Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 15 May 2022

About Mercy Corps

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.

Program / Department Summary

Syria is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country as well as a number of neighboring countries. More than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes and the number relying on humanitarian assistance continues to grow while the donor landscape becomes more complex. While humanitarian needs still require meeting, it is essential to simultaneously be building more sophisticated resilience and social cohesion elements into the MC programming strategy. With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, Mercy Corps has established itself as an analytical, strategic and flexible responder, adapting continually to shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively and efficiently through multiple modalities with teams inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps Syria country program is moving to a structure where teams report into a single managerial architecture to allow transversal consistency among programs and unity of purpose at the strategic level.

General Position Summary

The Director of Programs for North-East Syria will support the Area Director in implementation of the overall programs with particular accountabilities for WASH, Emergency, Livelihoods (including Market Systems Development) and Social Cohesion programs. The Director of Programs will have the capacity and experience to drive forward a transition from humanitarian programs to those with a longer term focus – both strategically and in terms of implementation. The Director of Programs will provide overall program coordination and leadership with a particular emphasis on program integration and program quality, including all necessary cross-cutting aspects, such as Gender and Protection. The Director of Programs will be accountable for the overall direction and delivery of MC NES current programs portfolio and program growth opportunities.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

● Demonstrate visible leadership and adherence to Mercy Corps’ core values, principles and strategy;

● Ensure that all programs are implemented to the highest standards that adhere to industry norms/regulations, while working in a challenging environment;

● Ensure that vision for more sustainable programming is clearly reflected in all project proposals and communications with stakeholders;

● Ensure program objectives across all MC NES Program portfolios and deadlines are tracked and met;

● Ensure that activity design and implementation addresses gender and protection dynamics to ensure equitable participation in all MC NES Program interventions;

● Oversee the performance of the MC NES Program teams, including field teams and partners;

● Support overall partnerships strategy in NES and ensure performance reviews and capacity building schemes are taking place, in collaboration with the Syria Partnership Team;

● Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donors obligations are met;

● Ensure all program management minimum standards are met including risk management.

Program Management and Coordination

● Oversee program management of teams across various field locations;

● Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to MC NES Program-wide program implementation;

● Support and oversee new program start-up;

● Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan;

● Ensure all programs portfolios are well coordinated with each other and work towards a coordinated and integrated approach;

● Provide management and guidance to all Program Managers, the integration strategy across programs, including working with the PaQ department to ensure monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), gender and protection mainstreaming are integrated across the program;

● Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures;

● Coordinate and oversee grants developments and reporting deadlines – and any other tasks – in collaboration with the Grants Team, to ensure timely and high quality inputs are provided;

● Coordinate and oversee quality programming – in collaboration with the PaQ Manager and the Technical Advisors, to ensure MC NES programs are meeting minimum standards and are quality and evidence driven across all stages of the programs cycle;

● Actively support and take part with relevant Program Managers in all Sectoral Coordination platforms, by attending, responding and inputting regularly all on coordination requirements (meetings, Action Points, 4Ws etc…);

● Work closely with the Area Director in all areas and phases of the program cycle.

Team Management

● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect and motivation where team members strive to achieve excellence;

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular team meetings and performance reviews;

● Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives;

● Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Finance & Compliance Management

● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to all MC NES programs;

● Recognize the high level of donor scrutiny imposed on Syrian programming and ensure continuing effective, transparent and responsive compliance mechanisms are in place;

● Maintain oversight of overall program budgets ensuring appropriate allocation of resources to meet program objectives;

● Organize and lead all grants’ BVAs with Program Managers, Finance Managers, and Grant Managers on a monthly basis;

● Ensure adequate technical, analytical and administrative support for programs;

● Work closely with all departments, primarily Finance and Procurement, in ensuring financial streams and timelines are followed up properly to avoid any delay in implementation and payments;

● Manage budgets effectively to ensure programs remain on scope, on target and on budget.


● Work closely with NES Support Services Director to ensure supply chain, fleet, and procurement needs are in line with program implementation plans;

● Ensure Program Managers are aware of program operational requirements and are communicating closely with the Operations Team;

● Work with program teams to ensure high quality technical specifications are provided to the operations team and the operational requests are in line with FP3 and donor rules and regulations around procurement and commodity / asset management.

Influence & Representation

● Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with NGO partners, sub-grantees and other stakeholders as required;

● Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met;

● Interact with donors and external actors professionally to represent the program and advocate for the rights and needs of the vulnerable communities we aim to serve.


● Maintain oversight of access provisions to ensure Mercy Corps’ continued ability to access our most vulnerable and hard-to-reach beneficiaries;

● Stay abreast of political and military dynamics across NES and Syria in general by regularly reviewing the Humanitarian Access Team and other Advisors’ analysis of security to feedback on current and future program setups;

● Coordinate with the Area Director on crucial events, high-risk periods and incident reporting.

Organizational Learning

● As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations 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 Program Participants

● 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.

Supervisory Responsibility: Direct supervision of Program Managers for relevant sectors and projects (e.g. WASH, Livelihoods, Emergency, Peace & Conflict, and Partnership) and Program Support Unit Coordinator.

Reports Directly to: Area Director

Works Directly with: NES Support Services Director, Grants Manager, Finance Manager, HR Manager, Security Manager, PaQ Manager and PaQ Team; Technical Advisors.

Knowledge and Experience

● BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required, MA/S preferred;

● At least 5 years of mid-level leadership and management experience in large and complex programs including humanitarian operations, previous work experience in the Middle East and insecure environments preferred;

● Relevant knowledge and experience of humanitarian and development programming standards;

● Understanding of Cash Transfer Programming;

● Substantial knowledge of the international humanitarian system, institutions and donors, and of compliance requirements, accountability frameworks and best practices; prior experience with funding from USG, DFID, ECHO and other leading donors;

● Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments;

● Highly-developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching;

● Experience of solving complex issues collegially, defining a clear way forward, and utilizing best practices in management to ensure shared success;

● PMD Pro/PMP training or willingness to gain this training soon after hire.

Success Factors

The Director of Programs will need to be able to work in a fast paced complex emergency environment, where needs, context, donor requirements change on a regular basis, and have the ability to strategize and adapt programming quickly. He or she will need to combine strong collaborative working skills with an ability to implement programs successfully. S/he will demonstrate adaptability, flexibility in approach and a strong sense of equity. In meeting these challenges, s/he will be able to support their team to be able to self-develop and grow with the program. S/he will have both a strong coaching and mentoring capability and be able to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment and prioritize team-building and capacity-building of national staff. S/he has excellent information management skills and is a strategic thinker. S/he should have an outstanding ability to coordinate, implement, and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and support the future program structure of Mercy Corps in Syria.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Hasakeh, Syria and requires up to 50% travel to other locations in North East Syria. The role is unaccompanied and housing is in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship benefits.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to 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.

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.

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.

How to apply:

Categories: NGO Jobs