Consultant - Scoping Study, Germany - 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 streams, 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 foundation donors from a range of European countries.

In order to achieve two specific objectives focused on financial growth and policy influence[1], Mercy Corps is exploring potential markets which remain relatively untapped and show strong alignment to our global priorities. Germany, with the largest aid budget in Europe and high levels of corporate giving, has been identified for further exploration.

Mercy Corps has received grant funding from German Government institutions Deutsche Gesellschaft fűr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW Development Bank) for almost two decades.  Some 36 grants from GIZ have focused on social cohesion, infrastructure, energy access, livelihoods and economic opportunity, totalling just over €25 million in 11 countries (Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, and Uganda).  With KfW, Mercy Corps’ decade-long partnership centred on improving agricultural infrastructure in northern rural areas and community infrastructure in Kabul, Afghanistan until the cessation of German development aid to the country in 2021.  Additionally, in recent years (since 2019), the Frankfurt-based PATRIP Foundation has supported Mercy Corps’ work in the Sahel; and Mercy Corps has had several successful programme partnerships with German NGOs such as Welthunger Hilfe and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe.  Mercy Corps has also received funding from German corporate and foundation partners such as Bayer Foundation and Allianz.

While the above represents some degree of success with German funding, Mercy Corps has to date, not invested strategically in its partnership with Germany.  We are seeking a consultant/agency to conduct a detailed scoping study to assess the potential for Mercy Corps to establish a presence in Germany, grow funding, influence donor policy, and raise our profile.

Purpose / Project Description:

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

Consultant Objectives:

The Consultant will produce a report containing:

  • An in-depth analysis of the German Government aid budget and strategy, and alignment to Mercy Corps’ strategy, Pathway to Possibility
  • A summary of potential institutional funding streams and eligibility criteria
  • A mapping of the Corporate and Foundation donor landscape which support international development
  • A summary of the legal, tax and regulatory environment around philanthropic giving/donations nationally and cross border
  • A summary of the policy influence opportunities relating to key Mercy Corps policy & advocacy priorities (climate resilience in fragile places, food security, peace & governance, humanitarian response)
  • A comparator analysis of peer INGOs registered in Germany with analysis of how they are positioning themselves in Germany
  • A series of recommendations on how to operate in Germany with and without registration, legal and regulatory requirements and benefits, and potential set-up in Germany (people, location etc)

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Attend kick-off meeting(s) 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 for funding and policy influence, existing approach to Germany 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 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
  • Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in relevant technical field (required);
  • Excellent understanding of German international development funding and connections and networks in the German funding landscape
  • Demonstrated previous experience in donor mapping exercises;
  • Understanding of the regulatory environment of Germany for charities and different models for operating in the country;
  • Fluency in German and English languages
  • 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 on the basis of race, colour, 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.

[1] 1) By the end of FY28, Mercy Corps’ revenue in Europe has increased to £200m, through a diverse portfolio of funding streams and partnerships, with a strategic and sustainable balance of ICR/Unrestricted funding to support financial stability and programme impact; and 2) By  the end of FY26, Mercy Corps is recognised by and able to influence target European institutional donors, policy makers, the private sector and public as a go-to organisation in Europe in relation to resilience to conflict and climate change