Director of Operations - DRC
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 has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps is also currently responding the unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. The current annual budget includes resources from DFID, USAID, ECHO, UN-donors, Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others.
General Position Summary
The Director of Operations (DoO) will work closely with the Country Director (CD) to develop a professional, effective, efficient and results driven operations support team. The DoP is responsible for operational oversight of the Mercy Corps Country Program, including smooth functioning of all procurement and logistics functions, as well as day-to-day security management.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy and annual plan development.
- Develop and organize activities of Operations Department to provide timely and effective support to program to ensure objectives are met.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
Program Support Operations
- Assume direct responsibility for ensuring effectiveness of operations systems for program impact including procurement, logistics, security, IT, and ensure transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures, and DR Congo and relevant international laws.
- Ensure that all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient and effective implementation.
- Assist the program team and departments to understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of interaction with the logistics and procurement departments. These include trainings, regular weekly coordination meetings, problem solving and necessary planning activities to ensure effective and timely program implementation.
- Work closely with and supervise the Heads of Office in designated field site to ensure that support systems and structures are in place and compliant with relevant internal and external policies and procedures. Plan regular field offices visits accordingly.
- Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Uphold Mercy Corps’ Zero Tolerance policy to corruption and work closely with HR, Finance and Process Analyst to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest, and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.
Operations Management – Logistics and Procurement
- Ensure timely and accurate processing and documentation of procurements, and ensure accurate paperwork and a supply chain as described in the Field Procurement, Policies and Procedures Manual.
- Oversee database & paper file management for procurement and logistics resources documents
- Oversee use of Mercy Corps Electronic Procurement System and transition to new system.
- Guide the fleet management team and ensure that systems are in place to track maintenance schedules, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling as described in the Field Fleet Management Guidelines.
- Provide direct support and ensuring that all field offices meet minimum standards.
- Maintain service contracts.
- Liaise with finance to ensure compliance and payment schedules.
- Oversee tracking of all assets to ensure accurate record keeping of Mercy Corps and donor assets, including exceptional items that require registration and movement tracking, in accordance with the Mercy Corps Asset Management Manual.
- Maintain inventory records of materials and materials flow in all offices.
- Oversee customs clearing, equipment registration, licensing and insurance, etc.
- Chair tender openings as required.
- Ensure that all Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships with suppliers are transparent and in compliance with DRC laws and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
- Ensure optimal functioning of all IT systems, including internet, hardware and software.
- Serve as the country team’s security focal point to maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work. Manage day-to-day security.
- Together with the Country Director, lead the crisis management team when security/safety incidents occur, or when medical evacuations are needed.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities, and that each office has regularly updated Security Operating Procedures, Security Management Plans, Security Briefing Board and Contingency Plans in place.
- Attend security meetings and provide briefs to the Country Director.
- Ensure that security reporting (incident/situational) are reported in a timely manner and according to internal procedures.
- Ensure that security standards are maintained at all MC premises.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- Ensure appropriate security focused training and capacity building are implemented for all employees to ensure optimal knowledge and compliances with security standards.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary. .
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
Influence & Representation
- Ensure the Country Director’s interim upon request (25% of time).
- Identify, build and maintain and effective network of like-minded partners to improve operation environment.
- Interface with relevant government authorities responsible for international NGOs.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- 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.
Procurement, Logistics and Security Officers and Managers, designated Heads of Offices (approximately 5-8 direct reports).
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: DRC Country Program staff, regional and headquarters staff as appropriate.
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in management, logistics, administration or other relevant field;
- 5-7 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in a management position, preferably including in francophone Africa;
- Extensive experience in logistics, administration and/or procurement.
- Experience managing humanitarian relief and post-conflict programs in areas of affected by conflict and insecurity;
- Private sector experience desirable;
- Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues;
- Solid knowledge of security protocols and ability to work appropriately in an insecure environment;
- Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues;
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;
- Fluent written and oral communication in French and English required.
The successful DoO will possess senior level experience in managing or coordinating humanitarian relief and/or post-conflict programs in areas affected by conflict, instability and insecurity. The DoO will also possess experience negotiating in difficult market conditions, which may have been obtained from working in the private sector. S/he will have an outstanding ability to multi-task, prioritize, solve problems, and pay simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership and mentoring skills. 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. In DRC, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Goma, DRC and it requires up to 30% travel to Bukavu and other field offices. This is an unaccompanied position and is eligible to R&R.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there is mounting insecurity and violence in parts of the country, and an unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. Mercy Corps' field offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by INSO and our security department. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other and some field locations. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited in field locations, but available in all Mercy Corps offices and 3G networks in main towns. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.