Consultant – Proposal Development Process Review – Remote

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 5 Nov 2021


Mercy Corps is a leading global relief and development organization working to build secure, productive and just communities in more than 40 countries around the globe. Our 5,600 team members work side by side with people living through poverty, disaster, violent conflict, and the acute impacts of climate change. We bring a comprehensive approach to every challenge, addressing problems from multiple angles. Mercy Corps works in a number of sectors, including agriculture, economic growth, resilience, food security, climate and environment, peace and governance.

With an annual budget of approximately $500 million, Mercy Corps manages a current portfolio of 410 programs, funded by the US and other government donors, corporations, foundations, and private resources. The US government is Mercy Corps’ largest donor, with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding a large percentage of our programs. Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSAs) – multi-year and multi-sectoral funding opportunities through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) – represent an important funding opportunity for implementing partners to address chronic vulnerabilities and recurrent shocks and stresses.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps regularly bids on RFSA opportunities in the countries where we operate. These are some of the largest and most complex applications that we pursue, and they have the potential for enormous impact. RFSA proposal processes are intense. They require extensive human and financial resources over a 6-9 month period and involve large teams made up of country, regional, technical teams, along with support departments and partners. We seek an external consultant to analyze our recent experience with RFSAs and provide recommendations for how we respond to these opportunities moving forward. While the focus of this consultancy is on RFSA applications, we expect key findings will also apply to other large, multi-sectoral proposal efforts.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Conduct an analysis of the process Mercy Corps follows to apply for RFSAs. This includes looking at the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 proposal processes through document review, after-action debriefs, donor feedback and key informant interviews. Key areas to explore include:
    • Competitive Analysis and Go/No Go Decisions
    • Technical Design
    • Who is involved and who makes design decisions? What does the optimal proposal team look like? Who is responsible for different sections of the proposal?
    • Pre-positioning phase: Steps taken prior to the release of the Request for Applications (draft and final versions) and “must do’s” during this stage to set us up for success
    • Developing the Theory of Change and Logframe
    • Partner selection
    • Articulating the overall vision and winning themes of the program
  • Interview key stakeholders involved in proposal design from a variety of departments in headquarters and country teams.
  • Synthesize trends and challenges encountered during these proposal processes.
  • Hold a brainstorming session with key players from proposal teams to outline challenges and recommendations for improving the process.
  • Make recommendations for improving the proposal process and share findings and analysis with the New Initiatives team.

Consultant Deliverables:

  • A written report that provides an analysis of and recommendations for improving Mercy Corps’ RFSA proposal process. We expect these findings will also apply to other complex proposals.
  • Facilitated conversation with key proposal stakeholders identifying the challenges and potential solutions.
  • Debrief meeting and presentation with the New Initiatives and Food Security teams.


This consultancy is expected to take 20 days and may be completed over the course of two months.

The Consultant will report to:

Program Development Manager, New Initiatives

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Country Teams
  • Selected members of Technical Support Unit
  • Regional Program Teams

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in relevant technical field
  • Familiarity with USAID Resilience Food Security Activities and involvement in at least two RFSA (or Development Food Security Activity or Development Food Aid Program) proposal processes
  • Experience completing similar analytical and strategic projects
  • Excellent analytical ability
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in English
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, work independently and cooperatively with team members is required

In your submission please include:

  • CV
  • Letter of interest outlining how you would approach this work

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:

To apply: