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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.
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.
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.
HUMANITARIAN ACCESS MANAGEMENT
Influence & NETWORKING
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Interim Senior Management Team; Regional Safety & Security Advisor; Crisis Analytics team
Knowledge and Experience
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.
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.
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.