Peace & Conflict Advisor

Programming London, London


Position Description

Location London

Position Status Full-time, Permanent

Salary Level £45,000-£47,000 dependent on experience

Travel Up to 30%


Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Program Department supports field-led work that delivers measurable impact. 

Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. The TSU is also integral to global business development and revenue.


The advisor position focuses on providing technical support to Mercy Corps field teams in the peacebuilding sector. The support includes program design and development, network and partnership development, representation at key sector forums and events, helping to monitor and improve program quality and relevance, staying current on industry innovation and best practices, writing competitive proposals for submission to donors, delivering training, and disseminating information to internal and external partners. The advisor will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others.

Mercy Corps’ programming in the peacebuilding sector includes: social cohesion and conflict prevention; dispute resolution, mediation, and conflict management; preventing/countering violent extremism; resource management; governance; and youth empowerment. Programs integrate multiple different approaches to building peace.

Mercy Corps’ other technical teams include: Economic and Market Development; Agriculture; Financial Inclusion; Governance and Partnerships; Conflict Management; Youth, Gender and Girls; Public Health; Ecosystems, Energy and Climate; New Initiatives; and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. Each unit has established goals and strategies that guides and directs the advisor’s work.

As a multi-mandate organization, the Peace & Conflict Advisor will work with colleagues from other technical teams designing and supporting the implementation of a range of humanitarian and development initiatives that also address conflict drivers.


Program and Proposal Development

  • Write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and US, European, and UN agencies.
  • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding.
  • Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program strategies.
  • Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.
  • Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.

Program Quality

  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the team providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs including those in complex crisis environments.
  • Support effective interventions in the areas of the assigned team’s focus, using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
  • Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements.
  • Help the team gather, refine, and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement programs.

Learning and Impact

  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team and the field to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices.
  • Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around Thought Leadership priority topics.
  • Provide in-country and remote training and support for Mercy Corps staff, partners, and others.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the shared incentives and values that will entice partners to connect and work across sectors, both internally and within field projects.
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs.
  • Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external disseminate plan for all products.

Policy, Advocacy, Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in area of expertise.
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
  • Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.

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 towards 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: None. May periodically manage intern(s) for 2-4 months.


REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Peace & Conflict TSU Director

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH:  all other TSU teams, HQ, and field teams


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Masters preferred in a conflict/security studies, international relations, politics, sociology, history, human geography, or other related social sciences or humanities degrees.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience providing peacebuilding technical support (either formally as a technical advisor, or informally as your organization’s de-facto expert for relevant topics: conflict analysis, conflict sensitivity, social cohesion etc.) that includes:
    • Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied peacebuilding knowledge.
    • Training, coaching, or mentoring people in understanding and applying peacebuilding theories and approaches.
    • Producing and publishing influential articles and blogs.
    • Familiarity using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
    • Preparing writing and analysis on proposal development.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience living in a fragile or conflict affected state, working with national or international civil society, the private sector, or government towards political/socio/economic development project. Ideally, as a Project Manager (or more senior) overseeing staff, budgets, and partners. Or at a minimum, in a support role (monitoring & evaluation, research & learning, Operations etc.).
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
  • Excellent written and spoken English: ability to write winning proposals, succinctly articulate peacebuilding theories in an accessible and jargon-free manner, as well as represent Mercy Corps at events. Fluency in any of the following languages preferred: Arabic, French, Spanish, or Swahili.


The advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. The advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide technical data and support in the most efficient and effective form possible for each unique field team and environment. All TSU positions require strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.


This position is in London, UK. The position requires travel at least 30% time to the field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to deploy to field environments on short notice in response to any emergency or crisis. When in the field the team member must able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/temporary assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws and customs, and adhere to 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.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK at the time of appointment.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis by CV and cover letter. For more information and to apply, please see the role on our careers site.