Program Director – BEGE (Broadening Emergency and Graduation Efforts) - North East Nigeria

Programs Abuja, Nigeria


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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery and resilient growth of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management. The Nigeria country program has grown considerably over the last few years, and is now among the largest Mercy Corps country programs globally, with a mixed donor & programming portfolio.
The Broadening Emergency and Graduation Efforts in Borno (BEGE-Borno) intervention not only contributes to Pillar Six (Reconstruct, Rehabilitate & Resettle) of the Borno State Government STIs (Strategic Transformational Initiatives), it also aligns with Mercy Corps vision of building towards a more inclusive, resilient future for the communities we serve through a framework of helping people and communities to cope, adapt and thrive.
The BEGE Program goal is to deliver lifesaving, life-sustaining interventions and enhance adaptation of 238,369 displaced, returnee and host households to shocks and systemic constraints within Borno State. BEGE Borno is a consortium led by Mercy Corps, with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a partner, alongside other local partners, delivering integrated assistance to people in acute need through Health, Nutrition, WASH, Food Assistance, Unconditional Cash, Protection, Shelter and Agriculture sectors.

General Position Summary

This is a senior level role with overarching leadership, management, and coordination of multi-sectoral deliverables within the consortium. The Program Director is a cross-functional team leader who takes full responsibility for the successful delivery across all the eight sectors including monitoring, collaborative learning and adaptation, and evaluation functions. This role is ultimately responsible and accountable for timely delivery of assistance in a dignified manner, on scope and budget. Succeeding in this role will require an agile personality, great emotional intelligence, a solutions thinker with a desire to define your success around improvement in quality of human lives. The Program Director has a clear understanding of at least six of the ten sectors and how they work well together.
Essential Job Responsibilities
  • Set directions by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program objectives and contribute to humanitarian and sustainable solutions strategy
  • Contribute to Mercy Corps Pathways to Possibilities (P2P) agenda, ensuring all sectors and activities align with the strategy
  • Set the vision for effective management and coordination of successful delivery of an integrated package of multi-sectoral interventions
  • Lead and guide the team and program Partners in delivering the activities across BEGE Program sectors
  • Contribute/initiate assessments and support new initiatives to sustain the efficient assistance to the local communities and program participants
  • Manage and oversee the implementation of the BEGE program, ensuring it is on-time, on-scope and within the budget
  • Structure the team to ensure that all program aspects meet the highest programmatic standards and adhere to the sectoral minimum standards and norms
  • Lead on and maintain consortium, program and sectoral planning meetings, ensure workplans are functional and always up to date.
  • Ensure team produces and updates procurement and recruitment plans
  • Oversee consortium management and build long-term and productive relationship with all BEGE consortium partners. Chair the consortium regular meetings
  • Ensure all MC administration, logistical, human resources and financial procedures are followed in relation to implementation of BEGE Program.
  • Work closely with the MEL team to ensure that all essential program, organizational metrics, and lessons learned are being adequately captured;
  • Capture best practices and lessons learned and promote an overall culture of adaptive learning through systematic analysis and reflection on program data;
  • Ensure that all donor reports are submitted on time and to the highest possible standard;
  • Ensure all MC program management minimum standards are pet
  • Encourage culture and learning and adaptation and work with broader MC Nigeria (MCN) Program Accountability and Quality (PAQ) team to put in place strong knowledge management systems
  • Recruit a program team and ensure that program staff receive necessary inductions and training (including program management certification where required).
  • Create a work atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, conducive to innovations in the program implementation, professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
  • Implement, and ensure all staff members are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback.
  • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees and ensuring that supervisory staff personnel do the same.
  • Contribute to region and country 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
Finance & Compliance Management
  • Work closely with the Finance team to review monthly budget versus actual financial management information to ensure that all program expenditure is on track and does not exceed approved budget variance limits;
  • Plan and manage BEGE monthly and quarterly cash flows and oversee the timely and compliant expenditure by Mercy Corps’ sub-grantees.
  • Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance.
  • Ensure all internal and external reports are produced to donor and Mercy Corps standards.
Influence & Representation & Collaboration
  • Work closely with all BEGE Partners and external stakeholders for impactful and efficient delivery of assistance to the communities
  • Closely coordinate with MCN two sister programs implemented in Borno (THRIVE and NE CORE) to ensure effective use of shared resources.
  • Represent Mercy Corps to government, donors, I/NGOs and other relevant events in the field.
  • Coordinate activities with partners, sub-grantees, government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps global staff.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • 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.
  • Work closely with Mercy Corps Security and Analytics teams to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its implementation process.
Supervisory Responsibility: The role directly supervises BEGE Borno Sector Leads, Field Program Managers, a Senior Program Officer

Reports Directly To:
Director-Humanitarian Response and Sustainable Solutions (HSSD) -Maiduguri
Works Directly With: THRIVE Program Director, NE CORE Snr Program Manager, PAQ Team, Finance Manager, Operations Manager, Security Advisor, Senior Field Manager.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
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 project.
Knowledge and Experience
  • At least 5 years of consistently growing competencies and experience in managing an integrated multi sector portfolio or program, ideally in humanitarian and/or early recovery settings
  • MA/S or equivalent in international development or related field preferred.
  • Prior work experience in Africa strongly preferred; an ability to work comfortably, effectively and creatively within the cultural environment of Nigeria and areas of poor security required.
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments
  • Experience in working with partners, managing partnership, ideally within consortium required
  • Familiarity with and understanding of the humanitarian context in Borno State and Northeast Nigeria preferred, or similar contexts globally.
  • Familiarity with USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) Assistance Guidelines, as well as experience in managing BHA funded programs strongly preferred.
  • Strong budget management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a solution-seeker and proven success with building, managing and leading a consortium of partners and a team of professionals.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, prioritization skills are necessary.
  • Fluency in English written and oral communication required
Success Factors

The successful candidate will have the enthusiasm and proactive personality to regularly interact with program partners, participants and other stakeholders.
S/he will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on teambuilding and training of staff, and will be able to apply creative solutions to program quality. S/he will also have the skill to engage, motivate and encourage staff to bring creative solutions to development issues, identify opportunities for increased impact, and pursue project objectives. S/he will be a self-starter and team player, strong and effective communicator who leads and collaborates, as well as builds platforms to exchange thoughts, challenges and lessons.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours.
Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values always and in all in-country venues.

Living /Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state with regular travel to program locations including deep field sites. The location is generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are domestic travel options from Maiduguri Airport. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. This position requires 20-30% travel by road and air to field offices that are located in highly insecure locations.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on short-term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' 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, reach their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborate to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity 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 based on 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.