Consultant – Proposal Writer – Remote

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.

The New Initiatives team and the broader Technical Support Unit support complex, strategic proposal development on a regular basis, often with limited lead time in advance of a Notice of Funding Opportunity being released. This Scope of Work is for a lead writer to contribute to proposal development duties for an upcoming opportunity from August through September 2021.

Purpose / Project Description:

The Consultant will work closely with Mercy Corps Headquarters and Guatemala teams to articulate the best strategy for Mercy Corps’ response to the anticipated water, sanitation, and hygiene focused opportunity to ensure that our proposal is highly competitive and successful. The consultant’s work will include leading the development of concept note and proposal narratives, including participating in meetings to develop the proposal design with Mercy Corps and partner staff, writing and/or delegating sections, revising drafts in response to review input, and ensuring the final documents meet the requirements of the RFA and maximize competitiveness.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Review the RFA/NOFO when it is made available and provide suggested comments/questions for submission to USAID.
  • Review relevant background information and critical documentation on relevant Mercy Corps approaches and programs.
  • Based on a template provided by the Proposal Team Lead, develop, and manage an annotated outline for the proposal narrative and technical annexes.
  • Work with Proposal Team Lead to assign sections of the narrative to proposal team members who will contribute sections for the first draft of the proposal.
  • Participate in a design workshop (remotely or through travel to the country, if possible), and draft initial design documents (logframe and/or written theory of change with visual representation) based on workshop discussions and subsequently update them throughout the proposal development process based on team input.
  • Incorporate content from prior review of primary and secondary assessment information and critical documentation on relevant Mercy Corps and donor approaches and programs relevant to the RFA/NOFO
  • Work with country offices to identify information gaps, generate relevant questions, and suggest and/or participate in stakeholder consultants to understand the needs of target populations and the competitive landscape for the RFAs.
  • Serve as primary author of the proposal; draft key proposal sections, and work with team members responsible for proposal sections, to ensure completion of drafts according to the proposal workplan.
  • Maintain overall ownership of the full narrative document, keeping it up to date with the latest versions of input, overseeing quality and consistency, and ensuring its completeness and responsiveness to RFA/NOFO guidelines.
  • With Proposal Team Lead and input from others on the proposal team, conceptualize and develop basic graphics (to be improved by a graphic artist) that illustrate aspects of the proposed program (i.e. Theory of Change and/or program approach)
  • Provide clear instructions for proposal reviewers, clarifying input as needed and revising drafts according to review inputs and discussion with proposal team lead.
  • Work closely with Proposal Team Lead and desk officer to finalize technical narrative document and annexes for final submission while coordinating with Proposal Team Lead in the finalization of the cost proposal.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  1. Suggest comments/questions on RFA/NOFO for submission to USAID by Mercy Corps team member (if invited by USAID)
  2. Participate in design meetings with the Mercy Corps proposal team and partners
  3. Draft design documents (logframe and/or Theory of Change)
  4. Write a first draft of the technical proposal narrative that is in line with the content requirements included in the RFA/NOFO
  5. Revise the subsequent and final drafts of the proposal narrative in response to relevant feedback provided during the review period, ensuring the document is formatted to RFA/NOFO specifications, including page limitations, and maximizes competitiveness.

Timeframe / Schedule:

The timing for the above deliverables will be dependent on the deadline established in the final notice of funding from USAID, which is expected around August 1. We anticipate about 5 weeks between the notice of funding announcement and the due date for the proposal. The deadline for the first draft of a short (5-10 page) concept note will likely be due within 3 weeks from the notice of funding, and the final revised draft due 5-7 days before the application due date.

The Consultant will report to:

Sr. Director for New Initiatives, or designee.

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Country staff working on the proposal team
  • Technical Advisors and reviewers

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in proposal development for international development projects
  • 3-5 years of experience in writing technical concept notes and proposals related to international development for presentation to donors
  • Demonstrated experience with USAID proposal development and typical proposal requirements

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

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