Humanitarian Response Team Leader - Yemen

Amman | Amman

This position is currently based in Jordan until security allows relocation to Yemen.


Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world and recognizes 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. It is imperative that Mercy Corps present itself as a key and reliable partner with various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive change. Mercy Corps, with her global experience in working in countries undergoing major transitions, will be a key contributor in the process, bringing knowledge, expertise and strong management skills to position the agency as a partner of choice for progressive change in Yemen. Mercy Corps has worked in the Middle East since the 1980s and currently has offices in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010 and its current program portfolio includes relief and recovery programming interventions in water and sanitation (WASH), food security, and nutrition. Current donors include government, UNICEF, UN OCHA and private foundations.

During this critical period in Yemen, Mercy Corps is not only providing humanitarian assistance but also working closely with its Yemeni partners and local communities to implement programs that emphasize recovery and resilience building. It is essential that Mercy Corps have strong leadership in place to drive its humanitarian program portfolio in Yemen and manage its humanitarian operations in accordance with highest international standards and practices.


Mercy Corps is looking for a dynamic senior level coordinator with significant management experience in humanitarian operations to work with the country program in Yemen. The Humanitarian Response Team Leader (HRTL) is a senior leadership position with supervisory and oversight responsibility of program teams. S/he will work in close coordination with other members of senior management, finance, operations, logistics and project teams in field sites in Yemen in order to respond to the needs of conflict affected IDPs and vulnerable host communities. The HRTL will ensure that humanitarian response staff and funds are managed effectively and efficiently in order to facilitate delivery of Mercy Corps program strategies to achieve planned results and targets. This position requires strong coordination on security planning, field visits and safety of staff, and will require line management of individual program managers / officers to implement program plans in accordance with MC and donor policies and requirements. It is a strategic priority for Mercy Corps in Yemen to ensure a coherent, planned and strengthened humanitarian response capacity both internally within its team as well as externally with operational partners and this position will play a crucial role in delivering MC's humanitarian response strategy.


Strategy and Vision

  • Humanitarian Program Strategy Development: The HRTL will maintain a central role in developing MC's humanitarian response program strategy in coordination with program staff, ensuring that programs meet the needs of the target populations in line with MC's strategic goals and objectives, as well as identifying and developing new initiatives that strengthen and expand the current program.
  • Lead program development for humanitarian programming: In collaboration with the Director of Programs and Senior Program Development & Reporting Officer, the HRTL will lead and direct preparation of proposals in response to the Yemen crisis.
  • Promote Innovation in Programming : Recognize and maximize opportunities for innovative humanitarian action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Knowledge management and institutional learning. Promote continuous information exchange and best practices within and amongst program teams as well as onwards to regional and HQ focal points to ensure key lessons and success stories are documented and shared widely for institutional memory and learning.

Program Management

  • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps' relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Compliance with PM@MC and Design for Impact requirements. The HRTL will be responsible for ensuring the application of MC's internal Program Management standard procedures (PM@MC) are applied and that the MC Yemen program adheres to best practices in its respective sectors (WASH, food security, nutrition). This includes consistent application of internal Design for Impact indicators to align country program design and measurement around key agency priorities.
  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
  • Develop partners MoUs and contracts & oversee a training program for program partners.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Oversee MC standard operational procedures and ensure implementation of humanitarian policies and guidelines, especially gender equity, in all aspects of MC's work, with support from the Technical Support Unit (TSU) and regional program team as needed

Team Management

  • Lead members of the humanitarian response team in mutual learning, collaboration of efforts, and ideas and sharing of resources, tools and techniques through regular communication and meetings. Participate in recruitment and orientation of new program team members as necessary.
  • Create an Enabling Environment for Team Excellence. Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members are motivated and strive to achieve excellence. Contribute to country team building efforts to help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision making processes.
  • Training and Capacity Building of humanitarian staff. Develop and implement trainings and capacity building opportunities on humanitarian international standards and practices, ensuring team members have the tools and skills they need to successfully implement emergency programs.

Representation and Coordination

  • Ensure humanitarian representation with key stakeholders. The HRTL will externally represent MC in UN, government, and donor meetings and ensure that MC maintains high and engaged visibility in the humanitarian community.
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with inter agency for a and consortium initiatives


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that humanitarian team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Program Managers, program field teams


Reports directly to: Director of Programs

Works closely with: Heads of office, Human Resource Manager, Senior Program Development & Reporting Officer, MEL Specialist, Operations and Finance Directors, Security Officers.


  • Bachelor's degree in related field, Masters preferred.
  • 5-7 years relevant professional experience, including at least 4 years working in conflict affected countries.
  • Experience managing multi sectoral humanitarian responses in a complex crisis required. Previous experience in Yemen or the Middle East preferred.
  • Experience with refugee / IDP/ returnee programs preferred.
  • Proven analytical skills and ability to think strategically in complex crises in an ever changing fluid operational context.
  • Ability to manage the development of, and contribution to, high level analysis of factors driving conflict, marginalization, and vulnerabilities and apply highest level of humanitarian principals in programming
  • Experience in leading and motivating multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary teams, often remotely, to ensure exceptional team performance and program development.
  • Demonstrated experience to manage and negotiate relationships in complex environments, through fluid change processes involving a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders across a variety of disciplines, agendas and geographic areas.
  • Experience with organizational representation with wide variety of stakeholders, including partners, UN agencies, donors, community organizations and government authorities
  • Proven active commitment to promotion of gender equality and interests of marginalized people in all aspects of program
  • High level financial management skills to oversee operational budgets and track programmatic expenditure.
  • Understanding of security management with experience of developing and managing standard operational procedures for programs in high risk and/or conflict affected areas.
  • Significant experience in training and capacity building of international, national staff and implementing partner agencies.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills (English). Arabic skills preferred.
  • Good contextual knowledge and understanding of the Middle East, particularly Yemen.


The successful candidate will have a strong track record of implementing quality humanitarian programs for vulnerable populations in conflict affected insecure areas. S/he will have the ability to communicate and manage effectively in a fluid ever changing context, demonstrating exceptional multi tasking, organizational and prioritization skills. The candidate will have excellent relationship building and negotiation skills in order to represent Mercy Corps and its interests to a diverse range of stakeholders. S/he will require attention to detail with ability to follow and enforce procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members. S/he must display awareness and sensitivity to multi-cultural team dynamics and ability to creatively facilitate dialogue and promote sense of team spirit amongst groups of diverse individuals with various skills sets and working styles. S/he must enforce strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedure, while displaying capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and to inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs. S/he will have the desire and ability to learn and grown, both personally and professionally. Lastly s/he will work independently, take initiative, and spend time in environments with significant restrictions to personal movement and some operating risks.


This is an unaccompanied position temporarily based in Amman, Jordan with regular trips to Yemen, however it is anticipated the post will relocate to Yemen as soon as security allows. When traveling to field offices, strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions. The position will require travel to the field sites in Mercy Corps Yemen's operational areas up to 50% of the time including travel to some locations that may be insecure or austere.

When in Yemen, frequent travel to project sites in Aden, Taiz and Lahj or other areas will be required, if security allows. Strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions. Security conditions in the country are variable, with a range of violence and insecurity, requiring close monitoring and vigilance. Conflict and corruption have also badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other, though the road network is good, the security situation often precludes travel by road. There is a land line telephone system, a somewhat reliable cellular phone system and internet is available in the residences and offices. Candidates must be able to work in an environment with energy, transportation and communication challenges.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and as such 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.

Please follow this link to apply:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Amman | Amman
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
  • Closing Date: 2015-09-15

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