Governance Manager - Amudat, Uganda

Programming Moroto, Uganda


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

The Governance Manager plays a key role in the implementation of a five-year, $41 million USAID funded Food for Peace Activity to support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoral households living across the districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong and Moroto in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. The program has four strategic objectives, and the Governance Manager will oversee strategic objective one:

  1. Inclusive and effective governance contributes to improved food and nutrition security
  2. Improved health and nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women, children under five, and adolescent girls in targeted districts
  3. Improved WASH conditions among targeted households
  4. Adolescent girls, adolescent boys, women and men access diverse and secure livelihoods, through improved capacities and strengthened market systems

General Position Summary

The Governance Manager position focuses on providing capacity building, expert technical support, oversight and direction of the Governance thematic area of the Karamoja Food Security and Nutrition Activity. The Governance Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing the Governance Sector work plan and ensuring the Governance team in each of the four field offices are implementing their respective activities on-scope, on-time and on-budget. This is a one year position, so focus will be on building capacity of a national successor. Activities will include developing and rolling-out a comprehensive program strategy to build the operational, technical and financial capacity of local civil society, engage government and increase coordination among formal and informal stakeholders, and mobilize communities to undertake collective action. The position will also have operational oversight of the project office in Amudat district.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Implementation and Quality

  • Work with local CSOs to develop inclusive capacity building strategies and plans focusing on technical and networking capacities
  • Supervise the organizational development of local partner organizations using Mercy Corps Organizational Capacity Index and Capacity Development Planning process.
  • Lead joint mapping of formal and informal governance structures for development and peacebuilding in Karamoja in collaboration with key stakeholders.
  • Ensuring coordination and integration of governance into other thematic sector activities and planning. The governance component of the program is foundational to many of the activities implemented in the other sectors.
  • Develop the strategy and workplan for community mobilization initiatives across all four districts in 150 communities
  • Develop curricula to strengthen the capacity of government and traditional leaders in community engagement skills, including facilitation, consultation, negotiation, and participatory planning and budgeting.
  • Convene and facilitate meetings between governance structures at different levels and across geographies, as well as between parallel government and traditional non-state structures in order to promote communication and collaboration within government as well as between government and traditional non-state authorities.
  • Build the capacity of Mercy Corps staff to implement governance activities.
  • In collaboration with the M&E team, monitor and evaluate governance activities.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at relevant meetings and forums.
  • Liaise with local and regional government officials, traditional leaders, local NGOs and civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps’ programs, coordination with actors working on related issues, and cross-learning.
    • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine community needs and priorities
    • Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on development of strategies.
    • Provide technical guidance and support the development of activities to increase women’s participation and youth civic engagement.
    • Provide technical support and develop program activities to strengthen social accountability, grievance redress and feedback mechanisms

 Team Management

  • 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 and  Operations Management
  • Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) in the field office and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • With the support of the Operations Director and Sn Operation Manager ensure adequate operational systems are in place to provide for program.
  • Manage program budget(s) as secondary budget holder.
  • Strictly follow Mercy Corps Fraud and Corruption Prevention guidelines.
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.
  • Participate in the agency-wide governance practitioners cohort and engage in learning and sharing events facilitated by the Governance and Partnerships Technical Support Unit
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

The position has supervisory responsibility over all Governance sector team members (up to 8 staff) and operational staff in one field office.


Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Quality & Partnerships Manager, Other Managers (MCHN, WASH, Livelihoods), HQ TSU teams, Governance teams in related field offices.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in a field related to Governance or International Development preferred.
  • 4-5 years of experience providing increasingly proficient technical support in the Governance field of expertise that includes:
  • Preparing writing and analysis on program development.
  • Demonstrating strong theoretical and applied knowledge of the field of expertise.
  • Using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
    • Practical field experience, typically over the course of 2 years, that includes:
  • Managing and implementing successful programs in the field.
  • Delivering Capacity Building curriculum or other processes for field teams
  • Managing staff and developing work-plans
    • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
    • Familiarity with USAID.
    • Fluency in English is required.

Success Factors

The Governance Manager will demonstrate significant experience managing programs in the field, further enhancing their ability to adjust technical theories to meet real world complexities. The individual should have the proven ability to influence donors, partners, and peer organizations toward innovative programs and best practices. The Governance Manager must take a lead role in building and maintaining relationships as well as demonstrating the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts. This position requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Governance Manager is based in Amudat district part of the week with main residence in Moroto, Karamoja region. The location is unaccompanied and secured. Housing is an organization guesthouse with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff has access to basic services – medical, electricity, water, etc. However, recreational facilities are limited. This position requires significant travel in Karamoja region (40%) and occasional travel to Kampala by road and internal flights to field offices in often-insecure 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/short term assignment 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.