EU Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager – Brussels, Belgium At MERCY CORPS

Position Description

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Position Status: 6 months renewable, Full-time

Salary: circa 54,000 euros **
Closing Date: apply with CV and Cover Letter before 27th July 2021**

About Mercy Corps

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 Programme / Department / Team

Since it was established in 2017, Mercy Corps Netherlands (MCNL) has made great strides toward becoming a self-sustaining, value adding entity, contributing to Mercy Corps’ global priorities and objectives. With a growing team and programme portfolio, MCNL is well positioned to continue making progress towards meeting its targets over the next couple of years.

One of MCNL’s priorities is to ensure continued and improved engagement with the EU as a donor and a policy maker. These efforts are guided by our EU Engagement Strategy.

The Position

Working proactively with teams and colleagues across the agency, the Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager will serve as the focal point and coordinate the implementation of the activities defined in the strategy with the ultimate goal of increasing our profile and success in raising funds from the EU.

This is very much an external-facing position and Mercy Corps is looking for a candidate who they feel can confidently be the ‘face’ of the organisation in front of key partners. The successful candidate will not only have the right experience on paper but also the right personal ‘fit’; someone who really lives and breathes the organisation’s culture and values, with a visible passion for the work they do. They will have excellent interpersonal skills, excel at networking and building long-term relationships and will be proactive and creative in their work.

Essential Responsibilities

In alignment with the EU Engagement Strategy, the position will be responsible for the following:


  • Develop and manage relationships with relevant EU representatives/ directorates and serve as the primary donor liaison in Brussels.
  • Represent Mercy Corps and/or facilitate participation of other Mercy Corps team members in key EU events and meetings.
  • Support country teams and regional teams in establishing and building relationships with the EU Delegations in our programme countries.
  • Participate in strategic meetings and events and represent Mercy Corps in NGOs platforms, communities of practice, and other relevant fora in Brussels.
  • Engage with peer organisations and other potential partners in Brussels and identify key areas of potential cooperation, including programme funding and joint advocacy initiatives.
  • In coordination with relevant Headquarters functions, support country teams in problem solving related engagement with the EU both in country and in Brussels.


  • Monitor EU funding opportunities and any development of funding related policies and decisions in order to preposition for opportunities. Analyse and disseminate information on opportunities that are aligned with Mercy Corps programmatic priorities.
  • Act as Mercy Corps’ donor liaison as needed or required to support the development of proposals or preposition for funding opportunities from the EU
  • Coordinate the development of guidelines for proposal development for EU funding instruments .
  • Develop excellent relationships internally with colleagues at HQ and in country offices to understand programme budgets, resource requirements, challenges and areas of activity to enable strategic applications for funding and support the alignment of country and regional strategies with EU priorities.
  • Ensure regular communication with country offices on funding related meetings and interactions with the EU and other potential partners in Brussels.


  • Monitoring and sharing updates on EU policies, official communications, trends, etc. with policy and advocacy leads, and other relevant teams.
  • Actively engage with key policy networks and membership organisations in Brussels.
  • Organise and participate in key events and meetings in Brussels around Mercy Corps policy priorities, including in recurring events such as the European Development Days, the ECHO Partners Conference, IntPa External Infopoint Lunch Conferences
  • Coordinate the dissemination of research and policy briefs in Brussels and with the EU Delegations.
  • Work closely with the Policy and Advocacy Team to support country teams to pursue EU advocacy opportunities targeting EU representatives in the country, in line with their strategic priorities.


  • Develop adequate understanding of the EU policy priorities, strategies and approaches and ensure dissemination of knowledge across the relevant teams within Mercy Corps.
  • Lead the development of content to be used in internal training, workshops, etc. and coordinate the learning events as needed.
  • Maintain and update the list of EU key documents as well as the other internal resources with information on EU Institutions.
  • Ensure programme and other teams understand and use the EU standards, references, and technical language in proposals, reports, policy statements, etc.
  • Provide “helpdesk” support for Mercy Corps teams on EU policy and programme developments.


  • Take responsibility for own administration, devise and implement appropriate processes and procedures to achieve agreed targets;
  • Undertake additional work as required and respond to organisational priorities.
  • Contribute to the development of HQ, regional and country strategies.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: MCNL Managing Director

Works Directly With:

● Regional Directors and Country Directors

● Europe Regional Programme Teams

● Europe Policy and Advocacy Team

● Technical Support Units (TSU)

● Humanitarian Leadership Response (HLR) Team

● Compliance Team.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our programme 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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

Qualifications and Experience

  • Relevant tertiary qualification and experience in related area such as humanitarian relief, disaster management;
  • At least 7 years of practical work experience in development cooperation and/or humanitarian relief with one or several International Organisations;
  • Experience to include managing EU funded activities in programme countries and working with the EU institutions in Brussels;
  • Knowledge of European funding instruments, mechanisms and priorities of EU institutions required;
  • Experience with EU related resource mobilisation – ideally both for DG ECHO and DG INTPA (formerly DEVCO);
  • Proven experience in external representation:
  • Capacity for networking and advocacy activities;
  • Experience working in a matrixed organisation;
  • Experience in strategy design and implementation;
  • Ability to prioritize and manage complex tasks;
  • Fluent in English and French in speaking and writing;
  • Application knowledge of the most common computer software relevant for the role (e.g. MS Teams, Excel etc.).

Interpersonal skills:

  • Strong ethical standards;
  • Autonomous, adaptable, and flexible;
  • Teamwork, coordination and excellent interpersonal skills, both internally and externally, knowing how to adapt to different levels of intervention and multicultural environment;
  • Strong ability to perform multiple tasks under short notices
  • Entrepreneurial spirit.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will have superlative interpersonal and communication skills. They will be able to build effective, lasting relationships with a wide variety of individuals and organisations utilizing their strong influencing and negotiating skills. They will approach their work with an ‘international outlook’, with ability to work across language and cultural boundaries and have an innovative approach. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a passionate and clear empathy with the organisations aims and values.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Brussels. It will require travel to The Hague and the UK and some travel to programme countries, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organisations 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 organisation 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, programme 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. 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.

How to apply

Please apply with CV and cover letter at the following link:

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