NGO Forum Area Coordinator 225 views

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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.

Program / Department Summary

Specific to the Syria Response, Mercy Corps has been exceptionally committed to the formal and informal humanitarian coordination structures and has been hosting the North East Syria (NES) NGO Forum since 2016 to support coordination among NGOs. The NES NGO Forum was established in July 2016 as the primary coordination body for NGOs in North East Syria – as part of formalized coordination arrangements under the whole of Syria approach. The Forum is currently comprised of 30 members, and continues to grow, with responsibility for a number of core functions, including operational coordination, representation with external stakeholders, engagement with authorities, information management and policy and advocacy. The forum engages in multiple work-streams, including area-based coordination, supporting and facilitating Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), forming linkages with UN counterparts and the broader whole of Syria approach and hosting and supporting a local NGO platform to improve linkages with local organisations.

General Position Summary

As the NES Forum has growing responsibilities and as the areas of accessible operations have grown in the past few years with shift in conflict, the geographical scope of coverage, the varying needs and challenges and number of organisations and members represented continues to grow. Currently, the forum team members travel extensively across the 4 governorates in NES for which there is representation and forum support. As a result, the NES Forum is now expanding the team to strengthen area-based presence and coordination, improving proximity, presence and ability to build and strengthen relationships with all key stakeholders. Specifically, the NES Forum is seeking an area coordinator to be based in the Raqqa area, supporting inter-sector and thematic functions as required. This will include close coordination with the NES Forum Director, NES Forum Inter-Sector Working Group Coordinator, working within the same unit as the NES Forum Local NGO Coordinator and Liaison focal point for West NES, as well as with the liaison officer. The Information Management (IM) unit, while based elsewhere, will also work closely with the area coordinator as and when required. The overall objective is to bolster the coordination and representation capacity as one of three core units – Coordination, IM and Liaison who work closely together. The person is expected to have excellent coordination skills, strong interpersonal skills, a high ability to work independently and to take initiative and skills in negotiation and influencing to support policy and advocacy.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Support operational and strategic coordination, focusing on Western areas of NES, in support of the inter-sector working group (ISWG) coordinator, local NGO coordinator and liaison and the forum director.
  • Supporting ISWG with participation and facilitation of inter-sector discussions and mapping of response, participation in specific area level sector working group meetings, follow-up and tracking of specific inter-sector response related issues.
  • Working closely with the local NGO coordinator to support with improving linkages with local NGOs, ISWG and NES Forum members, with focus on Western areas of NES.
  • Participation and representation in camp and city level coordination meeting convened by both humanitarian and non-humanitarian counter-parts, including regular meetings conducted by humanitarian affairs offices of local councils as well as coordination in camps.
  • Lead on collective identification of needs, gaps and response in collaboration with inter-sector working group coordinator.


  • Work with the NES NGO Forum Director and Inter-Setor Working Group coordinator to maintain appropriate relationships and communication with North East Syria coordination stakeholders (Team Leaders and Country Directors), United Nations, Donors and Whole of Syria coordination forums
  • In coordination with the NES NGO Forum Director maintain a healthy relationship with local governance structures as required – supporting with technical meetings and enhancing knowledge of NGO response with the view to maintain access and space to operate


  • Working closely with PSEA network coordinator and focal points to support facilitation of PSEA initiatives across NES
  • Enhance and support strategy for improved coordination with local NGOs
  • Increase NES Forum participation and support to specific task force and working groups, including logistics and operations.
  • Support Local NGO Coordinator and Senior Liaison officer with delivery of training for local NGOs and local authorities


  • Provide regular reporting on meetings, discussions, external engagement with authorities which can be disseminated to a wider audience, including NES Forum members.


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


  • 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.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward 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.


Reports Directly To: NES NGO Forum Director

Works Directly With: North East Syria Team Leaders; North East Syria Country Directors; NES Sector Focal Points; Whole of Syria Coordination Forums; United Nations.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA desired
  • 3-5 years of field experience in international relief and development, including demonstrable Syria experience.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, NGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Proven understanding of the international humanitarian response architecture, including coordination mechanisms, humanitarian reform and action, and funding mechanisms (e.g. Consolidated Appeals Process, Central Emergency Response Fund and Flash Appeals).
  • Knowledge of and adherence to humanitarian principles.
  • Demonstrated experience in coordination roles, preferably within formal coordination structures.
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse stakeholder base in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will have the ability to network effectively and influence and inspire others. They will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, will be highly motivated and possess ability to work independently. Will have the ability to undertake strategic analysis and translate thinking into practice. They will work with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and with virtual or/and dispersed teams and will have the ability to build confidence and to find creative and constructive solutions to difficult issues. The successful candidate will be build trust and alliances and will empower others. They should like traveling, possess a good dose of humor, must be fond of coordination and understand its critical role for the more efficient humanitarian response. In addition, as the NES Forum is reflecting the needs and priorities of members, which also shift, the successful candidate must be flexible and adaptable to shifting demands and priorities, with the ability to multi-task and work under time pressure.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Ein Issa, Syria and it requires up to 50% travel to other locations. This position is unaccompanied and is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members 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. Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.


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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.

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