Consultant (Climate Change Research)
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. At Mercy Corps, we live and work in places characterized by fragility and instability, and climate change is one of the primary forces destabilizing these communities. Droughts alone have increased and affected more than 1 billion people in the last decade. Floods are the most common natural disaster – with an annual GDP at risk from flooding estimated to be US$42.9 billion globally according to Lloyd’s City Risk Index. Fragile states are particularly at risk.
Climate change amplifies existing vulnerabilities -- for example hunger, inequality, poor health -- all of which are prevalent in fragile states. This amplification has dangerous knock-on effects, including an increased risk of conflict, especially in contexts with weak governance, high rates of poverty, income inequality and existing social tensions. Unfortunately, despite the heightened risk in fragile contexts, of the $300 billion per year of public money that is currently being spent on climate action, less than half of that is going towards adaptation. Alarmingly, even less is flowing to fragile states because donors are risk averse and fragile states lack the capacity to navigate highly-bureaucratic multilateral funds.
Purpose / Project Description:
Mercy Corps is working to expand our research and influence on issues related to climate change. Within this, we have prioritized investing in greater evidence generation to inform advocacy and programming to improve climate adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected states, including to address the climate-related drivers of conflict and climate induced migration and displacement. To date, Mercy Corps has developed a high level research agenda, outlining research questions that align with broader agency-wide initiatives. To advance these objectives Mercy Corps requires support to design and conduct specific studies from a seasoned researcher with experience related to climate change, conflict and fragility.
- Design and execute research/data analysis that further evidence and Mercy Corps’ understanding of key questions on the links between climate change, conflict and migration, and effective forms of climate adaptation to fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
- In coordination with Mercy Corps’ technical Environment & Peace and Conflict teams, and Policy and Advocacy teams, promote and facilitate learning and thought leadership both within and outside of Mercy Corps on climate change related issues.
- Grow Mercy Corps’ portfolio of research projects through pursuing new partnerships and funding opportunities.
In close coordination with Mercy Corps technical leadership, policy and advocacy, and research and learning teams:
- Develop concept notes, proposals and fundraise for new research opportunities
- Execute at least one study in line with Mercy Corps Climate Change Research Agenda, focused on climate change adaptation in fragile contexts ahead of UNGA meetings
- Produce blogs, op-eds and other relevant short-term pieces to further climate change influence objectives (including work linked to COVID-19 responses)
- Provide technical input to country offices, and technical teams on research and data analysis related to climate change
- Contingent on funding, spend an additional 25% of time providing technical and administrative support for new research grant on environment, conflict and peace in Ethiopia
The Consultant will:
- Produce 1 research study (outputs including report, brief and related pieces—e.g. blogs/op-eds) on a topic related to climate change/adaptation in fragile states
- Develop 2 concept notes, 1 of which will be the basis for a proposal for external funding
- Up to 3 additional thought leadership/media pieces, as needed
Timeframe / Schedule:
60 days (with an additional 30 days possible, contingent on funding) over 6 months.
The Consultant will report to:
Director of Research and Learning – Climate Change and Migration
The Consultant will work closely with:
Technical Support Unit (TSU) Peace and Conflict Advisor; TSU Environment Director, Research and Learning team member (multiple), Policy and Advocacy (multiple)
Required Experience & Skills:
The successful candidate will be a self-starter who is also skilled at working across teams to achieve results. S/He will demonstrate excellent analytical skills that include both an attention to detail and an ability to grasp complex theories and conceptual frameworks. S/He will be organized, conscientious and enjoy working collaboratively. S/He will demonstrate effective verbal and written communication and be able to convey research questions, findings and their implications to multiple audiences.
- Master’s degree or equivalent in a field related to sustainable development, climate change, governance, resilience, or other relevant fields
- At least 5 years researching environment/climate change or related issues in fragile contexts
- Demonstrated skills in program and policy-relevant research
- Proven skills in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods
- Exceptional analytical, writing, and oral communication skills
- Outstanding ability to coordinate and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles
- Proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, be accountable for results and understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details
Accountability to Partners
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.
Travel and Working Condition
The consultancy may be conducted remotely and on a part-time basis, to be clarified in a work plan submitted by the consultant and agreed with MC Nepal CD. Any remote work will be required to follow Nepal time zone business hours.
How to Submit Your CV
This notice does not constitute an offer of employment. Any description contained herein may be modified and/or revoked. Interested applicants should carefully note the minimum qualifications and submit a CV along with a cover letter detailing previous experience, and a proposed daily rate to Mercy Corps online career site at mercycorps.org/careers.
Mercy Corps Diversity Statement
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 Statement
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.