Chief of Party, Positive Youth Engagement Program (West Bank/Gaza)
Location Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza
Position Status Full-time
Salary Level Unbanded
Current Team Member N/A
This position is contingent on funding and is based in East Jerusalem/Ramallah.
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 working in the West Bank and Gaza since the 1980s. We aim to empower Palestinian communities to direct their own path toward self-sufficieny, a thriving economy, and inclusvie opportinities for all. Youth are a core focus of our work; in particular, we support the next generation of leadership and help youth develop career pathways.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide leadership, management and strategic vision for the implementation of a five-year, multi-million dollar youth development program funded by USAID. The CoP will be responsible for overall activity management, including providing leadership to attain objectives, ensuring adequate communications with USAID, interacting with high-level government officials and other counterparts and identifying and mitigating activity risks. The CoP is requested to have the breadth and depth of background (education and experience), expertise and skills in management, and implementation of youth development and institutional development of youth serving organizations.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.
- Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.
- Lead the development and execution of a program-wide youth engagement strategy to guide coordination and integrated design and implementation of youth engagement programming.
- Ensure the Program team, including international and local partners understand and have ownership of the Program Vision.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to youth’s needs 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 work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.
- Lead the socialization of the program with relevant government stakeholders, ensuring necessary approvals and collaboration as required.
- Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- 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 reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems.
- Oversee efforts to produce strategic youth engagement research for the program.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with the Mercy Corps Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Gaza offices, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, the Palestinian Authority and Israeli government, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Supervise and manage all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of program staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
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 governments of the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Influence & Representation
- Liaise with and represent the program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders.
- 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 government.
- Ensure compliance with all security procedures and policies instituted by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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 Teams, Director of Finance, Senior Compliance Manager, Admin & Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit and partner organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- An advanced degree (Master’s degree or equivalent of Master’s degree) in a related field of study (International Development, Social Sciences, etc.);
- Minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in fields of holistic youth development, youth leadership capacity building and/or youth economic opportunities programming;
- Proven experience as COP or leadership in the administration of similar-sized international donor-supported projects with skills in strategic planning, project management, organizational management, supervision of large teams, and budgeting;
- Experience managing youth, conflict/reconciliation, job skills/employment and/or civic education programs;
- 5 years of field management experience; including at least two years as COP or senior-level leadership;
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements;
- Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, enlist partnerships, and work with a range of program and external stakeholders;
- Proven ability to communicate a common vision among diverse partners and the ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams;
- Evidence of strong communication skills, both oral and written, to fulfill the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the agreement;
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
- Experience working on relevant programming within the Middle East context is strongly preferred;
- Full Professional Proficiency in spoken and written English is required. Must be able to use the language fluently and accurately, and be able to read all styles and forms on all levels pertinent to professional needs.
- Full or moderate professional proficiency in spoken and written Modern Standard Arabic is highly preferred, including ability read all styles and forms on all levels pertinent to professional needs.
- Innovative, decisive and inclusive leadership
- Propensity towards creative and insightful programming for youth and conflict
- Excellent communication and team-building skills
- Proven experience managing and building capacity of diverse teams (expatriate and national)
- Cultural knowledge, sensitivity and respect and strong diplomatic skills
- Commitment to oversee project for its duration
The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an ability to approach complex development challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about all facets of youth engagement and empowerment. The CoP will have proven experience managing cross-cultural teams, particularly in a complex Middle East context, bringing a commitment to individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as 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. The successful CoP must also be comfortable operating and traveling in a sometimes volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This is an accompanied post residing in Jerusalem or Ramallah with weekly travel in the West Bank and Gaza. In Jerusalem/Ramallah international staff have individual accommodation for themselves and their accompanying dependents, with full freedom of movement and excellent amenities. In Gaza, expatriate staff are provided with shared accommodation with more limited freedom of movement depending on the security situation.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.
Given the nature of the context, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.
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.