Consultant - Scoping Study, Switzerland - Remote

Programs Anywhere, United States



Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organisation operating in more than 40 countries.

In 2022, Mercy Corps launched a new global strategy, Pathway to Possibility (P2P), which outlines our commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change and conflict through four outcome areas – economic opportunity, food security, water security and peace and good governance. In Europe, to support the delivery of P2P, a new, ambitious three-year Strategic Plan has been developed to capitalise on opportunities across Europe whereby Mercy Corps can strengthen partnerships, access new institutional and private funding steams, influence key stakeholders, reach new audiences, and deepen brand recognition across European markets.  In Europe, with registered legal entities in the UK and The Netherlands, we engage with institutional, corporate and foundations donors from a range of European countries.  

In order to achieve two specific objectives focused on financial growth and policy influence1, Mercy Corps is exploring potential markets which remain relatively untapped and show strong alignment to our global priorities.  Switzerland, with a substantial aid budget for INGOs and thriving base for foundations and philanthropists, has been identified for further exploration.  It is assumed, at this point, that Switzerland is likely to offer opportunities for funding (public and private) but policy work will focus more on engagement that helps build relationships rather than a proactive strategy to shift Swiss government policy.

Mercy Corps has received grant funding from Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) since the early 2000s. Thirty-six grants from SDC have focused on economic and market development, food security and livelihoods, and governance, totalling just under $70 million in 18 countries (Indonesia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Georgia, DR Congo, Mongolia, Sudan, Syria, Kosovo, Yemen, Jordan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia,  South Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine and Egypt). In recent years, Mercy Corps has worked in partnership with several Swiss INGOs such as Helvetas and Swiss Contact. Mercy Corps has also received funding from Swiss corporate foundations such as Zurich Foundation.

While the above represents some degree of success with Swiss funding, Mercy Corps has to date, not invested strategically in its partnership with Switzerland. We are seeking a consultant to conduct a detailed scoping study to assess the potential for Mercy Corps to grow funding from institutional, corporate, foundation and philanthropic sources, influence donor policy, and raise our profile.

Purpose / Project Description:

The purpose of this consultancy is to carry out a scoping study in Switzerland to ascertain the potential opportunity for Mercy Corps to increase funding and policy engagement (focusing on SDC, as well as Corporate and Foundation partners and philanthropists). A set of recommendations with sufficient supporting analysis is to be provided enabling Mercy Corps to make an informed decision about expansion in Switzerland.

Consultant Objectives:

The Consultant will produce a report containing:

  • An in-depth analysis of the Swiss Government aid budget and alignment to Mercy Corps’ strategy, Pathway to Possibility
  • A summary of potential institutional funding streams and eligibility criteria
  • A mapping of the philanthropic landscape (including corporate, foundation, major donors) which support international development
  • A summary of potential opportunities for policy engagement within key institutions.
  • A comparator analysis of peer INGOs registered in Switzerland with analysis of how they are positioning themselves in Switzerland
  • A summary of the legal, tax and regulatory environment around philanthropic giving/donations nationally and cross-border
  • A series of recommendations on how best to operate in Switzerland without increasing our costs and legal obligations – receive funding, employee / contract individuals without having to register as an operational organisation in the country.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Attend a kick-off meeting with key Mercy Corps stakeholders to more fully understand the consultancy, and obtain key background information (e.g., Mercy Corps’ strategy and geographic/thematic priorities, existing approach to Switzerland etc);
  • Carry out the desk-based research to gather the relevant information;
  • Conduct several Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with identified stakeholders to gather detailed and nuanced information;
  • Capture all information in a clear report (including detailed data, research and sources, as well as relevant documentation, links, guidance for each donor, all presented in Annexes to the report), and present this report to relevant stakeholders in Mercy Corps. Key deliverables and interim stages associated with the development of the report will be as follows:
  • Produce a report template prior to the report being drafted;
  • Submit a draft version of the report for review and comment to ensure report content is in line with SoW
  • Submit the final report and information gathered for review, comment and approval, ensuring this SoW has been met in its entirety. At this stage, there may be final comments which will need addressing before the consultancy is considered complete.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  • Propose a finalised set of questions and detailed plan for review and approval to proceed
  • Propose a template for the report, for review and approval to proceed
  • Present a draft version of the report
  • Present the final report (with detailed data, research and sources captured in Annexes) including an Executive Summary and clear Recommendations.
  • Prepare an accompanying presentation which highlights the key findings and recommendations.

Timeframe / Schedule: It is anticipated that this consultancy should take approximately 30 full days,

The Consultant will report to:

  • Senior Director, Programmes, Funding and Operations

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Senior Director, Programmes, Funding and Operations
  • Director of Development
  • Director of Policy and Advocacy

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in relevant technical field (required);
  • Excellent understanding of Swiss international development funding and policymaking;
  • Demonstrated previous experience in donor mapping exercises;
  • Relevant language skills
  • Connections and networks in the Swiss funding landscape
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, including data gathering and analysing information using both qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Ability to gather and understand complex information, and quickly distinguish between what is relevant and important, and what is not;
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly, succinctly, and present complex information, in both writing and presentation skills;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, achieving results and meeting deliverables to the standard agreed;
  • Strong organisational skills.

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

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 based on race, 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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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.