Job Detail

Humanitarian Access Advisor

Date Posted: Apr 06, 2022
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Job Detail

  • Location:
  • Company:
  • Type:
  • Shift:
    Rotating Days
  • Career Level:
    Experienced Professional
  • Positions:
  • Vacancy number:
  • Experience:
    3 Year
  • Gender:
  • Salary:
    As per Company salary scale
  • Degree:
  • Apply Before:
    Apr 14, 2022

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Job Description



This position is for 3 months employment.

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 has been working in Afghanistan since 1988. Following the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA or Taliban) government in August 2021, Mercy Corps Afghanistan (MCA) faced a security situation that led to a full suspension of program operations for six months. With the situation resolved, and operating space assured by the de facto authorities, MCA formally restarted its activities at the start of February 2022.

Due to decisions by MCA’s former major donor, the country program is much smaller than it was when program operations were suspended in late 2021. With Afghanistan facing the world’s gravest complex humanitarian crisis, MCA is committed to rebuilding its country program to deliver impact for all Afghans, working with them toward a more peaceful and resilient Afghanistan.

Given the scale of the rebuilding task, MCA has settled on a six-month transitional period, in which a strong foundation for impactful, quality program growth will be laid. An interim management team will lead the country program, working with a range of internal and external stakeholders to make sure MCA has strong program and operations infrastructure and robust systems for inclusion, accountability, oversight and compliance.

General Position Summary

As it rebuilds its programs in the country, MCA needs to also build capacity for analysis and action in the areas of humanitarian access, negotiation and liaison with the de facto authorities at Kabul and provincial/district levels. The Humanitarian Access Advisor (HAA) will kick start this capacity development, providing analytical and advisory capacity at granular and strategic levels while helping the Interim Country Director and SMT map out how the function can be best developed in the longer term. S/he will in addition coordinate liaison with the central de facto authorities, under the guidance of the Interim Country Director and with the support of a national Liaison Manager and the Regional Safety and Security Advisor.

The HAA will build and maintain an acute awareness of the main actors and dynamics shaping the operating environment in Afghanistan, and be able to translate that insight into actionable analysis. S/he must be able to work with a range of internal and external stakeholders to ensure that MCA can ensure its humanitarian aid programs reach vulnerable Afghans in our areas of operation and that it maintains constructive relations with the de facto  authorities at central and local levels (while keeping an ability to advocate from positions informed by humanitarian principle and international humanitarian law). S/he will offer advice and recommendations to the country program’s leadership on how humanitarian analysis and access affects program operations, and act as a focal point for coordination with HQ based crisis analytics teams in generating insights and reports.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • With the support and guidance of the Interim Country Director and Regional Safety and Security Advisor, take the lead in developing humanitarian analysis and access capacity in MCA, outlining a strategy and assisting in securing funding for an adequately-resourced team.
  • Set out a clear vision for humanitarian access functionality by the end of the transitional period (i.e. last quarter of 2022).

 Program Development

  • Work with the country team, RPTs and regional new initiatives lead to ensure funding for humanitarian access and analysis is built into all new awards, as well as helping craft compelling stand-alone funding concepts, with the aim of placing the function on a sustainable basis by the conclusion of the transitional period.


  • Develop and implement humanitarian access strategies and approaches tailored to local contexts in field sites throughout Afghanistan.
  • Ensure humanitarian access approaches are responsive to local context and include overarching community engagement components.
  • Develop ongoing relationships with local authorities and other power brokers within Afghanistan germane to humanitarian analysis and access.
  • Work to ensure that Mercy Corps, its mission and work in the areas of operations is known and accepted, including coordination of the national Liaison Manager.
  • Work to encourage stakeholders to work with Mercy Corps in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and allowed to continue humanitarian activities in Afghanistan.
  • Provide regular updates to access procedures for all Afghanistan program areas.
  • Provide technical input and advice in assessments to consider new Mercy Corps programs in new geographic areas.
  • Work alongside the Site Security Manager and Interim Director of Operations in assuring humanitarian analysis informs operational security decision-making.
  • Maintain a high level of preparedness vis-a-vis predicted contextual fluctuations operationally and programmatically.

 Team Management

  • Build out a small but effective Humanitarian Access & Liaison team, inclusive of both international and Afghan personnel.
  • Supervise the work of the national Liaison Manager in maintaining constructive and compliant relationships with the de facto central authorities.
  • Work with programs and operations colleagues in ensuring constructive relations with de facto authorities at provincial and district levels.

 Influence & NETWORKING

  • Maintain an internal network of humanitarian access focal points, working alongside the Site Security Manager.
  • Provide timely feedback on questions and technical assistance requests from country program team members.
  • Monitor and provide support and reporting on NGO humanitarian access initiatives as required.
  • Identify, create and maintain a network with NGO/UN and other humanitarian access specialists in Afghanistan.
  • Coordinate with HQ crisis analytics teams to inform production of insights and reports on the Afghanistan crisis.

Job Requirements

  • 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 when required



  • Maintain contextual awareness in all areas in which MCA is working and inform security coordination and incident response, working jointly with the Interim Director of Operations and Site Security Manager.
  • Ensure the humanitarian access team contributes to and maintains current mapping of humanitarian access conditions and issues to build a comprehensive view on events & trends in the region.
  • Help create an environment where all Mercy Corps programs and team members and business are conducted with professionalism, impartiality, accountability and other core principles required as a humanitarian agency.
  • Place high value on inter-agency coordination in security; encourage Mercy Corps field-level coordination in the NGO community. Seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation;

 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.
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Liaison Manager. Other positions TBD


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Interim Senior Management Team; Regional Safety & Security Advisor; Crisis Analytics team

Knowledge and Experience

  • Over five years of experience working in and/or advising on programs in fragile, insecure and complex contexts.
  • Experience managing humanitarian relief and/or transitional programs in areas affected by conflict and insecurity preferred.
  • Keen research and analytical skills, particularly in political-economic analysis, risk analysis and security analysis.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills required, including influencing, negotiation and coaching;
  • Strong management skills with good understanding of managing international, cross-cultural teams;
  • Ability to translate analysis into solutions to complex issues required;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Fluent written and oral communication in English required.
  • Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues.
  • Strong understanding of conflict sensitive program mainstreaming and gender or protection mainstreaming would be an advantage.

The successful HAA will have on the ground experience in coordinating and managing complex programs as well as demonstrable research, networking and analytical capability.  S/he will be able to translate analysis into actionable insights that can be applied to program operations and critical decision-making. S/he will have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership, communication, coordination and mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. Patience, tenacity, diplomacy and a sense of humor will contribute to success.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Kabul, Afghanistan and requires up to 30% travel to field locations, including Herat, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif. It is an unaccompanied position. Kabul suffers from insecurity and criminality and the overall situation remains unstable and heavily affected by an economic crisis. Access to healthcare and basic utilities may at times be constrained. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions may be basic. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on short-term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, 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.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and

values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.


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