Program Director - Yobe, Nigeria

Programs Yobe, Nigeria


Program Director -Yobe, Nigeria


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.


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.


The Position

The Program Director (PD) will provide overall leadership, technical oversight, management and strategic vision to the EU Yobe Program while managing staff and resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, on-scope and within budget. This includes oversight of the EU funded programs in Yola, including Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC) and the Reducing the Impact of Covid-19 (RIC) program.  The programs use a blended package of immediate term social protection while strengthening individual, household and community capacities, livelihoods, and their supporting market and conflict mitigation systems. The PD will ensure high program quality while ensuring strict adherence to internal Mercy Corps policies and procedures as well as donor rules and regulations. The PD will also have representation duties to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. The PD will need to take a lead role in representation at the cash coordination meetings in Yobe given the emphasis on CTP mechanisms related to program delivery. The position will monitor the context and implementation environment as well as the program quality to ensure it remains conducive for CTP expansion (this includes yet not limited to: market viability, financial sector viability, security and community acceptance of CTP). The PD will work closely with the Director of Programs, the program team and support departments to ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability.




        Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

        Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.

        Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.




        Ensure program is on-time, on-scope and within budget.

        Structure his/her team to ensure that all program aspects meet the highest programmatic standards and adhere to industry norms/regulations.

        Track program objectives and deadlines, ensuring a team culture that is strategic, open, and evidence-based.

        Ensure the monitoring of all grant agreements for compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures as well as donor/government/external rules and regulations.

        Ensure that Standard Operating Procedures for all program activities are in place, staff are trained and strictly adhere to them.

        Oversee the performance of sub-grantees, consultants and contractors.

        Oversee all aspects of design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and ensure that all program aspects are documented and archived according to internal/donor requirements.

        Ensure the program is in alignment with Mercy Corps’ principles, values and the program’s strategic plan.

        Ensure all program management minimum standards are met (including risk management, issues management, [email protected] standards, cash and goods minimum standards, etc).

        Ensure optimal integration of all program components for maximum impact.

        Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures, conducting regular BVA reviews and ensuring accurate procurement pipelines.

        Oversee program close out and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations

        Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities, authorities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan

        Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria

        Develop and/or strengthen oversee program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting, distribution processes and capacity building of partners as needed

        Initiate needs assessments, surveys and other data gathering tools to ensure that Mercy Corps has continued access to updated information and is able to address emerging needs in timely manner

        Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity, resilience approach and capacity building into all activities as appropriate

        Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to achieve the desired impact

        Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources and timely, accurate and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures




        Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary

        Create a work atmosphere of mutual respect conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.

        Implement, and ensure all staff members are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback.

        Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees and ensuring that supervisory staff personnel do the same.

        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.

        Lead the program team in implementation of all field program activities.

        Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives



        Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming and operations.

        With the support of the Operations Manager ensure adequate operational systems are in place to provide for programs

        Manage program budget(s) as primary budget holder

        Strictly follow Mercy Corps Fraud and Corruption Prevention guidelines and ensure functioning community accountability systems with learning incorporated from feedback




        Identify, build and manage partnerships on state and local levels with different stakeholders such as state and local government, civil society, UN agencies, peer INGOs, businesses and program participants to forward organizational and program objectives

        Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.

        Host and ensure logistic support for donor or other stakeholders field visits

        Recognize and bring forward opportunities for innovative action and create an environment of empowerment, inclusion and participation

        In coordination with management set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development




Supervisory Responsibility: Supervises BRICC and RIC program teams, including RIC Program Manager



Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Program and Quality Unit, Cash and Food Security Advisor, Operations, Finance and HR teams.


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/Msc or equivalent in international development, management, economics or other relevant field. Strong management skills, with good knowledge of relevant cross-cultural issues.

        Seven years of management experience in progressively responsible positions.

        Prior experience working in cash programming, agriculture, and/or conflict management with demonstrated expertise in resilience a plus

        Prior experience overseeing consortium structures with demonstrated track record of successful donor engagement

        Experience leading the implementation of multi-sector integrated projects.

        Ability to work independently in the field and show initiative. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.

        Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to develop good relationships with a wide range of actors required.

        Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local stakeholders, private sector actors, Government and partners.


Success Factors

A successful Program Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will be able to develop, implement and manage a large, multi-sector program. The ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel and experience in building the capacity of individual staff and teams. The PD will have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is necessary. 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.


Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours. 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 and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Damatru, Yobe state, Nigeria and it requires frequent travel to field locations in and around the state. Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouse where available. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously. Access to good medical services is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic. The location is eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the humanitarian response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all locations.


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 and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.