STA - Protection and GESI Capacity Building Adviser - Ukraine

Programs Kyiv, Ukraine


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. 
Department Summary
Mercy Corps’ Ukraine response meets the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other war and conflict-affected people. In 2022 and 2023, Mercy Corps’ Ukraine response reached more than 2.5 million people with emergency cash, food, psychosocial support, and information campaigns. Nearly all our programming has been delivered in partnership with civil society organizations through a granting program that matches action with capacity strengthening. Building on a substantial program addressing needs through MPCA/Cash in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine, the portfolio has expanded to include a Rapid Response Mechanism and resilience programming focusing on supporting local value chains and SMEs.   
The Position
Mercy Corps Ukraine, as part of the expansion of its portfolio and commitment to localization in Ukraine wishes to make a significant investment in the development of its Protection and GESI team, and the P&GCB Advisor will be responsible for developing a comprehensive capacity building package that not just focuses on content but on professional skills including critical analysis, advocacy and external representation, substantive organizational behaviour change, results and learning across all its programmes and teams and in alignment with Mercy Corps Ukraine’s Response Strategy and the organizational Pathway to Performance Strategy.  
This will be a pivotal chance to develop Mercy Corps’ response and the Adviser should expect to be flexible, responsive and offer critical thinking and solution-oriented approaches. They should feel comfortable in challenging practices and understanding change. The Adviser should be particularly competent in capacity building for success with individuals and teams.  
Essential Responsibilities  
  • Review and enhance Mercy Corps Ukraine’s GESI and Protection approaches in line with Mercy Corps Ukraine Response Strategy, and Mercy Corps’ Global Localization agenda. 
  • Develop a comprehensive capacity building package for the GESI and protection team that includes both content and professional skills including critical analysis, advocacy and external representation, substantive organizational behaviour change, results and learning across all its programmes and teams. 
  • Model and mentor team members on technical leadership in GESI and protection demonstrating how to learn, critique and consolidate practices. 
  • Foster an enabling environment for collaborative, inclusive, and mutually accountable GESI and protection work within the organization and with partners. 
  • Provide input and/or lead on program design focused on or including GESI and protection, enhancing Mercy Corps’ approach to both Analysis and Assessment including fostering an understanding of quality evidence.  
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative programming across the programs portfolio with respect to GESI and protection which can be delivered by an independent team. 
  • Ensure teams understand and can take forward minimum standards in GESI and protection and are position to further develop these. Ensure that programme implementation is adhering to minimum standards and program staff are provided with tools and guidance. 
  • Establish a coherent and structured approach to evidence creation, management and dissemination that can be further developed by the teams. 
  • Contribute to new initiatives demonstrating how GESI and protection can drive forward positive change, leaving a substantive legacy for the Mercy Corps mission captured through various channels including written and behavioural. 
  • Review and develop strategies, guidelines, tools, standards and standard operating procedures (SoPs) that help not just program teams to implement programmes and provide necessary technical support on GESI and protection, where required but allow the GESI and protection team to take on this work at the end of the assignment. 
  • Develop a clear capacity development approach for both the GESI and protection teams and the wider Mercy Corps mission in Ukraine, including guidelines, tools, and standards. 
  • Provide intensive capacity development to Mercy Corps team members both in terms of GESI and protection but also in professional skills and competencies that will enable the teams to flourish, enhancing confidence and autonomy. 
  • Provide team members with information, tools, and other resources to improve performance and help them constructively identify problem solving options. 
  • Facilitate and contribute to Mercy Corps Ukraine’s learning and strategy related to GESI and protection approaches (through workshops, participation in evaluation or studies, preparation/review of tool kits, collection of data and other measurement). 
  • Support the team in further developing representation on GESI and protection in the wider INGO and donor community, and relevant coordination forums. 
  • Support the team to further develop internal and external networks to support effective advocacy and outreach across stakeholders to promote GESI and protection within the Ukraine context. 
Supervisory Responsibility 
None but will be responsible for capacity building of the protection and GESI teams 
Reports Directly To: Program Quality and Standards Lead 
Works Directly With: GESI and Protection Team, Program Leads, Program Managers, MEL Lead, Subawards & Compliance Manager. 
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills 
  • University Degree/Master in GESI/international studies, social sciences, social work or other relevant field is desired with a specialism in gender/GESI and/or protection 
  • Proven technical expertise in gender and protection, and capacity strengthening  
  • At least 5-7 years of senior experience in relevant or similar roles, and 3-5 years of progressive humanitarian and/or development program management experience. 
  • At least 3-5 years of experience in individual and team capacity development and transformation within a context of complex, multi-dimensional programming in an international environment. 
  • Strong knowledge of, and experience of development training with the spheres of gender and protection. 
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are necessary. 
  • Experience with staff training and mentoring is preferred.  
  • Excellent oral and written English is required, and Ukrainian proficiency strongly preferred. 
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in other departments or locations, as well as experience leading diverse teams. 
Success Factors 
A successful candidate will have demonstrated the ability to lead, communicate, train and develop. This will involve effective engagement with team members demonstrating varied work styles and foster critical thinking planning and problem solving. They will be able to understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details and be able to balance upholding adherence with programmatic and operational standards with enhancing Mercy Corps’ ability to meet the organisation’s ambitions with respect to transformative programming in gender and protection. The successful candidate must have the ability and willingness to travel within Ukraine, including in areas of program implementation in eastern Ukraine, security permitting. 
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 
The position is based in Kyiv and it requires up to 40% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities may limitedHousing for this role is in shared Guest House 
Applicants should be aware of the current war context in Ukraine and should have valid HEAT certification. 
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. 
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.  Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.