Deputy Chief of Party/WASH Technical Specialist - USAID/Guatemala Integrating Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (I-WASH) Activity
This position is contingent upon funding
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in Guatemala for over 15 years, and is known for innovative programming around cash, market-based livelihoods, and violence prevention among others. Mercy Corps Guatemala’s current programs build on our long experience in the highlands region. Our national office recently relocated from Guatemala City to Coban, Alta Verapaz. The Coban office allows us to draw on strong program leaders and support teams (finance, operations, human resources, etc.) who are representative of the communities where we work.
The USAID/Guatemala Integrating Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (I-WASH) Activity is a proposed five-year, $10 – 24.99 million Program that will work with local municipalities and the private sector to ensure rural Guatemalans have a reliable water service that is chlorinated and adequate for human consumption, improved sanitation facilities, and establish the habit of practicing optimal hygiene behaviors.
Mercy Corps is seeking candidates for a Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) / WASH Technical Specialist to guide technical design and implementation of the anticipated I-WASH Activity. Reporting to the Chief of Party (CoP), the DCoP will provide leadership and strategic vision to ensure the program meets its overall objectives, while modeling and supporting equitable and transparent partnerships. The DCoP is expected to provide overall technical direction of the entire program, ensuring an integrated vision among different components and actors, and a focus on achieving the results defined in the award; s/he will also ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time, on scope and within budget.
This position spans through the life of the project, expected to last 5 years.
Program Strategy and Design
- Provide technical leadership and strategic vision to the technical components of the program including workplan development, partnership selection and management, and overall sector strategy development in collaboration with program team and key stakeholders.
- Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Support the CoP in the establishment of program systems that ensure program implementation is on time, target, and budget, including the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans to guide coordination and integrated implementation.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations in Guatemala.
- Ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. In coordination with the CoP, s/he will act as a program representative to the donor, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and stakeholders.
- Oversee performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees, including implementation, annual planning coordination, reporting, and compliance management.
- Support efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with organizational M&E systems.
- 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.
- Produce written program reports (activity, monthly, quarterly, annual), capturing the progress, performance and impacts of activities.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Guatemala, partner organizations, Mercy Corps Headquarters, USAID, Government of Guatemala authorities, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 40% of time in the field.
- Oversee program implementation team, ensuring that all staff are following workplans, activities are on schedule, and project deliverables are completed as planned.
- Support 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.
- Develop and oversee implementation of capacity building strategy for team members that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data and lessons learned.
- Create and sustain a work environment that promotes mutual respect of team members.
Internal and External Coordination
- Coordinate with program, finance, and administration/logistics staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities including logistics, procurement, security, administration, and human resources.
- Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers as well as with other Mercy Corps programs, with a focus on technical priorities.
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events. Establish and maintain strategic relationships with communities and local government.
- Liaise with and represent program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders.
- Maintain close working relationships with counterparts in other organizations in Guatemala.
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.
- 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 activities are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
These will include the national and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The actual number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Chief of Party, Director of Finance and Administration, Program Sector/Technical Managers, Program Managers, Reporting & Communications Officers, Country Director, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- Advanced degree in a relevant field such as development studies, public administration, public health, engineering, or environmental science, etc., and 5-7 years of relevant experience working in the WASH sector and/or international development (or an equivalent combination of education and experience)
- Minimum of 3 years of experience managing water sector projects in with increasing levels of responsibility.
- Prior experience managing complex donor-funded programs in Guatemala or in Central America and existing relationships and experience working with government and private sector actors on WASH-related in the region strongly preferred.
- Strong leadership skills and experience overseeing large teams across multiple partner organizations, as well as working in politically sensitive contexts.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and communicate his/her vision to partners and colleagues.
- Proven experience navigating complex and high-pressure operating environments.
- Demonstrated ability to establish and sustain interpersonal and professional relationships with different donors, civil society organizations and host country government counterparts.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs i.e. Excel, Word, PowerPoint etc.
- Experience of working on USAID WASH programs preferred.
- Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments.
- Experience in conflict sensitivity training and Do No Harm training of trainers strongly preferred.
- Must be professionally proficient and fluent in written and spoken Spanish and English.
The successful candidate will have a proven ability to learn quickly; multi-task; take rapid decisions; take initiative; have drive and energy, as well as high emotional intelligence; constructive mentoring skills; proven experience with capacity building; be accountable for results; understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details; possess problem solving skills; work within a complex and sensitive setting and ability to follow laws and security protocols.
S/he will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 based in Guatemala City with regular travel to program locations including deep field sites. The location is generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. This position requires 40% travel to field offices that are located in highly insecure locations.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on short-term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.