Regional Research Program Officer - ( Jordan, Iraq or Lebanon )
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 committed to generating and using evidence to understand and improve our impact, and to enhance the humanitarian and development community’s ability to address the world’s most complex challenges. The Middle East Regional team aims to advance Mercy Corps’ ability to influence major debates and decisions affecting our work, and to deliver high impact programming by supporting the generation and use of high quality evidence. Our external influence and internal learning are most effective when underpinned by substantive research on issues where we have expertise and a credible voice. Questions on types of policies and programs can best strengthen the resilience of populations affected by recurrent and protracted crises are major priorities for our research, technical, and program teams in the Middle East.
Mercy Corps’ portfolio of program research and impact evaluations is growing in the Middle East where our work includes an array of short-, medium-, and long-term studies that employ rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods. This includes thematic emphases on issues related to Peace and Conflict, Youth and Gender, Civic Engagement and Participation, Resilience in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts, and Climate Change. This growth in our research portfolio has outpaced our ability to fully support high quality and impactful research across the region. Accordingly, we require a dynamic, seasoned research program officer to drive a regional integration and use of country studies and policy engagement on these and other issues focused on the Middle East.
General Position Summary
The Regional Research-Program Officer is a resourceful, motivated, and analytically capable individual who will assist in developing the regional research agenda aligned with the country research initiatives. S/he will support the development and the integration of the various ongoing research projects, and partnerships on the country level and assist in enhancing the utilization of the findings and showcasing of the evidence in collaboration with the Middle East Regional and Country Teams as well as Mercy Corps’ Research and Learning team, to influence policies and practices of national and global actors toward more robust, effective and principled humanitarian and development responses across the Middle East.
The position will make vital contributions through providing research support to the development, and promotion of timely analysis, high quality reports, regional perspective and thought pieces, and other products, which maximize the impact of, and learnings from, Mercy Corps programs and operations. S/he will be heavily participating in the execution of a comprehensive research agenda for the Middle East, conveying articulate, evidence-based, field-driven perspectives.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● Assist the Deputy Regional Director (DRD) in identifying, planning, and addressing priority research needs in close collaborations with the country programs and Mercy Corps Research and Learning teams.
● Facilitate the development and regularly updating of a regional research agenda that reflects the primary priorities across countries and themes.
● Play a key role in supporting and coordinating as the primary liaison between the country programs and the MC Research and Learning, and other relevant global teams, such as Program Performance and Quality, and the Technical Support Unit, to develop and implement research projects.
● Establish an integrated information system for tracking the research projects in Mercy Corps’ six countries in the Middle East; Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Yemen.
● Support the design of studies, including defining research questions, and advising on data collection methods, instruments, and analysis plans.
● Support country teams in identifying relevant research funding opportunities, and in developing concepts and proposals in response to them, including bringing in external support from HQ research, technical or other teams.
● Support country teams in identifying and linking with relevant research partners and consultants.
● In collaboration with MC Research and Learning, and Program Performance and Quality teams, identify training needs and develop, implement, and maintain training plans on research, survey, and data collection strategies in close coordination with the country team and DRD.
● Assist in packaging and finalization of major, external research products including proof read, and formatting reports, as required.
● Track global policy developments affecting the region to stay abreast of noteworthy emerging trends, and to identify opportunities for research and analysis to influence the policies and trends.
● Stay abreast of project developments, designs, and implementation through reading reports and maintaining contact with country program managers. Proactively support the integration of research and impact evaluation within relevant programs in the region.
● In collaboration with regional and HQ technical teams, promote awareness and use of significant research findings among country teams within the region in new and ongoing programs.
● 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 toward 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.
● 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.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director
Works Directly With: Country Technical Program Director/managers, country PaQ team, Regional PaQ Specialist, and Global Research and Learning team.
Knowledge and Experience
● A MA/S or equivalent degree in International Development, International Relations, or a relevant field.
● 5- 7 years of demonstrated skills in program and policy-relevant research, including past experience working with humanitarian issues and complex emergencies.
● Ability to summarize and persuasively communicate complex information in written and verbal form to different audiences.
● Demonstrated skills with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
● Experience with policy engagement with proven capabilities using research and evidence to influence decisions and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors.
● Strong organizational skills and the ability to effectively multi-task, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
● English proficiency and excellent oral and written Arabic language skills are strongly preferred.
● Experience conducting research in fragile, conflict affected contexts. Previous experience working in the Middle East and good knowledge of the Middle East political context is highly desirable.
● Track record of publishing in journals and/or media outlets, is a plus.
● Ability and willingness to travel at least 30% of the time.
● Excellent research and analytical skills, and ability to communicate complex concepts in clear ways.
● Excellent on-line communication skills and experience using multiple communication platforms.
● Superb organizational skills and show initiative to identify and solve problems.
● Capable of multitasking, rapid decision-making, and work under time constraints.
● Must be able to work with diverse teams (country, language) and multi-layered structures.
● Self-motivated and able to carry out research and develop reports without close supervision.
● Strong team player with demonstrated interpersonal skills
Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in Amman-Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq. The position is expected to travel up to 30% to field locations where Mercy Corps works in the Middle East.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours. 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.
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.