Director of Program Development & Quality - Bamako, Mali

Programs Bamako, Mali


Director of Program Development & Quality


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.



Mercy Corps has been working in Mali since 2013 supporting Malian women and men - including young women and men - to cope with food insecurity and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, restore peace and stability, and address humanitarian and development structural challenges. Throughout our work, Mercy Corps seeks to support strong, inclusive, and resilient communities by i.) providing conflict-sensitive humanitarian assistance, ii.) addressing the root causes of conflict through improved and holistic conflict prevention and management mechanisms and iii.) promoting sustainable economic development through market systems strengthening and employment opportunities for women and young women and men. Mercy Corps’ work addresses issues related to natural resource management and climate change adaptation within Mali and across the borders with neighboring Central Sahel countries, Niger, and Burkina Faso. With a current portfolio of approximately 30 M USD funded by FCDO, USAID/BHA, Sweden, the European Union, and private foundations, over the past 18 months Mercy Corps reached over 100,000 persons in Mopti, Segou, Koulikouro, Kayes, Sikasso, Koutiala.

General Position Summary

This position will be primarily responsible for identifying and developing new programming within Mali. This includes leading the writing and design of small to medium proposals and concept notes (~$1-15 million), leading Mali’s business development strategy and cultivating new donor relationships. The position will work closely with the Director of Programs Implementation, Country Director, Finance & Compliance Manager, Operations Manager & HR Specialist and in close coordination with the MC HQ Technical Support Unit (TSU) and the global and regional PAQ Teams.


The position will oversee the Program Performance & Quality (PAQ) team in developing program quality tools and 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, 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);  application of best practices across the program portfolio, including community accountability mechanisms, and communication towards internal and external audiences. The Director of Program Development & Quality is highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps Mali portfolio. The Director of Program Development & Quality is part of the Senior Management Team (SMT) with supervisory and managerial responsibilities.






        Identify opportunities for strategic growth and portfolio expansion through new business development and present to the SMT.

        Lead on cultivating strategic relationships with donors for new funding opportunities and keeping up to date with donor strategies in country, regional and global.

        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 Mali mission is driven by an evidence-based strategy.

        Informed by the agency’s vision 2030 and Mercy Corps Mali’s strategic priorities, lead the design and integration of a PaQ strategy.



  • Act as Team Lead and Lead Writer on the development of concept notes and funding proposals (including budgets).
  • Ensure proposals are developed in coordination and consultation with Director of Programs Implementation, Country Director, Finance & Compliance Manager, Program Managers, Operations and HR teams and that necessary support is adequately budgeted.
  • Ensure the PaQ team effectively contributes to proposal development processes, ensuring the incorporation of lessons learned and technical excellence to program design
  • Work closely with Regional Program Teams in MC Support Offices in Edinburgh, Netherlands, and Portland to keep donor, grant and information tracking databases up to date with most current proposals, concept notes, partnership agreements and reports.
  • Support in ensuring that proposals are written based on donors’ requirement for format and contents.
  • Ensure the comprehensiveness of budgets including for MEL, Operations, HR etc.
  • Ensure adequate budget provisions related to MC initiatives such as CARM, Safeguarding, security standards are made in budget proposals.



  • Lead on the roll-out of the program management policy 2.0 in-country and work with the Director of Field Implementation to ensure adherence to the standards.
  • Provide support to 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.
  • Lead in establishing or promoting adherence to systems, policies and approaches necessary to ensure and demonstrate the quality of programs through oversight of Research and Learning, Reporting, CARM, GEDSI and other technical support functions.
  • Ensure technical excellence and efficient performance of technical support team, ensuring they have the tools and support needed to lead technical excellence across Water & Food Security, Governance & Peacebuilding, Market Systems Development and Economic Opportunities.
  • Provide technical oversight and support to Program Managers/Directors and focal points to develop program filing and archiving systems and to ensure programs’ documentation is filed, in compliance with [email protected], donors’ regulations and good practice.
  • Build capacity of program teams with information, tools, and resources to improve performance and reach objectives, and review programmatic tools (implementation and follow-up of PAC processes, development and/or revision of SOPs, etc.).
  • Monitor functionality of CARM mechanism in programs and across field sites


Research, LEARNING & Communication

        Ensure accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects with a focus on learning and adaptive management.

