Friday, February 25, 2011


Mercy Corps believes that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is an essential part of our mission to help people build secure, productive and just communities. We therefore incorporate DRR strategies in our assistance work to help communities become more resilient to hazards, and thus reduce the likelihood that their development may be undermined by one or more disasters.  There is a broad spectrum of hazards which call for active disaster risk reduction – ranging from earthquakes, tsunamis and civil conflict to cyclones, flooding and drought – some of which are being exacerbated by global climate change.

The Director of Disaster Risk Reduction will provide strategic guidance, technical assistance, and capacity building on DRR for Mercy Corps staff.  He/she will develop ways to integrate DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) strategies into humanitarian and transitional programming in collaboration with Mercy Corps’ Climate Change Unit.  He/she will leverage partnerships and donor opportunities in DRR and CCA. The Director will also serve as the DRR Advisor with the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project and the day-to-day manager of the DRRI Water Project, funded by ITT Watermark.

Technical Assistance
  • Provide on-going support for DRR activities to field teams.  This includes proposal development, quality control of both stand alone DRR programs and those integrated into development activities. Support will include monthly calls to various countries with large DRR programs such as those funded by DIPECHO and proposal development with various donors such as OFDA, the EU, SDC, and FFP among others.
  • Develop and maintain a disaster risk reduction strategy and information on DRR for Mercy Corps, including building and maintaining an active Clearspace site
  • Develop and maintain basic training modules on DRR for field and GEO team to use for preparedness training and introductory DRR courses.
  • Act as a ‘clearing house’ for experience and promising practices on risk reduction, including links to materials and external resources
  • Travel to the field as needed to undertake field assessments, training or monitoring and evaluation
  • Develop on-going “DRR coffee” hour webinars providing the Mercy Corps team with opportunities to hear concrete field examples, best practices and case studies
  • Undertake cost – benefit analysis of our DRR work with field staff as opportunities arise to ensure cost effectiveness of our programs
  • Maintain and continually improve DRR design tool to have practical indicators for DRR and a framework for implementation. Train staff on design tool and DRR indicators

Program Management
  • Serve as the DRR Advisor on the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project ( This entails active participation and technical support in ECB deliverables, including the development of a DRR/CCA Practitioner’s Guide.  
  • Oversee the day to day operations of the DRRI Water Project (  This project is funded by ITT Watermark and is being carried out in collaboration with the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project.  The goal is to inspire and pilot innovative approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the water and sanitation sector and disseminating the resulting lessons learned to the wider community of organizations interested in these efforts.
The day to day operations include the following:
  • Managing, in collaboration with the GEO Director, the relationship with ITT Watermark
  • Manage the relationships with the Panelists selected for the process, ensuring a smooth review process
  • In collaboration with ECB, manage the communications process around rejection/approvals with applicants
  • Work closely with ECB staff to carry out the communications functions of the project
  • Work closely with DRR Advisors for ECB, who work with their agencies and local partners to participate in the project
  • Work closely with Mercy Corps finance staff to develop all subgrant agreements and oversee financials of all subgrantees
  • Work with the communications team at Mercy Corps, ECB, and ITT Watermark (through the CONE PR firm) to ensure good communications on the project in adherence to the ITT and ECB Communications Protocols
  • Send out semi weekly updates to ITT, ECB, Panelists, CONE, Mercy Corps internal staff working on the project, and subgrantees
  • Oversee all sub grantees programmatic and financial activities, through direct communication, the review of quarterly reports as well as periodic field visits
  • Plan and facilitate a start up workshop for the project, that will include all project managers, representatives from ITT, ECB, and partner agencies
  • Plan and facilitate a lessons learned workshop that will include all project managers, representatives from ITT, ECB, and partner agencies
  • Produce a lessons learned document from the project that will be shared with ECB and the international community
  • Complete final report for ITT and ECB

  • This position has significant representation duties.  He/she will represent Mercy Corps to DRR institutional donors, corporate donors and foundations.  He/she will be a lead representative with the ECB project and its member agencies, and subgrantees and panelists for the DRRI Water Project.
  • He/she is expected to participate actively in the broader DRR community including InterAction disaster risk reduction working group, and the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations.  This includes representation at the Global Platform, and active participation in face to face meetings on ECB activities and DRR Advocacy.

Team Management
  • Contribute as a key member of the GEO by taking personal responsibility for ensuring the advancement of the GEO workplan/agenda
  • Provide direction for interns or other volunteers working to support deliverables
  • Provide support to other teams in Mercy Corps in need of technical support in DRR training

 Organizational Learning
  • 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. 
  • This position will also be expected to contribute to organizational learning with the development of DRR case studies, cost benefit analysis or lessons learned in DRR.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO:  Director, Global Emergency Operations (GEO) Unit
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: GEO, Climate Change Unit, Program Operations Team

  • Master’s degree in relevant field
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience working in development or humanitarian programs and field experience included
  • A minimum of 3 to 5 years experience working in or with DRR or CCA programs
  • Proven experience in training and capacity building
  • Proven experience in providing technical support to field offices
  • Experience working with a complex and globally dispersed organization preferred
  • Experience working in networks or consortia preferred
  • Experience working with corporations preferred
  • Demonstrated success in strategy development and project management
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Suite,  including  Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Project

A successful candidate will be action-oriented, adaptable, results oriented and comfortable with change. S/he will be able to work productively and meet deadlines with superior organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to successfully juggle multiple priorities and tasks, having an even temper, a problem-solving attitude and the ability to maintain positive relationships under difficult or heated circumstances. S/he should be able to influence and persuade people at all levels of the organization and to energize and inspire others, regardless of position, directing their efforts and activities toward a clear outcome. An authentic passion for the work is important along with a resilient spirit and ability to gracefully deal with adversity and ambiguity, making sense out of chaos. S/he should have the comfort and ability to deal with donors, executives and others with the same level of dignity and respect.

This position is based in DC or Portland, with domestic and international travel requirements. Position may require travel of up to 30%, some of which may be to insecure locations. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.
Mercy Corps is an AA/EOE.

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