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Posted 3 months ago
Job Description

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

Since 2002, Mercy Corps has worked alongside Liberians to build pathways out of poverty, poor governance, and economic hardship. Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. Today, we are focused on the following areas: good governance, youth employment and market systems development, renewable energy, financial inclusion, and health and nutrition. We work closely with the Government of Liberia, the private sector, civil society, international and local NGOs to implement our programs in 10 of the 15 counties of Liberia. Mercy Corps is one of the foremost development actors in Liberia implementing strategic and systems driven programming.

Mercy Corps is planning to submit a bid in response to a USAID opportunity for Food Security, Nutrition and Resilience. This will be a $20 million, five-year activity with four objectives: 1. Strengthen smallholder farmers, women, and youths’ ability to sustainably produce a diverse mix of nutritious and high-value crops using climate-smart agriculture practices; 2. Increase aggregation, farm-level processing, value addition, and marketing of targeted staple and commercial crops to increase incomes and create employment opportunities especially for women and youth; 3. Support economic development and resilience through alternative livelihood opportunities, improved access, and participation in markets for smallholder farmers, agriculture cooperatives, women and youth groups, and subsistence farmers; and 4. Enhance year-round availability, accessibility, and the utilization of nutritious food by households in targeted communities to enable them to improve their health and nutrition.

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The objectives of the activity will be achieved through increased sustainable agricultural production and productivity by smallholder farmers, subsistence farmers, agriculture cooperatives, and women and youth groups. Potential value chains for this activity include vegetables, fruits, mini-livestock, poultry, small ruminant, rice, cassava, integrated rice-fish and vegetables, aquaculture, and a variety of high-value crops (e.g. cocoa, coffee, oil palm, etc.). The Activity will be implemented in rural and peri-urban communities within USAID/Liberia's zone of influence (Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Margibi, Grand Bassa, and Montserrado).

General Position Summary

The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the Food Security, Nutrition and Resilience Activity to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time,on scope and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. They will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
  • Leverage Mercy Corps’ existing programs on market system development, nutrition and governance to ensure systematic approach to food security, nutrition, and resilience activities.
  • Active participation in Mercy Corps’ strategic discussions in country and at global level.
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Program Management
  • Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target, scope and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Facilitate senior-level policy and dialogue with the sub-national governments and relevant Ministries and partners.
  • Confirm participants are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.
  • Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memoranda of Understanding, and oversee partner capacity building.
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, safeguarding, Do No Harm principles, and participant accountability standards.
  • Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in food security, nutrition and resilience.
  • Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, finance, 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.

Team Management
  • Lead recruitment of team (expats, nationals staff and consultants) including developing position descriptions, initiating recruitments and ensuring onboarding of team members.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepening understanding of their roles and assisting 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.
  • Liaise with other programs to ensure systematic approach in line with Mercy Corps strategic vision.

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.
  • Ensure sound financial management, including programmatic budgeting, spending projections, and monitoring of payments in compliance with USAID standards.

Influence & Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
  • Coordinate activities with partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Create an enabling environment for local market actors to participate in the project to ensure systematic sustainability of the project beyond the life of the project.

Security
  • 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.

Organizational Learning
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Country Director (Activity staffing and management structure is still being finalized)

Works Directly With: Team leaders and program managers in-country, MEL, CARM, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Program Performance and Quality team

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent in management, international development, agriculture, public health, or other relevant fields.
  • At least 10 years of relevant development experience including 5 years in a senior management position.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in food security, nutrition, market system development, alternative livelihoods, resilience, and agriculture.
  • Previous experience of such a role (Chief of Party) or equivalent (Program Director, Director of Program, Deputy Chief of Party) or experience of managing multiple years projects of such scale ($20+million USD).
  • Previous experience in Liberia or West Africa is desirable.
  • Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
  • Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
  • Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

Success Factors

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 Monrovia. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have good access to services, medical, electricity, and water, etc. International schools are available. This position requires up to 40% of travel to field offices in secure environments. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.

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.

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

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