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Senior Regional Policy and Advocacy Advisor

The Position

  • The Regional Policy and Advocacy (PA) Advisor will support and enable Mercy Corps’ efforts to ensure that humanitarian and development action in Africa effectively helps vulnerable communities cope, adapt and thrive in the face of conflict and climate change. The position seeks, in collaboration with the agency’s global Policy & Advocacy (P&A) team and relevant colleagues in the region (including those working on research, analysis and media/communications and technical support), to influence policies and practices of national and international actors.
  • The PA Advisor – in collaboration with country and regional leadership – will lead advocacy in the region, conducting and compiling analysis and evidence to influence the policies and processes of key decisionmakers.
  • The position will engage with key stakeholders (governments, donors, UN agencies, coordinating bodies) primarily at the country and regional levels, to influence and improve the policies affecting the delivery of humanitarian and development interventions across Mercy Corps’ areas of operation, in coordination with the broader NGO community in the region as well as Europe and the United States.
  • The PA Advisor will also be responsible for developing and supporting Mercy Corps country and regional teams to develop and deliver thoughtful impactful advocacy strategies to secure better outcomes for the communities we work with.  
  • The PA Advisor will collaborate with Mercy Corps’ global P&A team to develop a comprehensive regional advocacy strategy and support country-specific advocacy strategies as appropriate to ensure Mercy Corps conveys an articulate, well-informed, field-driven perspective to policymakers that drives policy change. The Advisor will establish and maintain relations with relevant stakeholders in key Mercy Corps’ operational countries in the region and will develop policy-relevant documents, including talking points on needs, challenges, on-the-ground dynamics and recommendations, and other information and analysis, and share them with global policy staff to support their outreach efforts. The PA Advisor will help ensure that policy positions are well grounded in the priorities of the communities where we work, through regular and active communication within the region, while also ensuring team members are aware of Mercy Corps research, policy positions and talking points.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Support Mercy Corps’ policy and advocacy related to country specific contexts as well as the Africa region at a global level and lead regionally-based advocacy work in close collaboration with the regional and global teams. 
  • Advise and support the development and implementation of Mercy Corps policy and advocacy strategies on key country contexts and the Africa region drawing on Mercy Corps’ programme experience, research and technical expertise.
  • Stay abreast of the fast-paced environment and challenges. Ensure that team members in the region are on message with our vision and position. 


  • Build and maintain close links with key Mercy Corps country teams operating across the region, and ensure analysis is grounded in and supports Mercy Corps’ program work. 
  • Implement the country-specific/regional advocacy strategies, developed in partnership with both the country programs and the Global P&A team.
  • Work in close collaboration with Mercy Corps’ operational countries in the region and establish and maintain strategic relations with relevant local and international stakeholders to continually inform, challenge, and improve Mercy Corps’ advocacy. 
  • In collaboration with the country teams and the regional communication manager, develop and maintain up-to-date talking points on static positions as well as one-off, extraordinary events or challenges. Communicate these to field teams, recognizing that each donor visit and external meeting is an opportunity for advocacy. 
  • Ensure regular high-level representation in key humanitarian and development decision-making platforms and other mechanisms that impact operations and the needs of affected populations.


  • Work with the country teams and global P&A team to plan and produce effective, thoughtful and timely written products that advance policy perspectives important to our mission.
  • Work with Crisis Analysis teams and the Regional Research Specialist to maximize on influence and learning drawn from specific regional and/our country initiatives.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of policy and advocacy work.
  • Related tasks as required and agreed by the Regional Director and Global Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.


  • Work with country teams to identify advocacy priorities and support the implementation of advocacy plans.
  • Support country-specific staff (either dedicated policy and advocacy staff or individuals selected from existing teams) to better implement advocacy priorities at local, national, and international levels through mentoring, coaching, and development of individual capacity building plans.
  • Provide training to field teams on advocacy and other related topics as needed.
  • Create and animate a regional community of practice among staff whose work is relevant to P&A efforts.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Dotted line support to country-specific policy and advocacy staff.


Reports Directly To: East Africa Deputy Regional Director, technical accountability Global P&A team.

