Ethics Director

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


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. 


Program / Department Summary  

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. The overall country's goal is 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, Ituri and Kasai. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. 

Mercy Corps DRC’s portfolio is one of the largest (implementing 50M USD annually in programming) and the most complex across the agency. Mercy Corps DRC is recognized as a leader in humanitarian and development programming in Eastern Congo, with large-scale impact in communities.  We champion and lead innovative solutions in a complex operating environment and are well positioned to influence stakeholders (donors, peer organizations, private sector and government) to implement solutions that will have a lasting impact and bring about real change at the community level.   

General Position Summary  

The Ethics Director is a member of the Country Office’s senior leadership team and working under the direction of the Country Director and in close collaboration with HQ and Regional Ethics and Safeguarding Teams. The Ethics Director will serve as the Mercy Corps DRC’s focal point for ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps’ Codes of Ethics, and ethics and safeguarding policies and procedures.  He/she will examine, review, and analyze records, reports, financial information and management practices to ensure compliance with laws, regulations and Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and will investigate potential violations of these Codes of Ethics.  The Ethics Director will also assist the country management team in developing, implementing and monitoring effective controls across all departments (Finance, Operations, HR (Human Resources) and Programs) to mitigate risk. In addition, the Ethics Director may provide guidance to the senior leadership team on compliance-related issues or other strategic support as necessary.   

Essential Job Responsibilities  


  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment of empowerment. 

  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development 

  • Lead the development and implementation of an Ethics and Safeguarding team department multi-year strategy and annual work plan.   

  • Ensure the ethics team collaborates proactively and closely with all departments through regular communication and joint planning.


  • Develop the capacity of the Ethics and Safeguarding team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development. 

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives. 

  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews. 

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence. 

  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary


  • Provide reasonable assurance to country office Senior leadership that there are efficient policies and procedures in place, well understood by team members and that Mercy Corps DRC conforms with all Mercy Corps and donor regulatory requirements 

  • Assist the country management team in determining effective and efficient solutions to operational issues that ensure compliance with Mercy Corps’ policies and donor regulations, mitigate the risk of fraud or corruption, and facilitate the achievement of program objectives. 

  • Assist program, operations and finance teams with implementing standard procedures or, as necessary, developing and documenting enhanced procedures for high-risk program activities, particularly those providing a direct financial benefit to participants (e.g. vouchers, cash distributions), requiring high value procurement, or the distribution of in-kind goods. 

  • In coordination with the country management team and program managers, maintain the country- level Risk Register to identify key risks and document strategies to mitigate these risks. Manage the quarterly update process and ensure communication of action plans. 

  • In coordination with relevant teams, perform periodic internal control reviews of in-country financial, procurement, human resource/admin, programs and logistics procedures in both the main country office and field offices. In coordination with program and monitoring and evaluation staff, conduct field reviews of program activities to ensure that adequate controls are in place and are functioning properly. Communicate findings and work with the relevant departments to correct weaknesses and improve controls as needed. 

  • As agreed with the program and finance teams, advise on the development of monitoring plans for partners, including subrecipients, key vendors and other partners that must adhere to ethics policies.  In coordination with relevant teams, perform periodic compliance reviews of partners.  

  • In coordination with the country management team and HQ Finance, assist with the follow-up and resolution of external audit or Mercy Corps Internal Audit findings. 

  • Develop training programs to ensure team members understand policy and procedure issues and corrective measures needed for non-adherence and better risk management.  


  • Following Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures, serve as country focal point for the internal reporting of any allegations of Code of Ethics violations, including fraud, conflicts of interest, corruption, bribery, human trafficking and safeguarding.   

  • Lead in-country high risk ethics and safeguarding investigations or inquiries to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps Ethical codes of conduct in close collaboration with HQ and regional Ethics, HR and Safeguarding Teams. 

  • Maintain the country Incident Register and dashboards and liaise with the Headquarters Ethics team, and other teams as needed, in the resolution of all reported incidents. 

  • Collect, analyze and document the results of investigations and communicate observations and recommendations with the collaboration of the Country Director and senior management team, as appropriate. 

  • In coordination with the Headquarters Ethics team and the country management team, assist in the preparation of any final reports to fully document the investigation and resolution of incidents. 

  • Liaise closely with the PAQ Department in implementing the country Complaints Response Mechanism (CARM).  

  • Respond to Code of Ethics violation referrals received through the CARM and manage the ethics team responsible for intaking complaints/feedback into the country CARM system. 


  • In coordination with established on-boarding processes, assist with the on-boarding of new country team members to ensure awareness and understanding of Code of Ethics policies. Conduct and/or coordinate regular anti-corruption, fraud prevention, Safeguarding and other Code of Ethics training for country staff and partners. 

  • Lead awareness-raising, training and capacity building efforts across all DRC teams and departments on Code of Ethics policies and procedures.  This will target Mercy Corps employees, partners and contractors.  

  • Ensure capacity building efforts are adapted based on trends from response efforts, internal audits or other compliance check processes. 


  • Effectively and efficiently engage external advisors as appropriate 

  • Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership. 

  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.


Supervisory Responsibility 

All Ethics Department Team 

Directly: Ethics and Assurance Manager, Safeguarding Manager and Ethics Officers  



Reports Directly to: Country Director 

Works Directly with: All Department Directors, Program Directors/Program Managers, Heads of Field Offices, all MC DRC team members, HQ Ethics, HR and Safeguarding Teams as appropriate. 


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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills  

  • B.Sc. university degree in finance, accounting or a related business field is required; and an advanced degree is a plus; 

  • 7 years+ related work experience with a not-for-profit organization implementing international programs; in compliance, systems, internal controls and Investigations. 

  • Relevant experience in fraud investigation or auditing. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designations are strongly preferred. 

  • Solid understanding of a wide range of ethics violations, including fraud, corruption and human trafficking in humanitarian and/or development settings; Understanding of best practice in ethics management and accountability within INGOs, including best practices for investigations of ethical violations; 

  • Demonstrated experience in successfully working with administrative and program staff at all organizational levels; including insecure regions such as the DRC. 

  • Solid organizational and research skills with a broad understanding of various program sectors and activities;  

  • Demonstrated experience in financial and operational data analysis; 

  • Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel; 

  • Fluent written and oral communication in English. Fluency in French and Swahili is preferred 

  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.  

Success Factors  

The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively across international and national program and finance teams, both in a managerial as well as training capacity. S/he will be able to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful financial information, have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. An impeccable professional standard of finance and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The Ethics Director must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.  

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions  

The Ethics Director is based in Goma in the main MC DRC field office, however the accompanied position allows the Ethics Director to live in Gisenyi, Rwanda with family members. 

The security situation is volatile and unpredictable at present in Goma. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. There are virtually no telephone landlines in the DRC, though mobile phones and cellular service are widely available.  The Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are several health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.  

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues. 

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. 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 based on 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 encounter 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 must complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and annually.