Consultant-Public Health & Safety Advisor-Remote (Europe)

Programs Anywhere, United States


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.


In the last quarter of FY20, Mercy Corps launched our COVID-19 Response Strategy that builds on our agency core strengths to design impactful, context-driven solutions to minimize the toll of the pandemic on vulnerable individuals in the world’s most fragile environments. Our work first focused on keeping staff and program participants safe. Since then, our programs across regions have operationalized a structure to help drive our work in our all priority areas of the response strategy. Working closely with regional and country teams, technically-focused COVID-19
Pillar teams are helping build a framework for technical excellence and quality programs in a COVID-19 global environment. So far this year Mercy Corps reached 15.1 million people through our COVID-19 response. Out of this number, about 4 million people are direct participants of our Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions. Despite the wide variance in COVID-19 transmission rates around the world, overall we appear to be entering into a “new normal”. Many of the rapidly-shifting dynamics observed in months prior have now become more static. Each Mercy Corps office continues to adapt its operations and activities to the ongoing reality of COVID-19, as well as to implement communications, education, sanitation, hygiene and other programming specific to stopping the spread
of COVID-19 and managing related impacts. Over the next quarter, we will evaluate where and how we need to modify our focus to have a transformative impact on preventing and mitigating the immediate and long-term effects of the pandemic on global hunger, inequality, and violence in the places we work.

Purpose / Project Description

As‌ ‌this‌ ‌outbreak‌ ‌continues, ‌ ‌Mercy‌ ‌Corps‌ ‌is‌ ‌establishing‌ ‌systems‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌the‌ ‌safety‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌staff‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌continuity‌ of‌ ‌our‌ ‌business.‌ ‌ This‌ ‌position‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌key‌ ‌leader, ‌convener, ‌and‌ ‌advisor‌ ‌to‌ Mercy‌ ‌Corps‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌programmatic‌ ‌piece‌ ‌of‌ COVID-19.‌ ‌Field‌ ‌teams‌ ‌will‌ ‌need‌ ‌various‌ ‌levels‌ ‌of‌ ‌support, ‌‌particularly ‌guidance‌ ‌and‌ ‌programmatic‌ ‌engagement‌ ‌to‌ continue ‌adapt‌ing ‌with the new realities of working and living in the prolonged pandemic. This‌ ‌position‌ ‌works‌ ‌closely‌ with‌ ‌the‌ ‌global‌ ‌Technical‌ ‌Support‌ ‌Unit‌ ‌and the Security Team so‌ ‌they‌ ‌can‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌support‌ ‌our‌ ‌team‌ ‌with‌ ‌tools‌
‌and‌ ‌best‌ ‌practices‌ ‌for‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌programming as well as well-being and duty of care.‌ ‌ As opposed to a more traditional public health specialist, this role fits more into the health and safety workstream with a cross-cutting public health expertise. The consultant will therefore sit under the special COVID-19 department to be able to meet myriad and often ad-hoc requests that come up from a number of different individuals and teams looking for public health advice and guidance, allowing them to ‘roam’ as requested.

Consultant Objectives

This is a highly cross-cutting role to provide ‌programmatic‌ ‌and operations guidance ‌to‌ ‌country‌ ‌and‌ ‌regional‌ ‌teams‌ affected‌ ‌by‌ ‌COVID-19.‌ ‌ It‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌involve‌ ‌coaching‌ ‌country‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌through‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌shift‌ ‌to‌ ‌IEC/‌ ‌IPC‌ ‌work‌ ‌with‌ teams‌ ‌who‌ ‌do‌ ‌not‌ ‌have‌ ‌significant‌ ‌experience‌ ‌in‌ ‌health‌ ‌programming.‌ They are expected to monitor‌ ‌global‌ ‌networks‌ ‌(WHO, ‌ ‌CDC, ‌ ‌ISOS, ‌ ‌Health‌ ‌and‌ ‌WASH‌ ‌Global‌ ‌clusters‌ ‌and‌ ‌other) ‌ and‌ ‌give‌ ‌advice‌ ‌to‌ ‌Mercy‌ ‌Corps‌’ country teams on‌ programming, well being, and duty of care. They will work with the global teams (including the executives team) to provide advice and recommendations around Mercy Corps’ positioning with regards to COVID-19’ impacts and responses, including vaccine delivery.

