Program Development and Quality Manager, LIFT program - DRC

Programs Goma, Congo, Democratic Republic Of (Was Zaire)


Description

Position to start January 2021 
 

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 operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

In October 2020, Mercy Corps will be starting up the new five-year USAID funded LIFT programme, with a budget of $32 million which will be implemented in Eastern DR Congo. Building on the successes of Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE programme, and those of other WASH actors in Eastern DRC, LIFT will bring together a consortium of international experts to focus on water and sanitation in peri-urban areas of the Kivus. The programme commences with an inception phase, including extensive research, which will form the basis of an adaptive management approach to the implementation. In partnership with USAID and in line with Development Objective 2 of USAID’s DRC Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), LIFT aims to show that it is possible to achieve genuinely sustainable increases in access to clean water by implementing contextually relevant, performance-based contractual models for water service delivery in collaboration with state and local entities including ETDs and Provincial Administrations.

General Position Summary

The Programme Quality and Development Manager PAQ(C) will work closely with the Chief of Party of LIFT and LIFT Consortium Leads to provide leadership, coordination, team management, leadership and component coordination to both large scale, multimillion, 5 year equitable water governance and sanitation programs. S/he will play a critical role in the transition phase for the close out of IMAGINE, and start up of LIFT, whilst ensuring cohesion with staff and resources to ensure the programs successfully meet their targets and deliverables on time and on scope. The Program Development & Quality Manager will be responsible for ensuring program quality, overseeing recruitment & HR, gender, fraud & safeguarding, communications, grants management and reporting. This position will be the focal point for the Consortium partners, accountable for all relevant governance structures and documentation and managing the subawards.

The PAQ Manager’s main focus will be on:

  • Program Coordination particularly between team components and partners
  • External liaison with USAID to ensure timely and effective reporting and interface
  • Team leadership of the PAQ team, inclusive of 6 national team members across communications, PAQ and Safeguarding
  • Ensuring Minimum Standards of Program Management and increasing value by implementing improvement where appropriate
  • Overview of all Program systems and Program level administration
  • Mission level requests and sharing and collaboration across programs

 

The PAQ Manager will be an additional link between the Chief of Party and the rest of the team; s/he is expected to be the primary day to day interface for the program internally and will liaise externally with donors, partners and other NGOs as required. S/he will play a key role in the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Party and through the management of the communications & PAQ team, responsible for the design and implementation of the communications strategy and an effective approach to relationship tracking.. S/he needs to be able to create a strong rapport with all stakeholders (internal and external) and be able to represent the Program when required. The PAQ(C) will be the point of contact for all mission level requests, working with other programs to increase cross-departmental learning and collaboration.

The PAQ Manager will have oversight of the Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC) function by working closely with the Chief of Party, Component Managers and Consortium Leads. S/he will advise component teams and support partners to comply with donor rules and regulations to ensure all programs are compliant with internal and donor regulations and that the program is delivering high quality impact.

Through the supervision of the PAQ team, the PAQ Manager will ensure effective component and partner coordination and Program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability. S/he will be responsible for high quality and timely communications and reporting, both internally in Mercy Corps and within the consortium, and externally to USAID. The Program Coordinator will design and establish Program tools, in consultation with components and consortium members, that are in alignment with Mercy Corps and their partners  needs. 

The Program Coordinator will be the focal point for safeguarding and incident reporting, responsible for liaising internally with the Ethics department on case management and for donor communication when required. S/he should also ensure that regular training on gender and safeguarding is conducted by the team, and work with the Ethics department and LIFT gender & safeguarding team to identify how best to integrate this within the LIFT consortium.

The nature of the Program requires that s/he is capable of working independently for periods of time and demonstrate initiative, critical thinking and self actualisation.

Essential Job Responsibilities

strategy and vision
  • Work closely on the approach with the Chief of Party & Deputy Chief of Party to ensure program is running in alignment with Mercy Corps principles, values and the programs strategic plan, particularly in regards to maintaining a focus on equity across the program.
  • Troubleshoot problems that arise and contribute to adaptation of strategy to be reflective of current context. Be prepared to act independently where the situation necessitates a quick response.
  • Manage learning and sharing of experiences through a variety of platforms (workshops, messaging, trainings, etc) to ensure MC, partners and programme participants have a shared vision. Contribute to collective vision and direction for the LIFT program to achieve highest level of impact.
  • Maintain regular communication with country level and HQ focal point to identify opportunities for innovative collaboration with other internal departments and advise senior leadership on ways to drive forward quality programming and leverage cross programme learning.
  • Ensure teams deliver high quality programming, and encourage constant improvements through innovation, active pursuit of lessons learned and adaptability to changing dynamics and contexts.
  • Act as day-to-day representative of Mercy Corps as requested by the Chief of Party including attending key internal and external meetings, as needed.

 

Team Management (PAQ team)
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where accountability is promoted, alternative viewpoints welcomed, the team strives to achieve excellence, and is conducive to professional growth.
  • S/he will be responsible for recruitment, effective talent management and capacity building within the PAQ team, working with component managers to ensure talent development strategies and training opportunities for all team members, and that performance reviews and contract extensions are happening timely.
  • Responsible for managing the communications and programme/administration team; required to communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Assist with the recruitment, supervision, and orientation of new team members as necessary.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Oversee the implementation of team coordination mechanisms such as shared calendars and meeting schedules, ensure effective communication between all bases (South Kivu and North Kivu).
  • Work closely with components to ensure a strategic approach to talent development, building the capacity of the team and local partners to enable them to grow professionally and take on greater responsibility. This includes external accreditation in Programme Management qualifications for the entire team.
  • Contribute to country level team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.

