Business Development Specialist - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Fundraising Addis Ababa, Ethiopia




**This is a four month role**

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, 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 Team

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, the private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus on promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.

The Position

Mercy Corps is currently tracking several strategic business development opportunities in Ethiopia slated to come out in late 2021. The Business Development Specialist will work closely with the Country Director, Director of Programs, Global/Regional New Initiatives team members, and other country team members to pre-position for these opportunities and support proposal development once the funding opportunities are live.


Essential Responsibilities


        Map existing implementing partners, including USAID and other donor projects across a variety of technical sectors including food security, resilience, livelihoods development, WASH, and public health.

        Identify potential international and local partners currently operating in relevant sectors and geographies, hold meetings, and make recommendations for teaming on various proposal efforts.

        Meet with relevant government and private sector stakeholders to determine priorities and gaps, identify solutions, etc.

        Review relevant literature (research, evaluations, case studies, etc.) produced by USAID, Mercy Corps and others over the last five years on priority technical areas and document lessons learned and key findings.

        Potentially travel outside of Addis Ababa to meet with potential program participants, government officials, and Mercy Corps team members, and document relevant information to be used for program design.



        Play key role on proposal efforts once funding opportunities are live. Contributions can include:

        Leading in-country program design work

        Additional information gathering

        Lead local partnership strategy

        Work with Human Resources on drafting position descriptions and identifying key personnel as required

        Work with the country team on budget development

        Write sections of proposals and/or manage in-country reviews of drafts


Supervisory Responsibility




Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Ethiopia Team, Global/Regional New Initiatives team leads, Relevant Technical Advisors, Finance Director, Human Resources


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

        Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, Food Security, Communications or related areas.

        5-7 years of experience in international relief and development, demonstrated knowledge of relevant sectoral and/or operation areas.

        Experience with pre-positioning and proposal development efforts for USAID.

        Familiarity with Theories of Change and program design processes.

        Ability to facilitate group conversations and synthesize salient information.

        Previous experience in Ethiopia preferred.

        Excellent written and oral English communication skills.


Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have a passion for program design and proposal development. S/he will have outstanding organizational skills, along with ability to convey complex ideas in writing to various audiences. The candidate will be proactive and comfortable working with a wide range of stakeholders and facilitating conversations. S/he will be self-motivated and able to take responsibility and undertake tasks with minimal supervision.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The role is based in the capital city – Addis Ababa. Staff have access to basic services (electricity, water, sporadic internet etc). Medical facilities are basic with international clinics able to provide emergency services. This position requires 35% travel by road and air to field offices in often insecure environments. Addis Ababa is host to many international organizations including the OAU, the Economic Commission for Africa and other multinational bodies, many of which have their headquarters based in the capital city.


Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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 MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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. 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.