Temporary – Program Performance and Quality Director At Mercy Corps

****This position is up to 6 months duration. Individuals with immediate availability are encouraged to apply.

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 Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq’s goal is to work with civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate needs and reduce longer-term vulnerabilities of communities within Iraq. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) providing humanitarian assistance to conflict affected populations to meet basic needs, maintain human dignity and facilitate self-empowerment; (2) supporting income-generating opportunities that transition individuals and households from financial dependency towards financial independence while facilitating market-system approaches; (3) working with young females and young males to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society, as well as access to education, psychosocial support, and economic opportunities; and (4) promoting reconciliation and foster trust across community divisions by strengthening conflict management and prevention mechanisms and enhancing social cohesion.

The Position

The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit, whose role is to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs and teams. This includes: the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes; community accountability reporting mechanism (CARM) development and rollout, and supporting the creation and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact.

The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time ensuring capacity building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps Iraq’s portfolio of sustainable development, WASH, cash, education and PSS programming with limited daily support and direction.

Essential Responsibilities


● Support to overall strategic and annual planning for MC Iraq with evidence-based contributions.

● Provide oversight of the Performance and Quality (PAQ) team’s strategy with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

● Provide supervision to the PAQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the strategy and that they have access to MC resources

● Support the development of sector strategies and lead in developing corresponding MEL frameworks in accordance to the overall country strategy and with relevant team members

● Lead the development of processes to support programs team in integrating cross-program learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design

● Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, and end of program transition meetings

● Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, and global program quality initiatives; PM@MC, gender minimum standards, adaptive management, TOLA etc.


● Work with MEL staff to ensure MEL strategy exists and is implemented

● Ensure programs use the necessary MEL systems and tools, to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into the broader country-level MEL system and country strategy

● Ensure the development and/or consolidation of MEL systems and tools across the Iraq program to leverage existing resources and provide comparable data.

● Support field teams with program deliverables – such as baseline studies or mid-term and final evaluations, gender assessment, market assessments, etc.

● Support the creation of an evidence-based learning culture through consistent analysis of lessons learned and best practices to encourage adaptive management.

● Support the MEL Manager to conduct internal DQAs to ensure data is collected with attention to accuracy and consistency

● Lead in the development and country-wide rollout of an appropriate beneficiary accountability mechanisms

● Support programs team in integrating Do No Harm approach throughout project life cycle

● Serve as a focal point for any temporary or short-term Technical Advisors and Consultants


● Contribute to the development, refinement, and implementation of the CARM tools and strategy for ensuring global adherence to the CARM standards and policy requirements

● Coordinate CARM support with programs team

● Lead teams in process mapping to identify gaps in their CARM

● Support the preparation of CARM data analytics and reporting


● Support the design of cost-effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring relevance to stakeholders and agency strategy

● Ensure the PaQ team effectively contributes to proposal development processes, following agency best practices and donor compliance, in coordination with MC Iraq technical, finance and operational staff, as well as HQ and regional teams.

Support proposal development processes – including development of MEL plans.

● Along with MEL Managers, consolidate program data for reporting for all MC Iraq programs.

● Support Grants Manager in taking responsibility for compilation and timely submission of all donor

and internal reports.

● Ensure the PaQ unit carries out effective reviews of program reports, makes sure these are consistent with data from MC Iraq information management systems, and include well documented success stories and infographics to highlight program impact, and include information on lessons learned to inform on required adaptation of activities and future program design.

● Ensure the PaQ unit provides adequate support to program teams on communications and visibility and assist in the development of program communication plans.

● Contribute to the dissemination of written products.


● Lead the roll-out of gender integration as a priority area for MC Iraq programs.

● Ensure all MC Iraq programs comply with MC’s Gender Minimum Standards.

● Provide training and other resources to raise awareness of gender across MC Iraq country office.

● Create a culture of gender-sensitive, and where appropriate, gender-transformative programming.


●Ensure creative reflection, knowledge sharing, learning and accountability within and outside the Country Office through strengthening existing mechanisms and establishing others as required.

●Ensure the CO actively participates in organization wide and regional learning initiatives related to Mercy Corps Iraq’s priority program themes and approaches.

●Develop and implement strategies for the consistent consolidation and use of lessons learned to improve program performance.


● Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.

● Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.

● Provide supervision to the PaQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the PaQ team’s strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members

● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

● Work with program teams to ensure the adoption of efficient and effective program management (including MEL) processes and workflows, identify strategies and build or strengthen systems to facilitate greater efficiency.


● Participate and/or organize internal meetings to inform the development of improvements in Mercy Corps Iraq working practices.

● Lead efforts in sharing best practices with other NGOs working in Iraq.

● Represent Mercy Corps in external coordination and donor meetings, as required.

● Participate in the complex program board calls, if needed.


● 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

MEL Manager, Research and Learning Manager, CARM Assistant


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Department Heads and Head Offices, Program

Managers, Ethics and Assurance Manager, as well as Regional and Global PaQ team.

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

● Bachelor’s degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.

● 6 years’ experience in Program Quality providing coordination or management support to program implementation

● Experience working in the Middle East region and high risk context preferred.

● Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.

● Extensive experience with gender, accountability, monitoring and evaluation, information management, and other learning efforts.

● Excellent writing and communications skills required.

● Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.

● Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Arabic or Kurdish is a plus.

Success Factors

The successful PaQ Director should have good communication and diplomatic skills. They should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. They should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Erbil, Iraq and requires up to 50% travel to other locations in Iraq. The position duration is up to 6 months. The role is unaccompanied and is eligible for a hardship allowance. Housing is in shared apartments. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times.

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.**

How to apply

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