Emergency Response Senior Manager


Emergency Response Senior Manager

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. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, agriculture, market development, financial services, youth engagement, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

“Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision, and we encourage people from all backgrounds, especially women and members of disadvantaged groups to apply. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer”. 

Mercy Corps invites applications from all interested and potential Nepali candidates for the following position:

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. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing …

Emergency Response Senior Manager

Views: 1863 | This job is expired 5 months, 1 week ago

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Position Status: Full-time Regular Staff

Salary Grade: M3

Program and Team Summary

Mercy Corps is expected to begin a new program to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload, and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in the Karnali Province in Nepal, on or around October 1, 2020. The program will be a Multi-Year Emergency Food Security Activity funded by USAIDs Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs1, with a goal to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload, and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in 6 districts (Mugu, Jumla, Kalikot, Surkhet, Achham and Dailekh, with cluster hubs in Surkhet and Jumla) in the Karnali River Basin area. The new program, called Bhakari, is somewhat built upon many of the successes of the Nepal team’s previous Food for Peace program which ended in January 2020, the PAHAL program, but with some new districts and a much heavier emphasis on emergency response. It includes program components of agriculture and market systems, disaster risk reduction, water for productive use, natural resources management, and a large emphasis on a gender and social inclusion approach, all with a highly integrated multi-sectoral approach. For emergency work, the program includes a potential for shock and stress triggered unconditional cash transfers, conditional cash such as cash for work, and agriculture input vouchers. In May 2020, Mercy Corps was awarded the “Assumed Solicitation Awardee” position, and entered into a non-competitive cocreation phase. The final detailed proposal and budget was submitted July 30th, 2020 and barring anything unexpected, the program should be on track to start October 1st, 2020. Since early 2020, the Mercy Corps Nepal team has begun Start-up planning, and in full earnest beginning in June 2020, so by the start of the program, the program’s leadership team should be ready to hit the ground running quickly. The program is a 3-year, $15 million program across 6 districts in the hills and mountains of the Karnali River Basin of Nepal.

Position Summary

The Emergency Response Senior Manager (ERSM) provides overall leadership to the Bhakari program’s emergency response design and implementation. S/he supports and manages a team of field professionals to ensure that Mercy Corps is implementing high quality, impactful programming with the necessary management and support structures to sustain response programs. The role also includes ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results as well as engaging with senior management on the strategic direction of the overall response. 

Specifically, this role will provide overall leadership to the emergency response strategy, and implementation of the emergency component of the multi-sectoral, integrated USAID program called Bhakari. The ERSM will work closely with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, field technical managers, district and cluster office coordinators, as well as local implementing partners, to create, roll-out and help manage an emergency response program which focuses on unconditional and cash transfers for the ultimate purpose of food security. The ERSM will design a clear strategy for emergency response targeting, triggers, guidance about the selection of emergency response modalities (unconditional cash, conditional cash- cash for work, or agriculture input vouchers- or possibly value-based vouchers), distribution SoPs, and monitoring, as well as capacity development and handover of certain aspects of the strategy to local government. 

The first three months of this role will be full time on the Bhakari program, to ensure a well-planned and organized start up. For long-term, this role will be 85% funded to the USAID Bhakari program, and 15% in support of the overall Mercy Corps Nepal country office, allowing for overall representation to the humanitarian clusters, coordination with other donors, and leadership for targeted emergency response preparedness planning as well as leading specific emergency response work on behalf of other programs as needed.

Essential Responsibilities:

Strategy and Planning

  • Design and draft an emergency response technical strategy paper for the Bhakari program, elaborating the vision initially laid out in the proposal. Set a clear vision for the response, working closely with field leadership.
  • Ensure response fit within country and regional strategies, as well as USAID goals and national government and humanitarian cluster emergency response frameworks.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Lead on measurement and analysis of emergency response key performance indicators to inform strategic decision making.
  • Lead in a vision for piloting digital-based cash transfers with national finance service providers to the most remote and vulnerable households, and when successful, lead on the knowledge management and learning transfer to the wider humanitarian community.
  • At the MC Nepal country program level, advise the Country Director and Director of Programs as to strategic investments and decisions to be made to better implement emergency response strategy and programs.
  • Serve as a member of the Bhakari program Senior Management Team, as well as the country office SMT.

