Mercy Corps Careers – Open Call for Talent Pool Program, MEL, & Country Management Roles 

Mercy Corps Careers – Open Call for Talent Pool


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.

The Program

Mercy Corps is creating an Alumni Talent Pool to be an effective, efficient, equitable and transparent mechanism to address essential timebound talent needs. The Pool will bolster leadership continuity and complex program start-up, by fast-tracking Mercy Corps alumni into temporary program roles at level 6 and 7. The initiative will focus on matching qualified team members with urgent country-based needs, for short-term placements (in most cases, four months or less). 

Work Location: Any country which has a Mercy Corps Country office.

The Role 

Mercy Corps alumni (employed within the last four years) qualified to fill program and MEL leadership roles, including Country Director, MEL Director/Lead, Deputy Country Director, Program Director, or Start-up Team Lead, will be eligible to join the Talent Pool. Once selected into the Pool, members will have quick access to exciting, short-term opportunities in countries where Mercy Corps operates. Between assignments, members will enjoy continued engagement with Mercy Corps and optional professional development and networking opportunities. Responsibilities and supervisory structures will vary depending on the type of assignment, including but not limited to:

Country Director

  • Responsible for managing programming, operations and security with supervisory responsibility over the country-based team. 
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and agency objectives.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.
  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with government, donors, partners and media.

Director of Programs/Program Director

  • Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Program Management policy and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, and end of program transition meetings.
  • Ensure technical excellence by connecting technical resources and support to in-country programming.
  • Develop and maintain effective processes to produce high quality donor deliverables and reports

Program MEL Lead or MEL Director 

  • Develop a comprehensive MEL team structure, align PDs to the team’s requirements, manage recruitment, and ensure MEL resourcing.  
  • Develop, maintain, improve and implement Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plans; design, organize and implement MEL-related surveys and studies. 
  • Working closely with senior management and other leads, develop and drive a learning culture promoting use of data for effective program adaptation, building skills and capacities as needed. 
  • Establishing systems for capturing and presenting evidence of program impact to a wide range of stakeholders, including donors, government, peer agencies, and communities.
  • Work with senior management to address gaps in the M&E system that affect program implementation; oversee implementation of the MEL Policy standards;.

Start-up Team Lead

  • Lead cross-functional collaboration to devise a project start-up strategy and plan for the inception phase of the project and/or new country program (first 3-6 months).
  • Ensure tools and tracking mechanisms are in place to accurately assess and communicate progress against the start-up work plan, resources (budget and personnel), and issues during start-up.
  • Work closely with the HR/Admin team on recruitment, orientation, and training new staff on MC policies and procedures.
  • Foster a culture of compliance and accountability among the team with regards to Mercy Corps, donor and government laws, policies, rules and regulations; socialize Program Management Minimum Standards and best practices.
  • Prepare a post-startup work plan to guide transition to regular program implementation.

When on assignment, members will be eligible for competitive salary and benefits. The eligible salary ranges and a description of all benefits associated with these short-term positions (including health care and insurance) will be provided for informational purposes to candidates meeting minimum requirements for the role.  

The Process 

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and reviewed monthly. The first review will take place on November 14, 2022. Candidates meeting the minimum qualifications will be invited to an interview process and to provide professional references; through which we will assess each candidate’s competency in four priority areas – inclusive people management, results-oriented program management, problem solving, and communication. For MEL roles, technical competencies will also be assessed. Those meeting the minimum qualifications and demonstrating competency in the priority areas will be invited to join the Pool.

Once selected into the Pool, members will maintain a profile on a secure Talent Pool platform, which will highlight their professional experience, qualifications, availability, and preferences. Pool members will then be matched to specific temporary employment opportunities (of 1-4 months) as hiring managers request support from the Talent Pool. Pool members will manage their own time and availability and will have the option to accept or decline any particular assignment. 

For more information about the opportunity, you may consult our Frequently Asked Questions here:  Alumni Talent Pool FAQ: EnglishEspañol, Français

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills 

  • BA/S or equivalent in a relevant field required
  • At least 5 years of field experience in international relief and development programs
  • Prior experience at a director or senior manager level 
  • Prior experience with Mercy Corps within the last four years, as an employee and/or consultant (Should have worked with Mercy Corps for at least one year.)
  • Experience leading teams, managing performance of supervisees, and coaching/ mentoring staff
  • Professional level proficiency in at least one of Mercy Corps’ working languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian); proficiency in multiple languages is an advantage.
  • For MEL Roles: Demonstrated experience with building and managing M&E teams as well as M&E systems and tools, including surveys and evaluations. Demonstrated ability to analyze data, manage data quality, and visualize/report results for varied audiences.
  • For L7 (Country Director) roles: At least 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • For L7 (Country Director) roles: Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.

Success Factors 

Successful Talent Pool members are self-starters who are ready to dive into an assignment on short notice. They have a positive attitude, are adaptable to changing circumstances, and are focused on problem solving. They have good self awareness, and understand their personal strengths and development needs, which they continuously work on between assignments. Talent Pool members understand that it is a privilege to work in this sector, and bring this enthusiasm to all of their Mercy Corps assignments.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Living conditions will depend on the location of assignment, but may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing will depend on the assigned post, and will be specified in the position description.

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 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.