Job: Mercy Corps, Director of Programs, Leadership & Sports for Youth , Based in Istanbul


Job: Mercy Corps, Director of Programs, Leadership & Sports for Youth , Based in Istanbul

Director of Programs, Leadership & Sports for Youth

Tracking Code
Job Description
for more information on how to apply clickhere



Mercy Corps’ work in Iraq and Pakistan recognizes young people as critical to the future development of both countries. In partnership with Coca-Cola Icecek (CCI), a regional bottling company that produces, sells and distributes sparkling and still beverages of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), Mercy Corps will implement the Passing the Torch program that aims to increase physical activity and leaderships skills among young people through a sport-based approach. The program will do this in collaboration with in-country CCI operations as well as key government (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports), and civil society partners.




The Passing the Torch program is a one-year initiative with a vision for extension and geographic scale-up both within Pakistan and Iraq as well as throughout CCI’s Eurasia region that includes Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Syria and Tajikistan. The program will design a sport-based physical activity and leadership curriculum that will be delivered in schools by trained coaches and youth leaders. School-based activities will be complemented by community service projects that provide youth with opportunities to apply leadership and project management skills and promote physical activity.


The Program Director will ensure the overall quality and impact of the program’s aim of supporting youth in Pakistan and Iraq to lead the way in building stronger, safer, healthier communities. The Program Director will be embedded into the CCI Corporate Social Responsibility team in Istanbul and will be responsible for building a strong and lasting partnership with CCI, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) as appropriate, and the Turkish business community. S/he will provide technical and strategic support to country-level Program Directors and Project Managers in Pakistan and Iraq, working with country-level project teams, including CCI affiliates, as they implement and monitor day-to-day project activities while spearheading the program learning and expansion agenda. Engaging relevant technical experts and consultants to ensure quality curriculum development and injecting best practices in sport-for-development, physical activity promotion and leadership development throughout the program will be a key success factor, as will overseeing the design of an effective M&E system that, while integrated into existing in-country systems, can capture and aggregate (disaggregating for age and gender) impact data on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. The Program Director’s work will also include clear and concise reporting and communications, both internally and externally, with particular emphasis on assisting CCI to aggregate programmatic achievement across both countries to support efforts to promote the program within CCI and TCCC for subsequent extension and scale up.





Vision and Strategy

  • Clearly articulate a unified model incorporating sport-based physical activity promotion and leadership development that will be applied to both countries, and supervise high-quality implementation of the same, including: approach documentation and implementation guidelines; country and regional work-planning; and, country and regional tracking and communication agendas.


Program Coordination

  • Support and provide guidance to in-country Program Directors and Project Managers to implement an effective program start-up phase, including program kick off calls, recruitment, preparation of a detailed implementation plan, and the organization of a program start-up workshop.
  • Oversee the development of an effective, or adaptation of existing, monitoring and evaluation system.  This will be done with regional and country M&E Managers and in collaboration with Mercy Corps’ HQ based global Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) technical support unit to ensure integration with existing systems.
  • Ensure that accurate, concise, and informative narrative and financial reports, including concise and marketable internal communications, and required supporting documentation, are provided to the Mercy Corps and CCI.
  • Throughout the program organize exchange workshops between stakeholders, in particular Mercy Corps country teams, CCI Iraq and Pakistan teams, and CCI Istanbul teams, to discuss challenges and lessons learned, and key accomplishments, in order to inform future scale up.
  • Ensure project adherence with established timelines, work schedules, and best technical practices.


Technical Support

  • Provide direct, or secure through consultancies, technical support in the areas of youth development, leadership development, physical activity promotion and sport for development to in-country Program Directors and Project Managers in Iraq and Pakistan ensuring that tasks are carried out to optimize quality.
  • Provide regular technical feedback to country teams, including CCI affiliates, in an ongoing effort to ensure program quality.
  • Conduct training needs assessments of key project staff and provide or coordinate training as required.
  • Support the development of an effective system of communication and collaboration, including an email group, regular conference calls, monthly reporting systems, semi-annual team meetings, etc. Create an online program portal to house program achievements and documentation to facilitate communication, access to documentation and visibility.



