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.
The Program / Department / Team
Mercy Corps has been present in Somalia since 2005, responding to emergency needs stemming from conflict and displacement, while continuing work to build more resilient, peaceful, and productive communities in Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South West State, Jubaland and Banadir. Mercy Corps implements emergency activities around life-saving food, water, hygiene programs coupled with ongoing humanitarian programs around economic opportunity and development, youth & education, and reintegration of returnees.
General Position Summary
The Programs Director will work closely with the Country Director (CD) and program team to lead new program development and ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability in close collaboration with the operations team. The PD will also support the CD to represent the Mercy Corps programs to donors, other NGOs and stakeholders, thematic clusters and coordination mechanisms and as needed to relevant government authorities and other partners. Position includes overall management of daily program activities and management of program staff, ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results as well as engagement with senior management on the strategic direction of the overall IDP response.
- In coordination with the Country Director and Program Managers, lead and support in the identification of new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs and the country strategy
- Plan and lead the country program team to assess the needs for program design and support in conducting routine situational analysis to inform program design and quality
- Under the direction of the CD, lead the country program team in the development of solicited and unsolicited proposals and concept notes and with support of HQ senior program officer
Coordination and Representation
- In close coordination with the Country Director, establish close and productive relationships with donors, cluster coordination, as well as relevant national government authorities
- Represent Mercy Corps Somalia at relevant coordination meetings and play a role in other advocacy and coordination bodies.
- Coordinate with cluster structures to consolidate Mercy Corps’ comparative advantage as well as identify new strategic partnerships.
- Provide leadership in all aspects of program coordination to ensure consistent quality, including the incorporation of cross-cutting themes, quality data analysis, lessons learned and best practices
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles, values, global strategic roadmap, and Somalia country strategy.
- Ensure technical quality of all programs in line with Mercy Corps technical standards by an in-depth support to the Program Managers and a strong program follow-up.
- Work with Program Managers and Reporting Manager to monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations;
- Support Program Managers to oversee performance of partners, sub-grantees, and technical contractors and adhere to MC’s Minimum Standards for Program Management.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching.
- **Build up program staff capacity and ensure effective and qualitative program implementation
Program Monitoring and Evaluation
Supervise and support the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager to:
- Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool, encouraging consistency across programs.
- In coordination with Country Director, identify capacity gaps and support in training and guidance to staff on M&E best practices.
- Ensure that donor reports produced by the Programs team effectively demonstrate the impact of Mercy Corps’ program interventions and meet Mercy Corps SOPs.
- Review all reports to ensure a high quality product from both content and form perspectives.
Program Support Operations
- Work closely with the Operations Director and Finance Director to ensure that operational and financial management systems are responsive to program needs and that program staff are adhering to both donor and Mercy Corps’ procedures and regulations.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to ensure that programs are contributing to and responding to safety and security plans and procedures.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.
- Engage and support the country leadership and respective managers across all country offices to ensure that adequate risk management systems are in place;
- Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events;
- Engage with country teams on the internal audit process to track findings and ensure country team compliance with IA findings and recommendations;
- Engage with country level Ethics and Assurance managers as well as the global Ethics and Assurance department to track and analyze trends and needs across countries;
Program managers, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning Manager, Program Development and Reporting Manager, Infrastructure Manager
Reports Directly To: Directly reports to the Country Director
Works Directly With:** All program staff, both national and expatriate; HQ-based program, operations, recruiting, human resources, finance, and technical support teams
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.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required;
- 5-7 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing development programs in transitional environments.
- 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
- Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with emergency response grant management for both private and institutional donors desired.
- Knowledge of SPHERE and other humanitarian programming standards.
- Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Somali language is a plus.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement.
- Demonstrated ability to work in complex programming and volatile environments
The successful person will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team in the transitional response environment. S/he will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building. The Programs Director will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. Should be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in Somalia and the region. A sense of humor, team mentality and positive nature is highly desirable.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Mercy Corps Somalia field offices (Mogadishu, Garowe, Hargeisa, Galkayo, Kismayu, Baidoa) and it requires up to some travel to Nairobi, Kenya and other countries if and when required for meetings and other functions. Accommodation is provided in group housing. The Programs Director will support activities throughout Somalia. Mobility in Somalia is restricted and must first be cleared with the Security Advisor. This is an unaccompanied post and eligible for Hardship and R&R. Standard Somali workweek is Sunday – Thursday.
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.
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.