Civil Society Strengthening Advisor - Kyrgyzstan

Programming Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


This position is pending donor funding and approval


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 is applying for the USAID RFA for Kyrgyzstan: Collaborative Civic Organizing in the Kyrgyz Republic. Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994, implementing programs in food security, nutrition, conflict mitigation, agricultural training, infrastructure, microfinance, and economic development. Mercy Corps is the founder and 100% owner of Kompanion Financial Group, one of Kyrgyzstan’s largest and most successful microfinance institutions, with over 90 branches and sub-offices and more than 1,000 employees. Today our programs reach more than 500,000 people in all major urban and rural communities of the country’s seven oblasts.

 [Describe overview of job mission]

General Position Summary

The Civil Society Strengthening Advisor will provide overall technical support, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the five-year, multi-million dollar USAID Collaborative Civic Organizing in the Kyrgyz Republic project. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The Advisor will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders.


Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Develop and/or refine existing CSO capacity building curriculum to fit local context and capacity.
  • Refine organizational development tools and recommend best approaches for the staff and partner capacity development, building on existing Mercy Corps knowledge and experience.
  • Deliver and/or oversee delivery of curriculum based training
  • Provide peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and support during field site visits, particularly field trainings and events, and other forms of staff capacity-building, in coordination with the program team.
  • Provide inputs in refining the existing organizational development, monitoring and evaluation by incorporating conflict sensitive approaches and gender sensitivity, based on field feedback, effectiveness in the field, and appropriateness to ensure civil society organizations are being strengthened to meet program objectives.
  • Identify and support mechanisms for effective project monitoring and evaluation efforts and systems for information sharing internally and externally.
  • Advise and mentor Mercy Corps and partner staff on implementation of capacity building activities and approaches, including support for strengthening coaching skills within the consortium.
  • Develop national team member capacity to assume greater planning and implementation responsibilities with attention to high quality program outputs.


  • Assess and catalogue formal and informal civil society groups and organizations
  • Supervise the capacity assessment of identified organizations using Mercy Corps Organizational Capacity Index Tools.
  • Develop strong relationships with partner organizations.
  • On the basis of the findings, provide strategic program guidance and technical support for the CSO capacity building portion of the program, through provision of support to field staff and partner organizations as required, in coordination with the PM.
  • Support the creation of civil society advocacy plans.



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



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:

CAL3 Project team, Kyrgyzstan Country Director and country team, HQ desk team members. 

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • At least 10 years of progressive experience and proven high level of competence in working in NGOs/INGO capacity building programs, ideally in relief and/or post-conflict settings and strong gender background.
  • Strong knowledge of, and experience with organizational development of CSOs in challenging environments, and ability to inform the content and method of organizational development training.
  • Proven track record in staff and stakeholder training and capacity building and TOT training.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of conflict mitigation, peace building and negotiation and ability to translate them into capacity building elements for peace actors.
  • Strong knowledge in gender, vulnerable groups and human rights theory, including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and their implementation process with civic and government counterparts.
  • In-depth knowledge and direct exposure to gender-related activities.
  • Strong leadership, communication, and project management skills.
  • Ability and interest to work with a multi-ethnic team in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
  • Fluency in English, Russian and Kyrgyz required

Success Factors:

The successful Civil Society Strengthening Advisor will have an ability to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment. S/he will have the capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and to inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results, a willingness to remain mobile for short-term and/or long-term as necessary within the region, based on programmatic needs. Have knowledge of security standards, equipment, precautionary measures, communication protocols, various unstable conditions and familiarity of the Sphere Project’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. The ability to work independently and as part of a team, have curiosity about and sensitivity to new cultures, a desire and ability to learn and grow, both personally and professionally and a fabulous sense of humor will all be essential.

Living /Environmental Conditions:

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 Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.