Regional Senior Advisor - Policy & Advocacy - Middle East

Policy & Advocacy Amman, Jordan


Description

 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.

 

Mercy Corps implements a variety of programs throughout the Middle East in response to the humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region, supporting access to food, water, economic opportunities and peace and governance. At the moment, Mercy Corps Middle East region covers Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.

 

The Position 

 

The Regional Policy and Advocacy (PA) Advisor will support and enable Mercy Corps’ efforts to ensure that international policy towards the Middle East - Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine - has a robust and principled humanitarian and development framework across the region. The position seeks, in collaboration with the agency's global Policy & Advocacy (P&A) team and relevant colleagues in the region (including those working on research, analysis and media/communications), to influence policies and practices of national and international actors.

 

The PA Advisor - in collaboration with country and regional leadership - will lead advocacy in the region, conducting and compiling analysis and evidence to influence the policies and processes of key decisionmakers.

 

The position will engage with key stakeholders (governments, donors, UN agencies, coordinating bodies) primarily at the country and regional levels, to influence and improve the policies affecting the delivery of humanitarian and development interventions across Mercy Corps’ areas of operation, in coordination with the broader NGO community in the region as well as Europe and the United States.

 

The PA Advisor will also be responsible for developing and supporting Mercy Corps country and regional teams to develop and deliver thoughtful impactful advocacy strategies to secure better outcomes for the communities we work with.  

 

They will collaborate with Mercy Corps’ global P&A team to develop a comprehensive regional advocacy strategy and support country-specific advocacy strategies as appropriate to ensure Mercy Corps conveys an articulate, well-informed, field-driven perspective to policymakers. The Advisor will establish and maintain relations with relevant stakeholders in all of Mercy Corps’ operational countries in the region and will develop policy-relevant documents, including talking points, on needs, challenges, on-the-ground dynamics and recommendations, and other information and analysis, and share them with global policy staff to support their outreach efforts. S/he will help ensure that policy positions are well grounded in the priorities of the communities where we work, through regular and active communication within the region, while also ensuring all team members are on message regarding current positions and talking points. They will track and analyze key policy initiatives, working with the global P&A team and partner agencies in joint advocacy and campaign initiatives. The Regional PA Advisor will also be responsible for raising Mercy Corps’ profile on policy positions and developing written policy documents for external dissemination. This role will work closely with country teams to establish and strengthen their capacity to achieve transformative change through advocacy and influence.

 

Essential Responsibilities

STRATEGY AND VISION

        Support Mercy Corps’ policy and advocacy related to country specific contexts as well as the Middle East region at a global level, and lead field-based advocacy work in close collaboration with the global team. 

        Advise and support the development and implementation of Mercy Corps policy and advocacy strategies on key country contexts and the Middle East region and align these with Mercy Corps media and communication activities.

        Ensure that the advocacy strategy development and implementation draws on Mercy Corps field experience and program expertise.

        Stay abreast of the fast-paced environment and challenges. Ensure that team members in the region are on message with our vision and position.

 

COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION

        Build and maintain close links with Mercy Corps country teams operating across the region, and regularly gather evidence/experience from program staff so that analysis is grounded in and supports Mercy Corps’ program work. 

        Implement the country-specific/regional advocacy strategies, developed in partnership with both the country programs and the Global P&A team.

        Work in close collaboration with all of Mercy Corps’ operational countries in the region and establish and maintain strategic relations with relevant local and international stakeholders to continually inform, challenge, and improve Mercy Corps’ advocacy. 

        In collaboration with the country teams and the regional communication manager, develop and maintain up-to-date talking points on static positions as well as one-off, extraordinary events or challenges. Communicate these to field teams, recognizing that each donor visit and external meeting is an opportunity for advocacy. 

        Ensure regular high-level representation in key humanitarian and development decision-making platforms and other mechanisms that impact operations and the needs of affected populations.

 

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

        Work with the field teams and global P&A team to plan and produce effective, thoughtful and timely written products that advance policy perspectives important to our mission.

        Work with Crisis Analysis teams and the Regional Research Specialist to maximize on influence and learning drawn from specific regional and/our country initiatives.

        Monitor and evaluate the impact of policy and advocacy work.

        Related tasks as required and agreed by the Regional Director and Global Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING

        Work with country teams to identify advocacy priorities and support the implementation of advocacy plans.

        Support country-specific staff (either dedicated policy and advocacy staff or individuals selected from existing teams) to better implement advocacy priorities at local, national, and international levels through mentoring, coaching, and development of individual capacity building plans.

        Provide training to field teams on advocacy and other related topics as needed.

        Create and animate a regional community of practice among staff whose work is relevant to P&A efforts.

 

Supervisory Responsibility: Technical management of country-specific policy and advocacy staff

 

Reports Directly To: Middle East Regional Director, with technical accountability to the Global P&A team.

 

Works Directly With: All regional Country Directors and relevant senior team members, program teams, regional communication and technical staff, researchers and analysts and broader regional team as well as MC Europe and US team members. S/he will work closely with Mercy Corps representational staff on coordination across the region. S/he will have strong working links with the Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy team in Europe and the US.

 

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

        BA/S or equivalent in relevant field; MA/S preferred.

        5-7 years of experience successfully working with and managing advocacy and policy campaigns and initiatives in an NGO or legislative context, including past experience working with humanitarian issues and complex emergencies.

        Good understanding of the possibilities and tactics for influencing decisions and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors in the field.

        Demonstrable experience of representation and policy and advocacy work, and engaging, managing and working effectively with a range of stakeholders, networks and coalitions.

        Excellent analytical skills and demonstrable ability to think strategically, innovatively and practically to ensure achievement of desired change objectives.

        Demonstrable ability to summarize and persuasively communicate complex information in written and verbal form to different audiences, including past experience leading the production of external written policy products.

        Strong organizational skills and ability to effectively handle multiple tasks, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.

        Excellent oral and written English language skills are required and Arabic language skills are strongly preferred.

        Previous experience working in the Middle East and good knowledge of the Middle East political context is highly desirable.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills with an ability to effectively represent the organization and its interests to a diverse range of stakeholders, including local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, donors, other international organizations, the media, and the community. S/he will have great analytical skills, demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow and enforce procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members, have strong people skills and the ability to motivate diverse teams. An interest and ability to travel and work in remote and dynamic environments, with experience in insecure environments is an advantage as is an awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural international development work and an ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles. S/he will 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 sense of humor.

 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Amman, Jordan or other Middle East Mercy Corps locations (depending on work permits) and it requires up to 40% travel to support country 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 individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.

 

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.