Program Performance & Quality Senior Manager – Syria – Remote (Any MC location)

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 1 Feb 2022

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, like the events currently sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa, are rare moments of opportunity. Mercy Corps responds to and is well placed to continue its support to the crisis across the region.

This is an exciting time for Mercy Corps in Syria as its intervention models shifts from Humanitarian support to complex, longer term development response in a shifting and dynamic environment where the organisation needs to maintain its highly flexible and adaptive response to conflict and its consequences.

The Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit will be playing a central position in this shift as it facilitates ever more informed and robust design and decision making, enhances evidence collection, analysis and use and supports the role out of programming standards, and overall accountability to participants. The PaQ Senior Manager will play a key role in advancing the competencies and confidence of PaQ teams as they meet the challenges associated with profound changes in Syria.

General Position Summary

The PaQ Senior Manager will provide critical and pro-active support to the Director of Performance and Quality (PaQ) for the Syria team, helping to manage and link the work of the teams. The role of PaQ is to help ensure the development of efficient and effective systems, embed learning, maintain accountability and support strong programme design and support the expansion of research.

The Senior Manager will oversee the following staff: two PaQ Managers and their teams; the CARM system which provides an accountability mechanism for Mercy Corps; and lead on MEAL including for example strong theory of change and design approaches which help ensure the quality of Mercy Corps’ work.

This includes:

● Supporting the director to manage strong cross-hub engagement across MEAL, CARM, Technical Adviser, IM and Research and programme quality and with programme, finance, HR and operations teams.

● Providing strong support for the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes and systems including information management systems, providing support to programs during key project development and implementation moments, setting standards for program quality and impact through a variety of different techniques and approaches

● Modelling and undertaking key learning activities and processes that ensure that Mercy Corps and its staff have access to the best knowledge available as they develop and implement adaptive, high quality programmes.

● Helping to progress the 2022-25 Syria Strategy, its objectives, principles and cross cutting themes including integration, and its focus populations.

● Developing a credible and sound research approach that delivers useful and innovative evidence and knowledge.

● Modelling critical analysis and learning.

Essential Job Responsibilities


● Line manage and supervise team members, ensuring their work is aligned and substantively contributing effectively towards the MC Syria strategy and the aims for the PaQ unit, that colleagues have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different individuals.

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.

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

● Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.

● Facilitate a learning culture and model this by demonstrating their own adherence to learning.


● Lead on developing processes to support Mercy Corps teams to integrate cross-learning and ensure that lessons are used to inform required adaptation of activities and future design.

● Support teams to be able to use, critically analyse and request contextual knowledge both quantitative and qualitative using a broad range of sources including monitoring and evaluation information, After Action Reviews, data from the Humanitarian Access Team and the IM team to build out lessons learnt and to improve planning and decision making.

● Support the work of the Information Management Team to build forward looking, secure and utilisable information management systems for MC Syria. This will mean working with managers to ensure that programs use the necessary MEAL systems DQAs and tools, to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into the broader country-level MEAL system and country strategy. Accuracy and consistency


● Support PAQ teams to provide substantive and sound input to proposals including design and on PaQ and MEAL related activities and inputs, providing leadership on complex or challenging proposals. This will require being comfortable working across requirements of multiple funders and stakeholders and being able to embrace rapidly, and use, challenging concepts such as Value for Money, and ethics or new areas as identified within Mercy Corps or externally.

● Ensure that the PAQ unit provides strong Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) support to program teams and partners, and develops efficient and effective MEAL systems which are ethically robust.

● Identify strategies and build or strengthen systems to facilitate greater efficiency in program management processes especially those related to MEAL. And, Advance programme quality initiatives including Project Management for Development (PMD Pro).

● Support a community for M&E staff to provide them with technical advice and a support network. This includes providing/ensuring/leading:

  • Oversight, leadership and training in the development of MEL plans, IPTTs, Analysis Plans, SOPs, quantitative and qualitative tools (surveys, MSC, focus groups as well as non-standard approaches), routine monitoring tools and analysis and data visualization to enable programs to assess outcomes and impact.
  • High quality work from external evaluators and contractors on activities including design, monitoring, evaluation, and research. Managing complicated procurement processes is included in this area.


● Provide support to PaQ managers and teams and program teams at key programmatic moments, such as starting up new sectors, modalities, locations or partnership modalities.

● Establishes mechanisms and tools to facilitate greater efficiency in between partners, program, M&E and information management.

● Work with the Grants and Programmes team to help design and review interventions.


The PaQ unit is developing an approach to research that will be key to achieving the longer-term aims of the organisation as it develops the nature of its response in Syria. This research will provide directional learning, promote experimentation and develop MC’s credibility in sound and ethical research. The manager will be expected to:

● Promote, contribute to, and use the outputs of, this stream of work.

● Understand research methodologies and their limitations and share this knowledge.

● Promote a strong ethical approach to information collation across all approaches but particularly to challenging research topics.

● Have the ability to rapidly engage with research areas, and think critically and purposefully about all aspects of the research process and its outputs.


The Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) provides channels for communities to complain and provide feedback about Mercy Corps’ interventions, and for the organisation to respond and undertake appropriate actions. The Manager should expect to:

● Work with the Syria CARM team to continue improvements to reporting and response, enhance analysis and share learning.

● Support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our participants 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.


● 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.


● Actively learn about safeguarding and integrates it into your work including with external stakeholders and direct reports if applicable

● Practice the values of Mercy Corps as detailed in the Code of Conduct and safeguarding policies including respecting the dignity and well-being of community participants and fellow staff members

● Hold yourself accountable for making appropriate decisions that impact community members and team members

● Take responsibility for your personal and professional behavior

● Encourage openness, transparency and communication in their team; encourages team members to make any reports if they have any concerns using internal reporting mechanisms (i.e. Integrity Hotline, HR etc.)

● Demonstrate a high level of integrity and treats others with respect


● As part of Mercy Corps’ 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

A team of staff that include PaQ Managers and their teams including field staff, and CARM officers.

The Senior Manager may be required to deputise for the PaQ Director at senior or external meetings as directed.


Reports Directly To: PaQ Director

Works Directly With: the Grants Team, Directors of Programmes, Program Managers, Information Management Unit, Technical Advisors, Regional TSU.

Knowledge and Experience

● BA/BSc. or equivalent in social science, management, international development, or other relevant field; MA/MSc in similar relevant fields preferred.

● 7-10 years of progressive experience and proven high level of competence in working in international settings, ideally in conflict-affected countries.

● 5 year direct experience in implementing M&E Systems particularly remote monitoring, mobile data collection platforms and managing evaluations.

● Demonstrated success with program development and design, including conceptualizing and articulating programming ideas in concept notes and proposals.

● Previous experience in the Middle East.

● Strong knowledge of and experience with humanitarian and development programming.

● Strong leadership, communication, and project management skills.

● Ability and interest to work with a multi-ethnic team in a culturally appropriate manner.

● Willingness to work in a face-paced, fluid environment on multiple tasks.

● Ability to proficiently write in English is essential.

● Ability to speak, write, and read in Arabic is advantageous.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have the ability to work closely and flexibly with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment. They should be an experienced problem solver with a capacity to spark innovative approaches to PaQ and inspire groups to collaborate closely to deliver high-quality programs. S/he will have proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. An ability to work independently and as part of a team, with curiosity about and sensitivity to new cultures, a desire and ability to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, and a great sense of humour would be ideal.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based remotely and can accommodate applicants based in any Mercy Corps HQ or Country Office location.

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, colour, 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. 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.

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