Safeguarding and Inclusion Advisor - London, Edinburgh, The Hague

Safeguarding London, London Edinburgh, United Kingdom



Location: Edinburgh, London, UK,  or The Hague, NL

Position: Status Full-time, Permanent

Reporting to: HR Director, Europe

Travel: Up to 10%.  Occasional travel within Europe and possibly to programme locations.

London: circa 43K, Edinburgh: circa 36.5K, Netherland: circa 44.5K

Closing Date:
Apply with CV, cover letter, and writing samples and/or portfolio before October 24 2021. 

Applications are reviewed on rolling basis chronologically. 

Candidates must have the right to work for UK or EU at the time of application. 


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In conflict, 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.


Mercy Corps in Europe has grown rapidly in terms of volume of activity and complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London, Geneva and The Hague we now attract over £90m in income, and employ around 130 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment. 


The Role

At Mercy Corps, Safeguarding is a holistic term that encompasses our work to prevent, deter, detect and respond to  issues involving Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Program Participants and Community Members, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Child Safeguarding.  Complementing our Safeguarding work is our Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) priority, which is a multi-year participatory, inclusive process that endeavors to facilitate living and breathing our Mercy Corps culture and values by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace, our teams and our work with the community.


Mercy Corps has been engaging with key stakeholders in leading the humanitarian and development sector to prevent and improve responses to safeguarding violations and build a culture that supports the safety of team members and the community members we work with. Mercy Corps Europe now seeks to engage an experienced safeguarding professional to support the global organisation’s efforts in this area. This position will contribute to the agency’s strategic vision and to the cross-functional work-streams within our global organisation to improve our systems and culture of safeguarding and inclusion--operationalizing and embedding it into the day-to-day culture of the organisation, as well as represent the organisation externally in promoting and learning best practices in safeguarding in Europe and other locations as relevant. 


Essential Job Responsibilities

The Safeguarding & Inclusion Advisor will input to the global Safeguarding Strategy and GDI initiatives and promote, adapt and implement them to the European context while ensuring coordination and harmonization with the global efforts.  Participating in the European People, Global Safeguarding and GDI teams, the Safeguarding & Inclusion Advisor will provide leadership internally and externally, proactively identify areas requiring action and actively advocate for the implementation of evolving industry best practice.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Applying the overall Safeguarding & GDI strategies to the European context through training, education and awareness for Europe-based team members and as a resource for European donor funded programmes.
  • Communicate learnings from the European context into global workstreams, informed by team members experience and sectoral developments (such as changes in FCDO guidance and prioritisation).
  • Promote and educate Europe-based team members on Mercy Corps misconduct reporting systems and be available as a point of contact for team members with questions or concerns as they relate to misconduct reporting.
  • Participate in the Safeguarding Global Task Force & GDI Core Team on Safeguarding and Inclusion to ensure European demands, needs and constraints are taken into account as Safeguarding & GDI strategies evolve.
  • Identify key sectoral events and working groups in Europe where Mercy Corps strategic involvement is important and coordinate representation to strengthen safeguarding and inclusion across the humanitarian sector while feeding emerging trends and best practices into Mercy Corps’ approach to both.
  • Cultivate networks with Safeguarding and GDI counterparts in colleague agencies to facilitate exchange of ideas and collaboration across the sector, identifying potential areas for innovation and influence.  Participate in Bond safeguarding working groups and steering committees, as appropriate.


Technical Leadership:


  • Provide technical advice, from a European perspective, to support the development of policies, procedures, guidance, tools, trainings and awareness materials on safeguarding processes and procedures including understanding reporting mechanisms and the investigations process at Mercy Corps.
  • Identify opportunities for integration with other functional workstreams within Europe, while adding capacity to global projects as needed. Act as the primary point of contact for relevant onboarding content for new team members joining Mercy Corps in Europe.
  • Develop and facilitate training for existing staff on organisational safeguarding expectations in alignment with the global safeguarding strategy. Where possible, tailor training to specific programme needs. Do so in a manner that then promotes a comprehensive positive safeguarding culture at Mercy Corps.

Risk Mitigation in Programs
  • Provide technical advice and input on the corporate risk register, ERM and country risk registers on emerging risks, especially around child safeguarding and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries.  When needed, provide support to develop risk registers as needed for specific programmes/ donors.

Gender Diversity and Inclusion
  • Promote inclusion as a key component of Mercy Corps safeguarding approach for Europe-based team members.
  • Partner with the HR Director, Europe to move forward the strategy and implementation of GDI-focused initiatives in Europe..
  • Coordinate with the Global GDI Team and GDI Core Team to ensure European representation in GDI initiatives while also ensuring alignment of Europe-focused workstreams with global priorities.
  • Act as a reference and point of contact for team members based in Europe to enhance engagement on GDI priorities.

Human Resources Policies and Procedures
  • Continue to review and revise European policies and procedures for criminal background and reference checks as well as continued implementation of the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme..
  • Participate in safeguarding related working groups focused on enhancing the employee lifecycle (such as Bond-facilitate initiatives).
  • Evaluate candidate vetting and recruitment processes to enhance safeguarding and inclusion related best practices..
  • Support agency efforts to strengthen safeguarding in recruitment, improve support to field-based HR colleagues and provide additional capacity to the rollout and ongoing administration of the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme..



Reports Directly To: HR Director, Europe with indirect reporting relationship to the Global Safeguarding Director and Director of Gender, Diversity and Inclusion.

Works Directly With: European People team, Global People Team, European Director of Compliance, Governance & Risk, Global Safeguarding team, Global Gender, Diversity and Inclusion 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.



Knowledge and Experience

  • Ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor and in a methodical, analytical manner with a deep capacity for empathy.
  • Understanding of and experience maintaining a consistent survivor-centered lens in safeguarding practices
  • Deep knowledge and experience in programmatic diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Advanced degree in social sciences/humanities, gender, law, international relations, or another applicable field preferred.
  • Experience of, and ability for ongoing critical discourse on macro-level intersectional power dynamics within the international aid sector and how it can influence micro-level safeguarding issues
  • 5-8  years of  professional experience with safeguarding principles, including capacity building on rights-based and survivor-centric safeguarding approaches
  • Knowledge of salient issues of diversity and inclusion in the humanitarian and development sectors and experience advocating and implementing meaningful change.
  • Ability to communicate, problem-solve, and facilitate collaboration effectively with a culturally diverse and geographically dispersed teams, including members of HQ and country leadership
  • Experience working in humanitarian aid or development. Lived experience implementing or participating in humanitarian or development programming preferred.  .
  • Deep understanding of donor, regulatory and sector wide standards, expectations and rules regarding safeguarding best practice.
  • Understanding of best practice in ethics management and accountability within INGOs.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, effective organizational and interpersonal skills; strong written and verbal communication skills, including preparation of system documentation.

Success Factors

The successful Safeguarding Advisor will have knowledge of the INGO environment; possess a sustained lens of cultural humility while staying abreast of best practice as it relates to Safeguarding in the context of insecure and opaque environments with varying cultures, languages and education levels; and persistence in moving complex problems forward in a timely yet methodical manner. This person will have an abiding sense of empathy for the difficulties that INGOs face and an unwavering commitment to improvement in the face of these difficulties; they will do so while maintaining ongoing empathy for the participants INGOs serve, including survivors of safeguarding concerns. The Advisor will lead by example, with both technical expertise and an attitude of cultural humility that always seeks to learn from a place of equity, and in turn, motivate a diverse array of stakeholders. They will embody and facilitate the development of an organizational culture of continuous improvement and learning for safeguarding.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Edinburgh, London or The Hague. The successful candidate may travel up to 10% of the time, primarily to promote engagement and coordination within Mercy Corps’ Europe-based team.  Some occasional travel to programme locations in support of global initiatives is possible.


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 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.