Peace & Conflict Advisor (Open to Mercy Corps Africa or Middle East locations)

Mercy Corps
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 08

Position description

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 Team

Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. The TSU is also integral to global business development and revenue.


The Position

The advisor position focuses on providing technical support to Mercy Corps field teams in the peacebuilding sector. The support includes program design and development, advancing key technical initiatives, network and partnership development, representation at key sector forums and events, helping to monitor and improve program quality and relevance, staying current on industry innovation and best practices, writing and supporting competitive proposals for submission to donors, delivering training, and disseminating information to internal and external partners. The advisor will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others.


Mercy Corps’ peace and conflict work supports locally-led interventions and processes to transform conflict drivers at the society level, increase social cohesion and conflict management capacity at the community level, and promote inclusive decision-making at the individual level to bring about a reduction in violence and long-term peace. We believe that good governance and local ownership lie at the heart of all sustainable peace outcomes. Mercy Corps’ programming in the peacebuilding sector includes youth violence prevention, social cohesion; dispute resolution, mediation, and conflict management; preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE); climate security; peace and technology; advancing peace in complex crises; and gender, peace and security. The Peace & Conflict Advisor will work closely with colleagues from other technical teams designing and supporting the implementation of a range of humanitarian and development initiatives that also address conflict drivers or are, at the least, conflict-sensitive.


The Peace and Conflict Advisor will bring broad knowledge of the peacebuilding sector along with specific experiences working at the intersect of youth and conflict. He/she will be particularly experienced in the areas of preventing participation in violence, including youth violence prevention, P/CVE, gender and conflict, young people and digital peacebuilding, and/or psychosocial support. 


Essential Responsibilities


  • Write and review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations, corporations, and US, European, and UN agencies.
  • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine program needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding. 
  • Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of program strategies. 
  • Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass elements of broader agency goals such as resilience, food security, and youth development.
  • Coordinate approach and activities with relevant TSU teams, including Young People and Protection, Market Systems Development, and Technology for Development
  • Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.



  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the team providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs including those in complex crisis environments. 
  • Support effective interventions in the areas of the peacebuilding, using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking. 
  • Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements. 
  • Help the team gather, refine, and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement programs.



  • Support strategy development and implement key sub-sector initiatives, in coordination with the Peace and Conflict team  
  • Advance, through relationship-building and representation, Mercy Corps’ profile in priority areas
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team and the field to ensure that monitoring and evaluation is practical and reflects best practices.
  • Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around Thought Leadership priority topics
  • Provide in-country and remote training and support for Mercy Corps staff, partners, and others.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the shared incentives and values that will entice partners to connect and work across sectors, both internally and within field projects. 
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs.
  • Conduct assessments; write case studies, learning documents, short articles, and blogs; and develop internal and external disseminate plan for all products.



  • Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in area of expertise. 
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
  • Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.  


Supervisory Responsibility

None. May periodically manage intern(s) for 2-4 months.



Reports Directly To: Peace & Conflict TSU Director 

Works Directly With: The Governance and Partnerships; Young People and Protection; Technology for Development, and Market Systems Development TSU teams, all other TSU teams, HQ, and field teams


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.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Masters preferred in a conflict/security studies, international relations, politics, sociology, history, human geography, or other related social sciences or humanities degrees. 
  • 3 to 5 years of experience providing peacebuilding technical support or program leadership that includes:
    • Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied peacebuilding knowledge.
    • Training, coaching, or mentoring people in understanding and applying peacebuilding theories and approaches.
    • Producing and publishing influential articles and blogs.
    • Familiarity using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
    • Preparing writing and analysis on proposal development.
  • 1 to 3 years of experience living in a fragile or conflict affected state, working with national or international civil society, the private sector, or government towards political/socio/economic development project. Ideally, as a Project Manager (or more senior) overseeing staff, budgets, and partners. Or at a minimum, in a support role (monitoring & evaluation, research & learning, Operations etc.).  
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
  • Excellent written and spoken English: ability to write winning proposals, succinctly articulate peacebuilding theories in an accessible and jargon-free manner, as well as represent Mercy Corps at events. Fluency in any of the following languages preferred: Arabic, French, Spanish, or Swahili.


Success Factors

The advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. The advisor must take an active role in building and maintaining external relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. The individual must learn quickly how to provide technical data and support in the most efficient and effective form possible for each unique field team and environment. All TSU positions require strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.

Application instructions

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