Director of Programs - Central African Republic
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.
Mercy Corps has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since September 2007. With offices the main office in Bangui and sub-offices in Bouar and Bambari. Mercy Corps works to integrate short-term humanitarian assistance with programs to strengthen community resilience and support market-led economic development, with a cross-cutting accent on governance and gender. Mercy Corps takes a sustainable approach to its programming, seeking to change behaviors and create institutions to foster long-term development in the sectors of protection, governance, civil society capacity building, water/sanitation, and food security. Funding comes from a range of donors including the European Commission, OFDA, US Department of State, the United Nations, and private foundations. By addressing a number of overlapping and associated needs within a wide range of activities, Mercy Corps in CAR takes an integrated approach to ensure the greatest possible impact.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
The Director of Programs (DoP) 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 position will be based in Bangui, with regular travel to the field sites (25%). S/he will help 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.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Lead the identification of new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs and the country strategy, in coordination with the Country Director and Program Managers, as well as the Regional Program Director, headquarters-based Senior Program Officer, Technical Advisors and other relevant staff.
- Plan and lead the country team to assess the needs for program design, evaluate, analyze and further develop a multi-year country specific strategic plan for CAR, in line with the regional value propositions and MC global strategy.
- Lead the development of solicited and unsolicited proposals and concept notes.
Coordination and Representation
- Establish close and productive relationships with donors, cluster coordinations, as well as relevant national government authorities, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Represent Mercy Corps at all relevant coordination meetings in Bangui (SE/HDPT Coordination Meetings, Clusters, etc.) and play a role in other advocacy and coordination bodies.
- Coordinate with other NGOs in CAR to consolidate Mercy Corps’ comparative advantage, and make sure to have the most relevant programs in place 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 CAR country strategy.
- Ensure technical quality of our programs inline 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 the Program Development 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.
- Provide ongoing 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 (in both English or French, depending on the donor) from both content and form perspectives.
Program Support Operations
- Work closely with the Operations Manager and Finance Manager 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.
- Conduct him/herself professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Other duties as assigned.
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 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: Program managers, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning Manager, Program Development and Reporting Manager.
ACCOUNTABILITY: REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Country Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: All program staff, both national and expatriate in CAR; HQ-based program, operations, recruiting, human resources, finance, and technical support teams.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field. MA/S preferred.
- 5-7 years overseas experience, including at least 3 years in a senior management position.
- Experience managing humanitarian relief and/or transitional programs in areas affected by insecurity and conflict.
- Previous experience working in Francophone Africa is strongly preferred.
- Proven track record in program design, proposal writing and development, and donor reporting.
- Trained and knowledgeable in design, monitoring, and evaluation concepts and methodologies. M&E experience should include conducting assessments and surveys, program design using a logical framework approach, selecting indicators, implementing monitoring plans, coordinating evaluations and data analysis.
- Experience supervising international and national staff, starting up programs and working in difficult environments.
- Experience managing programs in relevant technical area(s) including, Participatory Community Development, Livelihoods, Agriculture, Health, Water and Sanitation, Economic Recovery, Women’s Empowerment and GBV programming, Peace-building, Civil Society Capacity Building and Youth.
- Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues.
- Strong management skills with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meets deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- History of working effectively with host country government, national and international NGO partners, and collaborating with other actors, including the private sector.
- Solid knowledge of and experience with security protocols is essential.
- Fluency in written and oral French and English is required.
- Knowledge and experience of the CAR context, along with Sango, is an advantage.
A successful candidate will be conscientious, with excellent judgment and will display an entrepreneurial spirit that is both creative and flexible. He/She will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, team approach and participatory leadership with tactful decisiveness to assist in the development and implementation of Mercy Corps’ country strategy. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The individual will be a strategic thinker able to bring ideas to implementation in growing program operations. He/She will have exceptional proposal development skills and an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in the country. An interest and ability to travel and work in very remote environments, and awareness of and sensitivity to multi-cultural international development work and ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles is required. An even temperament and a good sense of humor are appreciated.
LIVING /ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The Central African Republic is a nation of 4.6 million people, ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world, with an average life expectancy of only 39 years. Bangui is a capital city of about 700,000 inhabitants. The security situation in CAR can be volatile, specifically in some of the geographical areas. However, Bangui is generally free of any serious threats towards international or national staff, outside of petty theft. However, carjacking and targeted looting do occur on occasion. Hospitals and access to quality health care is very limited. Malaria is prevalent. It is estimated that 7-8% of the population may be HIV positive. Suitable group housing is available, but electricity and clean water are sometimes sporadic.
This position is based in Bangui and is unaccompanied for spouses and/or children and includes hardship allowance and R&R benefits.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in 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