Peace & Conflict Program Manager - Syria
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
Mercy Corps has been meeting the needs of conflict-affected communities inside Syria since 2012. Mercy Corps Syria currently operates from Jordan and Syria with an experienced team of staff and partners who are supported and led by a Country Team based in Amman that ensures consistent, technical and quality driven programming. Mercy Corps implements a range of activities aimed at supporting positive coping strategies by addressing the basic needs of vulnerable families while strengthening opportunities to generate income, increasing access to livelihoods creating protective environments, and providing associated services and enabling social cohesion through our safe, protected, productive and peaceful communities framework (SP3).
General Position Summary
Based in the Al-Hasakeh office and reporting directly to the Area Director of Programs (ADP) for North East Syria, the Peace & Conflict Program Manager will have responsibility for the overall achievement of objectives, and the day-to-day administration and implementation of a program aimed at promoting social cohesion and providing protection services, primarily targeted towards women, youth and adolescents. The program falls within Mercy Corps Syria’s ‘Towards Safe, Protected, Productive and Peaceful’ (TSP3) communities framework, and the Peace & Conflict Program Manager will work closely with the Partnerships, Livelihoods, WASH, and Emergency Program Managers to implement an integrated programmatic approach. The Program Manager will be responsible for ensuring that the program runs smoothly by providing overall leadership, management, supervision, and strategic vision for the implementation of the program, while managing staff and resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, within budget, and at a high level of quality. The PM will supervise key staff (both Social Cohesion and Protection staff) and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations, while working closely with the national partner organizations to strengthen capacity and ensure achievement of program results. The PM will play a key role in liaising with and reporting to the donor on project progress and challenges. In addition, s/he will support and provide input to the overall Mercy Corps country strategy in Syria. This is a technical program management position and as such the suitable candidate will have extensive experience in supporting similar initiatives, aimed at promoting inclusiveness and building of resilience by enhancing civic engagement, social cohesion, good governance, protection and related capacities at the local level.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Technical Support, Strategy & VISION
● Develop a clear vision for the program, as well as a clear and effective strategy for program implementation and evaluation and ensure that the vision and mission are aligned with contextual realities;
● Ensure that the program strategy is clear and communicated to team members, local beneficiaries and partners;
● Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles and values;
● Collaborate with other related Mercy Corps programs to create synergies wherever possible;
● In coordination with the Peace and Conflict Advisor, lead and document strategy development and vision for peace and conflict work within the Northeast Syria program;
● Work with partners, communities, staff and relevant stakeholders to provide technical inputs and oversight to the design of interventions within the peace/conflict pillars;
● Working with Program Manager counterparts in other sectors, support the integration of a conflict sensitive approach across all programming in Northeast Syria, with an emphasis on enhancing program quality;
● Engage with the country level Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) team to document best practice aimed and enhancing the knowledge and quality of Mercy Corps global community of practice in Peace and Conflict.
● Manage and oversee program implementation, in cooperation with key project stakeholders, including local non-governmental organizations, local authorities, community-based organizations, other international agencies on the ground, and key donors;
● Serve as focal point with the local partners working in Peace & Conflict, in collaboration with the Partnerships Manager. This includes responsibility over partnership and any sub-grantees;
● Collaborate with program, finance, and administrative staff to ensure systems comply with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures, including adherence to Mercy Corps program management minimum standards;
● Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts;
● 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, including regularly monitoring project expenses, updating monthly and quarterly expenditure projections, and actively participating in monthly BVA meetings;
● Increase Mercy Corps and partner organizations’ staff capacity by designing and delivering technical training and coaching plans on topics related to building resilience and enhancing civic engagement;
● Provide leadership and oversight in all aspects of program implementation, management and evaluation.
● Manage a specialized team dedicated to the specific program deliverables;
● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles, and assist with career development;
● 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;
● Hire, orient, and lead team members as necessary;
● Oversee program staff and partner performance and quality of program implementation and if security context allows, conduct frequent field visits to all program sites.
partnership and civil society support
● Work within Mercy Corps partnership framework for partner selection, downstream program design, monitoring, verification, supporting partner accountability feedback mechanisms, start-up, implementation, and close-out of sub-awarded program activities;
● Maintain high-level relations with partners, while supporting program management counterparts on a continuous basis with mentoring, training, and ad-hoc needs as identified;
● Work with partners and partnership team to put in place organizational capacity development plans and implement capacity development plans;
● Carry out regular monitoring visits to communities;
● Coordinate closely with the Sub-Awards and Compliance to ensure program expenditure and activities are carried out in line with Mercy Corps and donor regulations;
● Work closely with Partner and Mercy Corps operations team to backstop and support partner procurement and supply chain activities;
● In coordination with the PaQ team, identify technical support requirements and backstop partners in meeting minimum standards.
