Country Director - Nigeria
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
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria and a budget of over 90 million dollars. Working with a diverse funding base that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), European Commission (EC), and several foundations, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. We stand with Nigeria to find and access opportunities, and to be part of lasting and meaningful transformation in the country.
General Position Summary
The Mercy Corps Nigeria Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming in Nigeria, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of its participants. With a strong and growing team of approximately 400 dedicated staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in 12 States that include Lagos in the South; Kaduna, Kano, Katsina in the South West: FCT Abuja, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau in North Central: Bauchi, Yobe and Borno in the complex crisis of the North East. Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response.
With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian needs, market systems development and youth. The Country Director will have held senior roles in formulating strategic direction within an international development and humanitarian contexts with high supervisory responsibility and financial acumen that anticipate budgetary needs and adjustments in response to changing priorities. The CD develops sustainable, multi-sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments. This is an exciting opportunity to influence key outcomes and make a lasting difference in the lives of Nigerians.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Formulate, plan and communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans.
- Lead the annual country planning process and provide strategic updates.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and agency objectives.
- Use technical support teams collaboratively.
- Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities; support and direct related fund-raising activities with both institutional and private donors.
- 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.
PROGRAM OPERATIONS Management
- Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
- Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
- Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable.
- Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
- Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
- Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local governments, foundations, the private sector, etc.
- Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor’s views on development.
- Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country as a whole.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Exhibit awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- Liaise with the VP of Operations and Regional Program Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.
- 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.
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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: Finance & Compliance Director, Deputy Country Director, Operations Director, Program Quality & Development Director, HR Manager, Safety & Security Manager, Ethics & Assurances Manager, Humanitarian Analyst, and PSEA Focal Point.
Reports Directly To: Regional Director Africa
Works Directly With: Africa Regional teams, RPT, Finance and TSU teams
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
- 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs.
- 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
- Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster response as appropriate.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in emergency response preferred.
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with (donor), (government) grant management.
- Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in (language) is (a plus/required).
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous work experience in (location) and in insecure environments (if this is an insecure region) preferred.
The successful Nigeria CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. S/he will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building and 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The CD is based in Abuja. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is in individual accommodation with limited freedom of movement within Abuja city. There are International schools in Abuja. Staff have good access to medical services, electricity, water, etc. This position requires 40% time for field travel by air and road to field offices in insecure environments.
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 environment.