Program Management Senior Advisor, Learning & Process Improvement Job Vacancy in Kenya - Mercy Corps

Position Title: Program Management Senior Advisor

Location: UK, NL, US, Kenya, Jordan, or other Mercy Corps locations possible

**Position Status: Full-Time, open term

Salary range: London: circa 47K - 55K; Edinburgh : circa 41K- 47K, NL: circa 47K - 54K - local benchmark for US, Kenya, Jordan and others

Apply with CV and Cover Letter by September 17th

The applicant must have the independent right to live and work at the location of assignment (ie., not require visa sponsorship)**

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.

The Program / Department / Team

The Program Performance and Quality Unit (PaQ) is an integrated Unit consisting of the Program Standards Team; the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Team; the Strategic Leadership Team; and the Infrastructure Teams. PaQ is a Unit within the Global Programs Department. The purpose of PaQ is to support effective, efficient, and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management, to achieve results for those that matter most -- our program participants.

The Program Standards Team acts as a Program Management Office which fulfills the following broad functions:

● Centre of Excellence: We provide specialist program management leadership and support and have particular specialisms in CARM, Cash, Goods, GESI and Program Analytics

● Policy, Standards, Guidelines and Learning & Development: We define Program Management and cross cutting standards, create guidance, and provide professional development opportunities to Mercy Corps and Partner staff. We focus on continuous improvement and adaptive management throughout our work

● A Functional Home for the Program Manager and CARM specialists: Program Managers can access functional support, advice and guidance from the team.

The Position

The Program Management Senior Advisor:

● Leads on delivering Mercy Corps Program Management Learning Pathway

● Leads the process of reviewing, embedding and updating program management business processes

● Supports the creation of relevant, simple and adaptable program management guidance and templates

● Works with country teams to effectively implement program cycle management through the provision of direct and remote support utilizing Mercy Corps Program Management Change Model.

● Coordinates with other departments, functions and offices to identify and address challenges for achieving quality program management and to align and streamline business and system procedures and guidance.

● Engage other Mercy Corps functional teams in understanding and supporting quality program management

● Leads and/or contributes to new and ongoing agency-wide and/or PaQ-specific initiatives and projects.

● Engages with external fora and debates in the field of program and project management.

Essential Responsibilities


● Define the strategy for the Program Management Professional Development workstream;

● Develop and evolve Mercy Corps’ program management curriculum;

● Facilitate and support others to facilitate online self-paced, online social, and in-person project and program management training offerings;

● Track and report on key learning and development performance indicators;

● Lead on the improvement of onboarding resources, as well as onboarding support for key positions;

● Provide outreach and support for team members adopting the program management policy, tools and resources;

● Contribute to the facilitation of communities of practice related to program management and standards, or to other communication and coordination mechanisms that bring together program managers to improve information-sharing and program management practices.


● Map and maintain Mercy Corps Program Management Business Process flows

● Implement the Mercy Corps Program Management Change Model throughout the provision of direct support, prioritizing continued and sustainable support at depth over short term fixes.

● Apply Process Improvement methodology throughout country level support, using it as the framework to identify, diagnose and resolve program management issues

● Identify high-priority countries or programs that need increased program management technical support, both remote and in-country, using performance data and engagement with regional and country directors

● Utilize data from Mercy Corps systems and processes, specifically the global standards reporting mechanism, Tola Data and audit findings, to support in the diagnosis and resolution of program management issues

● Support country teams to develop action plans to improve adoption of the Program Management Policy.


● Support the adoption and institutionalization of the Program Management policy by embedding and building ownership across HQ, Regional and Country Teams

● Conduct strategic engagement at regional and country levels to increase buy-in of the Program Management Policy and create a thorough understanding of the minimum standards

● Contribute to a culture of learning and adaptive management

● Contribute to the roll out, familiarization, adoption and maintenance of an agency wide standards reporting mechanism

● Support the process of global quality assurance of standards reporting and engage with the analytics of standards and performance data

● Contribute to the revision process of the Program Management Policy


● Ensure that program managers and directors are oriented, trained and prepared to adopt the Program Management Policy, including support options and opportunities for learning and engagement.

● Identify, develop and disseminate Program Management guidance, tools, and templates needed for country teams to meet and exceed the Program Management and minimum standards

● Continuously update and improve Program Management guidance, tools and templates through identifying gaps, integrate new approaches and best practices, and ensure consistency with other departments.


● Identify, prioritize, manage and/or support agency-wide and/or PaQ-specific special projects and initiatives.


● Support cross departmental initiatives

● Engage members of additional HQ departments as needed to gain buy-in and technical insights

● Conduct external stakeholder engagement to strengthen Mercy Corps position as a thought leader in Program Management

● Incorporate peer learning into Mercy Corps PM@MC work.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Program Standards Senior Director, PaQ Unit

Works Directly With: Program Performance & Quality Team members, HQ, regional and field staff.

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

● BA in relevant field required; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent encouraged;

● 10+ years of experience in international relief and development; demonstrated knowledge of grant-based funding models, emergency response and development strategies and operational challenges in the sector;

● 2-4 years of experience managing projects or programs;

● 2 years HQ experience desired

● Demonstrated experience managing enterprise-level projects and/or initiatives

● Proficiency with MS Office software required (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

● Experience of developing global procedures, processes and guidance for NGO program management

● Experience of providing professional development in program management through direct and remote support

● Knowledge and / or experience of establishing strong global networks and internal communications

● Knowledge and / or experience of coordinating with multiple stakeholders, with different perspectives

Success Factors

The individual would need to be a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with team members and departments internally, as well as with external bodies. They will have a positive and dynamic working style that enables them to work independently in a remote team. They will harness the expertise, experience and ideas of diverse Mercy Corps team members and external partners to strengthen Program Management within Mercy Corps. The individual will be customer focused and able to provide contextualized products and services that meet the needs of the user. The individual will have strong commitment to program management improvement and drive to ensure high quality field program delivery. They will champion adult learning practices and drive the conversation around learning and development innovation. They will be able to both understand the global systems and procedures necessary to ensure quality programs, reduce agency risk and communicate processes to field teams in a manner they can implement.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position can be based in London, Portland, Washington D.C. or the person’s home location, as applicable. There is some travel expected (Up to 40%), and this can include areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/ short-term assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

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.

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.

How to apply

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