  • Works Directly With: All regional Country Directors and relevant senior team members, program teams, regional communication and technical staff, researchers and analysts and broader regional team as well as MC Europe and US team members. The PA Advisor will work closely with Mercy Corps representational staff on coordination across the region. The PA Advisor will have strong working links with the Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy team in Europe and the US
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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

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • 5-7 years of experience successfully working with and managing advocacy and policy campaigns and initiatives in an NGO or legislative context, including past experience working with humanitarian issues and complex emergencies.
  • Good understanding of the possibilities and tactics for influencing decisions and policy makers, politicians, donors, and other key actors in the field.
  • Demonstrable experience of representation and policy and advocacy work, and engaging, managing and working effectively with a range of stakeholders, networks and coalitions.
  • Excellent analytical skills and demonstrable ability to think strategically, innovatively and practically to ensure achievement of desired change objectives.
  • Demonstrable ability to summarize and persuasively communicate complex information in written and verbal form to different audiences, including past experience leading the production of external written policy products.
  • Demonstrable experience in supporting, guiding and training senior staff in a technical area, preferably related to policy and advocacy.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to effectively handle multiple tasks, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills are required and French language skills are strongly preferred.
  • Previous experience working in Africa and good knowledge of the political contexts across Africa are highly desirable.

Success Factors

  • A successful candidate will have effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills with an ability to effectively represent the organization and its interests to a diverse range of stakeholders, including local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, donors, other international organizations, the media, and the community. The successful candidate will have great analytical skills, demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow and enforce procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members, have strong people skills and the ability to motivate diverse teams. An interest and ability to travel and work in remote and dynamic environments, with experience in insecure environments is an advantage as is an awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural international development work and an ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles. They will have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations, with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a sense of humor.

Senior Venture Building Manager/Jobtech Alliance

The Position

  • We are recruiting a Senior Venture Building Manager responsible for end-to-end engagement with jobtech start-ups. The Senior Venture Building Manager will be responsible for developing a pipeline of exciting jobtech platforms with potential for significant employment outcomes, working with them to develop concepts for Mercy Corps’ interventions, managing selection and onboarding, and managing advisory support to realise results. S/he will also be the Venture Building lead for startups seeking to onboard refugees in Uganda.  S/he will be well-equipped to interact with corporates and bigger start-ups and will bring a strong network. Expect us to move fast, make mistakes, learn a lot, and re-start a few times. You’ll be traveling up to 30% of the time across different African markets.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Contribute to the overall venture building strategy of the program, and our private sector engagement model for Jobtech for Refugees.


  • Map, develop and maintain relationships with relevant external stakeholders to widen pipeline, including accelerators and start-up networks.
  • Develop a pipeline of exciting jobtech start-ups across multiple African markets with the potential to achieve greater scale, impact, and/or inclusivity (particular focus in Uganda)
  • Work with pipeline start-ups to identify potential concepts for partnership, collaboratively deciding on packages of support. Where beneficial, identify linkages between Mercy Corps country portfolios and pipeline start-ups.
  • Lead due diligence up to review by the Selection Committee and oversee the contracting and onboarding of selected start-ups.


  • Manage interventions with partner start-ups, coordinating external technical assistance providers, deployment of finance, and connections to other project partners.
  • Coordinate with Jobtech for Refugees Project Manager on refugee-related sprints.
  • Monitor performance of portfolio, continuing to adapt interventions to maximise impact. Feed back into overarching program strategy.
  • Manage partner milestone reporting, fund disbursement from Mercy Corps, and monitoring requirements.
  • Where suitable, Venture Builders could be deployed for brief secondments to partners to support implementation of interventions.


  • We operate as a ‘do-tank’, ensuring that learnings from this emerging sector are shared back to the community. Document lessons learned, write up experiences from portfolio start-ups for the Jobtech Alliance blog, host webinars for the Jobtech Alliance on key topics, or conduct exploratory research on emerging topics – you’re the boss.
  • In partnership with portfolio start-ups and other Jobtech Alliance members, identify key research topics and build collaborative research on key topics surfacing from our work.
  • Where relevant, collaborate with country teams to share lessons learned and identify synergies and opportunities for integration and expansion.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • None.


