Deputy Chief of Party, Growing Agriculture and Incomes in Syria, USAID/Syria

Programs Derek, Al-Hasakah Governorate


Position is contingent on funding.

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 works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work. 

Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been implementing emergency, life-sustaining, and resilience activities in Syria since 2012. Mercy Corps partners with a range of strategic institutional donors to deliver at high quality and a large scale. The evidence and learning component of Mercy Corps’ work and relationships with donors is critical to a meaningful impact on the lives of vulnerable people in Syria.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) to lead implementation of the USAID Growing Agriculture and Incomes in Syria (GROW) activity. This five-year, $30-45m contract is expected to strengthen agriculture markets in non-regime held areas of Syria. The Activity is expected to increase the earnings of small and commercial farmers and other market systems actors by reducing constraints to production, strengthening private sector engagement, improving market access, and increasing economic opportunities for women and youth in agricultural value chains.

The Position 

The DCOP will assist the Chief of Party (COP) in project oversight, managing for results, technical, administrative, operational, and logistical management of the activity. This includes oversight of the overall technical approaches, local partners, and day-to-day implementation of all project objectives. The DCOP will supervise a cadre of program and technical staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies as well as all donor rules and regulations. The DCOP will also have technical experience in one or more of the following areas and be able to provide strong technical inputs to the overall program: food security including increasing agricultural production, value chain development including increasing farmers’ incomes, agri-business incomes, and markets systems including expanding access to food in local markets.

Essential Responsibilities  

  • In collaboration with the COP, co-lead development of a vision and strategy for GROW shared with program staff and stakeholders.
  • Work with the COP and the Technical Leads to create a coherent and integrated overall implementation strategy that is shared with the program team, local partners, and key stakeholders. 


  • Oversee the local partnerships
  • Provide technical leadership in the development and implementation of strategies, interventions, and activities that address the program's results.
  • Ensure technical compliance with USAID rules and regulations, and adherence to grant agreement
  • Integrate locally-driven approaches, gender sensitivity, and capacity building into all activities, as appropriate. 
  • Ensure interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards.


  • In collaboration with the COP, ensure implementation is on time, target, and budget, using effective M&E and CLA systems to assess impact. Support the COP in establishing a program management structure that favors integration among technical sectors.
  • Oversee program and technical start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work- plans, and ensure the delivery of the same. 
  • Oversee the daily implementation of the local partnerships team and Hub offices where technical staff are based. 
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • In collaboration with the GROW MEL team, monitor implementation through regular site visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact. Ensure documenting of program achievements and dissemination of lessons learned best practices.
  • Oversee administration and performance of local sub-grants, including planning, implementation, and compliance. 
  • Provide reviews and input for program documents, including quarterly and annual reports, and other internal and USAID reporting.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.


  • Oversee recruitment and onboarding of the program staff and consultants including direct oversight of local partners
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of staff roles, and assist with career development.
  • Provide team members with information, tools, and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Promote staff accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government, and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.


  • Ensure compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor, and Mercy Corps’ needs.
  • Ensure sound financial management, including programmatic budgeting, spending projections, and monitoring of payments in compliance with USAID standards.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure that activities are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.


Supervisory Responsibility

Supervise a cadre of the GROW Team including the local partnerships team. The number of direct and indirect reports will be determined at a later stage.



Reports Directly To: GROW COP

Works Directly With: GROW senior leaders (key personnel and component leads), Country Director, Director of Programs, Program Performance and Quality Director, other DCOPs, HR, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Programs Team, and HQ Technical Support Unit

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging program participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.


Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in fields relevant to the work implemented by GROW such as agricultural economics, rural development or others. (While experience will be valued more highly than academic training, candidates with a graduate degree and less, but relevant post-education experience, will be considered.)
  • A minimum of seven years of recent relevant experience (within the last 12 years) in technically leading activities related to agri-business, markets systems and/or rural development with demonstrated results.
  • Relevant experience in program management, either as COP, DCOP, or comparable role, particularly in challenging contexts.
  • Competency in negotiation and communication skills and excellent interpersonal, managerial, and written communication skills.
  • Flexibility and ability to interact with rural communities of different backgrounds and ability to manage delivering work under non-permissive conditions
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and Arabic 

Success Factors
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members and other stakeholders of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. This position requires an ability to think creatively about civic engagement to strengthen inclusive, peaceful, and responsive governance. They will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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
This role will split its time between Derik, Hassakeh, and Raqqa based on need with travel to other areas of NES as required and requires up to 50% travel to all program implementation sites, security permitting. Personnel in this location are expected to follow all security protocols. 

The position is eligible for hardship, R&R, and home leave, as well as regular employment benefits. This unaccompanied position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. Water, electricity, and the internet are present with occasional cuts. 

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 MC's 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. 

Ongoing Learning
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

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.