Director, Safeguarding Prevention

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 24 Oct 2022

Location: London, UK; Washington DC or Portland, Oregon or Remote US

Position Status: Full-time, Regular

Salary: US: Starting salary for this role will be $91,000 USD commensurate with experience. Based on local benchmark outside of the US.

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

Mercy Corps’ global safeguarding team is a key part of the Mercy Corps Ethics and Compliance Department (ECD) and leads our organizational efforts to prevent, detect, deter and respond to safeguarding issues. The team reports to a Senior Director of Safeguarding who reports to the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO).The global safeguarding team is bolstered by a global network of advisors, focal points and champions working at the country level to mainstream safeguarding and raise awareness about individual rights and responsibilities of our team members, participants, partners, volunteers and many others who are a part of the critical work we do. Although our primary focus is on ensuring our own safeguarding policies, practices and investigations are robust and effective, the Safeguarding Team also engages in cooperative efforts across the sector, engaging with partners, peers, donors and internal stakeholders, not only to raise our own practices to the highest standard, but to play a meaningful role in safeguarding improvements across the sector.

The Position

The Director, Safeguarding provides guidance and leadership for the implementation of safeguarding prevention throughout the 40+ countries where Mercy Corps operates. The Managing Director manages and advises our five Regional Safeguarding Advisors Advisors who provide support to the in-country safeguarding roles including Safeguarding Managers, Officers, Focal Points and Champions.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Supports the Senior Director, Safeguarding in setting vision and strategy for the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment, child abuse and trafficking at Mercy Corps
  • Leads and enables activities that enhance Mercy Corps’ reputation for delivery of safe, responsive programs, through analytical rigor and innovation; anticipate challenges and identify opportunities.
  • Recognizes opportunities for innovative action and creates an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • With Senior Director, Safeguarding, guides and supports regional safeguarding advisors in setting strategy and vision for their regions

  • Consistently strives to exceed expectations; demonstrates flexibility, resilience and the ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances
  • Maintains high ethical standards and treats people with respect and dignity
  • Demonstrates an awareness of personal strengths and development needs, modeling non-defensive behavior and openness to feedback; builds a culture of feedback and learning
  • Fully embraces the Agency’s culture and values and actively works to achieve its goals relating to Gender, Diversity and Inclusion. Creates and sustains a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence


  • Work with Regional Advisors to support in-country safeguarding processes and structures, including support for the roll out of Core Safeguarding Standards
  • Work with regional advisors to ensure programs and operations integrate safeguarding prevention measures and standards and respond appropriately to survivors
  • Support Regional SG Advisors in supporting country teams with systems, processes and guidance to increase partner awareness and capacity surrounding safeguarding standards and expectations including sub-grantees, volunteers, consultants, contractors, money transfer agencies, and daily workers
  • Support Regional SG Advisors to oversee and advise in-country SG team members with creation and tracking of country-specific safeguarding workplans and activities
  • Partner with Regional SG Advisors and the Global SG Team to identify opportunities to strengthen safeguarding processes, resources, tools and guidance
  • Partner with regional SG advisors in adapting materials to support localization efforts and context specific resources to better communicate and raise awareness about safeguarding and engage communities in that process
  • Work with Regional SG Advisors to develop support plan for Focal Points and Champions in the countries within their region of oversight
  • In coordination with the Global Safeguarding Team and in-country safeguarding support, provide training and informational sessions to regional and country leadership as requested
  • Participate in recruitment of regional safeguarding advisor roles as needed


  • Assist Regional SG Advisors to ensure safeguarding related communications to in-country support roles as needed
  • Support the development and implementation of ongoing communications for existing and/or newly developed safeguarding policies, procedures and resources to safeguarding focal points and champions
  • With the Senior Director, Safeguarding, coordinate across initiatives and operations to integrate safeguarding as seamlessly as possible
  • Collaborate on writing of internal and external reporting, including Global Safeguarding report, JESC reports or other safeguarding team publications as needed
  • Participate in sector established communities of practice and other networking engagements, trainings, or workshops as a representative of Mercy Corps


