Senior Technical Program Manager - Technology for Development

Programs Portland, Oregon Washington, District of Columbia Anywhere, United States


*This position is currently funded through December 2021, with the possibility of extension.*

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 Technology for Development (T4D) team is housed within the Program Department’s Technical Support Unit.  It collaborates with Mercy Corps’ global teams and external partners to unlock new possibilities that increase program quality, impact and innovation, helping improve more lives through the power of technology. We think beyond today’s context, exploring how we can use current and emerging technology to shrink the global digital divide and help people in vulnerable communities adapt to and overcome evolving challenges. Our mission and purpose are to drive sustainable program impact through responsible application of existing and emerging digital technologies (i.e. digital identity, digital payments, big data analytics, etc.).  Mercy Corps is focused on driving the use of digital technologies to maximize scale, efficiency and impact within key strategic outcome areas, such as Food Security; Economic Opportunity; Water and Climate Adaptation; Peace and Governance; and Humanitarian Response.

Mercy Corps has been engaged with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to pilot and scale up projects utilizing cloud, artificial technology, and data analytics to better understand humanitarian contexts. 

General Position Summary 

The Data for Impact Program Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing daily management of program activities, program staff, and consultants, and ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results. The PM is a strong team leader and an effective communicator, able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. They are responsible for managing relationships with local partners and AWS representatives, contributing to achievement of project goals through innovation and program development. 

They will develop expertise in the technical architecture for both projects, as well as practical expertise in the applications of the services on the ground.  

Essential Job Responsibilities 

Strategy & Vision (20%)

  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve workplan objectives
  • Ensure vision and direction of projects is aligned with Mercy Corps technology plan and other internal initiatives
  • Contribute to strategic discussion and revision of workplans where needed in collaboration with the donors. 
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.  

Influence & Representation (30%)

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with relevant partners (e.g. ACAPS), sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Represent the work of the Data for Impact project internally within Mercy Corps, ensuring that knowledge about the work is disseminated beyond target implementing teams.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Exhibit an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

Program Management (30%)

  • Collaborate with program, T4D, IT, finance and administrative staff, both in HQ & in the field as relevant.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.

Team Management (10%)

  • Lead at least one full-time team member tasked with supporting implementation of the AWS-related crisis analysis work in the field.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development where relevant.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Security (5%)

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership wherever implementations are conducted.
  • Proactively ensure that team members deployed to the field operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning  (5%)

  • 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. 

Accountability to Beneficiaries 

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
    to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility

Direct Reports: 1-3 Data for Impact Advisors 


Reports Directly To: T4D Senior Director

Works Directly With: Crisis Analytics teams, Relevant field-based PMs, HQ-based Program Operations, Finance, and TSU staff

Knowledge and Experience 
  • 3+ of international relief and development experience or a similar field.
  • 3+ years of technical program management experience, especially in product management, product design & development, and/or data analysis. 
  • Experience with cloud computing tools including AWS and/or Microsoft Azure.  
  • Strong program management skills with demonstrated experience delivering multiple complex workstreams on budget and to deadline.
  • Strong understanding of data protection principles and data protection needs in field and HQ programs.
  • Experience using and/or creating data systems (collection, management, analysis, and use) for humanitarian and development programs.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Proven ability to learn quickly, lead a program to achieve stated results and objectives. 
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of corporate/private-funded programs, especially programs funded by the technology sector. Strong relationship management skills.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders.  
  • Experience working with host governments, national and international NGOs.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in French, Spanish, and/or Arabic is a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment. 
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
Success Factors 

The successful PM will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships with a strong understanding of applied data analysis technology.  They will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. They will be energized by the use of data for better programming, be an advocate for meaningful measurement systems that reflect project goals and needs, and will incorporate a bias towards data-driven decision-making in their management style. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The Project Manager is ideally based in Portland or Washington DC, USA, but may be based out of other Mercy Corps locations. This position may require up to 25% of time spent in travel to field offices. 

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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.