Country CARM Focal Points, Senior Global Community Accountability Advisor, Global CLA Advisor, HQ PAQ teams, and other regional and field team members.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • BA in international development, organizational development or similar field of study and MA preferred.
  • 4+ years of experience in international relief and development and incorporating evidence-based learning activities
  • 2+years of field-based experience in international relief and development required, ideally in applied program management, design, monitoring and evaluation
  • Field-based experience with community feedback mechanisms required
  • Demonstrable experience in providing technical guidance and support, at program, country or regional level.
  • Knowledge of sector standards, norms and frameworks, such as CHS, Sphere. Familiarity with US and European donor guidelines on adaptive management, CLA and other frameworks.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and Google suite (Google drive, docs, sheets)
  • Proficiency with social science research methodologies, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, experience using statistical and qualitative software packages, as well as experience in using data visualization technologies (e.g.Tableau or Power-BI)
  • High level of data literacy, proven ability to translate findings and program M&E data into meaningful content that is adapted to various audiences and stakeholders.
  • Significant experience in facilitating mentoring and training skills across teams both in person and virtually.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in Spanish, French and English.

Success Factors

The advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program management and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have change management skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under deadlines within complex team environments. They will contribute towards and establish the foundational systems and practices promoting learning within Mercy Corps. They will also be a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with team members and departments internally, as well as with external bodies, and to facilitate process mapping and champion opportunities for improvement in existing approaches. They will have a positive and dynamic working style that enables them to adapt to contextual and other challenges as they arise. They will harness the expertise, experience and ideas of diverse Mercy Corps team members and external partners to strengthen accountability and program management systems and processes within Mercy Corps. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in the Americas, with periodic visits in the region up to 40% travel. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting. 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.

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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,

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.

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

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 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.

How to apply

Apply here


Closing date: 12-Oct-22