WASH and Shelter Program Manager

Mercy Corps
Ein Issa, Syria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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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

As Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world we recognize that instances of sudden change within a country or region, are rare moments of opportunity. Mercy Corps is interested in strengthening presence for early as well as longer term programming for Syrians, including those who have been displaced, and will be present initially in the north east, with expansion of programming to other regions over time. It is imperative that Mercy Corps present itself as a key and reliable partner with various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive change. Mercy Corps, with its global experience in working in countries undergoing major transitions, will be a key contributor in the process, bringing knowledge, expertise and strong management skills to position the agency as a partner of choice for progressive change in Syria, as well as in response to refugee and vulnerable populations in Iraq. 

Within the Iraq Program structure, Mercy Corps began the cross-border operation into North-East Syria in May 2014. Current programs respond to a range of humanitarian assistance and recovery needs, from distribution of food and non-food items (in-kind or cash-based), and livelihood support and development. The aim of the Mercy Corps response is to meet basic humanitarian needs of the vulnerable displaced and host population, reduce the negative coping strategies, as well as strengthen livelihoods of targeted population. Assistance is being provided through partnerships with local relief associations, and technical Mercy Corps field team members.

General Position Summary

The WASH & Shelter Program Manager works under the supervision of Director of Programs for North East Syria. S/he will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of high quality WASH & Shelter (including infrastructural) interventions in North East Syria and developing strategies for the continuation of water supply, water networks maintenance, hygiene promotion and support to the emergency and recovery shelter. 

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Ensuring high quality by overseeing monitoring and tracking of program activities
  • In conjunction with M&E Manager involve on designing and supervising baselines and end line surveys (including KAP, PIM, PDM) for WASH and shelter activities.
  • Promote the development of a holistic strategy through creating linkages with other sectors strategies (NFI, Food Security and Livelihoods).
  • Contribute to the development of WASH and Shelter sectorial strategy based on a strong contextual understanding of North East Syria and in line with Mercy Corps values.
  • Ensure inclusion of national technical staff and other key stakeholders into strategy process.

Design and Planning

  • Contribute to the design of new proposals based on sectoral and general knowledge if required in close coordination with the NES WASH and Shelter working groups.
  • Integrate the use of community approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of projects.
  • Partake in planning and design efforts as requested.
  • Collaborate with finance to develop and regular monitor program budgets for WASH and Shelter support related work.
  • Lead WASH and shelter aspects of technical assessments in coordination with other thematic areas and/or other external sector agencies when required
  • Develop realistic work plans per grant in conjunction with Program team and Director of Programs.
  • Ensure provision of program quality in all aspects of design, planning, and implementation of WASH and shelter infrastructure interventions.
  • Ensure the mainstreaming of core protection principles through design and planning of sector interventions..

Implementation and Programs Coordination

  • Develop needs assessment strategies, design interventions accordingly and contribute to building the capacity of Mercy Corps staff, as well as project stakeholders.
  • Provide technical oversight to the field teams and oversee the implementation of WASH and Shelter activities, including rehabilitation/renovation of water systems, solid waste management, hygiene promotion, as well as urgent repairs/upgrades of the partially damaged houses.
  • Ensure appropriate and timely resource mobilization for the successful implementation of the different WASH and Shelter projects. Proactively identify project development opportunities, new thematic areas of technical intervention and strategic partnerships that would promote the expansion of the WASH and Shelter portfolio.
  • Ensure the adoption of appropriate WASH and Shelter designs and technologies, taking into account cost effectiveness, cultural awareness and protection of the environment.
  • Represent MC at WASH and Shelter coordination forums and working groups, established in NES.
  • Lead on practical implementation of WASH and Shelter market based programming with strong community participation and involvement.
  • Work with Program team and Director of Programs to overcome implementation challenges based on practical solutions.
  • Ensure the tracking, monitoring and quality reporting of all WASH and shelter interventions.
  • Complete budget pipeline planning, monitoring and monthly follow up in communication with the Director of Programs.
  • Ensure documentation and filing of project activities in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Supervise and monitor the implementation of the WASH and Shelter activities, ensuring that all the activities are compliant with the grant requirements.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met
  • Participate in working groups and meetings.

Program Impact and Program Management

  • Prepare procurement plan based on project cycle for WASH and shelter intervention work.
  • Manage grant budget lines related to technical area of specialization (WASH, infrastructure and shelter), including maintaining partial budget ownership.
  • Outline indicators and outputs to be measured to determine success of intervention.
  • Work with M&E Unit to translate WASH and Shelter assessment criteria to tools and methodology for monitoring and evaluation of interventions related to WASH, infrastructure and shelter
  • Stay informed of incidents as they arise through the field and are raised through the feedback/complaint mechanism.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through supporting incident reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Maintain and coordinate reporting and documentation of WASH, infrastructure and Shelter activities.
  • Timely preparation bi-weekly (internal and donor), quarterly and interim donor reports for relevant activities under the guidance of the Director of Programs..

Team Management

  • Provide technical supervision and support to technical staff.


  • 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.

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.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • 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

Senior WASH and Shelter Program Officer.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs – North East Syria

Works Directly With: Program Team, M&E Team, Operations Team, Finance Team, HQ-based Program Operations, Finance, WASH and Shelter Technical Advisor and TSU staff, Regional Team.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Public Health.
  • 7-8 years on a relief setting with WASH management or managerial experience; from starting up programs and working in emergency and transitional programming.
  • Experience in managing Shelter projects is an advantage.
  • Experience from complex and complicated settings with time sensitive deliverables in unstable environments
  • Strong experience of mentoring a team and identifying talent.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian standards and codes, including SPHERE.
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of USAID (OFDA), ECHO, UNICEF and DFID.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is as plus
  • Previous experience in similar contexts.

Success Factors

The successful Manager will combine exceptional technical skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have previous experience in working in large-scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict context s/he will have an outstanding ability to design and provide technical oversight of innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the area. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. The successful candidate will be able to provide technical oversight to large relief programs in an austere environment; be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support skills, good information management skills and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This unaccompanied position will be based in Ein Issa, in Syria with 50% frequent traveling in other work locations inside Syria. This position will be required to reside in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship allowance.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. 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.

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.