Chief of Party, USAID-Funded Integrated Nutrition Activity
This position is pending funding and USAID approval
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.
The Program / Department / Team
Mercy Corps is seeking an experienced Chief of Party (CoP) to lead implementation of the anticipated, five-year, USAID-funded Integrated Nutrition Activity (INA) in Nepal. The purpose of this Activity is to strengthen the Government of Nepal’s commitment and capacity to improve nutrition outcomes and ensure a healthy and productive workforce.
The CoP will provide overall leadership, management, and strategic vision for program implementation to ensure that INA meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The CoPs’ responsibilities will include strengthening the capacity of local partners, training, and curriculum development, facilitating clear communication between diverse groups and promoting people-to-people activities, while ensuring an adaptive approach in the Activity’s management. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he/ they will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and stakeholders. The CoP will be a member of the Mercy Corps Nepal Senior Management Team (SMT) and will report to the Country Director.
STRATEGY AND PLANNING
- Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with the program team and key stakeholders.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Foster a culture of collaborating, learning, and adapting for program effectiveness throughout the program lifecycle
- Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program and the country office.
- Oversee program startup, management, and administration. Lead overall program implementation; setting up team structures, office structure, CARM, safeguarding, and MEL systems.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target, and budget, using effective M&E systems to track desired impacts.
- 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.
- Confirm program participants are targeted effectively according to transparent criteria.
- Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity strengthening.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity, safeguarding and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards.
- Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in nutrition, health, gender equality, and social inclusion.
- Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
- Supervise 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.
- 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 and reach objectives.
- 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.
- 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 consortium 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.
Expected to supervise several direct reports. The number of direct and indirect reports will be determined at a later stage.
Reports Directly To: Mercy Corps Nepal Country Director
Works Directly With: Mercy Corps Nepal Program Managers, Finance and Compliance Teams, HQ Regional Program Teams, and HQ and Regional 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
- MA/S or advanced degree in development studies, international relations, business administration, nutrition, medicine, public health, or related field.
- A minimum of 8-12 years of relevant professional experience implementing complex, multi-sectoral development programming, preferably in the nutrition and health sector.
- A minimum of 3-5 years in a management role, preferably a senior management role on a large, complex, development program.
- Professional experience in Southern Asia preferred, especially Nepal.
- Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
- Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
- Experience managing development programs in the context of a well functioning and evolving government, and facilitating programming through government structures.
- Strong understanding of USAID rules, regulations, and compliance issues.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
The successful Chief of Party 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 within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity strengthening, 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. He/she will also see the program as part of wider Mercy Corps Nepal and Mercy Corps global programs, and be excited to engage at a country office and organizational level.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Kathmandu, Nepal, with significant travel required to program locations across the country. For international candidates, this is an accompanied position with housing in individual accommodation and unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house and office. Kathmandu is a culturally dynamic capital city that can provide a safe and comfortable living environment, including for families, though a sense of patience with routine power cuts, water shortages, air pollution, and traffic is required. There are many international schools in Nepal, including both American and British system programs. Staff have full access to all services, such as medical, electricity, water, and internet. This position requires 50% travel (or more) to field offices and locations, some of which are easily accessible but many others of which are remote and require extended travel (by medium or small aircraft, vehicle on rough, windy, and/or elevated roads, and hiking) in areas that may be distant from amenities or healthcare. Climate conditions can include exceptional heat or cold, with some field sites at higher altitudes. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.
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.