Food Security and Livelihoods Manager

Mercy Corps, Ankara, Turkey

Skill Required:, Finance and AccountsProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th June, 2015

Job Description


Strategy and Vision

  • Lead the development of a sectorial strategy based on a strong contextual understanding of North Syria and in line with Mercy Corps values.
  • Design viable strategies that are both respectful with the local culture and sensitive towards the population.
  • Provide technical input for Mercy Corps’ food Security programs including partnerships with local NGOs and CBOs.
  • Ensure inclusion of national technical staff and other key stakeholders into strategy process.
  • Promote the development of a holistic strategy through creating linkages with other sectors strategies (NFI, WASH, Protection).
  • Contribute to the technical and operational advocacy strategies of the mission, region, and headquarters.
  • Contribute to policy discussion among Senior Management Team as applicable.

Design and Planning

  • Support the Mercy Corps team in identifying additional opportunities for medium and long-term programming.
  • Contribute to design of new proposals based on sectoral and general knowledge.
  • Integrate the use of community approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of project.
  • Partake in planning and design efforts as requested.
  • Develop and provide reports and databases as required by Director of Program.
  • Work with Finance to develop and to manage program budgets to ensure appropriate spending in accordance with donor commitment.
  • Lead Food Security and Livelihoods aspects of technical assessment in coordination with other thematic areas and/or other external sector agencies.
  • Develop realistic work plans per grant in conjunction with Grants Manager, sector leads and North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.
  • Ensure provision of program quality in all aspects of design, planning, and implementation of Food Security & Livelihoods interventions.
  • Ensure the mainstreaming of core protection principles through design and planning of sector interventions.

Implementation and Programs Coordination

  • Develop surveys, need assessments, data and information collection, design interventions accordingly for on-going food security or livelihoods programs to build the capacity of Mercy Corps staff, as well as project stakeholders.
  • Provide technical oversight to the field teams and mentor senior staff in the design of Food Security & Livelihoods activities.
  • Communicate grant work plans related to Food Security & Livelihoods to senior technical staff and to North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.
  • Work with USAID/FFP, DFID grant holder and other relevant grant holder to ensure joint planning and grant compliance.
  • Work with North Syria Programs Coordination Manager to overcome implementation challenges based on practical solutions.
  • Ensure the tracking, monitoring and quality reporting of all Food Security & Livelihoods.
  • Complete budget pipeline planning, monitoring and monthly follow up in collaboration with senior technical staff and in communication with North Syria Programs Coordination Manager.  
  • Ensure documentation and filing of project activities in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Supervise and monitor the implementation of the Food Security & Livelihoods activities, ensuring that all the activities are compliant with the grant requirements.
  • Work with Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings on food security/livelihoods/early recovery.
  • Understand and appropriate application of SPHERE guidelines and promotion of best practices.

Finance and Operations

  • Prepare procurement plan based on project cycle for FSL interventions.
  • Manage grant budgets.
  • Ensure all necessary requests (procurement requests, purchase orders, etc.) are accurately prepared and submitted on time.

Grants, Donor Compliance and Reporting

  • Ensure internal and donor compliance through a strong knowledge of rules and regulations applicable to the North Syrian context.
  • Stay informed of incidents as they arise through the field and are raised through the program coordination mechanism.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through supporting incident reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Maintain and coordinate reporting and documentation of FSL activities.
  • Timely preparation bi-weekly, quarterly and interim donor reports for relevant activities under the guidance of the Reporting Officer and Grants Manager.

Team Management

  • Provide technical supervision and support to technical staff.
  • Assess capacity of Mercy Corps technical staff, as well as other stakeholders, to perform functions.
  • Work with other middle and senior management staff to consider alterative ways of doing distance capacity development and learning in the Syrian context.  
  • Recruit and train of field technical staff.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Programs for North Syria


  • Work with Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings.

Safety, Security and Access

  • 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.


  • BS/BA in International Development or related field.  MS/MA preferred.
  • 3-5 years of overseas experience; from starting up programs and managing Emergency and transitional programming; with particular focus on managing projects with time sensitive deliverables in complex settings.
  • Strong experience of mentoring a team, identifying talent and building their capacity.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian standards and codes, including SPHERE.
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of USAID (OFDA and FFP)/DFID programs.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Turkish or Arabic is as plus
  • Previous experience in similar contexts.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational skills.

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