Location: Poland & Potentially Ukraine
Position Status Full-time – 6+ months, pending ongoing funding
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.
The crisis in Ukraine is both a political crisis, a refugee crisis and a humanitarian disaster. According to the UN over three million people have fled the country, including 1.5 million children, and have fled to neighbouring countries and on across Europe. Inside Ukraine around 13 million people have been affected in the areas hardest hit by the war within Ukraine and are in need of humanitarian and protection assistance. Many people remain trapped in areas of escalating conflict and, with essential services disrupted, are unable to meet their basic needs including food, water and medicines. The humanitarian situation is particularly critical in encircled or besieged areas.
The war is not resolving quickly. Even if an agreement is reached between the parties, it will have a very significant impact on the lives of Ukrainians and on broader policy and political issues for years to come.
Mercy Corps is responding to the Ukraine emergency since the escalation of armed conflict across the country in February 2022 The attacks set off a wave of displacement internally and into the countries along Ukraine’s western borders. Mercy Corps response program will focus on multi-purpose cash intervention and other key sectors, particularly food security, livelihoods, NFIs, and protection. Mercy Corps is also supporting local NGOs and other civil society actors currently supporting displaced populations, as well as those in Ukraine sheltering in place. As Mercy Corps pursues its objectives in the region it will continue to assess the security situation in areas of potential operation, with an eye towards the logistics of possible programmatic interventions and positioning going forward.
There are already significant complex policy issues relating to this crisis – and these will only deepen and become more complex with time. Some of the most immediate concerns, that are extremely relevant to Mercy Corps response as well as to our broader expertise and objectives, include:
Protection of civilians
Humanitarian access and civil military engagement
Effective support to local responders, who will be critical to the response both inside and outside Ukraine
Effective response – including around the use of cash transfers
The impact of sanctions and other restrictive measures
Refugee response, including ongoing support (likely through cash), integration into national social safety nets, information and potentially around asylum policy in Europe.
Politicisation of the humanitarian and refugee response
Meanwhile we are also seeing support and attention drain away from other crises and food commodity shortages and other economic impacts of the conflict in several countries around the world
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY
The Regional Policy and Advocacy (PA) Advisor will support and enable Mercy Corps’ efforts to ensure that international policy towards the Ukraine crisis supports a robust and principled humanitarian response across the region. The position seeks, in collaboration with agency’ global Policy & Advocacy (P&A) team, to influence policies and practices of national and international actors to improve the global response by maximizing the impact of, and learning from, Mercy Corps programs. The position will engage with UN agencies and coordinating bodies to improve the humanitarian response and the humanitarian and refugee architecture, in coordination with the broader NGO community both inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.
S/he will collaborate with Mercy Corps’ global P&A team to develop a comprehensive advocacy strategy and ensure Mercy Corps conveys an articulate, well-informed, fielddriven perspective to policymakers. The Advisor will establish and maintain relations with relevant stakeholders in all the countries affected by the crisis and will develop policy-relevant documents, including talking points, on needs, challenges, on-the-ground dynamics and recommendations, analyze this information and share it with global policy staff to support their outreach efforts. S/he will help ensure that policy positions are well grounded in the priorities of the communities where we work. The PA Advisor will actively communicate within the region ensuring all team members are on message to current positions and talking points. S/he will track and analyze key policy initiatives, working with the global P&A team and partner agencies in joint advocacy and campaign initiatives. The Regional PA Advisor will be responsible for raising Mercy Corps’ profile on policy positions and developing written policy documents for external dissemination.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
Strategy and Vision
Support Mercy Corps policy and advocacy related to the Ukraine crisis at a global level, and lead field-based advocacy and communications work in close collaboration with the global team.
Advise and support the development and implementation of Mercy Corps policy and advocacy strategy on the Ukraine crisis as well as Mercy Corps media and communication activities.
Ensure that the advocacy strategy development and implementation draws on Mercy Corps field experience and program expertise.
Stay abreast of the fast-paced environment and challenges. Ensure that team members in the region are on message with our vision and position.
Coordination and representation
Build and maintain close links with Mercy Corps country teams responding to the crisis, and regularly gather evidence/experiences from program staff so that analysis is grounded in and supports Mercy Corps’ program work.
Regularly convey information to the global Policy and Advocacy (P&A) team to inform Mercy Corps’ global advocacy around the crisis.
Implement the advocacy strategy developed in partnership with the Global P&A team, in the region and support its implementation abroad – especially in the US and Europe.
Network in all countries impacted by the crisis, in particular Poland, Romania and Moldova, and establish and maintain strategic relations with relevant local and international stakeholders, to continually inform, challenge, and improve Mercy Corps’ advocacy, strategy, and program development.
Provide representation, at the discretion of the Regional Director and Response Director, with relevant local and international governmental and non-governmental actors in the region and support the response team and others in their representational roles.
Develop and maintain up-to-date talking points on static positions as well as one-off, extraordinary events or challenges (examples: humanitarian corridors, no-fly zones, air-drops). Communicate these to each field team, recognizing that each donor visit and external meeting is an opportunity for advocacy.
Work with the field teams and global P&A team to plan and produce effective, thoughtful and timely written products that advance policy perspectives important to our mission.
Monitor and evaluate the impact of advocacy and communication work.
Related tasks as required and agreed by RPD and Global Director of Policy and Advocacy.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: None
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Response Director, with dotted-line reporting to the UK and US Directors of Policy and Advocacy
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: All senior team members, program teams, Technical Support Unit, Security Advisor and HLR, MC Europe team members and local partners. S/he will work closely with Mercy Corps representational staff on coordination in Ukraine. S/he will have strong working links with the Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy team in Europe and the US.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
BA/S or equivalent in relevant field; MA/S preferred.
3-5 years of experience successfully working with and managing advocacy and policy campaigns and initiatives in an NGO or legislative context, including past experience working with humanitarian issues and complex emergencies.
Good understanding of the possibilities and tactics for influencing decisions and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors in the field.
Demonstrable experience of representation and policy and advocacy work, and engaging, managing and working effectively with a range of stakeholders, networks and coalitions.
Excellent analytical skills and demonstrable ability to think strategically, innovatively and practically to ensure achievement of desired change objectives.
Demonstrable ability to summarize and persuasively communicate complex information in written and verbal form to different audiences, including past experience leading the production of external written policy products.
Strong organizational skills and ability to effectively handle multiple tasks, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
Excellent oral and written English skills are required. Russian, Polish, Ukranian language skills are strongly preferred.
Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required.
Previous experience working in the Middle East and good knowledge of the Middle East political context is highly desirable.
A successful candidate will have effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills with an ability to effectively represent the organization and its interests to a diverse range of stakeholders, including local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, donors, other international organizations, the media, and the community. S/he will have great analytical skills, demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow and enforce procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members, have strong people skills and the ability to motivate diverse teams. An interest and ability to travel and work in remote and dynamic environments, with experience in insecure environments is an advantage as is an awareness of and sensitivity to multi-cultural international development work and an ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles. S/he will have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations, with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a sense of humor.
LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The position is based in Poland and potentially Ukraine. Accommodations are being defined and access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc is in place but may change depending on the situation. This position requires travel to surrounding countries, as security permits. Given the emergency context, this position requires exceptional work schedules, including evenings and weekends.
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.**