Program Performance and Quality Director - DRC
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
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. Currently, the DRC program represents one of Mercy Corps’ largest country programs world-wide.
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit, whose role is to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs teams, portfolio and other departments and teams. This includes: Positioning for new business opportunities and supporting proposal developments with Program Directors and teams; creating organization-wide systems that standardize and support Mercy Corps DRC’s work; leading on gender and protection mainstreaming and application of best practices across the program portfolio; offering additional capacity for program assessments; the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes and systems; supporting the creation and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact; leading the Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) and the systems to put in place to strengthen it mission-wide.
The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time ensuring capacity building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian and development portfolios, including WASH, CTP, Food Security, Governance, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Conflict Resolution, Protection and Market Based approaches with limited daily support and direction.
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Lead the DRC PaQ Team, overseeing results, objectives and work-planning across all PaQ domains.
- Participate in the Country Leadership Team, supporting overall strategic and annual planning for Mercy Corps DRC with evidence-based contributions.
- Support country systems and process improvements, such as analysis of employee engagement data, facilitating after-action reviews, or conducting process mapping for programs and support departments.
- Provide input to the development and review of strategies across departments and portfolios, and lead tracking of strategic initiatives including around gender, diversity and inclusion (GDI).
- Play leadership role in design of new complex programs, leveraging evidence and learning from existing portfolio to inform technical and management design.
- Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, and end of program transition meetings.
- Contribute to global and regional conversations around program PaQ, including on standards, GESI, localization, adaptive management, and CARM.
- In collaboration with the Director of Programs, support the development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective learning, collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions, and within and across programs portfolios through Technical Working Groups or Communities of Practices.
- Represent Mercy Corps in external fora as appropriate, including in humanitarian community working groups and with donors.
- Oversee programs’ alignment with Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards: ensure regular updates of self-assessments and provide targeted support to improvements against specific standards.
- Support program team members’ progression through the Program Management Learning Pathway, including tracking teams’ completion rates for required and recommended trainings and directly facilitating Program Management at Mercy Corps (PM@MC) in-person trainings.
- Ensure program teams adhere to record management and archiving policies and procedures, conducting filing reviews and sharing guidance and best practice with teams, as well as providing dedicated support during the transition to M365 SharePoint shared drives.
- Improve the quality of monitoring & evaluation (M&E) systems, designing M&E and data management systems, overseeing twice-annual data quality assessments (DQAs) for all programs, ensuring use of Mercy Corps’ TolaData platform for indicator tracking, strengthening data protection & privacy systems and promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ MEL Minimum Standards.
- Support robust accountability mechanisms at the country and program level, maintaining country Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), coordinating with the DRC Ethics department and programs to ensure functioning community accountability reporting mechanisms (CARM) feedback channels, maintain high response and closure rates, and support adaptive management based on learning from CARM data, promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ CARM Minimum Standards.
- Mainstream improved gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and protection across program portfolio, supporting GESI analyses, use of sex- and age-disaggregated data and piloting of innovative GESI approaches, in line with the DRC GEDSI Strategy and Mercy Corps’ GESI Minimum Standards.
- Collaborate with DRC Crisis Analytics Team (CAT) and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist to ensure ongoing analysis of and consultation with stakeholders by program teams, supporting best practices in stakeholder and community engagement.
- Support programs to strengthen systematic sub-recipient programmatic monitoring in line with Mercy Corps’ standards.
PROGRAM EVIDENCE AND INFLUENCE
- Cultivate an environment for learning and adaptive management within programs, supporting program teams to develop theories of change and learning plans, implement research & learning agendas, and conduct regular learning & reflection sessions.
- Develop communications products and engage with local and international media to communicate Mercy Corps’ success and learning with a variety of audiences, in line with the DRC Communications & Media Strategy.
- Coordinate country and program advocacy activities in line with strategic influence objectives, drawing from learning agendas and using communications to enhance the impact and scale of Mercy Corps’ work.
- Support the Director of Programs in implementing a strategic growth and business development strategy, ensuring that learning, communications and advocacy support pursuit of new partnerships in line with core and growth areas.
- Develop and ensure quality of data systems used by programs, including for participant registration and MEL systems in line with Mercy Corps’ MEL Tech Suite.
- Provide support to DRC support departments for improved data collection, storage, analysis, visualization and use.
- Based on need, identify and pilot other technology for development (T4D) solutions with programs.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members feel supported, engaged and strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
M&E Systems Quality Specialist, Senior Media and Communications Advisor, Gender and Protection Manager, Data Systems Manager, CARM Coordinator.
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs.
Works Directly With: Programs Directors and Chiefs of Party/Managers, Program MEL Teams, CAT, Ethics, as well as Regional and Global PaQ and TSU teams.
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.
- Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- At least 8 to 10 years’ experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation.
- Experience working in the Africa region and high-risk contexts preferred.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.
- Extensive experience with program quality, M&E, information management, and other learning efforts and technical areas in at least several Mercy Corps DRC sectors.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Excellent listening, interpersonal, communication and networking skills; and the ability to work with diversified populations.
- Skilled at delivering and facilitating training and capacity building interventions, e.g. coaching, mentorship.
- Analytical, problem solver, with strong experience and understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
- High level of self-awareness and self-development with the maturity to deal with constructive feedback.
- The willingness and ability to adapt leadership and management style as appropriate.
- Experience of conducting research, drafting, and presenting reports to varied audiences is desirable.
- Fluency in English and French is required.
The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. S/he has a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. S/he should have good communication and diplomatic skills. S/he should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively. S/he has an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in DRC.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo and it requires up to 15% travel to support country programs. This position can be either accompanied with private accommodation in the border town with Goma, Gisenyi, Rwanda or unaccompanied with private accommodation in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of almost two million inhabitants, with travel to Beni, Bunia, Bukavu, and Kinshasa, and other areas as required. 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.
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.
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.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.
Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.