Operations Director - Myanmar
ABOUT MERCY CORPS
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 present in Myanmar since 2008, focusing its interventions on inclusive economic development, social cohesion, local governance and climate change. In 2019, the programs have contributed to (1) managing conflict, (2) responsive governance and (3) inclusive and green growth.
Mercy Corps Myanmar’s (MCM) vision is that communities in the country are able to determine their future through responsive governance, inclusive and equitable access to economic opportunity, climate change resilience, and equal rights, leading to peace and prosperity. We believe that by addressing the root causes of fragility, peace and economic growth for all is possible and that our four interconnected Objectives contribute to a higher level goal of increased ‘peace and prosperity’.
The February 2021 military coup has radically changed the context of Mercy Corps Operations, and a strategic recalibration is underway to ensure MCM remains relevant and impactful in Myanmar. The role of the Operations department is critical to ensure MCM remains fit for purpose and able to navigate a complex operational environment. The Operations department is committed to implementing and maintaining the highest standards of efficiency and integrity in the fields of safety & security, logistics, administration & procurement of goods and services across the Myanmar country program, all while maintaining compliance with Mercy Corps’ and donor policies, procedures, regulations and specifications.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
Based in Yangon and reporting to the Country Director, the Operations Director is responsible for operational oversight of the Mercy Corps Country Operations. S/he will be expected to lead the organizational strategic thinking, planning, analysis and overall coordination efforts, in order to enable excellence in all operations and security functions. Working with in-country resources and with technical assistance from the Global Procurement Global Supply Chain units and HQ Field Security, s/he shall be a key actor in ensuring that the Myanmar country program functions at optimal operational efficiency. The Operations Director will be hands-on with all operational locations across the country program and will feed directly into Mercy Corps’ best practices in Security, Procurement, Administration and Logistics Management functions, while ensuring compliance in adherence to Mercy Corps global policies and protocols.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
STRATEGY & VISION
- Provide program support, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives, to ensure the operational effectiveness in the country.
- Develop and organize activities of Operations Department to provide timely and effective support to programs to ensure objectives are met.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Conduct security assessments and develop management plans and strategies to ensure the security and safe of our teams and our participants (to the extent possible)
- Contribute to the country strategic planning process and provide regular updates.
- Develop the capacity of the operational 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 and security 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.
- Work with the Operations Manager to ensure efficiency of procurement, administration and logistics functions
- Establish strategies for logistical effectiveness and efficiency in supporting programs and implementation
- Liaise with finance to ensure compliance, and contribute to budgeting and BvA analysis.
- Oversee set-up and development of Mercy Corps offices including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, and IT.
- 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, including housing and office leases; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.
- Oversee the management of expatriate visa and work permits.
- Ensure Mercy Corps compliance with national laws and regulations regarding registration and operational 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 local laws and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, vendors, suppliers, etc.
- Communicate with local partners, as well as sub-grantees, to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures
- 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
- Identify, build and maintain and effective network of like-minded partners to improve operation environment.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
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.
Supervisory Responsibility: Operation Manager
Reports Directly to: Country Director
Works Directly with: Operations Manager, Field Coordinators, Director of Programs, Finance Department.
Accountability: Accountable to Mercy Corps Security, Procurement, Inventory, Assets and Fleet Policy and Procedures.
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.
Knowledge and experience:
- Degree in relevant business field is desirable;
- A minimum of 4-5 years’ field experience setting up and managing security, administration, procurement and logistics with humanitarian NGOs with supervisory responsibilities;
- Demonstrated understanding of supporting complex programing in challenging environments;
- Demonstrated experience with data management, mining, workflow and analytical tools;
- Working knowledge of data mining principles: predictive analytics, mapping, collecting data from multiple data systems on premises;
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and problem-solving independently and cooperatively;
- Strong organizational skills; ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel.
- Excellent oral and written English skills;
- A demonstrated ability to multi-task and process information into action as to not delay program activities.
- Experience in community work and/or experience in project implementation.
The successful Operations Director 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 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 other offices. 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
This is accompanied by a spouse only position. The position is based in Yangon, Myanmar or other Mercy Corps locations within a 2-hour time difference with Myanmar. It requires travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard.
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.