Chief of Party (COP) – Mozambique STEP UP Activity

Programs Pemba, Mozambique


Chief of Party Mozambique STEP UP Activity

Position is contingent on new funding- National candidates and those with current residency in Mozambique are strongly encouraged to apply

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, 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

Working in neighboring Zimbabwe since 2002, Mercy Corps began operations in Mozambique in early 2020 as part of a multi-country program to address the drivers of and pathways to violent extremism in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Mozambique. Mercy Corps is building on this program to establish a broader presence in Mozambique to address some of the country’s most complex challenges. Leveraging our core global and regional capacities, Mercy Corps aims to address the humanitarian crisis in the North, the underlying chronic development challenges, and the compounding challenges of weak governance, conflict, and climate change to bring value on interventions for peacebuilding and local governance strengthening; market systems strengthening; youth employment; resilience, DRM, and climate change adaptation; and systems strengthening for food security.

Mercy Corps is seeking a qualified Chief of Party (CoP) to lead the anticipated USAID-funded Stability Through Economic Progress, Unity, and Peacebuilding (STEP UP) Activity in Mozambique. The Activity is expected to support local businesses and civil society through grants and capacity development; increase opportunities for economic growth and diversification; and improve social cohesion within communities. STEP UP will empower local communities, especially in Cabo Delgado and other areas prone to conflict, to drive their own social and economic development through providing opportunities and tools (including but not limited to grant challenges and activities that strengthen business and social cohesion). The program is anticipated to begin in October 2024. Hiring is contingent upon successful award and USAID approval of the candidate.

General Position Summary

The CoP will provide overall leadership, management, and strategic vision to the anticipated Activity. They will manage staff, resources, and partnerships to ensure that the Activity meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The CoP will supervise Activity staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. They will be the primary representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders for this Activity. They will actively promote an inclusive culture of learning and adaptive management and will ensure strong systems and processes drive program performance.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of Activity development, implementation, and management. Ensure that Activity implementation is responsive to communities, 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/interventions, targeting criteria, methods of operation, and means of evaluation.
  • Leverage Mercy Corps’ existing programming and expertise to ensure technical quality and integration with complementary initiatives.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
Program Management
  • Oversee Activity start-up and ongoing program management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target, and budget, using effective MEL systems and CLA approaches to reach desired impact.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Develop systems that support CLA, including establishing a culture of adaptive management.
  • Develop equitable partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings and provide oversight to partners and sub-awardees; ensure partners are effectively included in program structures, are mentored appropriately, and capacity strengthening plans are in place.
  • Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Mozambique, headquarters, donors, Government authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.
  • Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice expected component areas of economic opportunity, peacebuilding, and governance approaches.
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • Ensure Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards are fulfilled based on the organization-wide guide.
Team Management (Human Resources, Safeguarding and Diversity)
  • Provide effective management for the program management team and consortium team members, ensuring that all staff and consortium members are clear on roles and responsibilities, expectations, communications flows and workplans.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the team as needed, both as individuals and as a cohesive unit.  Facilitate mechanisms for effective collaboration. Build and develop the program team's capacity, deepening understanding of their roles and assisting with career development. Ensure team members have access to clear objectives and the information, tools, and resources they need to improve performance and reach their goals.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Oversee recruitment and onboarding of program staff and consultants. Actively hire, orient and lead team members as necessary, ensuring effective onboarding mechanisms are in place across the team. Actively support succession planning.
  • Support Mercy Corps’ global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.
Finance & Compliance
  • Ensure compliance with USAID 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.
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Mozambique.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Safeguarding and Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
Influence & Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO, and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Representative
  • Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, government, other implementers, and other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with counterparts in partner organizations, civil society, government, and private sector networks in Mozambique.
  • Serve as an active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote best practices. Participate in Mercy Corps’ strategic discussions at the country and global level.
Risk Management & Security
  • Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events.
  • Work closely with the country/regional security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members. 
  • Ensure that the Activity is implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

Supervisory Responsibility

National and international team members working on the STEP UP Activity, as well as partnerships with international and national organizations. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.


Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director, then Country Director/Country Representative

Works Directly With: Activity team, Mercy Corps team in Mozambique, ESA Regional Leadership team, HQ Regional Program Team (Desk), HQ and Regional technical teams.

Knowledge and Experience / Qualification and Transferable Skills

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, conflict management, social science, economic development, or other relevant field preferred.
  • At least 10 years of relevant international development or humanitarian experience, with positions of progressively greater responsibilities. Proven expertise in one or more of the following program areas: economic development, good governance, civil society strengthening, youth development, and/or peacebuilding preferred.
  • At least five years in a senior management role is required, preferably for medium ($15+ million) and complex USAID-funded Activities. Previous experience in similar roles (CoP, DCoP, Program Director, etc.) for Activities with similar size and scope is highly desired.
  • Prior experience with the implementation of USAID awards, leading a consortium, and familiarity with donor regulations, procedures, and compliance issues.
  • Experience working in the East and Southern Africa region is required, with preference for experience in Mozambique. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Mozambique and similar complex political, economic, governance, and conflict dynamics, preferred.
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
  • Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of a program.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Demonstrated experience in adaptive management and learning techniques is highly encouraged.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and fluency in English and Portuguese required. Familiarity with local languages spoken in northern Mozambique preferred.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with diverse team members across geographies.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They 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. They will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, be accountable for results, and understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details. They will be comfortable working within a complex and sensitive setting and following laws and security protocols. The successful candidate will have a good handle on adaptive management, integration and coordination, stakeholder engagement, capacity strengthening, community-level governance and planning, facilitation, and conflict mitigation and conflict-sensitive approaches. 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 is based with Mercy Corps in Pemba, Mozambique with frequent travel to Maputo, Mozambique. The location is expected to be accompanied and secure for partner/spouse and dependents in Maputo. Housing is individual accommodation with freedom of movement beyond the house/office in Pemba and Maputo and other locations in the country for which no travel restrictions exist. In Pemba, staff have relatively reliable access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc. – with the occasional power cuts; in Maputo, these services are reliable and there are several international schools. Several evacuation options exist for serious illness. This position requires approximately 50% travel by road or plane to field offices, including in Cabo Delgado where there are varying levels of security.

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. 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.

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 projects.

Ongoing Learning

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. 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.