Senior Technical Advisor – Environment and Climate Change
Mercy Corps - Washington, DC

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Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by building secure, productive and just communities. We seek to catalyze civil society, public and private sector actors through interventions that are community-led and market-driven. The Environment, Energy and Climate Change team is a small but critical technical team within Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU). The TSU is responsible for leading and supporting assessments, program design and field studies; providing technical support to field offices; helping the global agency set technical strategies; building strategic partnerships, and representation and coordination with other development, government and private sector actors.

Supporting agency priorities, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Unit is particularly focused on technical support in the areas of a) Climate Change Adaptation, including Disaster Risk Reduction; b) Natural Resource Management and environmental conservation; and c) Access to Energy. The Unit is playing a central role in helping Mercy Corps capture and share learning related to resilience thinking in order to advance our models of intervention. Integration with other sectors, such as economic and market development, food security, agriculture, conflict management and governance is central to the approach for this Unit.

Mercy Corps considers climate change a lens through which to assess both threats and opportunities to development and humanitarian action. Our efforts are intended to provide adaptation strategies for communities coping with the effects of climate change; and provide viable options for communities to overcome poverty while diminishing their own negative impacts on the environment.


The Senior Advisor for Environment and Climate Change will provide strong technical advice and training in areas related to environmental and NRM programming, strongly overlaid with climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and resilience building, in areas including: program design and development; program quality; assisting country programs maintain quality control over relevant projects; network and partnership development and representation at key sector forums; integrate environmental, NRM and climate adaptation programming with other sectors, with a particular focus on food security and conflict management.

Together with Mercy Corps field teams, the Senior Adviser for Environment and Climate Change will help to design new initiatives and programs, develop competitive proposals for submission to donors, assist in liaison with partners, ensure that programs are meeting high standards for technical quality, and play an active role in disseminating lessons learned.


Program/Proposal Development

Write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from donors including foundations and US, European and UN agencies.

Perform assessments and gather/analyze data to determine community needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding.

Work with programs, country/regional teams and technical support units on prepositioning and development of strategies.

Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral programs that encompass CCA and DRR as one element of larger economic development and resilience goals.

Keep up to date on strategies on CCA, DRR and NRM being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.

Cultivate and nurture donor and peer relationships that will strengthen our program development efforts.

Program Quality

Be part of the MC team providing technical support to field programs in the areas of climate change and environment.

Advise on and design environmental, NRM and climate related contributions to alleviating poverty;

Support effective interventions in the area of community-based NRM and environmental protection;

Understand and maintain standards of program delivery that meet host country and donor environmental regulations and further requirements;

Help the team gather, refine and disseminate tools in these areas, such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools.

Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement climate or environment-related programs

Representation and Outreach

Actively engage in developing internal and external networks and relationships in order to disseminate information on Mercy Corps programs, best practices and lessons learned related to climate change, environment and NRM.

Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums and other events - contribute to thought leadership in climate change and development.

Build and maintain relationships with donor representatives.

Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.

Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.

Learning and Impact

Support the field in ensuring that monitoring and evaluation reflects best practices.

Work in tandem with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team to ensure that recommended indicators are relevant and accessible to our field programs. Provide input to the Mission Metrics project.

Nurture partnerships with universities and research institutions to draw upon such partnerships for case studies, assessments and other learning documentation.

Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around resilience.

Support the field in creating learning documents, evidence-based research, and impact studies that demonstrate the extent to which our programming is improving the lives of our beneficiaries.

Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.

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.

The position has supervisory responsibility over interns and/or volunteers


Reports directly to: Director of Mercy Corps Environment, Energy and Climate Change team.

Works directly with: TSU sectors, HQ and field teams.


M.S./M.Sc. or equivalent or above in a field related to climate change adaptation, community-based NRM and environmental programming in a development (including disaster) context or related field required.

Strong technical knowledge of a broad range of community-based climate adaptation and resilience building practices, including implementation methodologies and approaches.

5-7+ years’ experience working in these areas required, with demonstrated experience in field settings essential.

Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and the major US based foundations

Superior writing and analytic skills required, with a track record of successful writing/analysis on proposal or grant development preferred.

Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, required.

Proficiency in a foreign language preferred.


Ability to demonstrate a winning track record in program development.

Flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm

Exceptional writing skills and attention to detail.

Strong familiarity with community based NRM and climate change adaptation.

Willingness to take initiative and contribute to team efforts.

Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to build and maintain external relationships.

Ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments.

Awareness and sensitivity to international development issues and diverse cultures.

Commitment to the values and mission of Mercy Corps.


This position will be based in Washington D.C. or Portland, OR, and will require a willingness to travel at least 30% time to field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. When in the field the team member will need to able to work in remote settings and possibly over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Required Skills

Required Experience

Mercy Corps - 20 months ago - save job - block
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Mercy Corps is dedicated to helping the poor and oppressed in developing countries. The not-for-profit organization offers emergency relief...