Reports Directly To: Director/Jobtech Alliance

  • Works Directly With: Start-ups, External partners, Research and MEL Director, Venture builders, Finance/Contracts Manager, Mercy Corps country teams, Mercy Corps Youth Employment Technical Support Unit

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

  • A history of excellence in achieving results and self-management.
  • Minimum of 6 years’ experience working with start-ups, VCs, accelerators or other start-up ecosystem actors. This could involve working on business strategy, market research, product, operations, or investment. We welcome diversity of experience.
  • Through-the-roof EQ, with excellent communication skills (written and verbal), and a collaborative approach to working with others. Experience in senior management teams and working with senior leaders in the start-ups space.
  • Outstanding analytical capacity, with capacity to bring clarity for others and make quick decisions.
  • Experience working in or with jobtech platforms is a strong plus.
  • Other pluses include experiences with portfolio management or MBA/equivalent.

Success Factors

  • You are an entrepreneurial self-manager, who is passionate about start-ups and employment impact. You have through-the-roof EQ, with an ability to build new relationships and manage existing ones effectively. You have outstanding analytical capacity, and can quickly see both business as well as impact opportunities. You love getting your hands dirty.

Research & Insights Lead / Jobtech Alliance

The Position

  • The Jobtech Alliance Research & Insights Lead will lead Research activities at the Jobtech Alliance. You will manage our learning agenda, conduct research on emerging themes from our acceleration activities and beyond, and coordinate with others in the research and insights space. We operate as a ‘do-tank’ rather than a ‘think-tank’ – our research insights need to be operationally useful. You will often have a role in moving research into practice, as well as vice-versa. You will be traveling up to 20% of the time across the continent. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Contribute to our learning and research strategy, about how we produce and disseminate learning products, to most effectively influence the jobtech ecosystem.
  • Co-shape the overarching learning agenda of the Jobtech Alliance. Identify emerging themes coming out of our work, as well as upon the wider jobtech horizon, which require further research.
  • Support the venture building team to identify learning themes and opportunities within their innovation sprints.
  • Advise the team on new issues they should be addressing in their work, based on reading emerging research in the jobtech space. 


  • Conduct research on varying themes with acceleration start-up partners, from product design, to business model strategy, user-level impact, and/or operations. This involves strategizing research approaches and methodologies in a manner that is adapted to each innovation project’s needs, and would involve data collection activities with start-ups, the venture building team, and users themselves.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and produce knowledge products as a primary author for various forms of audiences and channels, including long-form reports, blogs, and other communication mediums for knowledge products. Our content will primarily be in the form of 5-10 page learning reports, and 1-2 page blogs, with a few longer-form research products. 


  • Manage quarterly research and content calendar. Ensure that research and content (blogs etc) are on course.
  • Edit blogs and learning products produced by other team members.
  • Manage larger research products by consultants or external actors (for longer-form research products). 


  • Function as a learning focal point for engagement with external stakeholders. Attend local events, meetings and networking activities.
  • Where suitable, convene researchers in the jobtech space to move forward learning agenda, or to foster collaboration. 

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Consultants, Enumerators

Reports Directly To: Director / Jobtech Alliance
Works Directly With: Start-ups, External partners, Results Measurement & Learning Lead, Venture builders,
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

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, social science, international development, or a related field.
  • 5+ years of relevant experience, including working in or with technology startups.
  • Demonstrated expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with both business strategies and decisions, as well as user-level impact.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, with a keen ability to synthesize and present complex data in a simple, compelling, meaningful way.
  • Computer proficiency in word processing, databases, and spreadsheets.
  • Must be a strong self-starter.
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple team members. 

Success Factors

  • You are a learn-it-all, with a passion to learn more about the jobtech, employment, and start-up space – how to make tech businesses work, and how those can have an impact on their users. You are an excellent communicator and collaborator, who can work with different stakeholders. You possess strong analytical and research skills, and can tell the difference between an ‘insight’ and ‘information. You are a great storyteller, who can write short, punchy, content with strong and clear messaging.


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