  • Support the roll out of the Core Safeguarding Standards throughout the region
  • In coordination with the Global Safeguarding Team give technical guidance and advice to Country Directors and SMTs to identify country specific safeguarding strategies and prioritized activities
  • In coordination with in-country Safeguarding support, give technical guidance and input to country level and program level safeguarding risk assessments and analyses
  • Support country level safeguarding risk mitigation to ensure activities assessed as having high safeguarding risks are actively implementing prevention measures, incl. observational checklists, supervision, training and other measures
  • Proactively and reactively engage with all functions to ensure minimum mitigations measures and good practices are implemented
  • Support the country teams to provide the guidance and tools to support partners in the development of safeguarding capacity and compliance with safeguarding standards
  • Assist and advise program teams to be able to assess partners’ compliance with minimum safeguarding standards
  • Work with Human Resources and program teams in the region to develop safeguarding protocols for onboarding team members, casual workers, day laborers, consultants and volunteers
  • Work with CARM teams and program teams to ensure safeguarding is integrated in CARM systems and communications, including sensitization and consultation with communities
  • Act as a resource to senior management around safeguarding best practice and obligations under Mercy Corps’ and donor’s Safeguarding policies and response mechanisms
  • Collaborate with Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation teams around safeguarding guidelines for MEL activities in the region
  • In coordination with the investigations team, support reflection and adaptation and implementation of corrective actions following case reports when requested


  • Participate in and represent Mercy Corps at relevant sector groups and coordination mechanisms, including Clusters and PSEA networks and support the coordination of Safeguarding activities across the region
  • Participate in Mercy Corps’ cross-operational Global Safeguarding Task Force with key team members from across the organization
  • Participate in Mercy Corps’ regional working groups or cross-operational groups where safeguarding efforts or the safeguarding team needs representation
  • With support from the Global Safeguarding Team, provide technical support regarding donor requirements on project proposals and design

Supervisory Responsibility

Five Regional Safeguarding Advisors (East Africa, West Africa, the Middle East, Asia/Europe and the Americas)


Reports Directly To: Senior Director, Safeguarding

Works Directly With: Global safeguarding team, Ethics & Compliance Department, Global Safeguarding Task Force, Safeguarding Focal Points, Champions & Managers, CDs, RDs and other HQ units and field partners working in support of the Safeguarding strategy

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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • MA/S in relevant field preferred, a BA/S with additional relevant work experience a possibility.
  • 7+ years professional work experience in experience in safeguarding, protection, human rights, gender based violence, relevant field(s)
  • Experience working in humanitarian aid or development programming
  • Demonstrated leadership ability and ability to partner closely with direct reports and other team contributors
  • Previous supervisory experience preferred
  • Demonstrated knowledge and passion for Safeguarding, a survivor sensitive approach, and a sensitivity to cultural diversity and gender issues.
  • Experience communicating sensitive and complicated subjects to diverse groups
  • Strong writing skills and mature communications skills
  • Fluency with data presentation and communication tools.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work cross-functionally.
  • Demonstrate ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • French and/or Spanish language proficiency for basic communication with and support of French speaking SG support staff preferred; additional relevant language proficiencies preferred
  • Experience and demonstrated strength in project management, logistics coordination and administrative duties
  • Detail oriented and organized with an ability to maintain concurrent active projects

Success Factors

The successful Director, Safeguarding will have knowledge of the INGO environment; mastery of or strong experience with best practices as it relates to Safeguarding in the context of insecure and opaque environments with varying cultures, languages and education levels; and an enduring ability to move complex problems forward in a timely yet methodical manner. This person will have an utmost understanding of and appreciation for the confidential nature of this work. This person will have an abiding sense of empathy for the difficulties that INGOs face and an unwavering commitment to improvement in the face of these difficulties. They will be adept at communicating with and motivating a diverse array of stakeholders, particularly in sensitive contexts

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Washington DC, or remotely and requires up to 25% travel, which may include to insecure locations where amenities and freedom of movement are limited.

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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,

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.

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

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment. Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations. Failure to comply may impact your employment. Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.

How to apply



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