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.
This work falls into the work that Mercy Corps has been sub-contracted for by the China Infrastructure Programme (CIP) of the UK government’s Prosperity Fund. The Fund’s Gender & Inclusion Requirement includes social safeguards as part of its minimum compliance requirements for the Fund’s Programmes, including CIP, and obliges recipients to identify, mitigate and monitor safeguarding risks, as well as have response measures in place. These risks include child protection, sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, and modern slavery.
Purpose / Project Description:
Given the high-risk nature of large infrastructure projects, particularly in terms of adverse impacts to project-affected communities, the Programme will give specific attention to addressing safeguarding risks and ensuring that the Programme does no harm. Mercy Corps has been cooperating with a Chinese multinational operating in Ethiopia on specifically addressing the needs of Gender & Inclusion on its live infrastructure projects. Mercy Corps has conducted a preliminary review of the company’s policies and capacity and concluded that it’s necessary to take the action of focusing on the organization’s safeguarding capacity, with a focus on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH), by assessing the company’s related policies and practices using international safeguarding standards as a baseline, identifying gaps and providing recommendations for improving their policies/capacity, as well as conducting training or awareness raising on key safeguarding standards and industry best practices.
To facilitate this process, the work will adopt internationally-recognised safeguarding standards that Mercy Corps uses, such as the InterAgency Standing Committee’s (IASC) Minimum Operating Standards for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by own Personnel (MOS-PSEA), Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance, and Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability. The Mercy Corps Safeguarding tools/guidance was developed according to these standards and will adapt to match the language of the private sector before its implementation within the Chinese company.
Mercy Corps seeks a consultant with expertise in conducting safeguarding and/or PSEAH assessments, providing recommendations, and conducting training and awareness raising with private sector companies to Chinese infrastructure construction company in Ethiopia. This consultant will be guided by Mercy Corps’ Safeguarding Partnership Accountability Advisor in implementing the related activities and all deliverables will be approved by Mercy Corps’ Global Safeguarding Team. He or she will also need to engage the Chinese infrastructure construction company intensively in assessing their existing safeguarding policies and practices using contextualized safeguarding assessment tools provided by Mercy Corps, identifying safeguarding gaps based on international standards, and drafting recommendations to address identified gaps. Following the assessment, the consultant will need to design and deliver an online training or awareness raising session to debrief the company’s leadership and management team on the recommendations given and to provide basic training on key safeguarding concepts and elements of a comprehensive safeguarding system. Regarding engagement with the Chinese infrastructure construction company, the consultant will work with Mercy Corps’ China Representative. The consultant will capture the process of engaging the Chinese company by drafting a case study which covers the safeguarding assessment, awareness raising and lesson learned through the project, as well as provide recommendations of replicating this work with other Chinese infrastructure construction companies. The consultant will also debrief Mercy Corps’ Global Safeguarding Team on the experience and provide recommendations for safeguarding capacity building with private infrastructure companies.
Due to the challenges of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions, engagement with the Chinese company may be limited to on-line, virtual platforms.
The Consultant will:
- Onboard and complete Mercy Corps’ mandatory e-learn courses.
- Review of the assessment tools to ensure they are well adapted and contextualized for use with a private Chinese infrastructure company.
- Carry out the assessment jointly with the Chinese company, with support from Mercy Corps.
- Review and analyze the data from the assessment to identify gaps based on international safeguarding standards.
- Draft recommendations to improving safeguarding policies/capacity based on the results of the assessment and international safeguarding standards.
- Plan out and deliver a training or awareness session to the Chinese company.
- Write up and finalize a report to capture the process of engaging Chinese company on safeguarding assessment, lesson learned as well as recommendations of replicating this work on other Chinese infrastructure construction companies.
- Consult with Mercy Corps Safeguarding Partnership Accountability Advisor on all deliverables including the assessment, recommendations, training or awareness raising session and final report. Debrief the Mercy Corps Global Safeguarding Team on the process and provide recommendations on safeguarding capacity building with a private sector firm.
- Consult with Mercy Corps China Representative in engaging with the Chinese company.
- Participate in other meetings as needed.
- Deliver the activities according to the timeline.
- Assessment of the company’s safeguarding policies/capacity, with a focus on PSEAH, using the contextualized assessment tools developed by Mercy Corps, providing guidance, as needed, on how to best adapt the tools for use with a private Chinese infrastructure firm.
- Identification of safeguarding gaps based on the results of the assessment.
- Provision of recommendations for improving safeguarding policies/capacity, including a draft action plans which outlines key priorities and steps.
- A training or awareness raising session for the company’s leadership and management team to explain the results of the assessment and provide basic training on key safeguarding concepts and elements of a comprehensive safeguarding system.
- A report that captures the process of engaging Chinese company through the safeguarding assessment, recommendations and awareness raising, identifies lesson learned, and provides recommendations for replicating this work with other Chinese infrastructure construction companies.
- A debrief session with Mercy Corps’ Global Safeguarding Team on the experience, recommendations, lessons learned, and use of the safeguarding assessment tools with a private sector partner.
Timeframe / Schedule:
- By 27th August Friday – Planning out the assessment, collecting relevant documentation, and carrying out the assessment jointly with the Chinese company.
- By 17th September Friday – Analyzing and reviewing the assessment and developing recommendations from the assessment findings.
- By 24th September Friday – Planning out and conducting a training/awareness session (based on the findings of the assessment) for the company’s leadership and management team.
- By 29th September Wednesday – Writing up a report to capture the process of engaging Chinese company on safeguarding assessment, lesson learned as well as recommendations of replicating this work on other Chinese infrastructure construction companies.
- By 30 September Thursday – Debrief the Mercy Corps Global Safeguarding Team on the process and provide recommendations on safeguarding capacity building with a private sector firm.
All deliverables are subject to the final deadline of 30th September. The timeline may be adjusted as needed. Any adjustment to the timeline shall be communicated in advance with consent between Mercy Corps and the consultant.
The Consultant will report to:
Chelsea Sommer, Safeguarding Partnership Accountability Advisor, Mercy Corps
The Consultant will work closely with:
Peng Bin, China Representative, Mercy Corps
Chinese infrastructure construction company’s focal point for this project
Required Experience & Skills:
· Demonstrated knowledge and expertise of safeguarding and/or PSEAH and related international standards.
· Experience of working with private sector companies on safeguarding and/or PSEAH, ideally Chinese and/or infrastructure construction companies, preferably in the African context.
· Proven ability to develop and carry out trainings on safeguarding, PSEAH, protection, and/or other sensitive topics with private sector companies.
· Strong writing and editing skills, with full fluency in English; professional fluency in Chinese is strongly preferred.
· Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
· Demonstrated analytic, interpersonal, and oral communication skills.
· Demonstrated flexibility and openness in working with diverse cultures, specifically the Global South and ideally with Chinese partners.
· Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
Although the work will be done remotely, the consultant must be available for regular communication with the Mercy Corps HQ offices (both the US and the UK), the China office, the Chinese infrastructure company’s Ethiopia office, the KPMG UK office, FCDO Beijing as needed.
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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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.**
How to apply
Closing Date: 11:59pm (UK Time) on Thursday 19 August 2021