Finance, Sub-awards & Compliance Management
● In partnership with the grants and finance departments, implement effective budget management, including budgeting, forecasting, BvA/revisions and modifications, sub-awarding, appropriate compliance reviews, checks and auditing;
● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to the Peace and Conflict Program Pillars and crosscutting themes including protection mainstreaming, disability inclusion and gender mainstreaming;
● Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
Monitoring, Evalutation and Reporting
● In partnership with the PaQ Manager, establish and oversee effective program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting systems for both internal and external use and ensure high quality input is obtained from team members;
● Use reporting results to monitor program success, measure impact, and calibrate program strategy accordingly;
● Ensure documentation of achievements and lessons learned to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated in quarterly and final program reports;
● Monitor adherence to the donor grant agreement as well as Mercy Corps’ and donor’s policies and procedures for procurement and compliance;
● In partnership with the Grants department, ensure high quality and accurate reports are prepared, reviewed and submitted to donors and other stakeholders within reporting timeline;
● Assess gaps and coordinate with field program staff, local partners, and other relevant stakeholders on project design in pursuit of high-impact and cost-effective program strategies and activities.
PROGRAM QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
● Ensure the program is sensitive and adaptive to the changing context while in line with best practice;
● Coordinate with the Country Office and HQ to build systems that promote beneficiary accountability by ensuring that communities participate in initial assessments and program design;
● Support staff and partners to ensure that communities are informed about our programs and what we do, are aware of their entitlements, are comfortable to give feedback and that feedback is used to improve the quality of our programs;
● Promote a culture of learning between programs through consistent sharing of M&E processes and systems.
● Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership;
● Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
● 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.
● Direct supervision of two Senior Social Cohesion Program Officers, one Senior Protection Program Officer, and one Protection & Gender Mainstreaming Coordinator
Reports Directly to: NES Area Director of Programs
Works Directly with: Area Director, Peace & Conflict Technical Advisor, Protection & Inclusion Technical Advisor, Partnerships Manager, Grants Manager, PaQ Unit, program teams, support teams
Knowledge and Experience
● Graduate degree in peacebuilding/peace and conflict studies or related fields such as governance, humanities, social or political sciences, law, international relations or equivalent relevant field experience.
● Significant experience (at least 3-5 years) in programming related to peace and conflict preferred; international experience (particularly in the Middle East or a post-conflict setting) is an asset.
● Experience managing technical program teams and leading the implementation of complex multi-sector programs in insecure environments, at scale.
● Experience working with civil society capacity development and partnership-oriented programming strongly desired.
● Experience with sub-awarding processes with community-based organizations and local civil society groups strongly desired.
● Practical field experience in peace & conflict, governance, and social cohesion programming; experience with protection mainstreaming, disability inclusion and gender mainstreaming is advantageous.
● Experience in remote management preferred.
● Strong commitment to capacity building of national staff and civil society with willingness to adopt a participatory and consultative approach.
● Strong writing skills, including experience in writing proposals and donor reports. For this excellent analytical skills and computer literacy is required.
● Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate and negotiate clearly and effectively at all levels, taking into account cultural and language difficulties. Tact and diplomacy are essential.
● The ability to work closely in a team, be patient, adaptable, flexible, able to improvise and work in an environment that is often stressful and potentially volatile.
● Financially literate, ability to manage large budgets, review, forecast and plan expenditure on behalf of a large program team.
● Willingness to travel regularly to other field offices.
● Fluent in spoken and written English. Arabic is an asset.
● In depth understanding of conflict sensitive program management.
The successful Program Manager will have the ability to multitask, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines within a complex team. S/he will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps. S/he will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate, assume leadership, and make solid decisions. S/he will possess a demonstrated ability to start up new projects and geographically scale up existing projects; and interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This unaccompanied position will be based in Al-Hasakeh, Syria with frequent travel across NES. Due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, the Peace & Conflict PM will be required to work from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) intermittently, including periods of quarantine before and after traveling in NES. This position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship allowance. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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