Financial Services Team Leader - Uganda

Programming Kampala, Uganda


This position is pending approval from the donor to move from the inception to implementation phase.

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 aims to develop pro poor agricultural markets in Northern Uganda and promote inclusive growth. We have identified a set of market failures that are standing in the way of the effective functioning of the agricultural sector in Northern Uganda. These include input markets, land tenure issues, storage infrastructure; access to finance, rural transport and processing capacity. The programme intends to address these market failures by facilitating improvements in agricultural productivity and to encourage private sector investment in medium to large agribusiness through the application of a market systems development approach. The programme also places a strong focus on reforming the regulatory environment in Northern Uganda by promoting more effective regulation and application of quality grades and standards.


General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking an experienced Team Leader for a 5 year programme utilizing a market systems development (MSD) approach to transform the financial services sector. The programme will seek to contribute to more effective rural markets and better agricultural production amongst smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda through an integrated approach aligning the interests of products, the private sector and the government of Uganda. The programme is a unique partnership between Mercy Corps and a financial institution partner.


The Team Leader will provide dynamic and strategic leadership for the programme, being responsible for overall Programme Management and meeting the targets and objectives set forth by the project Logframe. As part of effective project delivery, the Team Leader will develop effective working relationships with key stakeholders (including farmers’ associations, government key players, private sector, financial services providers and other relevant projects). The Team Leader will need to be well-versed in how to work within a financial institution partner, as well as suited towards quickly learning how to work within an INGO.


The Team Leader’s management and leadership skills will enable him/her to lead, manage, motivate and develop project staff, encouraging their commitment to the programme objectives and meeting their professional development needs. In coordination with the Director of Programmes and the management team, responsibilities also include performance management and staff discipline.



Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Lead on overall strategic planning and annual business plans with the main implementing financial institution partner.
  • Work closely with the Director of Programmes and programme management to develop the intervention portfolio.
  • Drive the vision through our strategic implementation partner, the financial institution partner.
  • Recognise opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Ensure that the programme is managed adaptively and reviews are institutionalised to continually improve the programme based on evidence.
  • Be able to quickly align strategy and vision at a financial institution along with an INGO.

Team and Programme Management

  • Oversight of programme team, coordinate and implement activities in line with approved project proposal, budget and within the agreed time frames, including coordination with the financial institution partner.
  • Work closely with the M&E Manager and team to ensure M&E systems are implemented according to the DCED and donor standards;
  • Oversee the development of intervention plans, activity plans, budgets, Scope of Work, for external resources identified and other necessary intervention management documents, as needed.
  • Ensure compliance to all Mercy Corps, Donor and Government of Uganda policies, procedures and guidelines that relate to the implementation of the program with limited supervision.
  • Ensure project deadlines, quality standards and targets are met, redesigning deadlines, quality standards and targets as needed.
  • Lead the coordination, management and motivation of teams through ensuring they have clear objectives/work plans as part of performance management and receive constructive feedback on their performance. Ensure work plans are designed collectively with staff and other key stakeholders.
  • Monitor and lead staffing, capacity building and other needs.
  • Promote accountability, responsibility, urgency, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback to the team.

Partnership Management/ External Representation

  • Develop or review all reports, both internal and external to the donor, with a high level of quality with no need for revision.
  • Develop strong rapport with the donor and provide frequent, informal reports.
  • Lead representation of programme at key conferences, workshops and supporting events designed to raise awareness of programme objectives; and hold meetings with key partners as needed.
  • Independently establish, maintain and grow productive working relationships with key stakeholders, the financial institution partners and their key stakeholders.
  • Support and lead the preparation of material and presentations to promote the programme.

Program Support Operations:

  • Coordinate and support of finance, operations and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support activities including logistics (transport, warehousing and asset management), procurement, security, administration and human resources.


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.

Security: Work closely with the country teams’ security focal points to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work. Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.

Representation: Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring positive recognition to Mercy Corps and to not endanger mercy Corps’ humanitarian mission.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

M&E Manager, Programme Officer and project team.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programmes

Works Directly With: Finance and Operations teams, MELC team


Ethics and Integrity

All Mercy Corps staff member are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination.


Knowledge and Experience

  • Minimum of 15 years’ senior-level experience at a financial institution.
  • MBA or equivalent in Economics, Business or a related field.
  • Excellent team management experience.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and scaling innovative, new financial products and services from end to end (initial market scanning/research to scale up of new products and services).
  • Understanding of how to push through new initiatives successfully at financial institutions.
  • Demonstrated experience of working with value chains, MSD approach and deal brokering with the private sector, government and representative associations.
  • A dynamic, “outside-the-box” attitude is required, with proven ability to think and act creatively in challenging environments.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills in English are required.
  • Multi-tasking, organizational, prioritisation skills are necessary.
  • Strong Influencing/Advocacy/Negotiation skills a must.
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
  • Demonstrated experience in agricultural loan products and services ideal.
  • Preferably experience in Sub-Saharan Africa/East Africa and/or Uganda.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Kampala, Uganda and it requires some travel to Northern Uganda, and perhaps regionally. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are three reputable international schools in Uganda. Staff have easy access to medical care, electricity, and water.