Consultant – Humanitarian Specialist

Website Mercy Corps


Consultant – Humanitarian Specialist – Kathmandu



Mercy Corps is an international, non-governmental humanitarian relief and development agency that exists to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps works in more than 40 countries and has been present in Nepal since 2005. In Nepal, Mercy Corps works to build the absorptive, adaptive, and transformative potential of vulnerable individuals and communities across the country.

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps Nepal has a strong history of emergency response including the 2008 Kailali flood, 2015 earthquake, flooding in August and October of 2021 and COVID-19 actions. Mercy Corps Nepals’ humanitarian response activities focus on rapid needs and market assessments, cash and voucher programming, WASH and NFI distributions in the first few days.

Mercy Corps Nepal’s Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) 2022 identified these key areas for improvement:

  • Refinement of Mercy Corps existing emergency categorization, contextualizing it to Nepal
  • Nepal Emergency Response Team structure
  • Position descriptions for emergency roster contextualized to Nepal
  • Emergency SOPs for functional areas contextualized for Nepal
  • Established HR processes and practices for emergency response

The Humanitarian Specialist Consultant will receive access to all of the documents, evaluations and recommendations made through the EPP process including:

  • Post emergency surveys from 2021 responses
  • KIIs with various departments
  • SWOT analysis
  • Lessons learned from CARM feedback.
  • 2022 DRAFT Nepal Emergency Preparedness Action Plan
  • DRAFT Nepal Emergency Response Team (NERT) Structure
  • DRAFT Nepal Emergency Response Team (NERT) Roster



  • Referencing the existing Mercy Corps’ Emergency Categorization, develop Nepal-specific response triggers that supports a response decision, informs preliminary actions or strategy and leads or contributes to Mercy Corps’ global response decision.
  • Facilitation for finalization of category specific response triggers with the list of major response activities and deployment timelines.


  • Review Nepal Emergency Response Team (NERT) structure and support on contextualizing existing (or developing new) position descriptions for identified positions in the emergency roster.
  • Define the Nepal Emergency Response Team structure and identify initial members based on the emergency categorization defined during the EPP Workshop


  • Referencing the existing Emergency Response Decision Document and ERDD Guidance – establish an internal Nepal process for leading/contributing to the agency decision.
  • Referencing the existing Mercy Corps Emergency Handbook, develop Nepal specific emergency standard operating procedures (SOPs) for emergency response within the HR, finance, procurement and logistic departments.
  • Instruct and train the NERT on the use of new and existing tools and templates for humanitarian response.
  • If needed, adapt existing tools and templates or develop new ones to fit the Nepal context.


  • Work closely with Mercy Corps Nepal’s Human Resources Department and Senior Emergency Response Manager to establish HR practices and policies for emergency response
  • Review and update career advancement support, benefits and wellbeing systems for Emergency Response Team
  • Recommend and draft an employee assistance scheme to have on hand in the event of an acute global emergency affecting the majority of country staff.
  • Develop rollout plan


The Humanitarian Specialist Consultant will:

  • Develop Nepal-specific response triggers that support a decision to respond, or not to respond
  • Deliver a table-top emergency scenario testing Nepal’s Emergency Categorization scheme
  • Define the structure of a Nepal Emergency Response Team (NERT) and ensure that individuals and alternatives are identified as members and understand their role
  • Ensure the Nepal team has the knowledge and the tools to quickly make a decision to respond and to communicate their analysis and recommendations to regional and global leadership.
  • Ensure that the NERT is knowledgeable and able to utilize tools and templates for humanitarian response.
  • Deliver a plan that supports Nepal Emergency Response Team member’s career goals, team cohesion, capacity building, and well being.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on HR in emergencies including recruitment in times of emergency and short-term deployment process​ Provide a draft recommendation for an employee assistance scheme in the event a major disaster affects a majority Mercy Corps Nepal team members.

Timeframe / Schedule:

The Humanitarian Specialist will work for a period of 3 months from the date of signing the contract, with an expected start date in April.

Reports Directly To: Emergency Response Senior Manager

Works Directly With: Director of Program, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team, Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) focal points and Emergency Roster members, Human Resource, HLR team.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • 5 – 7 years of experience in humanitarian response and relief, preferably including Nepal
  • Extensive knowledge of Mercy Corps’ systems, procedures, information resources and history of emergency response team activation – regional, national and global.
  • Deep understanding of Mercy Corps’ operations functions.
  • Experience in humanitarian response, economic development, international development, disaster response, new country or program start up, cash programing, addressing basic needs, rapid assessment, or other relevant skills applicable to the assignment. Masters degree with an international or humanitarian focus is a plus.
  • Extensive experience setting up, coordinating, implementing or managing humanitarian programs
  • Experience in emergency market mapping, value chain analysis, and other relevant market assessment tools
  • Experience working with FFP/OFDA (now USAID-BHA) and FCDO (Funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) among others
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, INGO and NGO partners
  • Demonstrated ability to support complex programming and meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written English skills along with facilitation of workshops and participatory approaches required.
  • Experienced trainer and facilitator.
  • Please note any Nepalese language abilities. While not required they would be beneficial.

Success Factors

The position will demonstrate a winning track record in development of emergency response strategy and tools, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project they undertake. The individual must have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex team environments. They will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The consultancy is based in Kathmandu and is unaccompanied. Due to changing visa regulations, a portion of this assignment may be accomplished remotely. Kathmandu is a culturally dynamic capital city that can provide a comfortable, safe living environment with access to amenities, although a sense of patience with routine (and extended) power cuts, water shortages, air/ noise pollution, and traffic is required. Some travel to field locations may be required, some of which are easily accessible but many others of which are quite remote and require extended travel (by flight, vehicle, hiking, and occasionally motorcycle) in locations that may be distant from amenities or health care.

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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