Consultant – Data Lifecycle and Literacy – Remote

Mercy Corps


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Our mission is to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression and work to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Empowering people with bold solutions to help them become drivers of their economic well-being and become major players in their economy is a cornerstone to our strategy. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Purpose / Project Description:

In 2021-2022, Mercy Corps developed its Pathway to Possibility (P2P) 10-year strategy, outlining the organization’s strategic priorities in terms of working towards inclusive and resilient communities through four outcome areas (Food Security, Economic Opportunity, Peace & Good Governance, and Water Security), and our plans to strengthen the operating model. P2P also includes five cross-cutting commitments: (1) Climate Smart, (2) Evidence Driven, (3) Innovative and Creative, (4) Locally Led, and (5) Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive.

There are multiple teams across Mercy Corps involved in evidence generation and use, including program, country, strategic portfolio, regional, and headquarters teams in the areas of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL), Research and Learning (R&L), Technology for Development (T4D), Crisis Analysis (CA), and the Technical Support Unit (TSU) as well as Policy & Advocacy, Marketing & Communications, Resource Development, the Strategy Realization Unit (SRU), and Information Technology (IT), among others.

The Evidence Driven Commitment is currently focused on improving Mercy Corps’ ability to use data, evidence, and analytics to improve our programs, scale what works, and influence others. Mercy Corps is focused on a future state in which internal evidence and learning is coordinated, curated, and used to strengthen the overall agency knowledge base in a framework that corresponds to P2P, where Mercy Corps is a better user of other available (external) data sources, and where this evidence is used to enhance Mercy Corps’ external influence, leading to more programming opportunities and deeper impact.


  1. Harness the power of collective learning at the outcome area, regional, country, and program levels.
  2. Improve our ability to tell a story of how we are performing as an organization.
  3. Strengthen our programming by ensuring we are promoting evidence-based foundational approaches for scaling.
  4. Enhance the potential for integration of data across the data lifecycle.
  5. Build our agency culture of evidence-driven decision-making.

One of the workstreams in the Evidence Driven Commitment focuses on Data Integration and Literacy, with the goal of establishing a common vision for the integration of data across the program and portfolio life cycle and will then work closely with relevant teams to assess, identify, and integrate the most appropriate data collection and analytics tools and approaches from FY24-FY6. We will refine the organizational strategy for Mercy Corps’ enterprise and programmatic data architecture, building on plans already in place with IT and/ or T4D and/ or for MEL Tech, while keeping an eye on emerging, innovative technologies and ensuring that Mercy Corps uses the most up-to-date and appropriate tools. This workstream will also identify the data literacy skills needed at different levels of the organization and develop competency frameworks and skills-building programs for relevant functions.

Consultant Objectives:

In order to achieve these goals Mercy Corps seeks a consultant to (1) map the desired data lifecycle, technical requirements at each stage, and team touchpoints and (2) develop a data literacy competency framework.

Consultant Activities:

  1. Map the touchpoints of teams/functions along the data lifecycle to clarify areas of collaboration
    • Initial mapping of the data lifecycle within Mercy Corps, including, but not limited to, teams such as Technology for Development (T4D), Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), Crisis Analytics, IT, Research and Learning, and select country and regional programs.
    • Identify the key touchpoints within and across teams that currently exists as well as the potential, missed, and future opportunities for collaboration within the organization
    • Clarify key requirements at different phases of the data lifecycle, with a key focus on data privacy
  2. Based on the mapping of requirements at different phases of the data lifecycle (#1), develop a data literacy framework
    • Conduct assessment of the key data literacy needs of specific groups within Mercy Corps
    • Examples may include:
      • Data Asset Ownership:
        • Research data inconsistencies and develop recommendations to improve data practices through collaboration with business and technical teams
        • Identify data most valuable to the organization and assess alignment with Mercy Corps’ strategy to become more data driven and evidence based.
        • Make recommendations related to the most critical data elements and business metadata
        • Make recommendations for data management for new and ongoing projects, ensuring consistency and standardization across the organization.
      • Data Quality:
        • Collaborate with business units to determine the critical data elements for your data domain and accepted data definitions to use at an enterprise level
        • Collaborate with technical team members to make recommendations that ensure appropriate data lineage and standardization of key data elements and metadata.
    • Identify the key resource gaps in the data literacy competency framework to be developed in this activity.
    • Identify the existing resources that can be utilized internally and adapted for Mercy Corps

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  • Provide a final report on the key data lifecycle touchpoints within Mercy Corps that includes clear recommendations for opportunities for collaboration within the organization based on this lifecycle report and key requirements
  • Provide data literacy competency framework

Timeframe / Schedule:

December 2023 -June 2024

The Consultant will report to:

Sr Director Technology for Development and Director, Global Data Protection and Privacy or their designee

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Members of the Data Integration and Literacy workstream as needed
  • Country program and IT (HQ and regional) representatives as needed
  • A range of business and technical units with Mercy Corps, including the IT department (with specific focus on teams that currently handle programmatic / business intelligence data: Go/NoGo, TolaData, GAIT, etc), other technical units as MELtech, T4D and TSU

Required Experience & Skills:

The ideal consultant will have the following experience and skills:

  • 5-10 years of technically relevant experience.
  • Proven experience with developing business intelligence workflows, data analytics, data architecture and/or similar in large, complex, global organizations: gathering requirements, data mapping, and documentation.
  • Strong stakeholder management skills.
  • Strategic planning and business analysis with emphasis on system architecture and data flows.
  • Familiarity with data management from ingestion of source data to end user reporting. Experience with humanitarian data or similar is a plus.
  • Experience developing or implementing data governance frameworks and working with global organizations to determine DG use cases through stakeholder interviews, workshops, etc.
  • Experience creating data literacy frameworks with an emphasis on defining data literacy goals, assessing employees’ current skill levels, and developing appropriate learning paths.
  • Firm understanding of data migration, ETL, and data warehouse projects.
  • Firm understanding of cloud environments, esp. Microsoft Azure and associated workflows.
  • Knowledge of mobile data collection and dashboarding tools. Specific familiarity with Commcare, Ona, and PowerBI a plus.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to describe and explain technical topics to a non-technical audience

To Apply:

Please provide the following:

  • CV
  • Brief cover letter which includes a list of relevant projects/experience,
  • Expected fees/daily rate
  • Availability

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis for a target start date of December 2023.

Estimated level-of-effort is maximum 56 days over 7 months.

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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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.

How to apply

To apply:

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