Program Performance & Quality Director- Yola, Nigeria
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:
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 300 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country. Programming cross-cuts life saving humanitarian support, early recovery, and development initiatives. Specific sectoral work includes girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian needs, and market systems development. Working with a diverse funding base, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. We stand with Nigeria to find and access opportunities, and to be part of lasting and meaningful transformation in the country.
General Position Summary
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit in Nigeria. The role of the unit is to create organization-wide systems that ensure the development of consistent standards, processes and practices of program management and to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of Mercy Corps’ programs. The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps Nigeria’s portfolio.
PAQ responsibilities include: Overseeing the development of effective monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) processes, supporting all efforts to manage and share information and learnings across programming, ensuring reflection on research and assessments and incorporation into current and future program design; promoting a culture of quality program management, including adherence to organization standards; oversight of the technical support teams, ensuring cross-program collaboration and technical rigor; leading on gender, diversity and social inclusion approaches across the portfolio; coordination of key functions such as timely and quality program reporting (internal and external); protection mainstreaming and application of best practices across the program portfolio, including community accountability mechanisms.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & PLANNING
- Provide oversight of the Performance and Quality (PaQ) team’s strategy with clearly defined roles and responsibilities;
- Support the development/updating of the Country Strategies by leading the development and integration of data analytics derived from programs among all portfolios, ensuring the Nigeria mission is driven by an evidence-based strategy;
- Support the development of sector strategies and support the MEL Teams in developing corresponding MEL frameworks in accordance to the overall country strategy and with relevant team members across the portfolio;
- Lead the development of processes to support the programming team in integrating cross-program learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design;
- In collaboration with the Director of Programs, support the development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions, and within and across programs portfolios;
VISION & LEADERSHIP
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed;
- Ensure Nigeria Country Office complies with the Mercy Corps Quality Framework, Relevant technical standards and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS);
- Interface with headquarters effectively to execute strategy and build effective relationships with the Technical Support Units both regionally and globally;
- Build consensus around a common vision of what shared success in Nigeria looks like, including development and tracking appropriate indicators;
- Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative programming across the programs portfolio;
TECHNICAL QUALITY & PROGRAM PERFORMANCE
- Develop and provide oversight of the Performance and Quality(PAQ) unit strategy
- Lead in establishing systems, policies and approaches necessary to ensure and demonstrate the quality of programs through oversight of the MEL, Research and Learning, Reporting, CARM, and Technical support functions.
- Provide support and participate along with program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, and end of program transition meetings;
- Ensure technical excellence and efficient performance of technical support team, ensuring they have the tools and support needed to lead technical excellence across WASH, Cash, Food Security, Protection, Shelter, Market Systems Development sectors, etc.
- Engage programs leadership in ongoing context analysis that enables programs and teams to adapt to significant and to work together in a collaborative and impactful manner;
- Create and maintain systems to ensure efficient and transparent capture of program data for management decision-making and timely and informative internal and external reporting;
- In coordination with the Director of Programs and New Initiatives and Partnerships team, Ensure the PaQ team effectively contributes to proposal development processes, ensuring the incorporation of lessons learned and technical excellence to program design.
- Responsible for overall coordination of program implementation and delegated responsibility for field delivery of high quality programming in line with Mercy Corps standards and the country strategy.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & LEARNING
- Ensure that all reports (both internal and external) are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors in collaboration with a variety of teams, HQ, Program Managers/Leads, Director of Programs and Country Director.
- Support the development of key research questions with technical experts and ensure evidence generation in programs with a focus on learning and recommendations from those programs;
- Connect best practices and learning from other programs across Mercy Corps countries to ensure an evolving and effective learning system for improving program implementation.
- Support teams to capture lessons learned during program implementation, and feed this information into thought leadership and research opportunities and into ongoing program management and program design;
- Support systems to ensure regular collection of impact stories and evidence from Mercy Corps’ country teams on a regular basis.
- Support the Design and manage a country-wide Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation system supporting managers and their teams to establish real time information that can steer program implementation and maximize Mercy Corps’ ability to analyze and represent impact at a program and portfolio level to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves
- Promote and monitor adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), program and adaptive management approaches, and country-level learning and strategic objectives.
