Grants Management Director – Syria ( Based in Amman )
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 works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.
In Syria, Mercy Corps has been implementing emergency and life-sustaining activities since 2012. Mercy Corps currently operates with multiple institutional donors and a rigid, reporting regime.
General Position Summary
As a senior member of the Syria Country Office, the Grants Management Director Advisor will share accountability with other members of the Extended Senior Management Team for the direction and coordination of Mercy Corps’ Syria Response. S/he will provide leadership of the Grant Management Department, instituting best practice in grant management procedures and processes. The role will lead a team responsible for grant stewardship of multiple large and complex projects throughout the entire grant life-cycle, including fundraising strategies, pre-positioning, new business development, contracting, implementation and grant close-out, focusing on compliance, assessment and mitigation of business risk, developing and rolling out systems and processes for grant operations, which bridge programs with other departments, including finance, operations and HR. The candidate must demonstrate expertise and leadership to meet all pre- and post-award management requirements in developing new business opportunities, funding strategies and donor engagement. A particular focus of the role will be in stewarding complex and multi-hub grants, which span multiple program management teams across the many different contexts and requirements within Syria.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Design and implement a coherent organizational structure for the Grant Management Department that is consistent with agency practices and appropriate to program needs.
- Support to establish, maintain, and improve active and regular working relationships with: donors, partner agencies including major institutional donors, and local and international NGOs.
- Ensure that the required Grant Management support is provided promptly, at scale and in line with the best practice during emergencies.
- Provide leadership to the Grants Management Department, ensuring a culture that promotes accountability, high performance, encourages team learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our teams to achieve impact for our beneficiaries and excellent customer service to our donors and key stakeholders.
- Provide strategic support to the SMT on all aspects of grant management including funding pipeline management, award contracting and donor compliance.
- Support development and implementation of the Country Office funding strategy, making recommendations and flagging issues to the SMT and Mercy Corps HQ as appropriate.
- Ensure accurate and up to date information on the funding pipeline and grant portfolio is readily available to SMT and members.
- Working with the Finance Director, ensure the Country Office has a clear framework for master budget development, cost allocation, monitoring of award budgets, phasing and forecasting, in particular ensuring alignment between the master budget and funding tracker.
- Work with the hub-level Program Directors, Sub-Award and Compliance Director, Field Program and Support Teams, as well as HQ offices throughout the grant cycle to ensure appropriate set up of new grants, ongoing reporting and close out of awards.
- Identify business risks in regards to grants and donor contracting, and inform SMT to ensure informed decision-making with appropriate mitigating actions in collaboration with department directors.
- Ensure accountable reporting to donors through establishing, implementing and monitoring of strong reporting mechanisms, which reconcile Finance, Operations, Distribution, and M&E data.
- Recruit, train and manage grant management staff.
- Build and maintain relationships with the local representatives of donors, working with HQ to ensure consistent communications to donors at all levels.
- Build and maintain relationships with relevant networks and grant management staff of similar organizations in the country.
- Coordinate the preparation of timely program and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal requirements and any relevant external donor requirements.
- Ensure grants team is leading on the production of internal reports, including sitreps, 3Is and RTW, ensuring timely inputs from program, finance and operations teams, and ensure review and sign-off processes are thorough and adhered to.
- Ensure that filing structure meets minimum [email protected] standards and folders are populated and archived accordingly.
- Support coordination and document all Program Kick-off, Program Review and Close-out meetings, track action points for follow-up and record/document all lessons learned.
- Facilitate communication between field teams, donors and HQ, as and when required, including the preparation of program and contextual updates for key stakeholders.
- Maintain and update project management tools, including funding trackers, grant trackers and dashboards.
- Work closely with the PaQ team to collect information on program monitoring, progress and quality to support ongoing reporting, proposals and other operational management tools.
