Advocacy Lead and Program Director - Climate Adaptation - London, The Hague

Policy & Advocacy London, London


Location: London, The Hague. Other Mercy Corps locations may be considered.
Travel: Up to 50%

Candidates must have the independent right to work in the location that they are applying for. 

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.

About the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (the Alliance) is a consortium of nine organisations including international NGOs, the private sector and research organisations, who have come together with the support of the Zurich Foundation to influence funding, policy and practice at the international and country level to reduce the negative impact of floods on people and communities’ ability to thrive. 


Over six years the partners will implement a combination of community programmes, research, learning and advocacy  to persuade bilateral and multilateral donors, policy-makers, national governments and practitioners to invest more and more effectively in flood prevention and preparedness through:

  • Increased and more effective public and private investments in climate-smart risk-informed development, with a focus on flood resilience;
  • Improved donor and national government policy for increased pre-event action to flood resilience;
  • Improved practice in flood resilience by key stakeholders.


Mercy Corps is leading the ‘influencing and advocacy’ work within the Alliance, as well as contributing to workstreams on knowledge management and learning, community programs, research and evidence. As part of this work, Mercy Corps is advocating with bilateral OECD donors, contributing to discussions surrounding UNFCCC negotiations, developing innovative finance products, developing country level activities in Nepal, Jordan and Indonesia.   


Alliance 2.0 (a continuation of an earlier project) launched formally on 1 July 2018 and will run for six years to December 2024.


The Role

The Head of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance Project will be responsible for leading both Mercy Corps’ contribution to the Alliance (coordinating programmes, research and influence) and for leading and managing the advocacy workstream of the Alliance as a whole.

Essential Job Responsibilities 

  • Act as the overall lead on Mercy Corps work in relation to the Alliance, responsible for setting strategy for our participation in the Alliance, coordinating the efforts of our field programmes, research and influencing work, and ensuring we are delivering on our commitments to the donor and to the broader Alliance.
  • Set the direction for and lead delivery of the Alliance ‘advocacy’ stream, leading and coordinating Alliance efforts to influence global funding, policy and practice on flood resilience.  This will include working with  the 9 Alliance partners to develop and monitor advocacy workplans and strategies at global and national levels, identify activities and targets and ensure delivery of an integrated influence plan across the partners.  
  • Manage Mercy Corps’ work plans and budget and ensure work aligns with Mercy Corps’ strategic priorities. 
  • Represent the Alliance and Mercy Corps and deliver influence at high level events, meetings, media efforts and other opportunities.
  • Produce or commission publications and advocacy materials in support of the influence objectives (working closely with the Alliance Partner leading the ‘knowledge management’ work stream) on areas such as innovative finance (bonds, remittances, loans), and UNFCCC processes.
  • Participate in Mercy Corps’ Global Resilience Initiative network and help craft and deliver Mercy Corps’ resilience and climate change advocacy strategy in collaboration with the Resilience Hubs and other members of the Policy and Advocacy team.
  • Manage a London based Advocacy Coordinator, Climate Finance Lead, Communications Manager for the Alliance and co-manage the Asia-based Field Program Manager, as well as consultants working on finance and policy objectives.
  • Manage the relationship with the donor, including ensuring timely reporting and financial management, and report on progress internally as required.
  • Manage and further strengthen relationships with other partners contributing to finance and policy related work 

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 

  • A proven track record of successfully leading large, collaborative alliances or partnerships, and of internal management of donor funded initiatives.
  • A proven track record in the development of strategy to influence the policies and practices of national, regional and international institutions.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of resilience building, climate change policy, preferably adaptation policy, UNFCCC negotiations and policy, Sendai Framework and disaster risk reduction 
  • Demonstrable knowledge of climate finance including areas such as risk transfer, bonds and funds such as GCF, GEF, and partnerships or centres such as Insuresilience Global Partnership, Global Centre for Disaster Protection desired.
  • Strong advocacy and policy credentials, and experience working with research partners.
  • Demonstrable team building, management and leadership skills and experience, including budget management experience.
  • Previous experience working with the UN or multilateral institutions, or strong network with these and donor governments, is an asset. 

Success Factors 

  • Ability to design ambitious and effective strategies that capitalise on the strengths of a diverse group of actors, and drive through on delivery.

  • Excellent communicator. A charismatic and engaging public speaker and private advocate.

  • Excellent understanding of and ability to influence key institutions and decision makers.
  • Able to develop and maintain strong working relationships.
  • A clear passion for the sector and the specific issues connected with this role, as well as for the work of Mercy Corps in this space.
  • The ability to understand and assimilate complex technical and policy issues and communicate them effectively to a wide range of audiences.
  • A self-starter with the ability to manage and deliver complex projects involving multiple partners to deadline, and to work independently to drive forward our messages.
  • Strong team worker.  
  • Able to cope with changing priorities, often at short notice, and work well under pressure.
  • Proactive and solutions-based attitude. 
  • High levels of motivation, professionalism and resilience. 
  • Skilled in anticipating and solving problems and communicating issues, involving others as needed.
  • An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, along with an empathy for MC's mission

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in London or the Hague (though other Mercy Corps locations may be considered) and may require up to 50% travel

Ongoing Learning

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.