Energy and Partnerships Advisor

  • Location: London, UK


Mercy Corps is a global organisation, 4,000 strong, powered by the belief that a better world is possible. We help people survive and get back on their feet when natural disaster strikes, economies collapse or conflict erupts. And where there are chronic threats to peace and progress, we partner with communities to overcome obstacles and thrive.


We live and work in more than 40 countries facing the world’s toughest challenges. We have no political or religious agenda. For more than three decades, we’ve learned and grown alongside extraordinary people—more than 190 million individuals who understand their own needs better than anyone else. Our experience shows they are best able to strengthen their communities from within. In everything we do, we look for moments of transition to connect people to resources and expertise that can catalyze transformative change.


The Environment, Energy and Climate Change team is a small but critical technical team within Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU).  The TSU is responsible for leading and supporting assessments, program design and field studies; providing technical support to field offices; helping the global agency set technical strategies; building strategic partnerships, and representation and coordination with other development, government and private sector actors.


Supporting agency priorities, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Unit is particularly focused on technical support in the areas of a) Climate Change Adaptation, including Disaster Risk Reduction; b) Natural Resource Management and environmental conservation; and c) Access to Energy. The Unit is playing a central role in helping Mercy Corps capture and share learning related to resilience thinking in order to advance our models of intervention. Integration with other sectors, such as economic and market development, food security, agriculture, conflict management and governance are central to the approach for this Unit.


At Mercy Corps, we see energy access as fuel for the economic and social change needed to address extreme poverty. Mercy Corps’ role is key in accelerating the expansion of private sector to reach beyond dense population centers to develop service providers where none exist, and provide the energy inputs needed for local economies in complex and fragile environments to thrive.   We also seek to increase access to energy in humanitarian response where energy access plays a major protection role.


Over the last year the agency has defined 3 core value propositions/strategic priorities where Mercy Corps is uniquely positioned to create impact.  Energy access has been defined as one of these strategic priorities, which we will prioritize as an agency, set milestones for impact, and develop strategic partners including corporations, investors, INGOs, and multilateral institutions.





The Energy and Partnerships Advisor will lead in advancing an agency wide value proposition on energy access, which will require building a consortium of like-minded partners, setting measurable objectives, and measuring and reporting on Mercy Corps’ energy access impact globally.


In addition to these core responsibilities the Energy Advisor will provide strong technical advice and training in areas related to environmental and energy programming, strongly integrated with the agency wide resilience building initiative, in areas including:  program design and development; program quality; network and representation at key sector forums; and lead strategic partnership and shared value imitative development.


Together with Mercy Corps field teams, the Energy Advisor will help to design new initiatives and programs, develop competitive proposals for submission to donors, lead liaisons with program partners, ensure that programs are meeting high standards for technical quality, and play an active role in disseminating lessons learned.






Partnerships and Representation

  • Work closely with Global Partnerships (GPAT) team to advance an agency wide value proposition on energy access
  • Set measurable objectives for the agency wide value proposition, develop a tracking system to measure energy access globally, and produce yearly reports on our achievements in this sector
  • Work closely with Mercy Corps Europe team to develop partnerships and shared value relationships with European donors, foundations, and private sector companies active in the energy sector.
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with people in the energy access community of practice within NGO, government, and private sector.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, on social media and other events – contribute to thought leadership in energy and development.
  • Contribute to a strong and regularly updated network of technical experts and consultants that can serve as an additional resource to be deployed for program support.
  • Coordinate closely with regional program teams, TSU, and SLT on prioritized initiatives.
  • Provide effective partner stewardship including partnership strategy development, partner communications, contracting in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures, etc.


 Initiative Development

  • Write/review concept notes to build relationships with corporations, social enterprises, governments, foundations and US, European and UN agencies development agencies focused on energy access in a pre-defined list of priority countries.
  • Perform assessments and gather/analyze data to determine community needs and priorities and Mercy Corps’ competitive advantage for funding.
  • Work with programs, country/regional teams and technical support units on prepositioning and development of strategies.
  • Work with other TSU members on the design and support of multi-sectoral initiatives that encompass environmental and energy access as elements of larger economic development and resilience goals.
  • Keep up to date on relevant strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic and non-profit groups, and determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.

Work closely with country teams to identify opportunities to leverage energy access to achieve broader development goals and pitch vision and funding requests to donors.


Program Quality

  • Be part of the MC team providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs in the areas of environment and energy.
  • Support effective energy access interventions;
  • Help the team gather, refine and disseminate tools in these areas, such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement environment and energy-related programs
  • Learning and Impact – Support the field in ensuring that monitoring and evaluation reflects best practices. Work in tandem with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team to ensure that recommended indicators are relevant and accessible to our field programs.
  • Contribute to agency-wide initiatives such as the research agenda around resilience.



  • Other duties as assigned or requested.





  • Ability to demonstrate a winning track record in scalable initiative design and management.
  • Excellent process improvement skills
  • Flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm
  • Exceptional writing skills and attention to detail.
  • Willingness to take initiative and contribute to team efforts.
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to build and maintain external relationships.




  • M.S./M.Sc. or equivalent or above in a field related to energy access, financial services, or business administration in a development context or related field required.
  • Strong technical knowledge off-grid energy access policy and business models
  • At least 5 years’ experience working in these areas required, with demonstrated experience in field settings.
  • Familiarity with major European donors such as DFID, the EC, GIZ and the major foundations
  • Superior writing and analytic skills required, with a track record of successful writing/analysis on proposal or grant development preferred.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments is required.





The position is based in London and may be requested to travel – sometimes on short notice— to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in 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.





Organisational Learning:  As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations 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.


Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.


Reporting to the DC-based Director of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Advisor will work with a variety of other HQ Program units and other departments, including Technical sectors and field based teams.







To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter here:


Applications close 2 May 2016 and applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. Candidates must have the ability to work in the UK at the time of submission.

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