Chief of Party, New Youth Activity - Liberia
This position is pending 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.
Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been present in Liberia since 2002, supporting the country’s post-conflict recovery following 14 years of civil war and the devastating Ebola crisis. During this time, Mercy Corps has delivered programs in areas including agricultural livelihoods development, financial inclusion, nutrition, water and sanitation, infrastructure, food security, market development, and youth employment. Today, Mercy Corps remains one of the foremost development and humanitarian actors in Liberia with programming focused on renewable energy, youth employment and entrepreneurship, market systems development, education, especially for improved school management and school health and nutrition, and good governance.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the implementation of the expected five-year USAID-funded Liberia New Youth Activity. The proposed program will build the capacity of local Liberian organizations to deliver integrated youth education and livelihood opportunities for out-of-school youth ages 15-35. The activity will expand the reach of work readiness activities and support for youth self-employment, and develop integrated youth centers to offer alternative basic education, livelihoods, health, and other relevant services to vulnerable out-of-school youth.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the five-year, multi-million dollar USAID-funded program. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time and within budget and is accountable to beneficiaries. The COP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to beneficiaries, donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, guided by a resilience approach and strong adaptive management, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
- Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.
- Oversee program startup and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Liberia, headquarters, USAID, Government authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.
- Ensure integration of resilience thinking, community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Develop the capacity of the team, 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.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Liberia.
- In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.
Influence & Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Program staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and partner organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- Master’s degree in international development, education, or relevant field required
- Minimum 10 years of development experience in youth livelihoods and formal/non-formal education
- At least five (5) years of senior management experience overseeing USAID or other donor programs of similar size and technical scope. USAID Chief of Party experience highly preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Experience in positive youth development, capacity building and workforce development, and non-formal education.
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements required.
- Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture, especially among large and diverse teams.
- Experience working in West Africa required, Liberia experience highly preferred.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; English fluency required.
The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs in youth employment/livelihoods/economic development within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will be a curious systems-thinker, with proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. Successful candidates will demonstrate 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 position will be based in Monrovia, Liberia. The position may require up to 30% travel to field locations.
The security situation is stable; general unrest is not anticipated. Monrovia and towns in outlying areas are generally safe, though come with the same safety considerations as any other city. Life in Monrovia is basic but comfortable, with good accommodation, and a busy expatriate scene.
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.