        Ensure effective collaboration between technical advisors, and thematic specialists in the development of sector log frames, indicators, implementation plans, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools

        Lead the development of country Crisis Analytics strategy and ensure regular context monitoring and analysis feed adaptive management, learning and future programming.

        Co-Lead (with the DPI) the development of processes to support the program implementation team in capturing and integrating cross-program learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities, future program design and thought leadership.

        Ensure the development and implementation of a program research agenda to build evidence and support the production of robust thought leadership and advocacy efforts.

        Oversee the design and implementation of a country communications strategy that efficiently lends a voice to Mercy Corps Mali with regards to internal & external audiences.

        Oversee the communication team to support systems ensuring regular collection of impact stories and evidence from the implementation teams on a regular basis



        Coordinate with Director of Program Implementation, Finance Manager, and MEL Manager to streamline donor and MC compliance along all phases of program life cycle management.

        Supervise the Grants and Reporting Manager and ensure that the compliance requirements of grants issued under each donor and are summarized & communicated to the program teams.

        Supervise the Grants and Reporting Manager and ensure that all reports (both internal and external) are timely, of high-quality, and responsive to donor requirements in collaboration with a variety of teams. HQ Desks, Technical Support Units, Program Directors/Managers/Leads, Director of Programs Implementation and Country Director.

        Facilitate trainings for program and operations staff on proposal development, report writing, grant management and information management.



        Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles, and assist with career development.

        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 the different

departments, offices, and programs.

        Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary, working with HR in the recruitment, training, and professional development of the PAQ team



  • Lead efforts in sharing best practices with other NGOs working in Mali.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in external coordination and donor meetings, as required.
  • Building on evidence generated from our programs to influence donor and key stakeholders on strategic development of future and current programming, represent Mercy Corps in cultivating relationships with key donors and partner organizations in terms of New Initiatives and Grant reporting.



As part of Mercy Corp’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.


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.


Programs Development & Grants Manager, Gender Specialist, Communications Coordinator, Sector Leads/Advisors, Crisis Analytics Unit (TBC).



Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs Implementation, Programs Directors/Managers, Finance, HR & Operations Teams as well as Global Program Officers in Portland, the Hague and Edinburgh, Regional and Global PaQ and TSU teams.



  • Bachelor’s degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian, International Development, Social Sciences, or relevant fields is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in lead writing of high value proposals is required.
  • Extensive experience with Program Quality, , information management, strategy development and other learning efforts and technical areas in at least some of MC Mali focus areas preferred
  • Demonstrated experience contributing to livelihoods, cash transfer and market systems proposals development with major donors including USG (USAID BHA/OFDA/FFP), FCDO/DFID, EU, ECHO or UN OCHA.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently is required.
  • 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.
  • Strong mastery of the Microsoft office suit is mandatory, use and appetite for learning to use relevant software and technology tools is appreciated.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Advanced written and spoken English, and strong knowledge of French is appreciated.



The successful candidate will have an ability to work independently, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. S/he will be able to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the country. Strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedure. Capacity to spark innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to programming and inspire groups to collaborate closely to design impactful high-quality programs. Desire and ability to learn and grown, both personally and professionally. 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 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 Mali.


The position is accompanied and based in Bamako with at least 30% travel to program areas, security permitting. The position is eligible for individual housing, R&R and education benefits. While the city has been mostly secure, attacks against foreigners in 2016 in some public places underscore the fluidity of the situation and may require expatriate staff to adhere to security policies, such as restrictions on movement. Bamako is served by an international airport with daily flights to European and African destinations. Restaurants and shopping options are available all over the town, with reasonable access to most consumer goods. Health care services exist and are developing rapidly. However, for more serious conditions, medevac to Dakar, Senegal or Europe may be required. Bamako hosts several international schools – American, French, Turkish, etc. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/STA 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. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and as such staff 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 in-country venues.

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 and 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 and 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 always adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.