Grants and Partnership Manager - Nouakchott, Mauritania

Finance & Compliance Nouakchott, Mauritania


Position Description

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 

Mercy Corps has been active in the Sahel since 2005, with ongoing programs in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Mauritania. In these countries, Mercy Corps works primarily in the areas of resilience, food security, livelihoods, governance, conflict mitigation, and humanitarian response. Through these programs, Mercy Corps aims to stimulate economic opportunities, catalyze inclusive and accountable governance systems, boost local economies, and break the cycle of food and water insecurity while addressing the immediate, medium, and long-term needs of populations. Mercy Corps' work promotes resilience to shocks and stresses and enables individuals, households and communities to achieve inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. Mercy Corps' vision for change encourages the private sector, government, and civil society to work together to create meaningful and lasting change.

In Mauritania, Mercy Corps is based in Nouakchott and is operating the USAID-funded Nafoore Program, implemented in consortium with Counterpart International and ECODEV. In line with Mercy Corps global strategy and the national strategy in Mauritania, the Nafoore program aims to build the resilience of vulnerable young people to violent extremism, by increasing economic opportunities, empowering youth through civic engagement and participation and developing sustainable support networks for youth. The overall objective of the program is to increase the resilience of vulnerable Mauritanian youth in Nouakchott, Trarza and the southwestern regions of Hodh el Gharbi and Hodh el Chargui.

To achieve this, the NAFOORE Program plans to implement three objectives: 

1)     Increase the economic potential of youth

2)     Strengthen youth agency and belonging in their lives and communities

3)     Expand safe and supportive youth social networks  

Nafoore takes a facilitative approach, building the capacity of, and working through a network of local youth centers, youth serving organizations (CBOs and CSOs), the “Nafoore Network”.

Mercy Corps works in partnership with the government, the communities of Mauritania, and in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations present in the country and youth participants to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development in Mauritania.

The Position

This position serves as the Grants and Partnership Manager for the Nafoore Program regular activities. The Grants and Partnership Manager will oversee the grants and subawards system for Nafoore. The Manager will also support with 1) Identification of the program grants and contract needs, mapping options and working with the team to select appropriate mechanisms; 2) Outline processes for the team to set-up, implement and manage grants; 3) Improve collective understanding of sub-awards 4) Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies, rules and regulations. The types of subaward, contracting or collaboration mechanisms will generally be with our consortium partners and sub partners and with hyper-local organizations with very limited capacity. The mechanisms will need to be context sensitive. It is estimated that there will be up to 40 awards.

Essential Responsibilities 


  • Work with Implementation Director, COP and DCOP to continuously understand the program needs around subawards.

  • Ensure subawards are managed in accordance with Mercy Corps’ Subaward Financial Management Manual and donor rules and regulations.

  • Provide an overview of the types of sub-awarding mechanisms that may fit, in line with the conditions of the award, Mercy Corps compliance standards and local laws.

  • Advise on appropriate instruments for subawarding and contracting.


  • Work with program team, finance team and partners to outline steps for subawards and contracts management.

  • Support finance team in pre-award financial review and other due diligence processes of subrecipients and feed into the special award conditions of the subaward.

  • Review subrecipients budgets and budget narratives for completeness, cost realism and compliance with donor and Mercy Corps budget requirements.

  • Ensure modifications to subawards are executed in accordance with donor and MC requirements.

  • Develop subrecipient monitoring plans, in coordination with finance, conduct financial and program monitoring visits and prepare reports for these visits.

  • Responsible for subrecipient close-outs, including ensuring that all financial and program requirements of the subaward agreement have been met.

  • In coordination with finance, provide compliance guidance and consultations to subrecipients on a demand-driven basis.

  • Assist subrecipients, as needed with subrecipient prior approval, waiver and other compliance requests to Mercy Corps.

  • Assess subrecipient organizational needs, so that the subaward process strengthens the ability of local NGOs/CSOs to meet minimum standards for financial management, program management, operational management and governance structures. 

  • Develop post-award training and capacity plan for the subrecipients on subaward administration, applicable donor regulations and reporting and compliance requirements and support in delivery of these capacity building initiatives and training plans.

  • Work with procurement team to assess gaps and needs for in kind grants and service contracts and advise on the best procurement modality.

  • Maintain complete and accurate files for all grant files as per the sub award financial management manual (SFMM).

  • Serve as primary point of contact for all correspondence and notifications to subrecipients.

  • Create a partnership database that maps out partner capacity, areas of expertise aligning with Mercy Corps Mauritania country strategy including details of details of all subrecipients including name of grantee, contact details (including address, email, telephone and contact names), types of services provided and duration of sub award.


  • Engage with Finance, Operations and Procurement to develop common understanding of the sub-awarding mechanism.

  • Share best practices within the program and Mercy Corps teams.

  • Keep abreast with donor and Mercy Corps compliance requirements.

  • Propose revisions to subaward processes and procedures based on experience and lessons learned and coordinate proposed changes with the Mercy Corps SMT.

  • Work with program team and procurement team to outline a clear process for onboarding and managing the grants and contracts.

  • Work with implementation director and COP to understand program capacity needs including potentially required staffing changes.

  • Support the mission in developing systematic and strategic approaches to selecting partners, and in identifying and pursuing strategic partnerships.


  • Ensure reporting from subrecipients is timely, complete and prompt.

  • Ensure that award reporting is coordinated and compiled and at the quality necessary for input into donor reports. Including ensuring financial and program reports are adequate and sufficient for program tracking and reporting  for regularly monitoring spending and implementation progress.

  • Working with the MEL and program teams to ensure that the results and program development is aligned to the requirements of the award and where necessary update the requirements of the awards.

  • Work with program team to verify milestone accomplishment prior to payment settlement and implementation of in-kind activities.

  • Prepare monthly and quarterly reports for grant activities that feed into the Nafoore periodic program reports.

Supervisory Responsibility

Up to 2. Initially none.


Reports Directly To: Chief of Oarty

Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party, Program Implementation Director, Finance Director, Team Leader Crisis Modifier

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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program managemen desirablet.

  • 3 to 5 years of experience with US institutional donors (or European donors), including strengths in grant management, coordination and donor reporting.

  • Experience of working with small organisations presenting difficult compliance problems requiring innovative approaches.

  • Demonstrable ability to produce high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal direction.

  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with senior leaders (both internal and external) is essential.

  • Excellent program management and financial skills.

  • Ability to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time, with little to no direction.

  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants.

  • Ability to deliver high quality reports within short deadlines.

  • Fluent French and English required.

  • Prior work experience in the Sahel and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage.

  • Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will be able to work independently, take initiative with tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. The ability to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments is essential for success. S/he will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Nouakchott and it requires up to 10% 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 reasonable standard. Accompanied.

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, 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.