Operations Manager and Security Focal Point - Mali
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
Mercy Corps has been present in Mali since 2012 and has worked with communities in Timbuktu, Gao, Menaka, Mopti, Segou, Koulikouro and Kayes to provide assistance to victims of conflict and climate change. Our interventions focus on emergency response, transitional programming and resilience building through cash-based assistance, agriculture and livestock, financial inclusion, market systems development, governance and conflict resolution. With funding from various donors such as USAID, SIDA, the foreign common wealth development office (FCDO), the UN and private donors, Mercy Corps has provided assistance to more than 250,000 beneficiaries throughout the years. We are now looking for an experienced, dynamic, innovative and diligent Operations Manager to lead our vibrant operations department to provide effective and timely support to the country programme as we strive to create long-lasting impact in the life of Malians.
General Position Summary
The Operations Manager is a strong leader, able to build a strong team and work cohesively with other departments to drive a game changing vision for the operations department and the country programme. The Operations Manager is part of Mercy Corps Mali’s Senior Management Team and contributes to strategic decision-making and problem solving including but not limited to the operations department. The position holder will build a culture of excellence in their department through elaborating context informed operational, security and IT strategies in line with Mercy Corps’ global standards and protocols; developing country management plans and standard operating procedures to ensure that effective systems that support healthy, robust and integrated functions of programmes and support activities are in place in all offices; putting in place reporting and accountability mechanisms to guarantee the efficient/appropriate use of Mercy Corps resources.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Participate actively in the elaboration and update of the country strategy, budgets proposals and any emergency operations.
- Provide program support, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives, to ensure operational effectiveness in the country.
- Conduct security assessments and develop management plans and strategies to ensure the security and safe of our teams and our beneficiaries (to the extent possible).
- Contribute to regional security and safety assessment and planning processes and provide regular updates
- Develop the capacity of the operational and security teams, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
- Work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems.
- Be responsible for full and proper implementation of Mercy Corps systems of management, compliance and control as described in Mercy Corps field manuals, contained in the Office in a Box, in the DL.
- Work with finance compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.
- Oversee interaction and participation in the INGOs forums, Logistics and security coordination mechanisms and DSS System.
operations management - logistics
- Ensure timely, accurate processing and documentation of procurements and use of Mercy Corps’ Electronic Procurement System found in the Office in a Box; Chair tender openings as required.
- Confirm warehouse procedures are followed as described in the Warehouse Policy and Procedures Guidelines.
- Supervise the fleet management team and ensure systems to track maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.
- Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.
- Establish Master Support Budget, including cost monitoring and analysis and resource needs allocation.
- Liaise with finance to ensure compliance and payment schedules; maintain service contracts.
- Maintain inventory records of materials and materials flow; oversee tracking of all assets.
- Establish strategies for logistical effectiveness and efficiency in supporting programs and implementation
- Ensure Assets inventories are conducted on regular basis, tracked and maintained in accordance to the Mercy Corps Field Assets management policies and procedures.
- Ensure the safety of assets and proper disposals when needed according to Mercy Corps and donors’ policies and procedures.
- Analyse field operations reports, comments and send feedback to all field offices before consolidation of the monthly mission report.
- Conduct regular visits to Mercy Corps Mali’s field offices, sub-offices and project sites to support staff and ensure proper logistics and security procedures and conditions.
operations management - administration
- Ensure Administration systems are implemented as described in the Field Administration Manual.
- Develop and periodically review country or field office specific policies and communicate them to teams.
- Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement, and logistics resources documents.
- Oversee facility management; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.
- Be responsible for any necessary expatriate visa and work permits.
- Supervise IT System Administrator to ensure functional IT systems.
- Ensure that Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Malian law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
- Obtain “Accord Cadre” or Mercy Corps registration in Mali and ensure tax exemptions are negotiated and obtained as appropriate –from the government
Influence & Representation
- Interface with stakeholders responsible for coordinating all supply shipments via the appropriate approval processes.
- Communicate with local partners, as well as sub-grantees, to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.
- Maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, vendors, suppliers, etc.
- Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
- Interact with security actors and logistics cluster to responsibly represent Mercy Corps and ensure Mercy Corps can safely operate and implement programs, even in difficult environments in-country
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- As Focal Point, ensure that Mercy Corps has proper and up to date security management plan and the minimum standards operating procedures in place, at national level and in all field offices across the country.
- Analyse the overall security situation, threats and trends, in the existing and potential areas of programming, including through conducting regular and ad hoc security assessment missions to field locations.
- Orient and train employees, visitors, temporary staff and consultants on Mercy Corps safe and security procedures, to minimize risks and vulnerability
- Hire and orient Mercy Corps or external company guards to ensure they have the highest ethic in performance their duties at Mercy Corps offices and residences.
- Participate in security coordination forums and actively coordinate with other peers at national and regional levels.
- Represent the Country Director in Country Directors’ monthly security meetings at INSO and/or UNDSS, especially when CD is not available
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- Develop and establish strategies to reduce and minimize the security risks for all Mercy Corps employees
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.
Supervisory Responsibility : Senior Operations Officer, IT officer, Head of Offices,
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director Program Managers/Directors, Finance Manager, HR Manager, MEL Advisor
Collaborates With: All country logistics, operations, admin and security team as required
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/BS degree in a relevant field.
- A minimum of 4 years field experience setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource systems with humanitarian NGOs with supervisory responsibilities.
- Proven understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in Africa and in insecure environments preferred.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
- Knowledge of Mercy Corps’ systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; M&E experience preferred and knowledge of USAID, EC, and UN regulations helpful.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
- Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
- Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
- Excellent oral and written French skills required; proficiency in English is highly sought.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful Operations Manager and Security Focal Point will be good at problem solving and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. S/he will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Bamako, Mali and requires least 35% of time spent in the field offices. This is an accompanied position. The position is entitled to share housing and is eligible for R&R but not eligible for hardship. There is good access to electricity and water, though there are occasional electrical outages. Access to quality health care is limited. There are a number of clinics in town, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps offices. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods in Bamako.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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 Mercy Corps’ 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.