Director - Humanitarian Access Team ( HAT ) - Beirut
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
The war in Syria continues; more than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes and the number relying on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, Mercy Corps has established itself as an analytical, strategic and flexible responder, adapting continually to shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively and efficiently through multiple modalities with teams inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps has a large and diverse portfolio of work and a substantial team that works in multiple languages across multiple locations, many of which are managed remotely.
Mercy Corps has been meeting the needs of conflict-affected communities from Syria since 2012, with a focus on interventions in humanitarian and recovery programming. With funding from a range of donors, Mercy Corps works together with vulnerable families and communities in Syria focusing on Emergency, Livelihood and Social Cohesion sectors to promote positive coping strategies and address basic needs.
Crisis analytics is an emerging distinctive for Mercy Corps’ global engagement in complex crises, mandated in the new three-year organizational strategy. It is a capability that seeks to provide crisis response decision makers with rich, real-time understanding of context in what are complex, fluid and high risk environments, often characterized by acute levels of need and pervasive access constraints. Crisis analytics is delivered by dedicated teams at country or regional level, utilizes both human subject matter expertise and ‘big data’ analysis, and is used by managers and leaders to make better, more informed decisions and leverage stronger impact – with the aim of greater impact for people and communities in crisis.
Launched to address the violent, complicated and fast-moving humanitarian response environment in Syria in 2015, crisis analysis is now deployed in six complex crises. More country and regional capabilities are planned to roll out over 2019 and 2020. Crisis analytics sits at the nexus between Mercy Corps’ field operations, technical support, policy, and data technology and draws on a wide range of internal and external resources to generate insights.
Typical services and products include: on-demand analytic briefings centered on specific crisis events; regular context updates; ‘deep dive’ situation and thematic reports; and mapping and infographics illustrating crisis actors and dynamics. This analysis is used, by Mercy Corps and the wider humanitarian community, to inform a number of outputs, including: strategic plans; scenario and contingency plans; adaptive management and access decisions; program design; conflict mapping and assessments; risk management and due diligence; and influence via policy, advocacy and media relations.
General Position Summary
The HAT Director will lead a team of analysts, and support functions officers, in producing regular, ongoing, high-level analytical products, including monthly and situational reports, area assessments and thematic products. S/He is a core member of the country team and supports programmatic activities in high and extreme risk areas by providing strategic humanitarian and crisis analysis. S/he will manage a team that: 1) provides MC Syria senior leadership with a comprehensive picture of local trends related to access, conflict, and humanitarian needs and 2) combines geopolitical analysis with tactical data in order to forecast changes to the conflict and humanitarian environment 3) supports Mercy Corps programming within Syria and 4) develops thematic assessments on a range of topics that inform understanding of the crisis for the broader Syria response.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Articulate and continuously refine the vision for crisis analysis within the Syrian context, based on Mercy Corps program needs and analytical needs within the wider Syria humanitarian response.
- Develop, update and implement a strategy based on an understanding of the specialties and added value of crisis analysis, within the context of Mercy Corps’ Syria portfolio and influence strategy.
- In undertaking the above, ensure buy-in from key internal stakeholders, including Program Directors, Technical Units, Policy and Advocacy teams and the Global Crisis Analysis team.
- Contribute to the Syria overall strategy and where relevant to the regional strategy.
PROGRAMMING & OPERATIONS
- Follow closely current events and major trends in the Syria humanitarian/crisis response community. Align these priorities with existing field-based analysis where possible to keep outputs current and relevant.
- Lead a team conducting specialized research on historical, political, economic, and social dynamics that impact either the conflict or the humanitarian response.
- Prioritize projects and manage internal team work flows in order to meet changing timelines and immediate information requirements.
- Design and ensure the timely delivery of an array of analytical products that meet the specific information requirements of the Mercy Corps Syria Program, the Regional Director, the Policy and Advocacy Team and the Global Crisis Analysis team.
- Develop and further refine products and outcomes from the HAT teams based on the evolution of the Syrian context and humanitarian response.
- Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Strategically position Mercy Corps as a go-to organization on the Syrian Crisis through regular contribution of analysis and reports.
- Proactively work with country and regional leadership to develop a “Humanitarian Voice” on the Syrian crisis or brief statements to describe our position, the humanitarian situation and relevant elements of context to tie to policy points and communications.
- Manage and maintain an active network of key interlocutors, including but not limited to other NGOs/INGOs, UN, diplomatic and donor representatives, think tanks, and local stakeholders.
- Represent Mercy Corps with donors to promote and fund the HAT Syria analysis work as well as relevant local and regional institutions for strategic partnerships where Mercy Corps Syria analysis is valued and influential.
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.
The ideal candidate has a rigorous, analytical approach and is a skilled communicator. S/he will demonstrate strong leadership and diplomacy skills. S/he demonstrates a driving energy for business development and a passion for partnerships in this exciting space. The successful candidate will have a love of writing and will be able to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work environment. S/he will work independently, and will excel at developing and delivering a strategic agency vision. S/he will be a strong manager and will have experience leading and drawing coherence across remote teams.
Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
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: Yes
ACCOUNTABILITY: Reports directly to the Mercy Corps Syria Country Director
Works closely with: Regional team, Policy and Advocacy, Security Advisors, Program Managers, Operations Managers and Global Crisis Analysis team
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- Master’s degree in a relevant field
- At least five years’ experience in security and/or conflict analysis
- At least two years field experience deployed in an active conflict environment
- High-level written and analytical skills
- Experience in liaising with diplomatic and multi-national organizations as well as international NGOs, other non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions
- Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills
- Experience leading, training, and coaching a team
- Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and other database/mapping systems
- Fluency in English, both written and spoken is required; ability to speak Arabic is an asset
- Academic, practical, and professional knowledge and experience in the Middle East is an asset
LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
This accompanied position will be based in Beirut, Lebanon, with frequent travel to the other field offices.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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 Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.