Director of Field Program Implementation - Amman, Jordan
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
Syria is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country as well as a number of neighboring countries. More than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes and the number relying on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country building resilient and socially cohesive communities through our Peace and Conflict pillar, and supporting market system strengthening and economic development for vulnerable and conflict affected populations. The heightened insecurity and continuous acts of violence and war make the humanitarian response not only more challenging, but increasingly complicated. With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, Mercy Corps has established itself as one of the largest humanitarian actors providing life-saving and early recovery interventions through analytical, strategic and flexible response mechanisms. Having worked in Syria since 2008, Mercy Corps has been adapting continually to shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively and efficiently through multiple modalities with teams inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps Syria country program is a unified managerial architecture to allow transversal consistency among programs and unity of purpose at the strategic level.
General Position Summary
The Director of Field Program Implementation will oversee the full portfolio of programs that Mercy Corps currently operates across Syria. Programs are delivered both directly through a field staff presence of 300+ team members on the ground in Syria, and 100+ that support program implementation from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps also has a significant program portfolio implemented in partnership with Syrian Civil Society, including diaspora groups, community groups, and larger Syrian civil society networks. Our primary areas of focus in Syria includes Multi-Sector First Line Humanitarian Response, Food Security & Livelihoods, Peace and Conflict, Shelter/WASH, Protection and Civil Society Strengthening Programs. Mercy Corps has a diverse donor pool, including both US and European private and institutional donors and encompass multi-year, multi-hub large scale initiatives, as well as smaller, more grassroots initiatives with potential to grow. The Director of Program Implementation will lead the program department in meeting project and program objectives, and will be responsible for management of program-implementing staff at the country and field levels: Three regional Directors of Programs for different geographical hubs across Syria, Whole of Syria Program Directors, as well as positions focused on humanitarian coordination. The role will ensure that adequate leadership is applied to the implementation of relevant, innovative and adaptive programs. As a member of the Syria Senior Management Team (SMT), the DFPI works closely with the Country Director (CD), The Director of Program Support and other senior members of the country program, and creates a dynamic and stimulating relationships with all the technical and analytical resources available internally and externally relevant to the Syrian context. The DFPI represents Mercy Corps at the highest level and is able to lead complex program implementation in a country program that operationally spans 4-countries, and works in complex, insecure and unpredictable environments. The role will develop, articulate and deliver a strategic operational vision in line with the rapid evolution of the context and the strategic decisions made by the organization’s executive leadership.
Essential Job Responsibilities
LEADERSHIP OF PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION
- As a member of the SMT, the Director of Field Program Implementation will lead on all program implementation and humanitarian matters
- Responsible for overall coordination of program implementation and delegated responsibility for field delivery of high quality programming in line with Mercy Corps standards and the country strategy
- In close coordination with the Director of Program Support, Director of Finance, Director of Program Support, and the Director of Grants Management, participate in program design and proposal development processes
- Ensure that all programs are implemented in accordance with grant agreements, are completed on-time, on-scope and on-budget
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Working with Director of Program Support, participate in conceptualizing and designing cost effective, innovative and high quality programs to serve hard to reach and vulnerable populations
- Serve as overall budget holder for all programming; manage and support budget holders for individual projects and awards and ensure project expenditure is in line with work plans and commitments to donors
- Ensure programs are implemented in ways responsive to the communities, and in line with Mercy Corps principles, values, strategic plan and compliance procedures. This includes working with authorities and national NGO-partners to strengthen national capacity
- Ensure the Director of Grants Management receives timely input from the program implementation team for the preparation of high quality progress reports, program reports, and donor reports
- Oversee all Area-offices through the Area and Program Directors
- Follow analysis of the Syrian crisis and the impact of policy, political and military changes on the context, ensuring that this analysis is recognized and incorporated in planning for both short-term humanitarian and longer-term recovery and resilience programming;
- Take go/no-go decisions regarding pursuit of inside-Syria funding opportunities and, in coordination with Syria Country Director and other senior leadership, engage in strong regional-level representation with donors, international and local NGOs and networks;
- Participate in shaping policy positions and advocacy messages pertaining to the overall humanitarian situation inside Syria.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE MANAGEMENT
- Strengthen the Syria Country Office’ organizational readiness to respond to emergencies in line with global emergency standards
- In partnership with the Director of Operations and Area/Program Directors ensure that the Country Office designs, updates and implements a full set of emergency preparedness actions
- Mount appropriate and timely responses at scale to all emergencies consistent with established plans and organizational policies
- In coordination with Country Director and Director of Program Support maintain consistent and coherent engagement in key inter-agency emergency preparedness and response coordination mechanisms including the Cluster system
STAFF MANAGEMENT, MENTORSHIP AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT
- Ensure appropriate staffing within the Program Implementation team, including field offices staff
- Ensure that all staff understand and are able to perform their role in an emergency
- Manage Program Implementation team; define expectations, provide leadership and technical support as needed, and evaluate direct reports regularly
- Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion of staff as appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff
- Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process.