 

Program Management
  • Support the Chief of Party in ensuring the Program is running on time and on scope through regular component reviews and optimal integration of components for maximum impact.
  • Own & update the development of detailed Program workplan, using Microsoft Project software to plan with components to harmonise  and ensure they ladder up efficiently into overarching Program objectives.
  • Work closely with Chief of Party to ensure that the team is sufficiently structured to ensure that all components are able to meet the highest programmatic standards.
  • Ensure all Program management minimum standards are met (including active risk management, issues management, lessons learned etc.). Communicate and inculcate these requirements across the team.
  • Organise and conduct monitoring visits to the project sites and host visitors and donors, as needed.
  • Coordinate with Program, finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).
  • Coordinate components and partners particularly on budget, planning, logistics, HR and procurement.

 

CONSORTIUM MANAGEMENT

  • Support the Chief of Party in maintaining strong and transparent communication with all partners.
  • Provide support to the PAQ (C) team for internal Comms and meetings such as kick-off meetings, program initiation meetings, 90 day inception meetings, regular meetings,90 day end of program transition meetings.
  • Collate information from Consortium members to report back to USAID.
  • Ensure effective Consortium management practices are implemented as required e.g. drafting of an MOU, establishment of a Steering Committee, coordinated monitoring techniques etc.
  • Set up the process of harmonisation of technical tools among the consortium partners.

 

 

Program qUALITY MANAGEMENT
  • Ensure that the LIFT program has sufficient systems in place to meet Program management standards (PM@MC) and comply with donor regulations and good practice, including the QAC process.
  • Support and propose development and implementation of program policies, protocols and systems.
  • Facilitate the elaboration of inclusive program selection criteria that takes into consideration the needs of different vulnerable groups, and monitors beneficiary selection processes to ensure that these criteria are followed.
  • Work with program staff to integrate quality monitoring processes based on protocols into Program implementation, including internal and external reviews of Program quality.
  • Update Project Management Plan, Delivery Chain Map, Organisational Structure and other required reporting tools biannually, or as often as required.
  • Ensure that program information shared with stakeholders is presented in languages, formats and media that are appropriate for, accessible to, and can be understood by the target population.
  • Through the supervision of the Gender component,, support the integration of gender considerations throughout the program.
  • Ensure that a Procurement Plan and Purchase Requests tracker are developed and kept up to date

 

GRANTS MANAGEMENT

  • Review, coordinate, compile and finalise all official donor reports after initial drafting by components and Consortium partners.
  • Oversee the communications team in drafting of program updates for donor and other key stakeholders.
  • Set up and oversee a strong Program documentation system, ensuring records are archived according to minimum standards and donor requirements.
  • Ensure proposals and project reports comply with donor and Mercy Corps’ procedures and best practices.
  • Contribute to the design and drafting of communications material (annual report, social media, speeches, editorials, press releases, website content, newsletters, drafting success stories, and any other).
  • Support M&E Manager in M&E and reporting duties including, responding to information requests, supporting the fulfillment of donor M&E requirements, monitoring and reporting on program impact.
 

 

FINANCE & COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
  • Work with Internal Control to record and track ‘Flash Reports’, reporting to USAID compliance officer, and following up for progress and completion of cases.
  • Act as Safeguarding focal point for the Program, ensuring a Do No Harm lens is maintained throughout.
  • Ensure the grants management is transparent and compliant with donor and Mercy Corps regulations and procedures.
  • Responsible for risk management, including development of framework and regular updates
  • Liaise with Finance to monitor monthly BvAs and address any reporting challenges in a timely manner.
  • Monitor approved grants and monthly burn rates, ensure submission of timely financial spend projections and reporting is completed in line with Mercy Corps and donor templates.
  • Support monthly coordination meetings between program and finance on budget planning and follow-up.

 

Organizational Learning 
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Senior Communication Officer, Communication Officer, 2 x PAQ Officers and 2 x Gender Officers (these people will be split across North and South Kivu)

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party, Program Delivery Managers (M&E, Gender, Service Delivery, Governance,), Heads of Offices, Operations Director (and associated Managers including HR/Administration Manager), Finance Director. 

 

Knowledge and Experience

  • 3-5 years of experience with European or/and US institutional donors, including strengths in grant management, coordination and donor reporting, experience with USAID a plus
  • Internationally recognised qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work
  • Prior work experience in managing sensitive personnel, safeguarding & fraud cases essential
  • Demonstrable ability to produce high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal direction
  • Understanding of the complexities of implementing large scale, sustainable, development WASH programs in a post conflict setting and the associated political sensitivity
  • Experienced in managing complex partner set ups and working with local implementing organisations, particularly in regards to capacity building of partners through an equitable lens of true partnership
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with senior leaders, consortium, donor and other stakeholders essential
  • Ability to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time, with little to no direction
  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software, particularly MS Project, is required.
  • Ability to deliver high quality reports within short deadlines
  • Fluent English required and fluent French desirable
  • Previous management experience required
  • Prior work experience in the DRC and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage
  • Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement
 

Success Factors

A successful candidate will be able to work independently, take initiative with tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. 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 with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. The ability to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments is essential for success. S/he will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy.

Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants, with potential travel to Bukavu and Kinshasa. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other.  Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available.  Internet is 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 evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

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 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.