Head of Office, Bukavu - DRC
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 500 people working in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal 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 and South Kivu.
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 funding from humanitarian donors including ECHO, OFDA, DFID and UN-donors, the humanitarian portfolio continues to expand in order to provide multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH to displaced and host populations. An Ebola virus outbreak has recently been confirmed in Beni area of North-Kivu province. Mercy Corps is working in close coordination with other actors and is implementing a WASH response with other partners. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.
General Position Summary
The Head of Office is the representative of Mercy Corps in Bukavu. This is an important role and the suitable candidate will demonstrate executive disposition and the personal attributes and competency that is passionately able to represent the organization and its vision. Combined with strong leadership and operational decision making, this is a management position within Mercy Corps DRC, with supervisory and managerial responsibilities. It includes responsibility for overseeing the daily operations of the Bukavu office and Sub-offices, residences and ensuring that programs received required operation support. In this role, the Head of Office will spend approximately 100 % of his or her time on Head of Office-related duties such as logistic management, procurements, security management, Sub-offices support and Bukavu residence and office management
The Head of Office is responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Bukavu office, by coordinating and overseeing daily operations, monitoring and responding to the security situation, and keeping up to date with contextual developments. This includes training and supervising administrative, logistics, ICT, procurement and security staff and ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures. S/he will ensure representation of Mercy Corps at the field level and will play a key role in security plan development, adapt and enforce Mercy Corps standard operating procedures according to Bukavu context in order to protect Mercy Corps assets and staff.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & VISION
- Assume direct responsibility for ensuring effectiveness c operations systems for program impact including procurement, logistics, security, IT and ensure transparent use of financial resources in compliance 'With Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
- Develop and organize activities of Bukavu Office provide timely and effective support to program to ensure objectives are met.
- Ensure weekly coordination meetings between Program and Support Departments
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed
- Management Procurement staffs and ensure that all Mercy Corps rules and policies regarding logistics and procurement are followed and respected
- Represent Mercy Corps during Logistics cluster monthly meeting
- Uphold Mercy Corps’ Zero tolerance policy to corruption
- Perform regular spot checks of procurement & logistics documents to ensure that Donor rules and policies are properly applied and respected
- Oversee tracking of all assets to ensure accurate record keeping of Mercy Corps and donor assets, including exceptional items that require registration and movement tracking, in accordance with the Mercy Corps Asset Management Manual
- Maintain inventory records of materials and materials flow in all offices in South Kivu
- Review and approve requests for purchase according to the delegation of limit of authority, track commitments and expenditure against budgets
- Oversee electronic database and paper file management for administration, HR (including performance evaluations), IT and logistics documents to ensure files are complete and in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures
- Ensure effective and transparent use and documentation of financial resources by all staff in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures
- Monitor Operations expenditures and ensure that there is no overshoot of the budget lines
- Oversee facilities maintenance and upkeep
- Oversee the smooth flowing of routine and administration work of the Mercy Corps office in Bukavu and program support operations
- Ensure adherence to Mercy Corps administrative procedures by supporting program staff
- Oversee support to daily office and program activities, coordinate activities and needs with program managers
- Work with support staff (logistics, finance, HR, IT, procurement, security and administration) departments to ensure proper daily support functions and compliance with MC and donor policies
- Report daily on operational and administrative activities and security situation with Operations Director and Safety Manager as per determined communication schedule
- Conduct weekly office management meetings and receive routine reports from support functions of the Bukavu office as per MC policies, including assets, procurement and warehousing management
- Responsible for performing probation period and annual evaluations for all operational staff supervised. Making sure that the evaluations are performed on timely manner and submitted to HR for further processing. Making sure that both self-evaluations and supervisor review are done in line with the Mercy Corps core principles requirements
- Responsible for participating in all interviews for any operational postings. This includes shortlisting candidates, procuring and correcting the technical tests, being part of the selection committee, maintaining proper notes and producing scoring sheets, and recommending any potential candidates to HR for further processing
- Make sure that the position describes for operations department staff are updated regularly and reflect the actual responsibilities of the staff
- Make sure that operations staff are submitting timesheets on time and review them in order to confirm proper allocation to the relevant active grants
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Liaise with government agencies directed by the Operations Director
- Liaise with local NGOs, International NGOs and government officials as required
- Represent Mercy Corps at local government, donor and other meetings in Bukavu
- In coordination and agreement with the Operations Director, represent Mercy Corps at the coordination meetings in Bukavu (UN, INSO, NGOs Forums)
- Manages the Security Officer and ensures that security rules are known and applied that all staff adheres to these procedures
- Assist the Security Officer in his / her duties, in particular by ensuring that security checks are carried out for all field movements, as well as all movements to and from Bukavu from other sub offices.
- In close collaboration with the Security Officer, ensure that all staff receive an induction on the security rules of the area, and that the staff have the means to carry out their mission in compliance with Mercy Corps security standards
- Work daily with program staff and receive regular updates of program activities, to ensure that activities are following security and contingency plans as outlined by Safety and Security Manager and Operations Director
- Advise Operations Director, as required on the government policies and procedures, taxation and interaction with government institutions.
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.
All Fleet, Assets, Stock, Procurement, HR, Security and ICT staff in Bukavu office
Reports Directly To: Operations Director
Works Directly With: Mercy Corps DRC staff. In addition to the Bukavu teams, the HoO will also work closely with the Program Manager, COP as well as with Goma-support staff, including the Operations Director, Finance Director, and Country Director.
Knowledge and Experience
- 3-5 years field experience setting up and managing logistics systems with INGOs with supervisory responsibilities.
- BA/BS degree in a relevant field.
- Demonstrated understanding of complex environment, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in insecure context.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
- Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures desirable; knowledge of donor regulations (USAID, OFDA, DFID, EC, UN) an added advantage.
- Strong ICT skills a must and vehicle mechanic knowledge an added advantage.
- Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
- Effective organizational, prioritization and result management.
- Excellent verbal and written French and English skills
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful Head of Office will combine effective leadership of complex teams and the ability to lead by example and influence. Also s/he will be expected to have a proven ability to build internal staff capacity and competency and to provide program support services. Flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving, ability to understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative and be accountable for results, knowledge of security standards, precautionary measures, communication protocols and passion for professional learning and development are vital skills that we expect the Head of Office to have.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This is an unaccompanied post based in Bukavu. The position is entitled to shared staff housing in Bukavu and is not eligible for hardship. The position is eligible for R&R for 5 working days after 16 weeks of work in-country.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Bukavu, 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 land lines 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 (up to 40%) 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’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.