Assistant Program Officer - Innovation Investment Alliance and Japan
Mercy Corps - Portland, OR

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In 2012, USAID and the Skoll Foundation partnered to launch the USAID-Skoll Innovation Investment Alliance, to influence systems-level change by supporting proven, transformative, and innovative organizations to reach scale. With the support of Mercy Corps, the Innovation Investment Alliance will invest in up to ten organizations across a range of sectors and geographies by providing grants and other forms of financing. The Innovation Investment Alliance will measure, analyze, and share findings from partners to influence broader change within communities aiming to solve pressing global challenges. Mercy Corps works closely with USAID and Skoll to select, analyze, design, fund, and manage innovative programming with social impact. The Alliance made their first investment into Imazon in April 2013.

Mercy Corps responded to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan with immediate assistance and quickly moved into recovery programming. In partnership with local nonprofit organizations, Mercy Corps continues to support the long term recovery of the region, through small business recovery programs and nonprofit capacity building.

[Describe overview of job missio GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
The Assistant Program Officer (APO) provides administrative support to the Senior Program Officer (SPO) and Innovation Investment Alliance Team for the implementation of the cooperative agreement from USAID and for the MC Japan operations. The Innovation Investment Alliance is a partnership between USAID and the Skoll Foundation to identify and co-invest in proven ventures led by social entrepreneurs to solve entrenched development challenges. The Japan programs are to support recovery from the earthquake and tsunami and to support learning and the professional development for Japanese NGOs. The APO plays a key role in managing information and data, performing quality control, developing documents and templates, checking regulatory compliance and reporting back to USAID. The APO is responsible for administrative duties for the agreement.

Grant Administration: supports the SPO with administrative tasks such as maintaining required documentation, as per the Program File, and knowledge management of the grant, copy-edit support of reports, etc. Process payments to subgrant recipients for the cooperative agreement and Japan.

Application Coordination : p rovide administrative support for application development such as collecting required documents, copy-editing, and final compilation for submission.

Internal Communications: be on point for internal communications, facilitates use of Mercy Corps web-based information systems and the project Zoho website to coordinate project deadlines and activities.

Knowledge Management: maintain up to date grant information in Mercy Corps’ online knowledge management tools, e.g., GAIT, DL, HUB and on the project site on Zoho; the APO also maintains project data from subgrantees. .

Consultants: ensure necessary documentation has been submitted to relevant people,

Administration : proactively lead logistical support for the teams.

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.

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.


APO: Reports directly to the SPO

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Innovation Investment Alliance Team, Director for Partnership Development - East Asia, Other HQ Program units and other departments, including Social Innovations, Resource Development, Finance, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

  • BA/S in relevant field required.
  • At least two years of demonstrated experience in providing administrative/ coordination support.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing administrative support to complex teams required.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with partners and colleagues from various backgrounds and cultures.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Prior NGO or international development experience preferred.
  • Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in developing countries
  • Knowledge of relevant technical sectors (emergency relief, economic development, agriculture, water, health, nutrition, or hygiene) preferred.
The Assistant Program Officer must be a detail-oriented multi-tasker who is able to communicate clearly and work under pressure. S/he must demonstrate patience, flexibility, and taking initiative to solve problems. Vital skills include communication (both written and verbal), as well as building and maintaining effective internal and external relationships. S/he must demonstrate the ability to understand and follow agency procedures, meet deadlines, and work both independently and as part of a complex distanced-based, multi-cultural team. An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, and an understanding of the complex challenges faced by program teams operating in overseas environments is critical.

The position may be requested to travel –sometimes on short notice— to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities. 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. 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.

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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...