Program Management and Implementation

  • Lead the program team(s) in design and implementation of the humanitarian response.
  • Develop program(s) implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, shock and stressor triggers, beneficiary targeting and distribution process
  • In close coordination with the Emergency Response Cash Advisor, oversee and and approve the development of the unconditional and conditional cash transfer Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs), as well as contribute to SoPs for agricultural input vouchers
  • Oversee program startup and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations. 
  • Integrate the use of community approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of projects, and ensure that a gender and social inclusion approach is central to all aspects of emergency response implementation.
  • 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.
  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria, and that feedback mechanisms are in place.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards- including Cash Minimum Standards- based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Engage closely with M&E systems to ensure effective and useful gathering of monitoring information, especially post-distribution monitoring and feedback from CARM systems, and engage closely with the program’s collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) processes to practice quality adaptive management of the emergency response component.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm.

Finance and Compliance Management 

  • 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.
  • Ensure compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
  • Build and/or maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs.

Influence and Representation

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local governments, other USAID implementing partners (i.e. Tayar program, KAWAS program) and other stakeholders. 
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative relationships, at the direction of the Chief of Party, with key donor partners within the Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, in Washington, DC, the regional office in Bangkok, and the USAID/Nepal mission.
  • Represent Mercy Corps- both the Bhakari program and our entire country program, to the Humanitarian Cluster as relevant, as well as to other humanitarian coordinating groups such as AIN, START, and NERF.
  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership, especially related to staff and partners’ security during emergency distributions, as well as digital information security related to digital emergency transactions.
  • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.

Supervisory Responsibility

Directly manages the Emergency Response Cash and Voucher Advisor, based in Surkhet.


Reports Directly to: Chief of Party; dotted line to Country Director

Works Directly with: DCOP, Senior Technical Advisors, international, national and local partners; country-wide emergency response working group and roster; regional and global emergency response colleagues.

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in international development, management, economics or other relevant field. Master’s degree strongly preferred, in a relevant sector.
  • At least 10-12 years of relevant, professional experience in progressively responsible positions. At least 3 years in a senior leadership role for emergency response in Nepal.
  • Experience in USAID programming, especially for emergency response (EFSP or OFDA), is preferred, including knowledge of USAID emergency approaches and strategies, as well as compliance parameters.
  • Experience managing cash transfer modalities including unconditional cash, cash for work, and vouchers, with specific experience and/or knowledge of digital cash transfer options.
  • Strong management skills, with experience directly supervising staff and partners.
  • Experience leading the implementation of emergency response work with an eye to longer-term, multi-sector integrated projects, with a strong understanding of resilience approaches as well.
  • Ability to work independently in the field and show initiative. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to develop good relationships with a wide range of actors required.
  • Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local stakeholders, private sector actors, Government and partners.
  • Knowledge of Core Humanitarian Principles, SPHERE, and other key emergency standards; specific training in humanitarian response preferred. Strong understanding of, and experience with, the Humanitarian Cluster system.

Success Factors

The successful Emergency Response Senior Manager will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team in the transitional response environment. S/he will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building. S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. In particular, s/he will be flexible and adaptable with a donor that is piloting a new multi-year emergency mechanism in the context of the new creation of the Bureau for Humanitarian affairs. S/he will also be highly committed and willing to go out of his or her way to ensure dedicated, intentional integration of gender and social inclusion, one of the key tenants that this Bhakari program is built upon.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The position is based in Kathmandu, Nepal and it requires up to 40% travel to field locations, which may include travel to remote areas where amenities are limited.

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, 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. 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.

Shortlisting will be done on the basis of your answers while applying, please answer the questions carefully. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Telephone enquiries will not be entertained. 

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