Temp - New Initiatives Specialist (Proposal Development) - Middle East

Fundraising Anywhere, United States


 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.


About the Middle East Regional Team

Mercy Corps’ Middle East team continues to respond to the humanitarian and development needs with focus on resilience with programs across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen. With a commitment to deliver quality programs that impact, influence, and innovate at a regional as well as country level, the team’s regional structure provides support to the country offices in advancement of both individual country priorities and the collective regional strategy.


The Position

The New Initiatives Specialist is a member of the Middle East Regional Team, reporting to the Deputy Regional Director and working alongside the regional team to support the country offices as they track, develop, and submit quality concepts and proposals for funding. The New Initiatives Specialist works closely with the Middle East Regional Team and country teams on a daily basis, as well as maintaining close communication with the Global New Initiatives team on agency-wide initiatives.


His/her primary focus is on program/proposal development, including: 1) tracking the pipeline of potential new business opportunities for the region and supporting the RD, DRD and Country Directors (CDs) in prioritizing and preparing for them; 2) leading and supporting program development efforts throughout the region; 3) helping to enhance the overall state of practice vis-à-vis proposal processes within the region, and; 4) enhancing donor relations, with a particular emphasis on helping to diversify the agency’s funding base in the region. In addition, s/he is responsible for helping implement various other activities within the Middle East region that are part of the New Initiatives work plan.


Essential Responsibilities


        Write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including  US, European, and UN agencies, foundations and corporations.

        Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding.

        Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program strategies.

        Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.

        Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.



        Maintain up-to-date tracker of pipeline opportunities and submissions;

        Collaborate with regional team to provide weekly updates on the status of all country team proposal development;

        Provide monthly updates on major pipeline opportunities, live bids, and funding decisions to the Global New Initiatives team.


        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.


Supervisory Responsibility




Reports Directly To: Middle East Deputy Director

Works Directly With: Regional team, Country Directors/Deputy Country Directors and their teams, HQRegional Program team, HQ-New Initiatives team, HQ-Technical Support team


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

        5-7 years’ experience in program design and proposal development in a wide variety of sectors and geographic locations

        At least 2-3 years’ experience in field-based program and staff management, with regional knowledge of the Middle East region

        Experience with emergency as well as development proposal writing preferred

        Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run both participatory processes and meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products

        Experience with a wide range of donors including USAID and European institutional donors. Familiarity with other donors, including corporate donors, a plus

        Experience developing and strong understanding of budget and cost proposal submissions, and personnel and staffing requirements for USAID, OFDA, EU (ECHO and DEVCO) and other institutional donor proposals

        Strong representation and relationship-building skills including professional representation (e.g. donors, partner agencies, host governments, etc...)

        Strong negotiation skills and experience developing multiple-partnership arrangements for proposal development

        Ability to lead teams, handle negotiations and facilitate planning processes

        Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines and in sparse working environments

        Exceptional written and interpersonal communication skills an absolute must

        Master’s degree preferred in International Development or related field

        Native-level spoken and written English, Arabic a plus


Success Factors

The Regional NI Specialist will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have exceptional writing skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. S/he will have a love of writing, strong interpersonal skills, and a healthy competitive spirit, and will take a lead role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts.


Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical. S/he will also show the ability to work independently, and take initiative.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The location of this position is flexible. However, the successful candidate should be prepared to ensure at least half of her/his work day overlaps with the region (Amman time zone).


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. 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.