- Ensure effective collaboration between MEL staff, Technical advisors and Thematic specialists in the development of sector log frames, indicators, implementation plans, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools
- Contribute to the understanding and application of new DM&E approaches to emerging themes like resilience, systems thinking, and complex humanitarian crises.
- Engage in other agency level tools and initiatives to ensure country input, coordinated delivery, messaging and consistent high quality implementation in the region.
- Ensure high quality evaluations are conducted to demonstrate outcomes and impact and accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects with a focus on knowledge management;
- Conduct internal DQAs to ensure data is collected with attention to accuracy and consistency
GENDER, SOCIAL INCLUSION & COMMUNITY ACCOUNTABILITY
- Support the Gender and Protection Advisor in leading the roll-out of Gender, Diversity and inclusion(GDI) and Gender equality and social inclusion strategy(GESI) as a priority area for Mercy Corps programs;
- Ensure that an appropriate Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) is rolled out and in place for priority Mercy Corps Nigeria programs, including initiatives to ensure consistency and standardization in systems, reporting and monthly dashboard presentation for the whole mission
- Ensure all programs comply with MC’s Gender and SADD data Minimum Standards;
- Create a culture of gender-sensitive, inclusive, and where appropriate, gender-transformative programming.
- In coordination with the Ethics team, lead on protection mainstreaming across projects, including developing team and partners capacities on the matter and utilizing protection mainstreaming tools in all processes.
- Support programs team in integrating Do No Harm approach throughout project life cycle
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews
- Maintain effective and positive internal communication with Mercy Corps staff in all field offices, this includes ensuring open and harmonious communication all of the different departments, offices, and programs.
- Provide supervision to the PaQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the PaQ team’s strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members
- Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary, working with HR in the recruitment, training, and professional development of the PAQ team
- 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.
REPRESENTATION AND COORDINATION
- Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, and global program quality initiatives; [email protected], gender minimum standards, adaptive management, TOLA etc.
- Lead efforts in sharing best practices with other NGOs working in Nigeria.
- Represent Mercy Corps in external coordination and donor meetings, as required.
- Participate in the complex program board calls, if needed.
As part of MC’s commitment to organizational learning and in support of MC understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, MC expects all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.Supervisory Responsibility: Program Quality and Development Manager, Technical Team Coordinator with oversight of technical leads (WASH, Cash and Food Security, Protection/GBV, Shelter, Youth and Gender, and Nutrition). MEL Manager and Strategic Learning Manager.
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Programs Directors/Managers, MEL Teams, Internal Control, Ethics and Assurance Manager, Partnerships and New Initiatives Manager, as well as Regional and Global PaQ and TSU teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- At least 6 years experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation.
- Experience working in the Africa region and high risk context preferred.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently is required.
- Extensive experience with Program Quality, monitoring and evaluation, information management, and other learning efforts and technical areas in at least some of MC Nigeria focus areas
- Significant experience implementing M&E Systems particularly remote monitoring, mobile data collection platforms and managing evaluations.
- Skilled at delivering and facilitating training and capacity building interventions, e.g. coaching, mentorship.
- High level of self-awareness and self-development with the maturity to deal with constructive feedback and adapt engagement approaches to different audiences
- Analytical, problem solver, with strong experience and understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
- Experience of conducting research, drafting and presenting reports to varied audiences.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Fluent written and oral communication in English is required.
The successful candidate is a thoughtful , fast thinking, experienced leader and has great skills in team building. S/he has a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. S/He should have good communication and diplomatic skills. S/He should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively. S/he has an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in Nigeria.
Living /Environmental Conditions:
This position is an unaccompanied position. Yola town, in Adamawa State has basic but comfortable living circumstances. The position is open to national and expatriate staff. Expatriate staff are expected to live in a guesthouse, with basic amenities as per Mercy Corps housing policy. Outside Yola, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to ongoing conflict with Armed Opposition Groups. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by country security team. Air travel is often necessary to travel between offices. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.
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.