Position is contingent on new funding - Program to start Spring 2021
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
Mercy Corps has been working in West Africa since 2005, providing humanitarian and development assistance to improve food security, livelihoods, and conflict management. We contribute to inclusive and equitable development in the region by responding to immediate humanitarian needs, building resilience to climate change, and strengthening peace and social cohesion. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires that the private sector, government and civil society work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the implementation of the anticipated five-year, USAID-funded SERVIR West Africa 2 (SERVIR) Activity. The goal of SERVIR is to increase the ability of local, national, and regional institutions to apply geospatial analysis to improve decision making and management of resources to improve the resilience of countries in the region, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure appropriate land use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SERVIR will implement activities in Niger, Burkina Faso, and other West African countries as determined by programmatic need.
General Position Summary
The COP will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the anticipated USAID-funded SERVIR West Africa 2 Activity, to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The COP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. The COP will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with program team and key stakeholders.
- Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building.
- Integrate locally-driven approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in use and analysis of geospatial data, including climate data, for improved decision making and planning for resilience.
- Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
- Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
- Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
- 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 toward 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.
Supervise the SERVIR West Africa 2 team, including national, regional, and/or international staff. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Country Director, Niger
Works Directly With: Regional Directors, Country Directors, Other COPs, Mercy Corps programs in West Africa, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in geospatial science, economics, social science, management, international development or other relevant field.
- A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience, including leadership experience for complex, multi-country programs.
- A minimum of 5 years of experience in a senior management position, preferably for large ($10+ million) and complex USAID-funded activities.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain partnerships with diverse stakeholders including host country governments, donors, other donor-funded programs, private sector actors, and local organizations.
- Experience working with local, national, and/or regional institutions to improve access to and use of geospatial data and technology in similar contexts preferred.
- Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French required.
- Experience working in West Africa preferred.
- Familiarity with USAID rules, regulations, and requirements strongly preferred.
- Familiarity or prior experience with SERVIR programs or NASA’s international initiatives a plus.
The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The COP is based in Niamey, Niger. This is an accompanied position and housing is available in individual accommodation with freedom of movement. There are international schools (French and American) in Niamey and the city provides good access to most consumer goods. There are a number of good health facilities, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. During the hot season, Niamey is affected by very high temperatures and frequent power outages. This position requires up to 40% travel by plane and/or vehicle to field offices in relatively secure but climatically challenging environments in Niger, Burkina Faso, or other countries in West Africa. This position is eligible for R&R but not hardship pay.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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