Compliance Officer – The Hague


Location: The Hague
Position Status: Full-time, 6 months fixed term initially with view to permanent
Reporting to: Mercy Corps Europe Director of Compliance, Governance and Risk
Travel: Up to 20%
Closing Date: 17 January, 2021

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. 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.

Mercy Corps Netherlands (MCNL) was established in December 2017. It operates in collaboration with its sister organisations, Mercy Corps Global (MCG) and Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) as one global organisation. All three entities share the same mission, vision, core values and charitable objectives, as well as operational resources for the support and implementation of programme activities. MCNL is operating from The Hague Humanity Hub as a member of a dynamic community of innovators in the humanitarian space.

The Role

We are now looking for an experienced and technically skilled Compliance Officer to join our European team, based in our office in the Hague. The role will be a key part of the support team for MCNL. The role will sit within the MCE Compliance, Governance and Risk team, working alongside the US based Compliance and Legal team to ensure that the agency fulfils its responsibility to donors, the NGO community, implementing partners and other stakeholders, and is in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Each Compliance Officer provides technical support and advice to their assigned countries/regions and in addition has responsibility for assigned compliance focus areas and related projects.

The Compliance Officer plays a vital role in the organisation by:

  • Supporting MCNL and MCE’s Programmes and Finance teams, based in over 40 countries worldwide, in managing organisational and donor compliance of European-funded Programmes;
  • Providing training support to teams in relation to European donor and subaward compliance;
  • Communicating closely and working collaboratively with US-based colleagues to ensure that, whenever possible, approaches are globally consistent.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced, ambitious legal or compliance professional who is interested in a career in the humanitarian and development sector. You will be joining the fast-growing European entity of a leading global agency, helping people in some of the world’s toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Review donor agreements, highlight main compliance issues and advise on points to negotiate with the donor.
  • Provide compliance advice to ensure adherence to donor grant rules and regulations, including ‘help desk’ advice, supporting programmes, finance and country-based colleagues as required.
  • Track, document and disseminate recurring donor compliance issues.
  • Establish and monitor key donor compliance indicators across the European portfolio and develop compliance systems and exceptions requests.
  • Support donor inquiries or responses including responses to Donor Due Diligences.
  • Where appropriate, review donor reports to ensure donor compliance.
  • Provide advice to the Finance team in managing donor-led audits, including legal and contractual advice, seeking internal and external legal advice when required and negotiating contested findings where appropriate.
  • Working together with the Ethics team, support with donor notifications and reporting of fraud and corruption incidents.
  • Participate and contribute to the external NGO networks and other initiatives to broaden perspectives on industry trends on compliance as well as keep up to date on changes in the donor compliance rules.


  • Advise the Programme, Finance and Country teams on the usage and implications of partnering mechanisms (including Consortium Agreements) in support of proposal development. Provide guidance on the appropriate use of subawards versus contracts or consulting agreements.
  • Ensure the completion of the Pre-award Assessment of Financial Responsibility, and other pre-award compliance checks for subawards in accordance with established procedures.
  • In coordination with country and HQ staff, draft and negotiate subaward agreements and amendments based on agreed procedures. Ensure subaward agreements include all relevant donor award clauses and flow down all relevant Mercy Corps’ and prime donor regulations.
  • Develop an effective and efficient process for ensuring subawards are appropriately reviewed, approved and signed by authorised parties, including implementing partners.
  • With review and input from Mercy Corps’ Finance and Programme Departments, develop and maintain various subaward agreement and amendment templates for use with Mercy Corps’ prime donor awards.


  • As required, assist with the development and maintenance of MCNL policies and procedures related to compliance and risk.
  • Develop and maintain internal tools and templates to help support and improve Mercy Corps compliance, for example researching and developing donor requirements and issues fact sheets.
  • Develop compliance resources, including comprehensive best practice guidance and training materials on main European donors.
  • Lead the delivery of compliance training or other start-up activities for new European-funded Complex Programs.
  • Assist with delivering training, conferences and/or programs as assigned, including assistance with European donors’ rules and regulations training, periodic webinars, and regional conferences.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

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

Knowledge and Experience

  • Educated to Bachelors level, ideally in Law or a related subject, or equivalent experience.
  • Ideally 5+ years of experience in fast-paced work environments, with some exposure to working in a multinational organisation.
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in the legal profession or in compliance management.
  • Experience of identifying compliance issues and developing tools, processes or procedures to improve compliance.
  • Experience managing or working with subawards is highly desirable
  • Able to conduct legal research. Some experience in drafting contracts would be beneficial.
  • Preference given to candidates with knowledge of EU donor funding / contracting and experience working in an INGO.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. French or Spanish language skills would be highly desirable.

**Success Factors


  • Detail-oriented multi-tasker, with excellent organisation skills.
  • Strong process management skills.
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal), able to work successfully in a multinational, multicultural organisation.
  • Able to build and maintain effective internal and external relationships.
  • Able to cope with changing priorities, often at short notice, and work well under pressure.
  • Proactive, creative, solutions-based attitude.
  • Cooperates and works well with colleagues to maximise opportunities and solve problems.
  • High levels of motivation, professionalism and resilience.
  • Skilled in anticipating and solving problems and communicating issues, involving others as needed.
  • An exposure to and clear interest in international development issues is important, as is an appreciation of the complex challenges faced by teams operating in overseas environments.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in The Hague and may require national or international travel, sometimes on short notice to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

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

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *