Deputy Chief of Party/ Technical Advisor, Colombia Youth Resilience Activity - Colombia
*Position is contingent upon funding
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. Mercy Corps has been present in Colombia since 2005, focusing interventions on IDPs, landmine victims, land conflict mediation, sustainable resource management, child soldiers, youth and emergency response.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps seeks a Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) to lead the technical implementation of the anticipated five-year USAID-funded Youth Resilience Activity (YRA) in Colombia. The proposed program will build the capacity of vulnerable youth, disengaged child soldiers, and former youth offenders to cope with the effects of crime and violence and reduce the risk of recidivism. In order to do so, YRA will develop peaceful and protective environments, strengthen the relationships among youth, their families, communities, and local authorities and provide alternative education and economic opportunities to at-risk youth. In doing so, YRA will be better positioned to respond to the needs of violence-affected youth and their communities, support the prevention of recidivism by disengaged child soldiers and former youth offenders, and foster greater economic and social stability in Colombia.
General Position Summary
The Deputy Chief of Party/Technical Advisor will support overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the USAID Youth Resilience Activity, to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The DCOP will also provide technical leadership in youth and conflict strategies, including non-formal education, vocational training, and community engagement. The DCOP/Technical Advisor will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Provide leadership and strategic vision to the technical components of the program including positive youth development, education, financial inclusion, community mobilization, conflict prevention, and civic engagement;
- Play an active role in identifying and developing new partnerships that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program.
Program Management and Technical Leadership
- Support the Chief of Party (COP) in implementing a program and consortium structure that favors integration across all activities and implementing partners; lead the program in the COP’s absence;
- Lead the development of a program-wide resilience-building framework to guide coordination and integrated implementation;
- Ensure that cross-cutting aspects of the program such as adaptive management, gender equality, female empowerment, social inclusion and resilience are included and well integrated into the program strategy.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- In partnership with the COP, oversee program implementation, ensuring that all staff and consortium members are following work plans, activities are on schedule, and project deliverables are completed as planned.
- Develop and oversee implementation of capacity building strategy for team members that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of lessons learned.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- 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 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.
The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Sector leads/program managers, field teams, the MEL team, consortium partners, local government, USAID and other stakeholders.
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, conflict resolution, education, non-profit management, or other relevant field;
- A minimum of eight (8) years of program management and technical experience, with progressively increasing responsibilities, implementing complex youth-focused programs with a focus on violence prevention, workforce development, education, and positive youth development. USAID experience highly preferred.
- Experience working in Colombia required;
- Demonstrated technical knowledge in youth livelihoods, education, Positive Youth Development (PYD), market systems, financial inclusion, governance, community mobilization, violence prevention, or related fields;
- Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program;
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; Spanish fluency required, English fluency preferred.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members and other stakeholders of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. This position requires an ability to think creatively about increasing youth livelihood opportunities and youth engagement. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 Deputy Chief of Party will be based in Bogotá, Colombia. This position requires up to 40% time for travel by air and land to project sites in sometimes insecure environments. Mercy Corps Colombia is a member of UNDSS and expects staff to follow security protocols to minimize security risk in the field. 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 MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.