Senior Infrastructure Advisor ( PAQ Unit ) - National Role - Regional Office ( Amman or Beirut )
About Mercy Corps
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.
Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
The Program Performance and Quality Unit (PaQ), which sits in the Global Programs Department, supports effective, efficient, and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management, to achieve results for those who matter most - our program participants. PaQ consists of the following teams and functions: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL); Strategic Leadership; Program Standards; and Infrastructure. These teams are grouped together under PaQ because they focus on improving cross-cutting program and portfolio performance in a manner that is applicable to all or most programs/ portfolios, regardless of sector, desired program outcomes, or context, and because they are central to Mercy Corps’ desire to improve program performance and quality through Standards, Service, and Evidence.
The Infrastructure Team provides expert support to country teams to envision, design, and implement infrastructure projects that are fit-for-purpose. The team is committed to driving quality infrastructure design and implementation by: 1) Serving as an engineering and infrastructure project implementation center of excellence; 2) Setting standards and guidelines for infrastructure projects, and providing related learning and professional development opportunities for team members; 3) Supporting and leading project and program design and implementation utilizing state-of-the-art best practices to ensure long-term sustainable functionality; and, 4) Supporting infrastructure as an enabling modality for Mercy Corps’ broader programmatic goals.
General Position Summary
The Senior Advisor, Infrastructure is a key member of the PaQ Unit and Infrastructure Team. This role focuses on providing technical infrastructure support to all MC countries and ensuring quality implementation using good and acceptable engineering practices and adherence to the Mercy Corps minimum standards as it pertains to infrastructure implementation. The Senior Advisor will provide technical support to country portfolio and program teams, from the concept note phase to the completion and handover of infrastructure projects.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Write relevant sections of/ review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and US, European, and UN agencies for infrastructure programs or inter-disciplinary programs containing infrastructure projects or components.
- Conduct field assessments to inform new proposals or new infrastructure projects within existing programs, or to problem-solve technical and/or construction issues. Prepare organized, accurate, and concise assessment reports.
- Review and comment, independently, on engineering plans, technical specifications, and BoQ’s for technical efficacy.
- Review design packages included in infrastructure-related high-value tenders.
- Work effectively with country Infrastructure and allied teams to prepare implementation strategies, program schedules and budgets.
- Write and/or review scope of work and deliverables for technical consultants.
- Assist program teams in developing supervisory and monitoring plans for work implemented by consultants or contractors, and to assess contractor performance and resolve contract related issues.
- Assist country teams to resolve field issues encountered during construction.
- Provide infrastructure and construction management mentoring and training to country and program teams, including designing and leading training programs, webinars, technical orientation sessions, and leading other learning opportunities as appropriate.
- Program quality
- Track and support program teams in adhering to the Mercy Corps’ infrastructure minimum standards, making sure that these are grounded within overall agency and industry Program Management standards and practices.
- Use the results from minimum standards reporting to inform follow-up support and corrective actions with program teams.
- Develop technical manuals, tip-sheets, and other documentation needed to guide or standardize high-quality infrastructure work.
- Work effectively with relevant Mercy Corps teams to rectify any issues related to safeguarding in the context of infrastructure project planning and implementation.
- Ensure that infrastructure project design takes into consideration other related programmatic elements contributing to effectiveness, equity, and efficiency including but not limited to considerations around market system development, governance, environmental sustainability, and economic viability/ sustainability.
- Identify and raise infrastructure-related risks, whether at the program or portfolio level, to inform proactive risk management. Contribute to risk registers and mitigating measures.
- Serve on Complex Program boards for programs with significant infrastructure components, as requested.
- Supervisory Responsibility
The position may have supervisory responsibility over interns, volunteers, and/or consultants.
Reports Directly To: Infrastructure Senior Director
Works Directly With: Infrastructure Team, All other PaQ teams, WASH, Global Procurement, Compliance, other relevant HQ teams, and regional and country teams
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering required; advanced degree or equivalent is preferred.
- Minimum 15 years of experience in design and construction of civil engineering projects such as, urban, rural and agricultural water systems, sanitation systems, roads, vertical structures, and solar installations.
- Experience and familiarity with acceptable local and/or international design codes for civil works.
- Experience with construction contract implementation including FIDIC.
- Experience with quality construction methods and practices
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations both within and outside of the region, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Experience working effectively with multi-sectoral teams to design and implement programs.
- Familiarity with the infrastructure policies and expectations of major donors such as USAID, FCDO, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
- Fluency in English and Arabic is required.
- Having a professional engineering license or being a chartered engineer is a plus.
The Senior Advisor, Infrastructure will demonstrate significant experience in the design and construction of a diverse portfolio of civil works. The incumbent must exercise significant independence and show solid engineering judgment in supporting program infrastructure teams. The individual must possess the ability to conduct detail reviews of plans, reports, scope of works, and BoQ’s to provide detailed constructive comments to ensure the technical and compliance efficacy of infrastructure projects. The individual should have the proven ability to influence donors, partners, and peer organizations toward innovative programs and best practices, and to influence internal stakeholders to manage infrastructure opportunities and risks. Through significant experience managing all aspects of large or complex infrastructure programs, the individual will be able to advise and coach other Mercy Corps staff on how to adjust their methodology. All PaQ positions require strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, a customer service orientation, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position requires travel at least 25% time to the field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to deploy to field environments on short notice in response to any emergency or crisis. When in the field, the incumbent must be able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners 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.