Sub Awards and Compliance Manager - Erbil, Iraq

Finance and Compliance Erbil, Iraq


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 worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) a relief-to-resilience pathway to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities leveraging agency expertise in conflict management and civil society development (2) a humanitarian response that empowers conflict-affected populations to meet their own needs (3) partnering with conflict-affected adolescents to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society.

General Position Summary

The Sub Awards and Compliance Manager is responsible for overseeing, ensuring and facilitating the compliance of programs with donor regulations and requirements for partners, i.e. sub-grantees. S/he is also responsible for all aspects of financial management of the program including, financial transactions review, payments and banking, budgeting, financial reporting, grant financial management and compliance with Mercy Corps internal policies and procedures as well as donor regulations. The Sub Awards and Compliance Manager, in support of the Program Department, provides timely reports and assistance to Finance Director and the Program team to ensure that financial resources are used efficiently and effectively.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Sub Grant Management
  • Work closely with the Mercy Corps team to ensure they follow partnership compliance processes and guidelines, and issuing, managing and monitoring sub awards in accordance with sub grant regulations.
  • Ensure that the program is complying with Mercy Corps procedures on sub grant management, including ensuring all relevant information is updated in Mercy Corps financial system.
  • Update the partnership compliance process as needed.
  • Administer the partnership sub granting processes in accordance with the sub granting procedures, clearly defining and communicating steps for selecting, negotiating and awarding sub grants.
  • Reviews and approves potential partner budgets and budget narratives for completeness, cost eligibility and compliance with sub grant requirements, as per the budget review checklist.
  • Reviews and approves the pre-award assessment of financial responsibility and other due diligence of partners.
  • In conjunction with Mercy Corps headquarters, select sub grant agreement type, provide relevant information to HQ to draft sub-grant and negotiate agreements with selected partners.
  • Draft modifications to sub grants, as needed and as per Mercy Corps process.
  • Financially review of all partner payments.
  • Review partner financial reports, support with issues based on financial review, sign-off on the final versions, and ensure that reports are submitted to HQ on time and tracker is updated.
  • Responsible for partnership financial close-outs, including ensuring that all requirements of the sub grant agreement have been met and that sub grant funds have been properly settled.
  • Ensure compliance with all partner audit requirements, including the provision of support to partners during preparation and the conduct of the audit and follow-up as necessary.
  • Provide compliance guidance and tools and consultations to partners on a demand-driven basis,
  • Follow up on all sub grant compliance issues and audits and document resolutions.
  • Assist the program team with assessing and support partner organizational capacity needs, so that the sub grant process strengthens the ability of local organizations to meet standards.
  • Liaise with Mercy Corps Europe and US headquarter finance teams for international payment needs.
  • Coordinate with the Mercy Corps Iraq finance department for in-country payments, monthly accounting processes, etc.

Grant Compliance

  • Participate in the development of the overall programmatic strategy and the partnership strategy.
  • Ensure that the program is executed in alignment with donor agreements and the applicable donor regulations, staying abreast of changes in regulatory environment related to donor/grant compliance; update partnership process, tools policies and procedures as necessary.
  • Help find creative solutions to issues that are compliant, yet facilitate the achievement of partnership strategy.
  • Review partner procurement and program transactions, contracts and other documents for compliance requirements, including anti-fraud and diversion and ensure these requirements are met.
  • Ensure timely and accurate submission of partnership information requests to the donor, Mercy Corps HQ and/or other key stakeholders.
  • Prepare prior approval, waiver and other compliance requests internally to Mercy Corps HQ and/or to the donor, as necessary. Assist partners, as needed with sub grant compliance requests to Mercy Corps. Identify and communicate compliance risks associated with program implementation.
  • Prepare and maintain internal and donor compliance-related reports.
  • Support and review donor communications with regards to sub grant and donor compliance.

Team Management

  • Create and sustain a dynamic and participatory work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Support and orient new team members as necessary. Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country and regional team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Ensure that all staff receive appropriate communications regarding their compliance assignments and responsibilities;
  • Develop, update as necessary and deliver training programs and materials and ensure all staff are aware of the compliance requirements related to their position.
  • Provide training and guidance as appropriate to team members about financial processes and templates.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.

Financial Management

  • Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies working in similar environment.
  • Plan and monitor Program cash flow requirements to ensure the smooth implementation of Mercy Corps programs.
  • Provide monthly management reports to the Finance Director and Program Director, including BVAs, sub grantee reporting and other financial information, in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Prepare and review budget for new projects or amendments in close coordination with the Program Managers, Director of Programs and Finance Directors.


  • Participate in relevant coordination meetings and work groups.
  • As necessary, communicate with partner organizations, sub grantees, banks, vendors, etc.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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 Beneficiaries
  • 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

National Grants and Compliance staff.


Reports Directly To:

Finance Director

Works Directly With: Cash Consortium Director, Director of Programs, Senior Programs Managers, Program Managers, Expat Finance Manager, Partner Organizations

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years of progressive sub award management experience, including supervisory experience. Remote management experience is an advantage, as is management experience of complex, multi-dimensional programming including administering small grants in an international environment.
  • Experience with US, EU, GAC, DFID donors in grants management, financial management and reporting, audit process, and rules and regulations required.
  • Experience with budget preparation and analysis, financial reporting preparation and presentation and the proven ability to translate technical financial data into informative reports.
  • Accounting skills and experience including, management of the general ledger, journal entries, payroll, payables and balance sheet.
  • Experience in sub grant design, negotiation, and administration is required.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps’ systems and procedures is highly preferred.
  • Proven success in managing the administration and compliance of donor funding.
  • Proven experience in working with complex teams in difficult environments.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are necessary.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
  • Experience with emergency response programs and staff training and mentoring is preferred.
  • Experience working in the Middle East region is preferred.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English essential; proficiency in Arabic is preferred.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving and a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. S/he will be able to understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details and be able to balance upholding adherence with finance and compliance standards with facilitating the implementation of a complex program. An ability to work independently and as part of a team with a sense of humor, a knowledge of finance and compliance and a curiosity about and sensitivity to new cultures are all essential.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Erbil, Iraq and it requires up to 20% of travel. This location is unaccompanied and is eligible for a hardship allowance and R&R breaks. This position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. Adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions.

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