Chief of Party, Youth Connect-Niger
Position is contingent upon new 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 assistance 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 Chief of Party (COP) to lead the implementation of the expected five-year USAID-funded Youth Connect program. The proposed program will equip vulnerable young women and men in Tillaberi region of Niger with technical and life skills, networks, and capital for increased strategic economic opportunities.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the five-year, multi-million dollar USAID-funded program. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget and is accountable to beneficiaries. The COP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to beneficiaries, donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, guided by a resilience approach and strong adaptive management, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
- Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing management and administration of teams across various field locations.
- Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and 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.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Niger, headquarters, USAID, Government authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.
- Ensure integration of resilience thinking, community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Lead technical inductions and trainings of all team members to ensure coherence and common understanding of the program goal and approaches.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination and actively coordinate with other stakeholders to enhance strategic and activity integration with other projects.
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 Niger and the Government of Burkina Faso.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local governments.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point, and the regional focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are 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.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
- Reports Directly To: Country Director
- Works Directly With: Program staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and partner organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- Master or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, non-profit management, agriculture, national resource management, economic development, or other relevant field.
- At least 10 years of relevant development experience – ideally in youth livelihoods & employment and/or economic development with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.
- At least five years in a senior management with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope. USAID- funded activities strongly preferred.
- Experience managing a consortium or operating within a consortium, ideally USAID-funded.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners, especially across two countries.
- Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture.
- Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and fluency in French.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs in youth employment/livelihoods/economic development and/or migration within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will be a curious systems-thinker, with proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The COP 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 30% of travel by road to field offices in insecure environments and climatically harsh conditions. This position is eligible for R&R benefits but not for hardship.
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.