Consultant - Local Partnerships Beirut, Lebanon
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.
Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping build secure, productive and just communities. Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps has been working towards generating positive opportunities for Lebanese people, Syrian and Palestine refugees and other vulnerable groups, with a strong focus on engaging women and youth. We do this through:
The Mercy Corps Lebanon (MCL) team consists of over 100 staff working across three offices throughout Beirut/Mount Lebanon, North Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. Current funders of Mercy Corps in Lebanon include the government of the Netherlands, ECHO, the US Government (BHA), Agence Française de Development, and the European Union through Madad funds. Mercy Corps’ programs aim to sustain Mercy Corps’ reputation as a key and reliable partner for various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive changes along the humanitarian, development and peace spectrum.
Primary program interventions include humanitarian assistance through cash-based response, support to employment and to small and medium enterprises, good governance, capacity building, economic development, livelihood support, and support to markets in crisis.
Lebanon has a dense, rich landscape of civil society actors ranging from larger, well-established organizations who are already leading in some key assistance and development sectors and projects to smaller actors with great capacity to understand and respond to the needs of their communities but less experience working with international donors and NGOs.
Donors in Lebanon have developed and are rolling out their own localization agenda with a clear prioritization, in funding and implementation strategy, for projects led by local partners or joint local/international partnerships.
In line with the Pathway to Possibility strategy MCL is shifting its implementing approach to design, foster and include local partnerships more intentionally and systematically. MCL sees value in working with a diverse array of local actors across this spectrum, offering mutually beneficial, principle-based and meaningful partnerships to all.
PURPOSE OF THE CONSULTANCY:
The Partnerships Consultant will work closely with the MCL team to develop a local partnerships strategy - including a vision, best practices, identification of resources, and concrete steps - that reflects the Lebanese realities and that helps position MCL as a partner of choice for local partners as well as for donors that have a localization agenda. The strategy must be accompanied by practical tools and training that will help operationalize it. Activities will include:
1/ development of MCL local partnerships strategy (up to 14 days):
Desk review of Mercy Corps approaches surrounding partnerships, including contractual modalities;
Desk review of existing localization and partnerships frameworks in Lebanon;
Workshop with the program team to develop a joint local partnerships vision;
Consultations with local partners with different levels of capacity;
Development of a local partnerships strategy,
2/ Toolbox/repository of resources (up to 20 days)
Identify the types of resources/tools that are necessary or useful for partnerships both across the project lifecycle (e.g., mapping, selection, proposal development, project co-design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages) and, potentially, also outside of project-specific context (e.g., coordination activities, advocacy, establishing connections, knowledge-sharing). The result will be a list or matrix of types of tools and resources that should ideally be available to Mercy Corps team members working with partners, regardless of if such resources actually exist. (3 days)
Review existing internal tools and resources that correspond to the above—including ASPIRE—to identify opportunities and gaps. When identifying gaps, consideration should be given to the types of partners that each resource could work for. The review process should include consulting with relevant country teams to identify tools and resources they have created for themselves that may not be in Mercy Corps’ Digital Library or on The Hub. We will be able to connect the partnerships advisor with some of these teams and suggest contacts, but they are expected to expand from these initial recommendations for a more comprehensive survey of country teams. (7 days)
Curate a repository from internal and external sources of key documentation, guidance materials, and tools on partnership across the lifecycle that are compatible with Mercy Corps’ locally led commitment and partnership values. This should include tools for different types of partnerships, with “Tier 1” organizations (focusing on tools that facilitate co-creation such as teaming agreements, co-facilitation/project planning tools, management frameworks) and with “Tier 2-3 ” organizations (which may include OCA and OCD). As a curated repository, all sources should be vetted for their quality, approach, and relevance. A tagging or categorization scheme should be devised to organize the resources in a searchable, user-friendly way, but the partnerships advisor is not responsible for determining how to host the repository. (10 days)
3/ Training (4 days)
Train teams across departments on Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) tools and how to use them with partners (3 days)
Identify internal MCL capacity for organizational capacity development (OCD) for partners (0.5 day)
Identify MC regional and global potential support and pain points for OCD (0.5 day)
1/ MCL local partnerships strategy including a roadmap of concrete next steps
2/ An organized repository of resources focusing across the lifecycle and tailored to the types of partnerships and programming identified in the strategy, along with a list of the types tools/resources that were identified as useful but are not represented in the repository.
3/ Basic training on OCA and identification of OCD development and training needs for support functions
ESTIMATED LEVEL OF EFFORT
Up to a maximum of 38 days.
IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
Office space as needed
Contact with external stakeholders as needed
Access to internal resources related to partnerships as needed
Travel from Beirut to the field as needed
REPORTS TO: Country Director
WORKS WITH: Director of Programs, Operations Manager, PAQ Manager, MEL Advisor, Finance Manager, HR Manager, Program Managers, TSU governance team, and SRU Senior Advisor for Localization.
Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in international development, business development or other relevant areas.
5 + years working in humanitarian response and development.
3 + years’ direct experience managing and/or supporting partnerships in the field
Previous experience working with Mercy Corps is a big asset
Proven experience developing and adapting Organizational Capacity Assessment and Organizational Capacity Development tools
Previous experience building capacity of staff and local partners.
Excellent knowledge of Lebanon humanitarian landscape
Ability to work in a collaborative spirit with all departments
Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel.
Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
Excellent oral and written English skills required, Arabic fluency is an asset.
Financial proposal including rate per day
Technical proposal including methodology for the different activities
Sample of previous work such as local partnership frameworks or tools
Field experience working with local partners in the humanitarian and/or development sector in Lebanon
Experience designing tools for partners capacity development
Experience developing partnership frameworks and strategies