cropped cropped White with Bold Red Political Logo 1 2447 Humanitarian Program Lead - Ukraine

Humanitarian Program Lead – Ukraine

  • Contractor
  • Kyiv Ukraine
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Mercy Corps profile

  • Job applications may no longer being accepted for this opportunity.

Mercy Corps

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, 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 long term impact.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ Ukraine crisis response seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other conflict-affected people where they are: displaced inside Ukraine, refugees in Poland, Romania and Moldova, or trapped behind frontlines. Almost all of our impact will be delivered in partnership: with Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian and Moldovan civil society organizations through a grant program that matches humanitarian action with capacity strengthening, and with peer international NGOs through a consortium in Ukraine. In Ukraine itself, we prime a major consortium, UCC, that focuses on delivering both multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA) and non-cash aid to hundreds of thousands vulnerable Ukrainians and other conflict-affected people across the country. UCC is a $112 million partnership between Mercy Corps, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and People In Need (PIN), currently funded by USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs (BHA) and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps requires a strong Ukraine Humanitarian Program Lead (UHPL) to provide leadership and oversight to our MPCA and non-cash assistance in Ukraine. The UPHL ensures the efficient and effective implementation of Mercy Corps activities under the UCC, as well as playing a leading role in developing and implementing additional humanitarian implementation capacity (such as a Rapid Response capability, designed to enable agile and responsive humanitarian action in frontline and recently de-occupied areas).

S/he will work closely with the UCC Consortium Director (who manages the overall consortium partnership between Mercy Corps, NRC and PIN) and the Director of Programs to provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-million-dollar assistance program.

S/he directly oversees a program management, technical advice and partnerships team, as well as driving Mercy Corps’ humanitarian work planning, coordination across program elements, and communication between program implementation staff and monitoring, evaluation and learning, community accountability, protection, gender and safeguarding and other internal and external stakeholders.

The UHPL plays a strong representative role with our donors (USAID/BHA and FCDO), civil society partners, and government (national and local), ensuring Mercy Corps Minimum Standards are met. S/he will represent Mercy Corps in applicable consortium working groups. S/he is a strong team leader, able to develop and mentor team members and is an effective communicator, able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. Lastly, the UPHL will play a key role, alongside the Director of Programs and new initiatives support, in developing funding concepts and proposals to expand and sustain Mercy Corps’ humanitarian program operations in Ukraine through 2023.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative humanitarian action.
  • Create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed within a positive, mission-focused team culture.
  • Implement Mercy Corps strategic vision and provide operational leadership to the implementation of Mercy Corps activities under the Ukraine Cash Consortium and complementary humanitarian response activities.
  • Provide structure to the existing activities and response mechanisms to reinforce program quality and maintain response speed.

Program Management

  • Lead the program teams in implementation of the UCC and other humanitarian activities.
  • Develop program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting and distribution/post-distribution processes.
  • Oversee program startup and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations and interventions, including the development of detailed implementation plans.
  • Integrate the use of community-based approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of projects.
  • Ensure program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Ensure beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria, and that feedback mechanisms are in place.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective MEL systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Oversee the production of written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm.

Team Management

  • Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
  • Ensure team members improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and cultivate resilience and well-being under challenging situations.
  • 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 Program Managers and Advisors to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated way according to workplan and budget.

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 emergency programming.
  • 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.

Influence & Representation

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Participate in relevant consortium coordination- and working groups and represent Mercy Corps interests.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.

Supervisory Responsibility

Program Managers in Kyiv, Dnipro and Odesa; Partnership Manager; Technical Advisors; other staff as necessary.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Consortium Director, Consortium management team, Area Managers, Internal technical advisors, UCC partner peers.

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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 6 years of humanitarian and development program management experience, of which at least 3 years in a significant management role, with direct experience of highly insecure/conflict settings.
  • BA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, humanitarian response or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • Strong technical expertise on cash (MPCA) and non-cash items (NFI) programming is required. The incumbent is expected to:

-Understand theoretical and applied knowledge about MPCA

-Can develop SOPs in line with Mercy Corps’ Minimum Standards (on CTP and Goods Distribution)

-Can identify and initiate setup of payment mechanisms

  • Previous experience working in a consortium set-up is preferred.
  • Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor- funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Russian or Ukrainian is desirable.

Functional competencies

  • Possess project management skills and applies PM@MC minimum standards for all phases of the project cycle
  • Can oversee and implement participatory assessment processes
  • Can oversee program budgets, project cash flow and expenditures
  • Understands donor regulations and compliance (BHA, FCDO, ECHO, etc.)
  • Effectively manages teams/people and applies relevant Mercy Corps’ procedures and approaches
  • Supports team members through capacity building
  • Possesses basic understanding of procurement and logistics
  • Can ensure feedback from crisis-affected people and other stakeholders is incorporated in program design, implementation and learning

Leadership competencies

  • Recognizes opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed
  • Encourages a positive, collegiate and mission-focused culture
  • Drives impact by building high performing teams
  • Broadens influence by role modelling and leveraging networks

Success Factors

The successful Ukraine Humanitarian Program Lead will combine exceptional management skills and experience in running both MPCA and non-cash humanitarian programs. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability and thrive in an evolving and changing environment while taking care of self and others.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is primarily based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Accommodations is provided and access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc. is in place but may change depending on the situation. This position requires travel to field locations inside Ukraine, as security permits. Given the emergency context, this position requires exceptional work schedules, including evenings and weekends.

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 and have signed on to theInteragency 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 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.

How to apply

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