STA - Grants Sr Advisor

Finance & Compliance Goma, Congo (the Democratic Republic of)


Location: Goma, DRC
Position Status: Temporary

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.

The Program / Department / Team 

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to:
  • Improve water service delivery and ensure equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas
  • Improve food security and nutrition
  • Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery, and development
Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including FCDO, BHA, and ECHO, the humanitarian portfolio continues to expand in order to provide multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH services to displaced and host populations. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict- and gender-sensitive manner.

The Position

This position serves as the Grants and Partnership Sr Advisor for the emergency programs as well as Safer Consortium. The Grants and Partnership Sr Advisor will facilitate thorough review and recommend revised ways of work to ensure oversight of the grants and subawards system. The Sr Advisor will also support with 1) Identification of the program grants and contract needs, mapping options and working with the team to select appropriate mechanisms; 2) Outline processes for the team to either review, set-up, implement and manage grants; 3) Improve collective understanding and management of sub-awards 4) Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies, rules and regulations if / as necessary. The types of subaward, contracting or collaboration mechanisms will generally be with SAFER Consortium partners and prospected local organizations with expected limited capacity. The mechanisms will need to be context sensitive. It is estimated that there will be up to 10 awards.

 Essential Responsibilities

  • Work with Emergency Programs Director, DoP, Finance Director as well as Consortium Director and Deputy Director to continuously understand the program needs around subawards 
  • Ensure subawards are managed in accordance with Mercy Corps’ Subaward Financial Management Manual and donor rules and regulations 
  • Provide an overview of the types of sub-awarding mechanisms that may fit, in line with the conditions of the award, Mercy Corps compliance standards and local laws 
  • Advise on appropriate instruments for sub-awarding, contracting and performance management. 
 SUB-AWARD AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT (review and or streamline as necessary) 
  • Work with program team, finance team and partners to outline steps for subawards and contracts management 
  • Support finance team in pre-award financial review and other due diligence processes of subrecipients and feed into the special award conditions of the subaward 
  • Review subrecipients budgets and budget narratives for completeness, cost realism and compliance with donor and Mercy Corps budget requirements 
  • Ensure processes for modifications to subawards are designed and executed in accordance with donor and MC requirements and are streamlined 
  • Develop subrecipient monitoring plans, in coordination with finance, conduct financial and program monitoring visits and prepare templates reports for these visits 
  • Review the processes for subrecipient close-outs, including ensuring that all financial and program requirements of the subaward agreement have been considered in the process 
  • In coordination with finance, provide compliance guidance and consultations to subrecipients on a demand-driven basis 
  • Assess prospected / potential subrecipients and their organizational needs, so that the subaward process strengthens the ability of local NGOs/CSOs to meet minimum standards for financial, program and operational management 
  • Develop post-award training and capacity plan for the subrecipients on subaward administration, applicable donor regulations and reporting and compliance requirements and support in delivery of these capacity building initiatives and training plans 
  • Assess and advise on the filing system for all grant files as per the sub award financial management manual (SFMM) 
  • Serve as primary point of contact for all correspondence and notifications to subrecipients if / as necessary 
  • Support the Grants Management Specialist (mission level) in setting up a partnership database that maps out potential partners capacity, areas of expertise aligning with the emergency department/programs strategy 
  • Engage with Finance, Operations and Procurement to develop common understanding of the sub-awarding mechanism 
  • Share best practices within the program and the emergency team 
  • Review and identify streamlining revisions to subaward processes and procedures based on experience and lessons learned and coordinate proposed changes with MC CLT and MCE and MCG as necessary 
  • Review and strengthen processes to ensure reporting from subrecipients is timely and at the quality required 
  • Review and strengthen the processes to ensure award reporting is coordinated and compiled and at the quality necessary for input into donor reports. Including ensuring financial and program reports are adequate and sufficient for program tracking and reporting  for regularly monitoring spending and implementation progress. 
  • Working with the MEL and program teams to ensure that the results and program development is aligned to the requirements of the award and or opportunity pursued 
  • Ensure mechanisms are in place for program team to be able to verify milestone accomplishment prior to payment settlement 
 Supervisory Responsibility


Reports Directly To: Emergency Programs Director
Works Directly With: Emergency Program Managers (Cash, WASH, Protection) as well as MEL and Quality & Performance Manager, SAFER Director and Deputy Director, SAFER partners (4 INGOs), DoP, Program Development Specialist, Finance team

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Internationally recognized experience in project or program and grants management required 
  • 5-9 years of experience with European donors, FCDO and US institutional donors including strengths in grant management, coordination and donor reporting 
  • Experience of working with both INGOs and small organisations presenting difficult compliance problems requiring innovative approaches
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with senior leaders (both internal and external) is essential 
  • Demonstrable ability to produce high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal direction 
  • Excellent program management and financial skills 
  • Ability to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time, with little to minimum supervision
  • Coaching and mentoring skills and experience a distinctive plus
  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants 
  • Fluent French and English required 
  • Prior work experience in DRC and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage 
  • Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate levels of insecurity and occasional restrictions on personal movement 

Success Factors

A successful candidate will be able to work independently, take initiative with tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. The ability to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments is essential for success. S/he will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Goma and it requires up to 10% travel to support emergency programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.  Housing for this role is in shared housing (2 personnel only) and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a reasonable standard. Not accompanied.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.