COMPLEX AND MULTI-HUB GRANT MANAGEMENT
- Work closely with the Deputy Country Director and SMT on effective coordination and management of high-risk, complex and multi-hub grants to ensure they remain on-time, on scope and on budget. This includes:
- Ensuring regular multi-hub information exchanges on progress and burn-rates
- Work closely with Program Directors and Finance, to ensure accurate forecasting and advising DCD on resource allocation according to hub-level projections, challenges and opportunities
- Facilitate regular grants review meetings with each hub and between hubs, and keep SMT, HQ and complex program boards abreast of contractual deliverables
- Work with Program Directors and department heads to analyses risks and opportunities
NEW Business Development:
- Provide detailed analysis of current/ pipeline grants to senior management colleagues and provide donor funding cycle information to guide proactive business development
- Lead the proposal development process, assigning team leads within the grants department to coordinate across departments, with the region and HQ, engaging particularly with the Program Performance and Quality (PAQ) team and the Directors of Programs to ensure the production of high quality proposals that are reflective of Mercy Corps and donor strategic objectives, are operationally viable and accurately reflect the cost of doing business
- Act as the focal point for full compliance with [email protected] minimum standards for program management.
- In coordination with Finance, MEL and Program teams ensure that the Grant Advisor/Focal point, supports the BVA process, and develops and ensure high quality donor reports, that present up to date and accurate information.
- Support the finance team with initial budget development and ensure consistency with program planning.
- Ensure that key contributing staff and partners have a clear understanding of donor requirements and expectations at all stages of the grant cycle.
- Work with the finance team and provide technical advice to strategic donor costs allocation with a view to minimize compliance requirements where possible (time sheets, co-financing etc.)
- Ensure potential issues and amendment requests are flagged promptly to donors. This may include developing business cases where donor waiver/derogation requests need to be more thoroughly articulated or negotiated with donors.
- Work closely with Sub-Awards and Compliance team and the Partnerships Team in working with partners in the proposal development process for sub-awards to ensure high quality partner proposals that align with Mercy Corps and donor strategic objectives, are operationally viable and accurately reflect the cost of doing business
- Support the Sub-Awards and Compliance team with partner cost modifications and sub-award amendments as required
- Support the partnership team in relevant grant related organizational development activities, including provision of training to partners in donor compliance, project cycle management, proposal design and development
- 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.
Grants Advisors x 2 and DFID Grant Specialist.
Reports Directly to: Deputy Country Director; maintains functional link with Department Heads, Director of Programs.
Works Directly with: Each department: Program Teams, Finance Department, MEL, Operations and Security & Access, the HAT, Headquarters teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- 7+ years of experience related to humanitarian or developmental work, including:
- Preparing writing and analysis on programmatic activities;
- Basic budget development and management experience;
- Managing work plans;
- Representing programs with donors and external stakeholders.
- At least 2 years’ experience working on grant management in a senior leadership role
- Excellent writing and communication skills required.
- Ability to produce and edit documents under deadline pressure.
- Ability to coordinate funding proposals and progress reports from key institutional donors (USAID, DFID, OFDA, ECHO, EC. etc.).
- Strong financial literacy, able to develop budgets, budget narratives and provide detailed analysis of BvAs
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts.
- Strong understanding of key humanitarian principles and good practices.
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
- Ability to efficiently manage competing priorities with limited supervisor input.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
- Graduate degree in a relevant field preferred.
- Experience working in the Middle East region and Syrian context preferred.
- [email protected] certified preferred.
- Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Arabic or Kurdish is a plus.
- Strong organization skills with attention to detail
The successful candidate will combine exceptional organizational abilities and writing skills with good humor under pressure. S/he will learn and move between all departments to consolidate essential information for accurately reporting Mercy Corps activities in Syria. S/he will be able to capture strategy, technical methodology, and planning in to concise and clear documents in new proposal development. The candidate will be organized and maintain a clear electronic and paper filing system. S/he will take the time to learn and understand donor compliance and help ensure best practices are upheld throughout the entire grants management process. The successful candidate will be able to ultimately be able to provide constructive input to large relief programs and therefore, must be willing to learn from others. In particular, best practices in cross cutting issues including accountability, gender and protection. S/he must be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support and information management skills.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Amman and it requires up to 40% travel to all program implementation sites, security permitting and as required for coordination and reporting/proposal drafting purposes.
Personnel in this location are expected to follow all security protocols. This is an unaccompanied position
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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.