Investigator – Safeguarding
**This position is flexible to be located in any Mercy Corps locations in Africa. Work authorization will be required for any of the locations.***
About Mercy Corps
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
The Intake and Investigations department is a newly forming team which is tasked with the intake and investigation of all reports of ethics violations including fraud, corruption, and Code of Conduct and Global Human Resources complaints. The team is responsible for managing all phases of this process from intake to investigative conclusion and then works with senior leadership for case closure. The Intake and Investigation department reports to the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and the board.
General Position Summary
The Investigator, Safeguarding is responsible for conducting investigations into allegations of violations of Mercy Corps’ child safeguarding, sexual exploitation and abuse, anti-trafficking in persons, and sexual misconduct in the workplace policies. It is the role of the Investigator to ensure that Mercy Corps takes all reports of misconduct seriously and investigates thoroughly and impartially consistent with sector wide best practice, donor expectations and our commitment to a survivor-centered approach. The investigator will plan, conduct and prepare reports for assigned safeguarding investigations. Investigator(s) may use the support of Co-Investigator(s) (field based team members trained to support but not lead investigations). Investigations will be conducted in the field and remotely; working in a variety of diverse cultural contexts and time zones.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● Effectively plan and execute impartial, thorough, timely and survivor-sensitive investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse and exploitation, child abuse, and trafficking
● Develop and draft timely investigation plans that identify risks and prioritize a survivor-centered approach
● Conduct witness, survivor and subject interviews, both in person and remotely, in a survivor-sensitive manner
● Provide survivor-centered support to survivors and witnesses
● Identify, collect, and review documentary evidence needed for investigations
● Prepare detailed written investigation reports which may be subject to third party (donor) review
● Maintain organized, confidential, and thorough investigation files
● Coordinate with Co-Investigator(s) to support investigation efforts when possible; help build Co-investigator capacity
● Help identify lessons learned from Safeguarding investigations for the agency to consider when revising policies, procedures, and training
● Help build trust and confidence in Mercy Corps’ reporting, investigation, and follow up systems and foster a climate where team members feel confident and comfortable coming forward with issues
● Maintain appropriate confidentiality
● 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 Program Participants
● 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.
Reports Directly To: Investigations Case Manager, Safeguarding
Works Directly With: Investigator(s), Co-Investigator(s), HR Officers and Field Teams
Knowledge and Experience
● At least 3 years of experience as a trained and practiced investigator is required.
● Demonstrated knowledge and interest in Safeguarding, a sensitivity to cultural diversity and gender issues.
● Experience working in humanitarian aid or development, either living overseas or spending a significant amount of time in foreign countries is preferred.
● Ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor and in a methodical, analytical manner.
● Strong verbal and written communication skills.
● Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, effective organizational and interpersonal skills.
● Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws.
● English fluency (written & verbally) required; strong preference for additional fluency in French, Spanish and/or Arabic.
● *This position is flexible to be located in any Mercy Corps locations in Africa. Work authorization will be required for any of the locations.
The successful Investigator, Safeguarding will have knowledge of the INGO environment; deep knowledge of best practice in conducting safeguarding investigations, including knowledge on how to conduct internal investigations in the context of insecure and opaque environments, with varying cultures, languages and education levels; and an enduring ability to move complex problems forward in a timely yet methodical manner. This person will have an utmost understanding of and appreciation for the confidential nature of this work. This person will have an abiding sense of empathy for the difficulties that INGOs face and an unwavering commitment to improvement in the face of these difficulties. They will have very strong project management skills and will be adept at communicating with and motivating a diverse array of stakeholders.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position requires up to (50%) travel to countries which may be listed as failed or failing states. Travel for investigations is occasionally urgent, resulting in travel departure within days of notice.
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 MC’s 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.