Programs Mogadishu, Somalia


This position is pending 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 operating in Somalia since 2008. With a staff of around 100 people and programs operating throughout the country, Mercy Corps’ overall country goal is building a peaceful and prosperous Somalia where all people feel secure, are economically empowered, and are meaningfully engaged. Mercy Corps’ current portfolio in Somalia focuses on humanitarian response and resilience; inclusive economic growth; enhancing trust and accountability between communities and their government; and improving youth livelihood and education opportunities. All Mercy Corps interventions in Somalia are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (CoP) to lead the implementation of the expected five-year USAID-funded Somalia Resilience Portfolio Measurement (RPM) Activity. The proposed associate award, under the Leader with Associates “Livestock Market Systems” (LMS), aims to develop and lead a resilience measurement system on the collective resilience outcomes at a population level and build the capacity of participating stakeholders to estimate individual contributions to collective resilience outcomes. The program will establish a common measurement and analytics process among diverse actors in Somalia to link single-program-focused resilience capacity measurement methodologies previously piloted in Somalia and advance analytics to link diverse stakeholder-level contributions to collective, population-level, resilience outcomes.

General Position Summary

The CoP will provide overall leadership and management to the implementation of the Activity to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. With technical inputs from the DCoP and Director of Research and in close coordination with USAID, the CoP will set and drive the Activity’s overall strategic vision to advance global methodological best practices in Resilience Measurement and population-level evaluations of collective outcomes. The CoP will discern and establish highly effective partnership strategies and approaches with technical partners and stakeholder organizations to ensure the Activity’s application of resilience portfolio measurement is appropriate, contextualized and responsive to stakeholders’ needs and expectations. She/he will champion innovative learning methods and activate demand among stakeholders in Somalia’s target zones to utilize resilience analysis for improved decision-making. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. The COP will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program
  • Build and maintain a shared vision and buy-in among key stakeholders, fostering long-term technical relationships while sourcing short-term expertise as needed
  • Link the Activity to relevant local, regional and global initiatives and resilience learning networks that may help to advance the program’s intended outcomes, expand influence and further technical quality of key approaches


Program Management
  • Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts
  • Create and follow effective participating resilience stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with USAID, implementing organizations in the focal zone, relevant Somali federal, state, and local authorities, and Mercy Corps Somalia and headquarters teams
  • Identify and work with resilience champions within different levels of government to build their capacity to utilize and support resilience capacity measurement
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to stakeholders and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic workplans
  • Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building
  • Source a mix of expertise and specialists as needed for successful program implementation
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards
  • Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide


Team Management
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary


Finance & Compliance Management
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs
Influence & Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director
  • Coordinate activities with partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs


  • 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


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

Resilience Portfolio Measurement Activity team, including Deputy Chief of Party -- Learning and Adaptive Management, Director of Research, and Short-Term Technical Assistants


Reports Directly To: Country Director, Somalia

Works Directly With: Somalia DoP and Operations and Finance Director; participating stakeholder organizations, USAID representatives, other implementers; Mercy Corps Africa Region support team (Technical Support Unit, Performance and Quality, Research, MEL), Mercy Corps HQ Research & Learning and Performance and Quality Teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit


Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, agriculture, conflict management, economic development or other relevant field pertaining to rural development in conflict-affected settings
  • At least five years in a senior management role with experience managing complex programs of a similar size and scope ($5+ million). USAID- funded activities strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate across activities and partners, preferably with a good understanding of USAID structure and decision-making processes
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners
  • Demonstrated experience in utilizing resilience capacity measurement
  • Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams
  • Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements
  • Experience working in East Africa required, experience in Somalia strongly preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and Somali


Success Factors

The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs. They will also have 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 position will be split between Mercy Corps offices in Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia, and it may require some travel to other regional offices if and when required for meetings and other functions. Accommodation is provided in group housing. The COP will support activities throughout Somalia. Mobility in Somalia is restricted and must first be cleared with the Security Advisor. This is an unaccompanied post and eligible for Hardship and R&R. The standard Somali workweek is Sunday – Thursday.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDT 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 et all times and in all in-country.