Partnerships & New Initiatives Manager - Abuja, Nigeria
Manager - Abuja, 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.
Country Program Summary
Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps operates along the humanitarian- development- peace nexus across Nigeria with the ambition of further deepening linkages across the country portfolio and expand both in depth and length its interventions to provide durable solution in current programming areas and address the emerging needs in new areas.
The Partnerships and New Initiatives Manager manages and tracks current and new business development and partnerships across the portfolio to support implementation and alignment with the country strategy in partnership with the programs and PaQ teams. The Partnerships and New Initiatives Manager will identify and track donor opportunities, facilitate donor engagement and strategic partnerships with international and local actors, assist in the development of fundraising and partnership strategies, and coordinate proposal development for strategic funding opportunities.
The position requires innovative thinking and creativity to package Mercy Corps programme strategies in ways that attract the right donor support and the right partner to complement our activities and grow Mercy Corps’ portfolio effectively. S/he will lead write sections of proposals, while coordinating the input of technical units, MEL, Finance, HR and Security into proposals and budgets. Recognizing that many conversations with donors involve a review or update around current grants as well as discussions about new opportunities, the Partnerships and New Initiatives Manager will also be expected to keep closely informed about the progress of all major grants and able to speak to results in key reporting documents. The Manager will broaden our strategic partnerships beyond just those associated with donor funding, working to identify key institutions in the private sector and civil society that can drive forward sustainable impacts in shared areas of focus. The position reports to the Director of Programmes and works regularly with the Country leadership, HQ-based Regional Program Team, and Regional Leadership and supports the program teams.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● In partnership with the Director of Programs, work with teams to develop a comprehensive and functional mission-level stakeholder engagement strategy aligned with the Country Strategy to determine opportunities, and support donor engagement and partnerships management.
● Identify, research and track new business development opportunities in close collaboration with Mercy Corps Director of Programmes and HQ offices. Develop system for transparent Mission level go-no/go decision making. Pro-actively seek donor intelligence on prospective new opportunities or partnership.
● Develop systems and ensure all program development/new business development opportunities are systematically managed and ensure regular updates and engagement of the senior management team and Country Director.
● Liaise with programme teams to keep closely informed about the programmes progress through regular field visits and jointly identify ways to optimize donor and partners’ engagement and new opportunities.
● Lead on the development of new funding strategies for thematic programme plans and cross-sectoral integration in close partnership with the technical units and the PaQ team.
● Participate in key donor meetings and consultations, support donor contacts, when necessary, to foster long-term collaboration, engagement, and strategic prepositioning.
● In close collaboration with HQ, ensure key contacts, required formats and donor strategies are kept up-to-date at the country office level.
● Research, identify and disseminate information on different actors (UN Agencies, local NGOs, INGOs, State Actors, Research, etc.), and establish/support business relationships for strategic and innovative partnerships.
● Facilitate and support mapping and management of existing or new local and international partners at the country level in collaboration with programmes and senior management teams.
● Work closely with the Strategic Communication and Advocacy Director to ensure consistent messaging, dissemination of all relevant information (e.g. research findings, successes), and strategic events
● Lead on proposal development including coordinating work plans and expectations, and monitoring the timeline and inputs of different team members and lead writing proposal sections in close cooperation with Technical Units, MEL, Finance, Security and HR .
● Identify and act on capacity building and inclusion strategies to increase the voice of national staff in the new initiatives process, with an eye for leveraging internal talent and know how appropriately into new initiative processes, including but not limited to, supporting trainings, facilitating participatory design workshops, capacity building trainings, etc.
● Coordinate with programming teams to identify key public stakeholder relationships and wherever possible, strengthen the voice of external stakeholders in the design process, ensuring necessary co-design components, alignment and support with the Government of Nigeria in new initiatives.
● As needed, coordinate partnership negotiation and teaming agreements in proposal processes.
● Drive interdepartmental coordination for programme and proposals development. Effectively manage collaboration amongst teams (Including regional and HQ levels) when preparing concept papers and project proposals. Ensure strong coordination with Programmes teams and other CO teams, particularly PaQ (for project set-up, technical inputs and strategies and MEL), Programme Operations (for field team inputs, logistics requirements costings, etc), Finance (for budgets), Security and HR (for staffing requirements).
● Ensure new initiatives processes comply with [email protected] standards and are in alignment with Mercy Corps Country Strategy, GEDSI, GDI, and do no harm approaches through the involvement of relevant MEL, gender, youth, and conflict advisors in the design process.
● In collaboration with the PAQ and Subawards team, identify and track influential and high potential local partners in the CSOs and private sector spaces that can drive forward our Country Strategy, develop and nurture these relationships, identifying opportunities for integration into existing programs and/or ensuring incorporation into new initiatives. Establish foundation of mutual respect and appreciation with partners, embodying Mercy Corps’ approach to local partner engagement.
● Ensure full internal and HQ review and sign off as per the proposal development process.
● Represent Mercy Corps as a generalist, alongside technical experts, in consortium meetings regarding proposal development.
● Support communications and coordination with the HQ-based Regional Program team and Regional communications advisor, support internal communications between teams.
● Conduct and document after action review processes for new initiatives and partnerships, maximizing learning and internal organizational documentation.
● Following new initiative awards, facilitate teams through a handover process, supporting the onboarding of new staff to the program design and development process, ensuring full understanding of program scope. Provide inputs to Start Up processes, particularly as it relates to key concerns and priorities raised during the design process and relevant partnership strategies.
● Participate in the interview process, providing contextual information on Mercy Corps’ programs and realities of the position and selection for key positions as identified with the recruiting team.
● Support the development of consultant scopes of work, recruitment of consultants, and oversight of consultants associated with partnership development and new initiatives as needed.
● 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 PARTNERS
● Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
to our partners and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Nigeria Country Director, PaQ Unit, Program Directors, Communication and Advocacy Unit, Senior Program Officer and other HQ-based Regional Program Team members, Finance Director, Regional Leadership Team, Regional and Global Technical Advisors, HQ-based International Finance and Compliance Teams
Knowledge and Experience
● BA/S in the relevant field required; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent preferred.
● At least 4 years of field-based experience in international relief and development -- ideally in the region; demonstrated knowledge of relevant sectoral and/or operational areas.
● Demonstrated knowledge of at least three key Mercy Corps Nigeria sectors and approaches, such as market systems development, adolescent programming, conflict mitigation, early recovery, humanitarian relief and resilience.
● At least 4 years of experience managing the development, implementation, administration and compliance (especially of key USG, FCDO, EU, and/or UN donors); general program management experience preferred.
● Experience with proposal development including support and writing with various donors, particularly US and European Institutional funders, private foundations and corporations.
● Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts.
● Experience representing the organization and its interests to institutional donors and other stakeholders including government officials, local civil society organizations, other international organizations, the media and the public preferred.
● Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
● Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in Africa.
● Excellent English language skills required, with proven track record in English language proposals
The successful candidate is a problem solver, who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of complexity. They are a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners and donors. They will collaborate with diverse team members in the country, in the region and at headquarters to ensure that lessons are effectively applied to the design and implementation of activities and to our ways of working. They will be a skilled writer and synthesizer of diverse and complex information, helping teams generate new insights into their work, the needs of their countries and the region, and how program impact can be scaled. A sense of humor is greatly appreciated.