  • Through being embedded with the CCI team, work closely and collaboratively with CCI to maximize joint visibility and representation of the program internally (Mercy Corps, CCI and TCCC) and externally (sport for development forums and Corporate Social Responsibility events).
  • Work with program partners to develop communication materials that highlight lessons learned and success stories featuring the activities, approaches and impacts of the program.
  • Spearhead practical and functional linkages between Mercy Corps, CCI and regional level partners, including donors and stakeholders and maintain ongoing relationships for expansion of the program in Iraq and Pakistan and preposition for expansion in the CCI Eurasia region.


Organizational Learning: 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.


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.



Knowledge & Qualifications:

  • MA or equivalent in international development, public health, nutrition, or a related field.
  • Minimum 5 – 7 years of field experience working in international development programs with preference for relevant international youth development experience.
  • Prior experience with Mercy Corps’ youth development programming is preferred.
  • At least 3 years of senior-level leadership and field management experience preferred, with a proven record of program, including financial and Monitoring & Evaluation, management.
  • Prior experience working with bilateral, multilateral, and corporation/ foundation funding agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a social entrepreneur and proven success with building, managing and leading a team of professionals and the ability to function as a team player among peers.
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication, organization, and prioritization skills and experience. In particular, the successful RPM will have excellent communication and documentation skills that allow the incumbent to coordinate teams across the focal countries while documenting approaches and lessons learned.
  • Experience in Iraq, Pakistan and/or other CCI Eurasia countries (Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Syria and Tajikistan) is preferred.
  • The ability and desire to grow individually and professionally.
  • Regional language skills are an advantage, but not required.
  • Past experience managing sport-for-development programs is an advantage, but not required.





REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Regional Program Director – Middle East, with strong coordination with the Country Directors and Directors of Programs in Pakistan and Iraq, and with strong collaboration with the Regional Program Director – South and Central Asia.  These complex reporting lines in and of themselves indicate that the incumbent must be a collaborative, self-motivated, independent leader.


WORKS DIRECTLY WITH:  Directors of Programs, Country Directors/Deputy Country Directors, Corporations & Foundations Team, Country Operations Managers, Finance Managers, HQ Technical Support Units (particularly Youth & Conflict Management and MEL), CCI Corporate Social Responsibility team, local partners, peer agencies and implementing partners, RPDs





The successful Program Director will have senior level experience in providing technical support, strong representational skills and a proven ability to coordinate geographically dispersed teams. S/he will be motivated by finding new solutions and working in a positive, team-oriented way. S/he will be expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to program beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work and will have exceptional team, partner, and donor communication skills, as well as an outstanding ability to design, implement and expand innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the joint program structure and interests of Mercy Corps and CCI in the regions. The Program Director will have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership, with applied research and/ or learning processes, communication and mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. S/he will be committed to working flexibly and constructively with a new donor to develop the overall Mercy Corps-donor relationship and evolve success in the current program into the design of future programming. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. Patience, tenacity, diplomacy and a sense of humor will contribute to success.



Living Conditions:

The position will be based out of CCI’s Istanbul headquarters, with 30-40% travel to Pakistan and Iraq, and occasional travel to other locations to share program lessons, successes, or explore expansion opportunities as required. The security situation in both Pakistan and Iraq is volatile and may spike into acute periods of insecurity. S/he is expected to follow all security protocols including limited movement when necessary. A certain international standard of medical care is available in Kabul, however for serious cases, evacuation is required, and therefore staff must be able to be 24 hours away from medical care.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY 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.

Job Location
Istanbul, İstanbul, Turkey
Position Type


About amybanda01

I am a purpose driven African woman of Cameroon origin. I enjoy exchanging New and Brilliant Ideas for growth, watching News and Movies, Practicing Journalism to inspire as a pace setter and going on Adventure. I run 3 flagship programs 'Monuments', 'Views, Voices $ Visions' and 'Cameroon's Crow' every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 9.30pm, Saturday at 10am and Tuesday/Thursday at 6.30am respectively on Ltm TV. On my page details of certain topics on my show are discussed. Brain behind 'Voice of the Voiceless' and the relaunch of 'Good Morning Cameroon' show on Stv, I empower the youth towards innovation, self belief, talent discovery and personal development, nurturing a hardworking spirit and branding on most of my shows. I Love making new friends and I enjoy informing in tit bits.
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