Ebola Programs Director
Short Term Assignment (June 1st) with possibility of extension (Sept 1st)
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 around 400 people working in North and South Kivu, Ituri and Tshopo with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Butembo (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu). 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 Ebola programs focus on IPC (Infection Prevention and Control), WASH and Community Engagement. Ten months after the start of the epidemic, Mercy Corps’ Ebola portfolio is now at a turning point.
General Position Summary
The Ebola Programs Director will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-million dollar humanitarian portfolio, supported by donors such as OFDA, ECHO and UNICEF. S/he manages all Ebola project managers as well as the Technical Advisors, and the Ebola strategic coordination unit, providing strong leadership and ensuring proper coordination in order to operate effectively and deliver on the projects’ intended impact.
The Director serves as a strong team leader for Mercy Corps Ebola programs, represents the interests of the agency and partners, and ensures all parties are working effectively and efficiently. S/he is detail oriented and has excellent planning and strategic thinking skills. S/he will also be experienced in networking and donor representation. S/he will be an effective communicator with exceptional team building and coordination skills. The Director will provide strategic leadership to its direct reports, coordinate the delivery of inclusive high-quality programming and reporting, and overview the relationship with current and future primary donors. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, coordination system, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. S/he will support the Country Director, Deputy Country Director – Programs and Grants Manager in the identification of new Ebola funding opportunities, as well as proposal design and development.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & VISION
- Maintain and reinforce Mercy Corps’ primary position in the Ebola response, by ensuring alignment with the Ebola Strategic Response Plan and priorities and seeking opportunities for expansion of Mercy Corps Ebola programming.
- Develop a strategy for Mercy Corps Ebola Response in DRC.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve Mercy Corps Ebola programming objectives.
- Maintain strategic vision and provide operational leadership to the implementation of Mercy Corps Ebola portfolio.
- Provide structure to the existing portfolio and response mechanisms to reinforce program quality and maintain response speed.
- Oversee projects start-up and ongoing projects operations management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
- Create a framework for the rapid geographic adaption to the epidemic, allowing Mercy Corps to start responding to new hotspots and re-allocating resources from lower priority areas.
- Oversee the development of detailed implementation plans, maintaining rapid response capacity.
- Ensure that Mercy Corps Ebola projects target participants effectively and according to established vulnerability criteria.
- Integrate community engagement and participation, Do No Harm, protection, gender sensitivity and capacity building approaches into all activities as appropriate.
- Document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Oversee the production of written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems. Plan and oversee the roll out of TolaData (Mercy Corps internal M&E tracking system) to Ebola Programs.
REPRESENTATION AND COORDINATION
- Create, implement and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps DRC, partner organizations, Ebola coordination, Mercy Corps headquarters, Mercy Corps’ donors, and local and national authorities.
- Participate in external representation of Mercy Corps Ebola portfolio with various groups including donors, government and the coordination system.
- Maintain strong and transparent communication with Mercy Corps’ donors and partners.
- Share learnings from Mercy Corps Ebola portfolio with the greater humanitarian community within DRC.
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media, donors, and participate in community activities as appropriate.
- Provide leadership, programmatic and managerial oversight of all direct reports.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Monitor the team’s wellbeing in the high-stress, high-workload Ebola context and take corrective actions to reduce turnover
- Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- 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.
- Supervise and manage Emergency project managers and technical leads to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated way according to schedule, budget and quality.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of Mercy Corps Emergency staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
FINANCE & COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership. Monitor and foster a high level of compliance with Ebola occupational safety standards and procedures.
- 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 PARTICIPANTS
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
- Project managers, Technical Advisors, Strategic Coordination Manager, M&E Officer, Grants Officer, national and international staff.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director – Programs
Works Directly With: M&E Director, Finance Director Manager, Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit and Managers/representatives from partner organizations.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, humanitarian response or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
- At least 7 years of international relief and development program management experience, in emergency and recovery program management, with progressively greater responsibility.
- Prior Ebola experience is an asset but not required
- At least 3 years in a senior management role is required with experience in managing humanitarian assistance projects in developing countries; experience managing multi-sectoral projects including cash, health, WASH, non-food items (NFI), Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), community engagement or protection, preferably in insecure settings.
- Previous experience in managing consortiums or international sub-grantees preferred.
- Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor- funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements. Experience with UNICEF rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
- Experience working in West or sub-Saharan Africa is preferred.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French required; other languages a plus.
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will possess high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to the constantly changing programmatic and working environment. S/he will take a portfolio of diverse programs across geographies and bring it together under one unifying strategy. S/he will streamline our emergency operations and provide structure to it to increase efficiency, effectiveness and reduce turnover. S/he will have previous experience in implementing large scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict context. S/he will have an ability to approach complex humanitarian challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about humanitarian response across sectors.
The Director will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will provide the space and support for the team members to realize their full potential in a highly stressful environment. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential. 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. The successful Director must be comfortable operating and traveling in a volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is an unaccompanied position. The position is based in Butembo and eligible for R&R and hardship. Travel may be required up to 50% of the time to program areas within North Kivu and Ituri. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.
North Kivu and Ituri continue to be an arena of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. Butembo is a city with 700,000 inhabitants, water and electricity can be unstable. There is reasonable access to main consumer goods, although they can be expensive. Security is highly volatile and a curfew is in place.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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. 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.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.
Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity.