Deputy Chief of Party/Technical Director, USAID-Funded Integrated Nutrition Activity
This position is pending funding and USAID approval
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.
The Program / Department / Team
Mercy Corps is seeking a qualified Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP)/Technical Director to provide technical leadership and management support to the implementation of the anticipated, five-year, USAID-funded Integrated Nutrition Activity (INA) in Nepal. The purpose of this Activity is to strengthen the Government of Nepal’s commitment and capacity to improve nutrition outcomes and ensure a healthy and productive workforce.
The DCoP will provide support to the overall leadership, management, and strategic vision for the implementation of INA, serving as the deputy to the program’s Chief of Party (CoP). The DCoP will provide the CoP advice, context, and backstopping support to ensure that the program helps meet the real, dynamic, and complex needs of the people in the program implementation area. The DCoP will have a key role in ensuring that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, on-scope, and within budget. The DCoP will supervise key technical and implementating program staff, and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations.
Importantly, the DCoP will serve as the program’s Technical Director, supervising all technical approaches and overseeing consortium partner implementation of the programs vision, strategy, and activities. S/he will provide front-line leadership to field implementation for Mercy Corps staff and partners, and will be expected to drive an innovative, integrated technical approach to program implementation with a focus on long-term, sustainable impact.
As gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), safeguarding, governance, and resilience are cross-cutting and core components of all Mercy Corps programs, the DCoP will be responsible for leading these components and ensuring they are integrated into his/her work area.
STRATEGY AND PLANNING
- Under the guidance of the CoP, set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program objectives.
- Under the guidance of the CoP and with support from the program team, develop and drive a coherent, integrated vision, ensuring innovation, influence, and impact across the program areas.
- Support the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program, as well as regular reporting to the donor.
- Supervise the Heads of Sub-Office for provincial offices, ensuring the program’s approach and vision to implementation management remains safe, efficient, coordinated, and responsive to participants.
- Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in nutrition and health, and are implemented in close collaboration with other programs and Government of Nepal nutrition priorities
- Lead the socialization of the program with Government of Nepal stakeholders at the Provincial, District, and Municipal level, ensuring necessary approvals and collaboration, as required.
- With the CoP and overall team, drive the development and roll out of systems that support program quality and integrated implementation approaches across sectors, partners, and geographies.
- Serve as the primary senior program leader responsible for developing and refining an integrated programming design, and for ensuring that GESI, governance, and resilience are closely integrated into all sector areas with an overarching resilience approach, in line with Mercy Corps’ global model.
- Drive outside the box thinking and exploration of technical approaches and cultivate innovative partnerships in pursuit of program outcomes.
- Support program startup, including key assessments, baseline analysis and target design, participant targeting, and refinement of clear strategy approach documentation.
- Support operational aspects of program startup in conjunction with HR, admin, logistics, and finance teams, to ensure program implementation needs are sufficiently met.
- Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work- plans, and ensure delivery of activities with technical quality and operational efficiency
- Ensure that program participants are effectively targeted according to vulnerability criteria.
- Integrate a focus on communities and a localization approach into all activities, as appropriate.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Produce written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- Oversee efforts the design and implementation of effective program M&E systems, including linkages with Mercy Corps’ internal M&E systems.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Nepal, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, Government of Nepal authorities, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites, spending up to 50% time away from home base.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Supervise and manage, directly or indirectly, all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget, and the highest quality standards.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles, and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Drive a culture of learning, curiosity, and urgency among program teams, supporting innovation, influence, and impact.
- Ensure all teams members and partners have internalized the program vision and theory of change.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain an environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships, including an indirect role for partners’ staff, to ensure sound coordination in the context of an inclusive and strategic program management framework.
- Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
- Coordinate with, and ensure your team are coordinating with, procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
MONITORING, EVALUATION, LEARNING, AND REPORTING
- Facilitate the achievement of performance-based targets and outcomes and lead efforts to design effective, proactive, and iterative M&E systems following the program's logical framework and results chain measurement.
- Oversee the scope of work, deliverables, and overall quality of work of any internal or external evaluation or research partners.
- Oversee the scheduling and production of formal and informal reports on all aspects of the program in a timely and efficient manner.
- Ensure program data and analysis is used for learning by holding and leading semi- annual CLA program workshops with all program partners.
- With the support of the program’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Director, support the roll out of an M&E framework and strategic research that contributes to program learning.
- Document achievements and impact of innovative program components.
- Ensure all team members support production of practical information that can be used for ongoing program analysis and decision-making, while also capturing results at the impact level.
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- In collaboration with the country program's operations and finance departments, ensure effective financial management, procurement, administration, human resources, and logistics (including transport, warehousing, and asset management).
- Monitor adherence to the award agreement, Mercy Corps' policies and procedures, and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Nepal.
- Support the CoP in leadership of monthly Budget vs. Actual (BvA) analysis processes, with monthly forecasting tied to work plans, and help lead the process of adaptive management to adjust spending and work plans, as needed, in compliance with donor regulations.
COORDINATION, INFLUENCE, AND REPRESENTATION
- As directed by the CoP, represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO, and other relevant events or field visits.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government, and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Engage fully in external communications strategy and activities, ensuring that sufficient content is developed and branding and quality communications standards are maintained.
- Work with colleague organizations, especially USAID implementing partners, to explore synergies in program implementation and reduce potential duplication of resources.
- Encourage, support, and mobilize implementing partners for issue-based advocacy.
- Lead the process to endorse the program’s annual budget and plan within local government systems.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
Expected to supervise several direct reports. The number of direct and indirect reports will be determined at a later stage.
Reports Directly To: INA Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Mercy Corps Nepal Country Director, Director of Programs, MEL Director, Program Managers, Finance and Compliance Teams, HR, and Operations Teams; HQ Regional Program Teams and HQ and Regional Technical Support Unit
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.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- MA/S or advanced degree in development studies, international relations, social science, nutrition, medicine, public health, or related field.
- A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience implementing nutrition and health programs, preferably in Nepal, with prior experience in technical leadership roles.
- Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Government of Nepal nutrition strategies and priorities, plus best practices for successful nutrition programming.
- Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
- Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all technical components of the program.
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
- Strong understanding of USAID rules, regulations, and compliance issues.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
- Fluency in Nepali preferred.
The successful DCoP 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 within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity strengthening, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving, and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 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 position is based in Kathmandu, Nepal, with significant travel required to program locations across the country. For international candidates, this is an accompanied position with housing in individual accommodation and unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house and office. Kathmandu is a culturally dynamic capital city that can provide a safe and comfortable living environment, including for families, though a sense of patience with routine power cuts, water shortages, air pollution, and traffic is required. There are many international schools in Nepal, including both American and British system programs. Staff have full access to all services, such as medical, electricity, water, and internet. This position requires 50% travel (or more) to field offices and locations, some of which are easily accessible but many others of which are remote and require extended travel (by medium or small aircraft, vehicle on rough, windy, and/or elevated roads, and hiking) in areas that may be distant from amenities or healthcare. Climate conditions can include exceptional heat or cold, with some field sites at higher altitudes. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.
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 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.