- Establish result based system and follow up
- Manage the performance of all staff in the Program Operations work area through:
- Effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measureable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations;
- Coaching, mentoring and other developmental opportunities;
- Recognition and rewards for outstanding performance;
- Documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ work plans
STRATEGY & PLANNING
- Provide leadership, strategic vision, coherence and direction to the country program as a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT)
- Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to internal and external stakeholders, translating into concrete work plans and results
- Position MC as the leading organization for Humanitarian Response and early recovery programmatic priorities in line with the country strategy
- Support development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions.
ADVOCACY & COMMUNICATION
- Represent Mercy Corps and network with government authorities, donors, partners and other stakeholders to promote MC objectives and build relationships to facilitate success of our projects
- Support advocacy initiatives that promote civil society, protection of civilians, the pursuit of impartial and conflict sensitive access and work to influence policy and legislation in the best interests of vulnerable and conflict affected groups
- Ensure that learning from the field contributes to development and implementation of advocacy initiatives.
- Participate in shaping policy positions and advocacy messages pertaining to the overall humanitarian situation inside Syria.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate;
- Ability to work with formal and informal government structures and representatives, maintain and develop relevant and productive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders;
- Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local NGOs and civil society organizations and academic institutions;
- Anticipate program needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor views on the evolving context and its impact on civilians in Syria;
- Ensure that Mercy Corps maintain a high degree of risk awareness and impartiality;
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, governments and other stakeholders.
- Regularly review the Security Team, the Humanitarian Access Team and other Advisors’ analysis of security and its outlook in Syria and the region;
- Coordinate with external counterparts on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and any security policy changes;
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies;
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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 PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our program participants 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.
Area Director for North East Syria; Director of Programs for North West Syria; Partnership Support Program (PSP) Director; Investing in Syria Humanitarian Action (ISHA) Program Director; North East Syria NGO Forum Director, and; other coordination roles.
Reports Directly to: Syria Country Director
Works Directly with:
- SMT: Country Director, Director of Program Support (Strategy, Access and Quality), Director of Operations, HR Director, Finance Director, Security Director
- Extended SMT: Sub-Awards and Compliance Director, Ethics & Assurance Manager, Policy and Advocacy Advisor, PaQ Director, Technical Advisors, Grants Director
Knowledge and Experience
- Post graduate qualifications or equivalent in relevant social science, human rights, development studies, NGO management or equivalent field
- A minimum of seven years of progressive senior management and/ or development experience in a corporate or an NGO environment, including experience directing and implementing programs
- Experience in more than one of Mercy Corps thematic sectors or areas of responsibility: Crisis Analysis, Protection, Food Security & Livelihoods, Governance and Social Cohesion, Shelter/WASH, Emergency Response
- Knowledge of New Business Development, donors and their environments and a basic understanding of advocacy, policy, and human rights
- Experience of lobbying, influencing and representing an organisation at all levels and across diverse sectors
- Experience working with high level government agencies and academics on relevant humanitarian
- Strong skills and proven experience in new program development, project design, and donor proposal design with corporates, foundations and institutional donors
- Strong skills and proven experience in leading strategic planning, change management and program management processes; also from the knowledge and learning perspective
- Experience of conducting research, drafting and presenting reports to varied audiences.
- Knowledge of Arabic language is desired
The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. They have a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. They are an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. They are able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. They are a confident representative in public settings, able to speak up when needed to defend Mercy Corps’ positions and influence key stakeholders internally and externally to further and expand MC Syria’s goals in the response. They are able to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment and prioritize team-building and capacity-building of national staff. They demonstrate excellent information management skills, is a strategic thinker. They possess 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 Syria.
The position will be based in Amman, Jordan. This role is accompanied and requires up to 40% travel to other field locations. Housing is in individual housing in Amman.
Personnel in this location are expected to follow all Mercy Corps security protocols, which may change from time to time, relevant to the prevailing risk environment. Good medical services and educational institutions are available in Amman. City electricity is available in Amman and running water is reliable also. Internet connectivity and communication is reliable in most locations.
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.