Education Program Manager - South Sudan

Programming Bentiu, South Sudan


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 began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people’s immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan’s priority areas are food security and livelihoods (focusing on cash assistance, market-based solutions in agriculture and economic development), WASH, Education, youth development and conflict resolution. Mercy Corps has been implementing project which combine agricultural, economic development, WASH, Education and other humanitarian interventions to tackle the convulsive crises affecting vulnerable communities. Mercy Corps has worked to build relationships with local government and other actors, which has enhanced our understanding of local contexts and the multiple stakeholders involved. With the Peace Agreement and formation of a Transitional Government, Mercy Corps is expanding and intensifying multi-sector programming to rural areas in Rubkona and Panyijiar Counties, especially areas inaccessible in 2014 and 2015. From 2017 Mercy Corps plan to operate also in Equatoria States

General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is currently implementing Education in emergency programs to provide Safe & Protective Learning as provision of strengthened formal education, life skills and psychosocial support to build resilience and improve the well-being of children and young people affected by conflict in Unity State (Rubkona, Panyijiar) and Western Equatoria (Mundri East) States, South Sudan.

The Program Manager will report to the Director of Programs. He/She will be responsible in managing all the education and integrated psychosocial support/conflict resolution activities in the different States (Unity and Western Equatoria) with Mundri East as main duty station. He will work more closely with the national EiE Program managers and Senior Officers to ensure that the resources of the program meet its targets and deliverables on time and that target beneficiaries are mobilized. The job demands regular interaction and coordination of Education partners and UNICEF and the PM shall coordinate activity implementation with these partners. This position includes, developing tools for assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and evaluation of the program and preparing periodic reports back to donors

Essential Job Responsibilities 
Strategy & Vision

  • Provide program technical guidance, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives, deliverables and goals.
  • Lead the Education in Emergency activities based on a strong contextual understanding of South Sudan and in line with Mercy Corps values
  • Provide technical input for Mercy Corps’ Education programs
  • Ensure inclusion of national technical staff and other key stakeholders into strategy process.
  • Promote the development of a holistic strategy through creating linkages with other sectors strategies (NFI, WASH, Protection).

Program Management

  • Supervise and monitor the implementation of the Education activities, ensuring that all the activities are compliant with the grant requirements.
  • Work with Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings on Education.
  • Develop surveys, need assessments, data and information collection, design interventions accordingly for on-going education to build the capacity of Mercy Corps staff, as well as project stakeholders.
  • Provide technical oversight to the field teams and mentor senior staff in the design of Education activities.
  • Communicate grant work plans related to Education to senior technical staff and to the Director of Programs.
  • In coordination with the Director of Programs, work with UNICEF grant holder and other relevant grant holder to ensure joint planning and grant compliance.
  • Work with the South Sudan Director of Programs to overcome implementation challenges based on practical solutions.
  • Ensure the tracking, monitoring and quality reporting of all Education activities.
  • Complete budget pipeline planning, monitoring and monthly follow up in collaboration with Mercy Corps staff and in communication with the Director of Programs.
  • Ensure documentation and filing of project activities in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Understand and appropriate application of EiE guidelines and promotion of best practices.
  • Understand and follow Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy and Do No Harm principles.
  • Work in coordination with Youth/Protection Expert to integrate life skills and psychosocial support programs.

Team Management

  • 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.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • 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.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Programs for South Sudan
Finance & Compliance Management
  • Prepare procurement plan based on project cycle for Education interventions.
  • Manage grant budgets.
  • Ensure all necessary requests (procurement requests, purchase orders, etc.) are accurately prepared and submitted on time.
  • Ensure internal and donor compliance through a strong knowledge of UNICEF rules and regulations.
  • Stay informed of incidents as they arise through the field and are raised through the program coordination mechanism.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through supporting incident-reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Maintain and coordinate reporting and documentation of Education activities.
  • Timely preparation bi-weekly, quarterly and interim donor reports for relevant activities under the guidance of the M&E Manager and Director of Programs.

 Influence & Representation

  • Develop and maintain effective coordination with community stakeholders, government bodies/officials, civil society bodies and humanitarian partners with an eye towards long-term, cooperative and collaborative relationship-building.
  • Effectively represent Mercy Corps in coordinating bodies and other forums, especially the South Sudan Education Cluster at field and national levels.
  • Participate in local coordination mechanisms


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Rubkona and Panjiyar Education Project managers and Senior Education Officer in Mundri East  Accountability

Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Education team members

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field (Education Management, Public Administration, Management or related social science field).
  • 3-5 years of education programming in emergency/early contexts (urban, peri-urban and rural) with vulnerable communities.
  • CAAFAG experience is a plus.
  • Strong technical background in a broad range of youth development interventions in emergency/early recovery situations.
  • Demonstrated capacity in management, managing activities and teams.
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of UNICEF programs.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required;
  • Previous experience in similar contexts.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational skills.
Success Factors
A successful candidate will have a strong technical background and will have demonstrated management of similar projects in the past. S/he will have the capacity to deliver and meet deadlines, be conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment and have an ability to foster solid working relationships with communities, GOs, INGOs, and NGOs and other stakeholders. S/he will have an ability to work simultaneously on multiple tasks with strong computer literacy and exceptional organizational skills.

 Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Bentiu (Unity State) and requires frequent travel to rural areas in the county and two sites in Panyijiar County.  Accommodation will likely be shared in a container/pre-fab (Bentiu) or single-occupancy tent (Panyijiar and Mundri East) as part of the Mercy Corps field office at all above mentioned locations. Candidates must be able to be away from secondary and specialized medical care. The security situation will be closely monitored as the response develops. Team members should expect variable levels of insecurity. Air travel will be necessary to move between the established operations base and affected areas during rainy season. During dry season, road movement is feasible

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 MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.