Chief of Party - Civil Society - Kyrgyzstan

Programming Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


**Position is contingent on funding**

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 is prepositioning for the anticipated USAID RFA for Kyrgyzstan: Collaborative Civic Organizing in the Kyrgyz Republic. Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994, implementing programs in food security, nutrition, conflict mitigation, agricultural training, infrastructure, microfinance, and economic development. Mercy Corps is the founder and 100% owner of Kompanion Financial Group, one of Kyrgyzstan’s largest and most successful microfinance institutions, with over 90 branches and sub-offices and more than 1,000 employees. Today our programs reach more than 500,000 people in all major urban and rural communities of the country’s seven oblasts.

In the area of civil society and governance, Mercy Corps has successfully implemented 317 programs for a total of $634 million in funding over the past ten years globally. Guided by our Vision for Change Mercy Corps has partnered with and strengthened civil society at local, provincial and national levels to foster local ownership, participation and voice.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) for the upcoming five-year USAID-funded program to strengthen civil society organizations across Kyrgyzstan to enable horizontal and vertical networks of individuals and organizations to advocate for and bring about change across issues that resonate with local communities and increase government responsiveness and accountability in the Kyrgyz Republic.

General Position Summary

The Chief of Party will provide overall technical leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the five-year, multi-million dollar USAID Collaborative Civic Organizing in the Kyrgyz Republic project. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships 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. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy and 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.
  • Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.

Program Management
  • 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.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
  • Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
  • Integrate community 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.
  • 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.

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 and 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 and 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.

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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.


Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Program team, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations.

Knowledge and Experience
  • MA/S or equivalent in a relevant field, such as international development, organizational development, public policy, civil society, economics, or public administration.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience, including five years managing large civil society strengthening and governance programs in a senior management position. Must have experience managing large civil society program of a similar size and scope, preferably in Kyrgyzstan or the former Soviet Union.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including national, provincial, district, and local government officials, NGOs, private sector, donors, local organizations and partners.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills; excellent track record of managing diverse, multi-country teams.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
  • Experience working in Kyrgyzstan; knowledge of the civil society context highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in civil society strengthening, CSO capacity development, civic engagement, and coalition building.
  • Experience managing USAID programs highly preferred.
  • Fluency in both English and Russian required.

Success Factors

The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he 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. S/he 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 will be based in the capital city, Bishkek. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with complete freedom of movement in Bishkek and other locations in the country for which no travel restrictions exist. Staff have access to reasonable quality healthcare services in Bishkek and access to reliable water services. Access to electricity during the hot season can be less reliable, with the occasional power cut. This position requires at least 25% travel by plane and vehicle to field offices in environments that for the most part are secure. 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 Mercy Corps’ 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.