WASH & Shelter TA / FAST Consortium - Shelter Technical Director - ( Maternity cover )

Mercy Corps

Amman, , JO


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

Syria is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country as well as a number of neighboring countries. More than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes and the number relying on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country building resilient and socially cohesive communities through our Peace and Conflict pillar, and supporting market system strengthening and economic development for vulnerable and conflict affected populations. The heightened insecurity and continuous acts of violence and war make the humanitarian response not only more challenging, but increasingly complicated. With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, Mercy Corps has established itself as one of the largest humanitarian actors providing life-saving and early recovery interventions through analytical, strategic and flexible response mechanisms. Having worked in Syria since 2008, Mercy Corps has been adapting continually to shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively and efficiently through multiple modalities with teams inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps Syria country program is a unified managerial architecture to allow transversal consistency among programs and unity of purpose at the strategic level.

General Position Summary

WASH and Shelter Technical Advisor: The position will be located in Mercy Corps Syria Office in Amman, Jordan and will report directly to the Director of Program Support. The WASH and Shelter Technical Advisor will be responsible for the overall leadership, strategic direction, and technical component of the integrated WASH and Shelter/NFI Sectors portfolio as well as new business development initiatives. The WASH and Shelter advisor will provide timely and high-quality WASH and Shelter technical support to Mercy Corps and partners teams in Syria and promote program leaning and continuous improvement of programme quality and effectiveness and strengthened MEAL systems and tools. The WASH and Shelter TA will play a key role in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with relevant donors, clusters, technical working groups, key sector actors and other relevant stakeholders.

The position will also function as Shelter Technical Director and lead the implementation of the Shelter and NFI component of the OFDA-funded consortium-FAST covering North West Syria, and will also act as the focal point for Mercy Corps to the consortium. Within FAST consortium structure, the Shelter Technical Director will be reporting to the Chief of Party as part of the consortium program management unit (PMU). Responsibilities will include the overall coordination of the Shelter and NFI sector internally to consortium members and externally towards shelter/NFI and CCCM cluster in North Syria. The Shelter Technical Director will be responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for SNFI in the FAST consortium, ensuring of the project is meeting its objectives through support to (CARE, WV and Mercy Corps) implementing teams with technical designs, capacity building, work planning, aligning scope and budget of technical interventions, and implementation of the shelter sector component of the program. Through the provision of support and coaching, escalating to appropriate management where required, the Shelter Director will be responsible for the technical quality of each partners Shelter portfolio, coordinating partner resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time, within budget, and at a high level of quality. The position will have close cooperation with consortium management to ensure that Shelter sector achieves required level of integration within the complex program.

Essential Job Responsibilities

As WASH and Shelter Technical Advisor-Mercy Corps

  • Provide overall strategic direction and vision, technical support and  leadership of the Mercy Corps Syria integrated WASH and Shelter portfolio;
  • Develop and implement Mercy Corps Shelter and WASH strategy, technical guidance and quality standards that are aligned with regional and global strategies and priorities. This includes providing WASH and Shelter advice on coherence, standardizing approaches, good partnerships, and programme quality.
  • Support the implementation of the immediate life-saving WASH interventions and design standards for second line responses to scale-up the initial relief to more suitable response by defining suitable transition and exit strategies (water trucking, wastewater collection and solid waste management, operation and maintenance for WASH projects).
  • Ensure continuous coordination and information sharing with all humanitarian actors, regional and national WASH working groups, clusters and key actors.
  • In consultation with the Program Managers in different hubs, design the WASH and Shelter activities and approaches that are appropriate to the context.
  • Support detailed, timely and quality technical specifications for contracts and tenders, and liaise with logistics on technical issues, as necessary;
  • Develop and apply appropriate monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) tools in relation to Mercy Corps emergency and early recovery humanitarian work in Syria;
  • Together with the programs managers, prepare and implement contingency and preparedness plans;
  • Support the implementation teams and partners in mainstreaming accountability to affected people, gender and protection throughout Mercy Corps Syria humanitarian and early recovery  WASH and Shelter work;
  • Contribute to fundraising, develop and revise funding proposal, budgets and donor reports.  
  • Follow up on compliance with contractual commitments within Wash & Shelter, ensure high technical quality and synergies in project implementation 
  • Provide systematic training and build capacity of Mercy Corps and partners technical staff.
  • Contribute to the institutionalization of cash-based interventions and market-based programmes through capacity building, guidance and SOP development and inter-departmental engagement.
  • Ensure the adoption of appropriate Shelter and WASH designs and technologies, considering cost effectiveness, cultural awareness, and protection of the environment  

As FAST Shelter Technical Director:

  • In coordination with the FAST Program Management Unit (PMU) develop a clear vision for the program, as well as a clear and effective strategy for program implementation and evaluation and ensure that the vision and mission are aligned with contextual realities.
  • Coordinate with the Country Office and HQ, as well as consortium lead to build systems that promote beneficiary accountability by ensuring that communities participate in initial assessments and program design, specifically in the shelter programming.
  • Oversee program implementation, in cooperation with consortium members, key project stakeholders, including local nongovernmental organizations, local government officials, community-based organizations, other international agencies on the ground, and donors.
  • Provide shelter technical leadership for the consortia programs in which Mercy Corps is the shelter technical lead agency, including leading working groups, providing technical advice and quality assurance, minimum technical standards, implementation checklists and guidelines. The shelter Director will also coordinate with other sector leads as well as consortium lead in interaction with the donor and other external stakeholders.
  • Serve as focal point with the local partners and shelter sector cluster members and coordinate the shelter/NFI specialized team dedicated to the specific project deliverables.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews. Support and inculcate a culture of learning between programs through consistent sharing of M&E processes and systems.
  • Through a matrix management approach, provide support to implementation teams in overseeing program staff and partner performance and quality of program implementation.
  • Establish and oversee effective program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting systems for both internal and external use and ensure high quality input is obtained from team members. Support staff and partners to ensure that communities are informed about Mercy Corps and Consortium programs and activities, are aware of their entitlements, are comfortable to give feedback and that feedback is used to improve the quality of our programs.
  • Provide technical representation and engagement with the donor and other external stakeholders as required.
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Director of Program Support and FAST Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Program Team, M&E Team, Operations Team, Finance Team, HQ-based Program and TSU staff, FAST partner teams

Knowledge and Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience in working as a senior Program Manager and/or Advisor of humanitarian WASH and/or Shelter programme, preferably in refugees / IDPs environments
  • Proven expertise in WASH / Shelter with particular focus of complex programme
  • Experience of setting up and implementing monitoring, documentation and learning systems.
  • University degree or higher education in Civil Engineering
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, analytical and negotiation skills
  • Proven skills and experience in report and proposal writing
  • Knowledge of cash-based interventions and market based programmes
  • Ability to prioritize needs and carry out multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience of working in complex and volatile contexts
  • Prior experience and proven capability in training and capacity development
  • Knowledge of the Syria context is an asset
  • Experience with scaling up of humanitarian programs in strictly controlled context is an asset
  • Detailed oriented and strong organizational skills
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of USAID (OFDA), ECHO, UNICEF and DFID.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is as plus.

Success Factors

The successful advisor/director 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 local partners and national staff; have strong technical support skills, good information management skills and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Amman, Jordan.The location is accompanied and is not eligible for hardship or R&R.  Individual housing is provided.  Staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.  Water and electricity are present with occasional cuts.