Ethics & Assurance Manager - Iraq
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.
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis.
The current program portfolio spans over five sectors inclusive of WASH, Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance, Sustainable Development, Social Cohesion, and Education. Programming is implemented across Iraqi governorates such as Anbar, Ninewa, Mosul, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Salah al-Din, Erbil, and Suleymaniah.
Mercy Corps programming interventions are designed to provide assistance and relief to returnees, refugees and IDPs through WASH and MPCA programs; enhance social cohesion and peace building & reconciliation processes; secure access to education to young Iraqis and refugees; and open up livelihoods opportunities to conflict affected families.
Mercy Corps Iraq works to expand its programming to include issue based policy consultation and development by forging partnerships between civil society sector and Government of Iraq, strengthening civil society organizations and their abilities to advocate and improve overall participatory decision making processes.
General Position Summary
The Ethics & Assurance Manager serves as the Mercy Corps Iraq focal point for ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps’ Code of Ethics and ethics policies and procedures. He/she examines, reviews, and analyzes records, reports, financial information and management practices to ensure compliance with laws, regulations and Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and investigates potential violations of the Code of Ethics with an emphasis on fraud, corruption, bribery, and human trafficking. The Ethics & Assurance Manager assists the country management team in developing, implementing and monitoring effective financial and operational controls over activities and offices to mitigate risk.
Essential Job Responsibilities
CODE OF ETHICS INCIDENT RESPONSE
• Following Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures, serve as country focal point for the internal reporting of any allegations of Code of Ethics violations, including fraud, corruption, bribery or human trafficking.
• Maintain the country Corruption Incident Register and liaise with the Country Director, Headquarters Ethics team, and other teams as needed, in the resolution of all reported incidents.
• As agreed with the Headquarters Ethics department, conduct inquiries and investigations to determine the facts, circumstances and scope of any allegations raised.
• Collect, analyze and document the results of investigations and communicate observations and recommendations with the collaboration of the Country Director.
• Guides and supervises the Ethics and Assurance Officer in conducting the investigations into the allegations of ethics violations, raising of the fraud and corruption awareness and other responsibilities.
• In coordination with the Headquarters Ethics team, Country Director, and the country management team as appropriate, prepares final reports to fully document the investigation and resolution of incidents.
• Liaise with program teams in implementing the country Community Accountability Response Mechanism (CARM). Respond to Code of Ethics violation referrals received through the CARM.
CODE OF ETHICS TRAINING AND AWARENESS
• Assist the country management team with the implementation of new Headquarters or country Code of Ethics policies and procedures, acting as a catalyst for change and acceptance and supporting smooth implementation.
• In coordination with established on-boarding processes, assist with the on-boarding of new country team members to ensure awareness and understanding of Code of Ethics policies. Conduct and/or coordinate regular anti-corruption, fraud prevention and other Code of Ethics trainings for country staff and partners.
• Assist the country management team in determining effective and efficient solutions to operational issues that ensure compliance with Mercy Corps’ policies and donor regulations, mitigate the risk of fraud or corruption, and also facilitate the achievement of program objectives.
• Assist program, operations and finance teams with implementing standard procedures or, as necessary, developing and documenting enhanced procedures for high-risk program activities, in particular those providing a direct financial benefit to participants (e.g. vouchers, cash distributions), requiring high value procurement, or the distribution of in-kind goods.
• In coordination with the country management team and program managers, maintain the country-level Risk Register to identify key risks and document strategies to mitigate these risks. Manage the quarterly update process and ensure communication of action plans.
• In coordination with relevant teams, perform periodic internal control reviews of in-country financial, procurement, human resource, and logistics procedures in both the main country office and field offices. In coordination with program and monitoring and evaluation staff, conduct field reviews of program activities to ensure that adequate controls are in place and are functioning properly. Communicate findings and work with the relevant departments to correct weaknesses and improve controls as needed.
• As agreed with the program and finance teams, advise on the development of monitoring plans for partners, including sub recipients, key vendors and other partners that must adhere to ethics policies. In coordination with relevant teams, perform periodic compliance reviews of partners.
• In coordination with the country management team and HQ Finance, assist with the follow-up and resolution of external audit or Mercy Corps Internal Audit findings.
• Conduct spot checks on the cash distributions time to time and report on any deviations and recommendations.
• Perform other related special projects and duties as determined and assigned by the Country Director.
● 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.
Ethics and Assurance Officer
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Headquarters Ethics team (with authority for Code of Ethics reporting and investigation matters), country senior management team, Program Directors/Managers, Finance, Compliance, Operations and HR teams and all MC Iraq staff. Ethics & Assurance Manager is a member of the Senior Management Team
Knowledge and Experience
● Bachelor degree in finance, accounting or a related business field is required; and an advanced degree is a plus;
● 5 years+ related fraud investigation or fraud auditing work experience with a not-for-profit organization implementing international programs;
● Strong background in compliance, systems and internal controls;
● Relevant experience in fraud investigation or auditing. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designations are strongly preferred.
● Solid understanding of a wide-range of ethics violations, including fraud, corruption and human trafficking in humanitarian and/or development settings; Understanding of best practice in ethics management and accountability within INGOs, including best practices for investigations of ethical violations;
● Demonstrated experience in successfully working with administrative and program staff at all organizational levels;
● Solid organizational and research skills with a broad understanding of various program sectors and activities;
● Demonstrated experience in financial and operational data analysis;
● Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel;
● Excellent command of written English language;
● Fluency in written and oral communication in English. Fluency in Arabic is preferred.
The successful Ethics & Assurance Manager will possess an exemplary professional standard of ethics as well as the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures and external regulations. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with internal and external stakeholders on sensitive and confidential matters is necessary along with the ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor, in an analytical and methodical manner. A demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is necessary. A broad understanding of humanitarian and development programs coupled with the ability to analyze financial operational data and clearly present conclusions and recommendations is essential.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Erbil, Iraq with a possibility for relocation to Mosul, Iraq; it is unaccompanied position. Travel within Iraq is required to support the field offices (50% travel). 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 hardship and R&R breaks. The position may, in the future be relocated to Mosul, depending in the changes in context. The scope of work and workload caused by humanitarian objectives of Mercy Corps’ programs may require flexibility in working hours and frequent travel to field offices, program sites and sub recipient locations.
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 values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.