Safeguarding Manager - DR Congo
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 operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps is also currently responding to the unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. The current annual budget includes resources from DFID, USAID, ECHO, UN-donors, Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others.
General Position Summary:
The Safeguarding Manager will coordinate, support and advise on the implementation of Mercy Corps’ Safeguarding standards and initiatives, with dedicated support on the DFID-funded IMAGINE and SAFER programs.
The Safeguarding Manager will also support the response function when potential allegations of safeguarding violations are reported. With oversight and direction from the Global Ethics Team, this position will support the planning, conducting and reporting of local Safeguarding investigations. With guidance from the Ethics Team, they will act as on-the-ground investigators--conducting interviews, examining evidence, and reviewing relevant documents. In cases requiring an in-country Ethics Team response, the Co-Investigator will partner closely with the Ethics Specialist throughout an investigation.
The person who fills this position will be required to attend a certified training course coordinated by the Safeguarding Team and delivered by an external international organization.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Champion safeguarding policies and accompanying policy guidance support materials and assist in promoting prevention of sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA)
- Work with individuals and teams within the program teams to help ensure programs and operations are integrating Safeguarding measures
- In partnership with relevant teams, identify, map and regularly update local support services available to survivors
- Act as a reporting avenue for Safeguarding related issues, concerns or experiences and ensure next steps occur in accordance with organizational policies and procedures
- Act as a resource to survivors and help ensure their safety, security and well-being and support a survivor-centered approach
- Help to support and raise awareness around community and program reporting mechanism
- Help to support partner capacity building around Safeguarding including, policy development, reporting and response mechanisms and training
- Act as a resource to managers and staff to help ensure programs and operations are integrating Safeguarding measures
- Act as a resource to senior management as they work to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations under Mercy Corps’ and donor’s Safeguarding policies and response mechanisms
- Facilitate connection between program leadership and additional headquarters support and resources as needed.
- Work directly with partners on training, policies and reporting mechanisms
- Act as a Co-Investigator for Safeguarding related inquiries and investigations related to programs, with support and oversight from the Senior Ethics Specialist for Safeguarding
- When requested, and under the guidance of the Ethics Team:
- Assist with interviewing witnesses, survivors, and/or subjects of complaints
- Collect and review documentary evidence needed for investigations
- Help draft timely investigation plans, investigation reports, and interview notes
- Provide survivor-centered support to survivors and witnesses
- Communicate with multiple stakeholders, including survivors, whistleblowers, and senior leadership
- Help build trust and confidence in Mercy Corps’ programs’ reporting, investigation and follow up systems and foster a climate where team members feel confident and comfortable coming forward with issues
- Help maintain organized, confidential and thorough investigation files
- There may be occasions when the Co-Investigator is asked to travel to another office, country, or region to assist with an investigation
Safeguarding: Reflect and Adapt
- Help identify lessons learned from Safeguarding investigations for the agency to consider when revising policies, procedures, and training
- Act as a resource to the program MEL functions to help ensure inclusion of SG measures and outcomes
Safeguarding Focal Point Officer (national)
Reports Directly to: Ethics Director
Works Directly with: Process Analyst, Headquarters Ethics team (with authority for Code of Conduct reporting and investigation matters), the People Team (focal point responsibilities), country senior management team, Program Directors/Managers, Partners
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.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- Bachelor’s degree in related field is required (this could include law, social work, conflict resolution, international relations, development studies, international humanitarian law, peace and security or other) and an advanced degree is a plus.
- 5 years+ related work experience with a not-for-profit organization implementing international programs.
- 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
- Demonstrated knowledge and interest in Safeguarding, and a sensitivity to cultural diversity, equity, inclusion and gender issues
- Demonstrated experience working directly with local communities
- Demonstrated experience working directly with institutional donors and on complex programs.
- Extensive knowledge and understanding of local community and culture
- History of exhibiting impartial and empathetic behavior in the workplace
- Individual should be approachable, discreet and confidential
- Fluency in Swahili and English OR fluency in French and English.
- Upon appointment, the Safeguarding Co-Investigator shall undergo specific Safeguarding training
The successful Safeguarding Manager will possess an exemplary professional standard of ethics as well as the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures and external regulations. S/he will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with internal and external stakeholders on sensitive and confidential matters. S/he will have the ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor, in an analytical and methodical manner. S/he will demonstrate the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities if necessary. S/he will possess a broad understanding of humanitarian and development programs coupled with the ability to analyze operational data and clearly present conclusions and recommendations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Safeguarding Manager will be based in Goma and is required to travel to the field locations up to 25% of time.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity and petty crime is on the increase. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. There are virtually no telephone landlines in the DRC, though mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited, but 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 several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.