Commodities Management Specialist - Syria ( Based in Amman )
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
Mercy Corps has been meeting the needs of conflict-affected communities inside Syria since 2012. Mercy Corps Syria’s Country Team is based in Amman that ensures consistent, technical and quality driven programming by Mercy Corps and partners in Syria. Mercy Corps implements a range of activities aimed at supporting positive coping strategies by addressing the basic needs of vulnerable families while strengthening opportunities to generate income and increasing access to livelihoods and promoting social cohesion objectives. Furthermore, Mercy Corps operates with a wide network of local implementing partners to advise, support, and coach targeted Syrian civil society organizations to better and more efficiently serve conflict-affected communities.
General Position Summary
The Commodities Management Specialist shall be a key thought leader in advancing the work of centralized commodity management across the geographies and modalities of the Syria country program. Reporting to the Director of Operations, s/he shall be expected to contribute and lead the organizational strategic thinking, planning and coordination of a revised method of commodities management through advanced tools and management systems for roll-out through to Mercy Corps’ direct-implementation team and, where required, through Mercy Corps’ network of service contracted service providers and vendors. The Commodities Management Specialist shall lead in the drafting of specifications for, and participate in the sourcing of, a new commodities and warehouse management system, adhering to the field requirements of the Mercy Corps program inside Syria, and compliant with both Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures. The Commodities Management Specialist shall lead in the training, testing and roll-out of the management system for the safe storage and distribution of food and non-food commodities, while ensuring that staffing and capacity within the Logistics department remains appropriately sourced for the roll-out of such system, to ensure an effective, efficient and results-driven team.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● Develop and refine the warehousing and commodities management strategies and approaches used by the country program while recognizing the variations in regional/area risk profiles and mitigation measures.
● Understand Mercy Corps’ inventory and warehousing policies and formats, as well as donor requirements for inventory and warehousing. Provide training to staff on these policies, while also developing enhanced protocol and in-country policy governing the management of commodities and warehouses in conflict-affected environments.
● Lead in the development of a function specification and minimum requirements for a revised Commodities Management System (CMS) for oversight on inventory movement, warehouse management, quality assurance procedures, and chain-of-custody requirements.
● Lead in the sourcing exercises for selection of a CMS for development, purchase, and/or contracting.
● Develop a CMS roll-out plan and budget with human and material resources identified, timelines for piloting and full roll-out to direct program actors, and subsequent service provider on-boarding, as required.
● Create templates for the tracking and analysis inventory reports, including spaces for improvement of process flow and distribution operations.
● Continually seek ways to improve systems, work flows, data integrity and reporting activities.
● Identify gaps in staffing or capacity, and advise the Director of Operations for modification of team to be able to achieve the objectives.
● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
● As required, and with the consultation and approval of the Director of Operations, supervise, hire and orient new team members.
Strategy & Analytics Development
● Build, develop and maintain data models, reporting systems, data automation systems, dashboards and performance metrics support that support key commodities and inventory management decisions.
● Collaborate with hub Operations leads to ensure accuracy of data and deliverables by Logistics and Warehouse team members.
● Provide input including Operational and Inventory risk analysis, with recommendations to the Directors of Operations and Finance related to inventory spending and effectiveness of in-country reporting and planning systems;
● Ensure that all systems and processes for the management of food and non-food items remain compliant with Mercy Corps’ main donors within the country program (including but not limited to, USAID, DFID, EC and other major donors).
● Work with Operations and Finance compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.
● Play a supporting role in supporting Operations departments in preparing internal and external audits, ensuring that recommendations related to operations are followed and all necessary measures to address audit findings are taken.
This position shall assume supervisory responsibility of at least one Logistics Officer, and will maintain additional indirect supervisory functions with other Logistics, Operations and Warehouse actors across multiple geographies.
Reports Directly To: Director of Operations
Works Directly With: Area/Hub Operations leads; Area/Hub Finance leads; Director of Subawards & Compliance; and all Logistics and Warehouse staff throughout the program
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.
Knowledge and Experience
● BA/BS degree in a relevant field, masters preferred
● A minimum of 5-7 field experience setting up and managing Logistics, inventory and commodity management systems ìn the private or humanitarian sector; experience in establishing systems in complex humanitarian environments a significant plus.
● Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in insecure environments.
● Demonstrated experience in drafting functional specifications for complex databases and systems.
● Excellent English speaking and writing skills; Arabic speaking and writing skills are strongly preferred.
● Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
● Knowledge of donor regulations including USAID, EC, DFID regulations is an asset.
● Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
Critical problem-solving skills, and the ability to adapt institutional policies and donor requirements into a technical specification and work plan for implementation. Knowledge of innovations in supply chain management technologies, and commercial/private-sector best practices. Training and capacity building will be a key component for long-term sustainability and roll-out in complex environments.. A successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities.
The successful candidate will have a desire to grow and learn in one of the most interesting and complex crises of our times. S/he will face challenges with a smile and lightheartedness. The successful candidate will be comfortable in asking colleagues for help as well as stepping out of her/his role to assist others.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is intended to be based in Amman, Jordan, with the recognition that current travel restrictions may require an in-place or remote initiation of contract. Regulations permitting, the position may require up to 20% travel to other Syria response countries. This is an accompanied position. Housing is individual accommodation, and staff enjoy unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field.
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.