Location: Edinburgh
Position Status: Full-time, Permanent 
Reporting to: Senior Programme Officer
Salary: £21,000
Closing date: 29 November 2020

Candidates must have the right to work in The UK at the time of appointment. 

Applications will be considered with CV and cover letter.

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.

Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly in terms of volume of activity and complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London, Geneva and The Hague, we now attract over £90m in income. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment. 

The Position

The Assistant Program Officer (APO) provides administrative support to the Senior Program Officer (SPO), Program Officer/s (POs), Regional Director (RD), Deputy Regional Directors (DRD) and the field teams for the growth and implementation of high quality and impactful programming in the Africa region. The APO works as a key part of Mercy Corps Europe’s Africa Regional Programmes Team. The APO will work to support the implementation of key projects and workstreams that contribute towards the fulfilment of the Mercy Corps’ Africa strategy. The APO will play a key role in managing information and data that comes in from the country teams to facilitate use and access of it for other HQ departments and retention of institutional knowledge. The APO effectively supports the SPO/POs to provide the secondary check and support the field (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations and is responsible for administrative duties for the region. S/he also provides important project information to support the London-based Africa Regional Representative. 

Reporting to the Edinburgh-based Senior Programme Officer or Programme Officer, the APO will work with a variety of other HQ Programme units and other departments, including Resource Development, Finance, People & Strategy, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

Essential Job Responsibilities 

Grant Administration

  • Support the SPO/POs with administrative tasks such as maintaining required documentation, as per the internal Programme File, and knowledge management of the grants, updating all internal information systems (server and Grant and Award Administration Tracker). 
  • Assist in monitoring and ensuring compliance with donor regulations and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Advise country teams on formats for donor reporting and define timelines to review. 
  • As needed, support the reviews of donor reports and ensure that reports are submitted in accordance with reporting standards and in adherence to deadlines set out in the grant agreement/contract.
  • Initiate, coordinate and send out New Award Initiation Summaries and project close-out messages.
  • As needed, act as a focal point for proposals submitted in search of co-financing and liaise with Fundraising and Finance Departments. 
  • Support the SPO in the management of the complex programme oversight process.

Proposal Coordination

  • Undertake donor research and identify appropriate funding opportunities from donors, also reviewing donor guidelines and carrying out eligibility checks for new funding opportunities identified, and initial liaising with country offices on opportunities.  
  • Provide administrative support for proposal development such as drafting Past Performance Reports/capacity statements/or other required documents, copy-editing, and final compilation for submission as needed. 
  • For EC-funded programmes, lead on coordinating PADOR partner registration in proposal development.

Internal Communications

  • Serve as the primary point for internal communications, facilitate use of Mercy Corps web-based information systems to draft and update programme material (e.g. country fact sheets, country pages on web, etc.).

Knowledge Management

  • Maintain up to date country and grant information in Mercy Corps’ knowledge management tools and platforms.

Recruitment Support & Deployment

  • Manage consultant contracting processes; ensuring necessary documentation has been submitted to relevant people, follow up with teams when the field team has not received a response; support new hires/consultants/interns/etc. 


  • As needed, lead on travel/logistical support for field and headquarters teams. 


  • Facilitate the training of new Programme and other staff as appropriate on internal grant management, administration and proposal development processes, tools and systems. 


  • Represent Mercy Corps at meetings and events when required.


  • Act as a focal point for backstopping for SPO/PO during field trips or short-term absence.
  • May be required to travel to the field to support any of the above.
  • Any other duties as assigned. 

Reports Directly ToSenior Programme Officer, Africa

Works Directly With: Field based programme teams, Country Directors of Programmes, MCE Programmes team, Finance, Compliance, Communications, Policy and Advocacy, the Africa Regional Representative, New Initiatives, Programme Accountability and Quality, Strategic Partnership Team.

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 

  • Experience in international relief or development, particularly in grant administration and compliance preferred. 
  • Awareness and understanding of the international development sector.
  • Two years of demonstrated experience in providing administrative/coordination support.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with 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 Africa.

Success Factors 

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 programme teams operating in overseas environments is critical. 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Edinburgh and might require travel for up to 30% subject to guidance around COVID 19.  

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.


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