Consultant Activities

The Consultant will:
1. Lead / Contribute to Health and Safety workstream, including but not limited to:
  • Daily monitoring of news, key developments, and new guidance from reputable sources related to
  • COVID-19 to ensure any COVID-19 related requests can be responded to promptly and accurately even in a fluid and dynamic scientific and epidemiological environment
  • Fortnightly Health & Safety Webinars
  • Regular review of all global SOPs related to health and safety
  • Development of new SOPs, guidance documents, and flow charts
  • 1:1 calls with country directors or HR on case management issues
  • 1:1 calls with operations directors on understanding / applying global SOPs
  • 1:1 calls with and presentations to country teams including open Q&A sessions
  • Last minute and often urgent questions from staff with specific questions related to new
  • developments with health and safety considerations
  • Advise on any other request arising related to health and safety considerations as requested
2. Provide a wide range of support to and through the TSU, primarily through work and support to the WASH-BCC COVID Response Team. The support exists across a number of different ‘buckets’ of work, including
but not limited to:
  • Closely work with SBC lead to ensure SBC materials are public health sensitive
  • Support COVID-19 Resilience Fund initiatives
  • Provide a public Health technical review of proposals
  • Regular check-ins with different technical teams to answer any public health questions and propose
  • public health solutions to new developments and programming
  • Proactively work to link CARM with COVID-19 to ensure appropriate mechanisms are in place if and when Mercy Corps staff or operations expose (or are perceived to expose) program participants to the virus
  • 1:1 conversations and calls with country teams on programmatic advice and support to ensure they consider a public health lens in their work
  • Participate in TSU webinars to respond to provide a public health perspective and respond to any public health questions that arise

3. Other relevant tasks, including:
  • Providing technical support on the COVID-19 internal communications campaigns
  • Contributing to the development of policy brief, op-eds, and presentations
  • Monitor channels for new initiatives and funding opportunities related to COVID-19 response
  • Provide key insights and guidance related to Mercy Corps’ prospective role in vaccine preparedness and roll-out campaigns, including but not limited to further engagements with the NGO Leadership Forum
  • Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:
Produce relevant documents and supports according to the tasks above

Required Experience & Skills
  • An‌ ‌advanced‌ ‌degree‌ ‌in‌ ‌Public‌ ‌Health‌ ‌ (MPH‌ ‌or‌ ‌higher) ‌ ‌and‌ ‌significant‌ ‌experience‌ ‌in‌ ‌responding‌ ‌to‌ ‌public‌ ‌health‌ ‌emergencies‌ 
  • 5-10 years of extensive‌ ‌on-the-ground-‌ ‌experience‌ ‌implementing‌ ‌field‌ ‌programs‌ ‌
  • Background‌ ‌in‌ ‌developing‌ ‌multi-channel‌ ‌public‌ ‌health/WASH-related‌ ‌social‌ ‌and‌ ‌behavior‌ ‌change‌ ‌communication‌ ‌messages‌ ‌and‌ ‌materials‌ ‌for‌ ‌diverse‌ ‌audiences‌ ‌
  • Demonstrated experience‌ ‌in‌ ‌coaching,‌ ‌training‌ ‌and/or‌ ‌remote‌ ‌advisory‌ ‌support‌ ‌
  • Cultural‌ ‌sensitivity‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌ability‌ ‌to‌ ‌communicate‌ ‌simply‌ ‌and‌ ‌effectively‌ ‌with‌ ‌colleagues‌ ‌from‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌world, ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌whom‌ ‌have‌ ‌non-health‌ ‌backgrounds‌ ‌ ‌
  • Independent, ‌pro-active‌ ‌and‌ ‌capable‌ ‌of‌ ‌delivering‌ ‌quality‌ ‌work‌ ‌with‌ ‌minimal‌ ‌supervision

Timeframe / Schedule:

Estimated‌ ‌40‌ ‌hours‌ ‌per‌ ‌week‌, between January 1 - June 30, 2021

The Consultant will report to:
Covid-19 Global Lead / Director

The Consultant will work closely with:
TSU, HLR and Security, Policy & Advocacy, People Team &Ops, Country and Regional Teams

Mercy Corps Diversity Statement 

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 Statement

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.