Partnership Advisor- Ukraine

Programs Kyiv, Ukraine Dnipro, Ukraine


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.  
The Program Summary   
Mercy Corps’ Ukraine response meets the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other war and conflict-affected people. In 2022 and 2023, Mercy Corps’ Ukraine response reached more than 2.5 million people with emergency cash, food, psychosocial support, and information campaigns. Notably, nearly all our programming has been delivered in partnership with civil society organizations through a granting program that matches humanitarian action with capacity strengthening, and with peer international NGOs through a consortium in Ukraine. Building on a substantial program addressing needs through MPCA/Cash in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine, the portfolio is expanding to include a Rapid Response Mechanism and resilience programming focusing on supporting local value chains and SMEs.  
The Position 
The Partnership Advisor is responsible for ensuring consistent and coherent partnership approaches across all Ukraine programs and will further develop Mercy Corps Ukraine’s Partnerships Approach in alignment with Mercy Corps Ukraine’s Response Strategy. The Partnerships Advisor will serve as technical lead and ensure harmonization of approaches on identification, selection, monitoring, and capacity strengthening of partners. This role will also represent Mercy Corps in external networks and fora with the aim of advocating for the localization of aid and equitable partnerships. S/he will provide direct oversight of the Partnership Unit, while providing indirect support to all other project-based program staff. 
This is a key senior role within Mercy Corps’ response and the candidate should expect to be flexible, responsive and offer critical thinking and solution-oriented approaches. They should feel comfortable in challenging practices and understanding change. 
Essential Responsibilities  
  • Lead on Mercy Corps Ukraine’s Partnerships Approach in line with Mercy Corps Ukraine Response Strategy, and Mercy Corps’ Global Localization agenda. 
  • Play a key convening role across the Ukraine response, facilitating a culture of practice and active networking with colleagues across functions, that are working with, or on, partnerships. 
  • Serve as the technical lead for capacity building across all Mercy Corps Ukraine partnerships, learning from and consolidating practices from across programs to establish more coherent approaches and tools. 
  • Foster an enabling environment for collaborative, inclusive, and mutually accountable partnerships with local organizations.  
  • Contribute to the evidence-base for and debate around civil society engagement and partnership approaches in Ukraine as well as Mercy Corps’ own partnership approach. 
  • Provide input and/or lead on program design focused on or including partnerships with Ukrainian civil society organizations. 
  • Ensure partners are consulted in strategy development and program design and regularly organize consultation sessions with civil society actors.  
  • Streamline Mercy Corps’ Partnership Approach across the response, ensuring harmonized and consistent approaches and sharing of tools, standards and lessons learnt.  
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative programming across the programs portfolio. 
  • Ensure program implementation is adhering to minimum standards and program staff are provided with tools and guidance on partnerships 
  • Contribute to new initiatives and ensure partnership and localization principles are met in proposals.  
  • Develop strategies, guidelines, tools, standards and standard operating procedures (SoPs) that help program teams to implement programs and provide necessary technical support on partnerships, where required.  
  • Develop a clear capacity development approach for Mercy Corps in Ukraine, including guidelines, tools, and standards.  
  • Provide capacity development to Mercy Corps team members and sensitize and train them on partnership and localization approaches.  
  • Provide team members with information, tools, and other resources to improve performance and help them constructively identify problem solving options. 
  • Lead collaborative processes designed to harness learning from Ukraine’s partnership programming to inform Mercy Corps’ partnership strategies at the country, regional, and global levels, as well as contribute to the growing global partnership sector. 
  • Facilitate and contribute to Mercy Corps Ukraine’s learning and strategy related to partnership approaches and capacity development (through workshops, participation in evaluation or studies, preparation/review of tool kits, collection of data and other measurement). 
  • Function as an overseer for partners and their feedback and ensure this is addressed by the relevant program teams.  
  • Represent Mercy Corps Ukraine’s partnership approaches and programming in the wider INGO and donor community, and relevant coordination forums. 
  • Develop internal and external networks to support effective advocacy and outreach across stakeholders to promote innovative partnership approaches within the Ukraine context. 
  • Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies working in a similar environment. 
Supervisory Responsibility 
Partnership Unit (2-3 direct reports) 
Reports Directly To: Program Quality and Standards Lead 
Works Directly With: Program Leads, Program Managers, MEL Lead, Subawards & Compliance Manager.  
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  
  • University Degree/Masters in international studies, social, economic or other relevant field is desired. 
  • Proven technical expertise in partnership approaches, civil society development and/or capacity strengthening of local partner organizations. Significant experience designing and delivering partner-driven programs, including US, UK, and EU-funded programming. 
  • At least 5-7 years of senior experience in relevant or similar roles, and 3-5 years of progressive humanitarian and/or development program management experience, including close collaboration with program, finance, sub-awards, and operations teams.  
  • 1-3 years of experience in team management, with remote management as an advantage, as well as management experience of complex, multi-dimensional programming, including administering small grants in an international environment. 
  • Strong knowledge of, and experience with organizational development of CSOs in challenging environments, and ability to inform the content and method of organizational development training.  
  • Demonstrated experience and ability to represent the organization and negotiate and defend Mercy Corps’ interests with a diverse range of international and local organizations and other groups professionally and appropriately. 
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are necessary. 
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in other departments or locations, as well as experience leading diverse teams. 
  • Experience with staff training and mentoring is preferred. 
  • Excellent oral and written English is required, and Ukrainian proficiency strongly preferred.  
Success Factors  
A successful candidate will have demonstrated the ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. They will be able to understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details and be able to balance upholding adherence with programmatic and operational standards with facilitating the implementation of complex programs. Ability and willingness to travel within Ukraine, including in areas of program implementation in eastern Ukraine, security permitting. 
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions  
The position will be based in either Dnipro or Kyiv, Ukraine, and requires travel to MC field offices including Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Lviv; it may occasionally require travel to program sites in insecure locations where freedom of movement and amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in shared 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 based on 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.