Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)/ Technical Advisor, Youth Connect - Niger
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 has been present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, nutrition, governance and emergency response outcomes. Our work in these areas contributes to Nigerien communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps is currently implementing several development and humanitarian projects worth more than $9 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, and Tillabéri. In 2018, we were able to benefit more than 139,000 vulnerable Nigeriens.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)/ Technical Advisor to lead the implementation of the expected five-year USAID-funded $19 million Youth Connect program. The goal of the program is to equip vulnerable young women and men in the Tillaberi region of Niger with technical and life skills, networks, and capital for increased livelihoods and economic opportunities. This objective supports USAID’s overall Bridge project purpose, which is to address critical unmet needs that are the main drivers of violent extremist recruitment in the Sahel: poor governance, lack of economic opportunity, and perceived exclusion from the benefits and services provided and facilitated by governments in the region. The program will be implemented in a consortium with other partners.
General Position Summary
The DCOP/Technical Advisor will work in concert with the Chief of Party (COP), providing technical and operational management in support of implementation and overall consortium coordination. They will be experienced in a broad spectrum of technical focus areas that include youth livelihoods, Positive Youth Development (PYD), economic development, financial inclusion, and skills development with responsibility for establishing and managing systems to ensure cohesion across all aspects of the program. They will support the COP in all technical, operational, and management aspects and ensure that all appropriate reporting requirements are met. The DCOP will report to the COP and will be considered Acting COP in his/her absence.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Management and Implementation
- Provide overall technical guidance and leadership, mentoring, quality control and coordination to strengthen program outcomes.
- Support the Chief of Party in the establishment of a program and consortium structure that favors integration across all activities and implementing partners.
- Ensure that cross-cutting aspects of the program such as adaptive management, gender equality, female empowerment, social inclusion and resilience and are included and well integrated into the program strategy.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and is consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, value and quality standards.
- Liaise with Mercy Corps’ support departments (finance, operations, HR/Admin, etc.) for operational support and of the program.
- In coordination with the country Monitoring and Evaluation department, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact.
- Oversee program implementation team, ensuring that all staff and consortium members are following work plans, activities are on schedule, and project deliverables are completed as planned.
- Develop and oversee implementation of capacity building strategy for team members that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data and lessons learned.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
Internal and External Coordination
- Contribute to program visibility and advocacy work by assisting in dissemination of program research and learning information. Represent Mercy Corps in forums with the broader humanitarian and development community.
- Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote best practices.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
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.
- Number of direct reports is to be determined.
- Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
- Works Directly With: Sector leads/program managers, field teams, the MEL team, consortium partners, local government, USAID and other stakeholders.
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent experience in development, international relations, non-profit management, business, finance, agriculture, agribusiness, agricultural economics, or other relevant field;
- At least 7 years of relevant experience in relevant management, supervisory, technical experience working with programs of a similar scope and scale, at least 2 of which have been working in fragile or post-conflict states;
- Experience of working in a consortium of international NGOs;
- Demonstrated technical knowledge in youth livelihoods, agriculture, Positive Youth Development (PYD), economic development, financial inclusion, countering violence extremism (CVE), or related fields;
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, and to liaise with donors and HQ;
- Fluency in written and spoken French and English;
- Preference for experience with USAID-funded programs;
- Experience in West Africa, specifically Niger, preferred.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members and other stakeholders of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. This position requires an ability to think creatively about increasing youth employment. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 DCOP/Technical Advisor will be based in Niamey, Niger. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Niger. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position may require up to 25% of travel by road to field offices in insecure environments and climatically harsh conditions. This position is eligible for R&R but not for hardship pay.
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.