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GAZA Response Director - Palestine 2 Locations GAZA Response Director - Palestine

Mercy Corps Netherlands

Mercy Corps Netherlands

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2024


About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. We know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have a long-term impact.
The Program / Department / Team
Since 1986, Mercy Corps has helped Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza access critical services and become more economically self-sufficient by focusing on WASH, community crisis resilience, economic opportunities, and cash programming. With funding from BHA and ECHO, Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Gaza to respond to these needs. The war that erupted on October 7, 2023, has sharply exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the region. Mercy Corps is actively working to respond to the crisis in Gaza and preparing to significantly ramp up much-needed lifesaving aid as soon as we are able to do so.
General Position Summary
The Gaza Response Director (GRD) is responsible for leading the operational management and strategic vision of all aspects of the design, planning, coordination, and implementation of our Emergency Response efforts inside Gaza. The GRD will develop a strategic vision for Gaza response programming for both the short and medium to longer term. The current response is centered around food and non-food items distribution, cash programming, and may potentially expand into WASH, livelihoods recovery, and protection. This position includes overall management of daily activities and management of staff (operational and programmatic) present in Gaza, ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to implement and quickly adapt programming while also ensuring staff safety and security for all team members based in Gaza. The GRD will closely collaborate with the program leaders from the PYD and GSG programs to ensure all activities implemented inside Gaza are aligned with the response strategy and well-coordinated.
The Director serves as a strong team leader for Mercy Corps’ team inside Gaza, represents the interests of the agency and partners, and ensures all parties are working effectively and efficiently. They are detail-oriented and have excellent planning and strategic thinking skills. They will be an effective communicator with exceptional team-building and coordination skills. The Director will provide strategic leadership to their direct reports, coordinate the delivery of inclusive high-quality programming and reporting, and oversee the relationship with current and future primary donors. They will be the primary program representative to donors, coordination systems, relevant partners, and other stakeholders responding in Gaza.
Essential Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
  • Maintain and articulate strategic vision and provide operational leadership to the implementation of response work to program and support teams operating in Gaza.
  • Lead the development of a Gaza Response Strategy and Response Implementation Plan.
  • Lead and implement the response strategy in Gaza, in collaboration and coordination with other departments and functions in the Palestine team and with the support of HQ response team members.
  • As appropriate, based on the evolution of the context, adapt the response strategy to meet humanitarian needs and transition into early recovery programming where possible.
  • Ensure strategic coordination and alignment with other programming implemented in Palestine as relevant, including the PYE and GSG programs also operating in Gaza.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve Mercy Corps Gaza Response programming objectives.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
Program Management
  • Oversee project start-up and ongoing project operations management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
  • Create a framework for the rapid geographic adaptation to the evolving conflict and displacement/access issues, allowing Mercy Corps to pivot response efforts quickly to new areas as required.
  • 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 the program participants are effectively targeted according to established criteria, including vulnerability criteria when appropriate.
  • Develop program implementation strategies for each relevant sector, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting, and/or distribution processes.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target, and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Humanitarian Response Approach, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
Team Management
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Hire, orient, and supervise new team members as necessary.
  • Provide team members with information, tools, and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options, and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Supervise and manage emergency project managers and technical leads to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated way according to schedule, budget, and quality.
  • Supervise and manage operational support leads (finance, HR, operations, security) working inside Gaza for day-to-day management. These staff will have a dual management reporting line to their technical department leads at the country level.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
Finance & 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 donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming and operations inside Gaza.
  • Manage and mitigate risks related to operations across Gaza.
  • Build and/or maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
Operations Management
  • Ensure that all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient, and effective program implementation.
  • Work daily with support staff, i.e.: logistics, finance, transport, and administration departments to ensure proper daily support functions and compliance with MC and donor policies.
  • Ensure that all necessary measures are taken to provide MC employees with a safe working environment as detailed in existing guidelines, including responsibility for fire regulations and building evacuation procedures.
  • Contribute to ongoing adaptation of HR and other operational procedures and systems to ensure they are responsive to the continually evolving environment inside Gaza. This may include issues such as staff well-being, contingency and safety/security plans, other HR-related remuneration and benefits issues, logistics pipeline planning, warehousing, and other issues not mentioned here.
Influence and Representation
  • Identify, build, and manage partnerships with partners, donors, local governments, and other stakeholders, coordinating closely with the Country Director and Deputy Country Director.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in interagency coordination forums, participate in community activities, as appropriate, with prior coordination and clearance from MC Palestine and Region functions.
  • In close coordination and collaboration with the Country Director and Country Security Manager, manage the safety and security of team members working inside Gaza. This includes decision-making on safety/security for day-to-day operational work inside Gaza.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies and contribute to their regular update.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Provide strategic support to the overall management of security inside Gaza and contribute to the adaptation of security rules and operating procedures based on changes in the context in these areas.
Supervisory Responsibility
  • Program response team inside Gaza, operational and support teams inside Gaza.
  • Seconded temporary emergency response staff and consultants.
  • Reports Directly To: Country Director Palestine, with a dual reporting line to VP Emergency Response (Global team).
  • Works Directly With: Operations staff, Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit, HLR team, and additional field and headquarters-based support departments as needed.
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
  • BA/BS degree in a relevant field.
  • Minimum of 5 to 7 years of senior management experience in the INGO sector, including experience in program and operational management in complex emergency response settings, particularly conflict settings.
  • Strategic and innovative thinker with advanced analytic skills.
  • Strong representation and negotiation skills.
  • Sound knowledge of donor standards and procedures.
  • Proven supervisory ability and/or technical skills combined with leadership.
  • Strong commitment to prioritizing collaboration across teams and effective, transparent communications.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues in a diversified multi-cultural and multi-ethnic working environment.
  • Skills in managing, organizing, planning, and implementing assigned tasks under the pressure of frequent and tight schedules.
  • Strong ability to apply good judgment and decision-making skills in difficult and complex working environments.
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills in handling management and coordination issues at the country program level.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization, and adaptation skills.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required. Arabic speaker a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team and to build strong, cohesive teams with a shared vision in a sensitive environment.
Success Factors
The successful Gaza Response Director will combine exceptional operational and programmatic management skills and experience building highly effective teams in complex environments. They will skillfully represent Mercy Corps' work to government, donors, and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team in the transitional response environment. They will be capable of multitasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive, and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills, and proven experience with capacity building. The Director 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Gaza (security permitting), and it requires up to 50% travel across Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt to support teams and country programs, which will include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in shared housing; access to medical care in Gaza is extremely limited, but adequate medical services are available when traveling outside of Gaza.
This is an unaccompanied position.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.
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 meet 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 the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.