Consultant - Safe Programming Alignment and Coordination - Remote

Programs Anywhere, United States



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. Over the past 10 years, Mercy Corps has embarked on a journey to challenge and address gender inequality and social exclusion in our organization, our programs, and our sector.

Currently, Mercy Corps is working to strengthen our systems to promote “safe programming” in our work. “Safe programming” at Mercy Corps combines and coordinates a variety of different department initiatives that enhance safety, participation, accountability and due diligence in our work and furthers our safe, diverse, and inclusive goals. These include:

  • Safeguarding to address PSEA/Child Safeguarding. It sits within our Ethic Department and closely aligned with the Human Resource Department.
  • Protection Mainstreaming to incorporate best practices that help reduce risks in our service delivery and program activities. It sits in Programs Department under the Technical Support Unit
  • Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) to enable intentional programs that enhance the empowerment of women and other marginalized groups in our programming. It sits in Programs Department under the Technical Support Unit
  • Accountability to Affected Persons (AAP) and Community Accountability Response Mechanism (CARM) to enhance accountability to our program participants as well as the communities where we work and with whom we partner. It sits within our Program Quality Department which include Operations and MEL

Purpose / Project Description:

In its new ten-year global strategy, Mercy Corps has highlighted five key commitment areas to underpin our operations and programming, one of which is the safe, diverse, and inclusive (SDI) commitment area. SDI emphasizes the creation of an inclusive culture and environment that protects, enables, and elevates diverse community members and groups.

Mercy Corps has developed a cross departmental Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive working group to promote deeper coordination and clearer alignment in how the Protection, GESI, CARM, and Safeguarding teams collaborate on safe programming. Mercy Corps’ humanitarian response in Ukraine and development interventions in Indonesia and Myanmar can yield lessons in safe programming alignment and coordination. From these case studies and broader stakeholder engagement on safe programming, we can highlight opportunities to strengthen coordination.   

Consultant Objectives:

The consultant objective is to provide information and insight into the state of safe programming coordination at Mercy Corps across the Protection, GESI, CARM, and Safeguarding teams as we seek to strengthen coordination. To date, we have yet to extrapolate learnings and findings from past experiences. The consultant will lead us in this reflection process to gather information and insight and identify opportunities for growth. Through this process, we are hopeful that we will reflect on how safe programming has historically functioned at Mercy Corps to inform the future of safe programming so that we may be better aligned in our efforts. This information will be used for internal purposes at an upcoming meeting/workshop between members of the Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive working group.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Complete a document review of selected case studies in Ukraine, Indonesia, and Myanmar
  • Conduct key informant interviews (develop interview guide, conduct meetings, analyze findings) or focus group discussions with program teams to gather their input and experiences around safe programming coordination and alignment
  • Facilitate series of 2-3 virtual discussion(s) with key Safe Programing stakeholders about findings from the document review and their experiences in coordination across the teams/thematic areas of Protection, Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI), Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanisms (CARM), and Safeguarding
  • Develop presentation of key takeaways from review, outstanding questions, recommendations for next steps for discussion at a November meeting for the Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive working group

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will provide/create:

  • A workplan outlining the process for identifying opportunities to align safe programming between Mercy Corps teams
  • A summary of the document review
  • A key informant/focus group discussion guide to be used to engage program teams
  • A facilitation approach document to guide key informant interviews/focus groups/ safe programming stakeholder engagement on coordination efforts across Protection, GESI, CARM, and Safeguarding
  • A slide deck/presentation containing lessons learned, recommendations, and opportunities for further exploration regarding alignment on safe programming

Mercy Corps Responsibilities:

  • Provide a list of relevant stakeholders for engagement and KII
  • Provide key documents for document review
  • Logistical support in scheduling meetings

Timeframe / Schedule:

To be completed by:

  • Friday, October 6, 2023 - Submit workplan to Senior Director, Social Inclusion
  • Friday, October 13, 2023 - Completion of document review (document review will consist of various document types such as meeting agendas, position descriptions, organigrams, assessment scopes of work, partner assessments, team member and partner training content etc.)
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023 - Provide document review summary document
  • Friday, Nov 3, 2023 - Virtual facilitation of key informant interviews and/or focus group discussions
  • Friday, November 10, 2023 - Completed presentation/slide deck consisting of lessons learned and recommendations from document review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions with program teams

The Consultant will report to:

Senior Director, GESI

The Consultant will work closely with:

CARM, Safeguarding, Program Staff, Social Inclusion Technical Support Unit

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in managing and advising humanitarian and/or development programs in either PSEA, Protection and/or GBV and Child protection, or Gender/GESI with an interest in initiating and nurturing safe programming(required). This includes experience in protection/ protection mainstreaming, safeguarding, or accountability to affected people
  • Experience conducting qualitative research including tools design and data analysis
  • Experience facilitating group discussions leading to clear action and recommendations
  • Experience developing clear and concise presentations and engaging case studies that clearly articulate lessons learned relevant to the audience
  • Excellent communications 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, 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 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.