Director of Programs - Beirut, Lebanon
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 seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping build secure, productive and just communities. Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps has been working towards generating positive opportunities for Lebanese people, Syrian and Palestine refugees and other vulnerable groups, with a strong focus on engaging women and youth. We do this through:
- Building the resilience of vulnerable individuals, by enhancing their human, social and political capital, to enable them to better adapt to shocks and stresses;
- Strengthening participatory governance and social cohesion to encourage diverse groups to work together to solve public challenges and provide equitable service delivery;
- Promoting economic growth and creating employment opportunities and revenue for vulnerable population groups;
- Carrying out research and developing an evidence-base to influence the adoption of effective and equitable humanitarian and development initiatives in Lebanon;
- Adapting to the changing context in providing both humanitarian life-saving assistance and supporting markets in crisis when and where needed,
The Mercy Corps Lebanon team consists of over 125 staff working across four offices throughout Beirut/Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, North Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. Current funders of Mercy Corps in Lebanon include the government of the Netherlands, Global Affairs Canada,
the US Government, Agence Française de Développement, RDPP and the European Union through Madad funds. Mercy Corps’ programs aim to sustain Mercy Corps’ reputation as a key and reliable partner for various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive changes along the humanitarian, development and peace spectrum.
Primary program interventions include market systems development, support to employment, good governance, capacity building, economic development, livelihood support, and humanitarian assistance through cash-based response and support to markets in crisis, along with a growing research portfolio. As the effect of the multi-dimensional crisis affecting Lebanon for the past two years becomes increasingly dire for the population,Mercy Corps is currently pivoting to bring a greater focus on cash assistance, agriculture and food security. In addition to the current work with micro, medium and small enterprises, the team is also looking at ways to help communities maintain a degree of stability through these challenging times, through support to local governance and access to renewable energy.
General Position Summary
The Director of Programs (DOP) will work closely with the Country Director (CD) and the program teams to lead new programs development and strategy, and ensure effective program coordination and technical support, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability in close collaboration with the operations, human resources, finance and internal control teams. They will help represent Mercy Corps programs to donors, major stakeholders, relevant government authorities and other program partners such as other NGOs. The Director of Programs is part of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) with supervisory and managerial responsibilities, and will ensure appropriate representation of Mercy Corps at all levels.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Maintain a central role in shaping and implementing Lebanon’s country strategy, ensuring that existing programs contribute to strategic goals, objectives and targets and is relevant to the evolving context in the country;
- Actively lead and support the expected process of developing a new country strategy in light of Mercy Corps Global New Strategy and Vision;
- Serve as an active member of the Senior Leadership team and contribute to setting program strategy and priorities;
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and agency objectives;
- Lead the identification of new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs and contribute to the objectives of the country strategy;
- Conduct analyses to determine humanitarian/development gaps and how Mercy Corps should position itself to best serve the needs of vulnerable populations;
- Lead and oversee the development of solicited and unsolicited proposals and concept notes.
COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION
- Establish close and productive relationships with donors, national government authorities, private sector actors, and other Local and International NGOs in close coordination with the Country Director, Program Managers and Technical Coordinators;
- Represent Mercy Corps at all relevant external meetings.
- Coordinate with other NGOs to consolidate Mercy Corps’ strategic niche and comparative advantages, while identifying strategic partnerships with both Local and International actors;
- Ensure Mercy Corps’ active and influential participation in a variety of external forums, workshops, conference, sector coordination meetings to share best practices and findings with the government and humanitarian and development community;
- Represent Mercy Corps in Country Director’s absence on relevant issues.
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT
- Provide leadership in all aspects of program coordination to ensure consistent quality, including the incorporation of cross-cutting themes, lessons learned and best practices;
- Facilitate the coordination between different programs and ensure that program managers and technical coordinators for cross-cutting themes are able to work together effectively according to program work plans;
- Ensure that all programs are on time, scope and budget while supporting clear and compliant program adaptive and adaptive management whenever needed;
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic roadmap and country strategy;
- Work with Program Managers to ensure adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations;
- Support Program Managers to oversee performance of partners, sub-grantees and technical contractors;
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews;
- Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary;
- Provide continued capacity building to all direct reports and broader program team members and create a pleasant work environment that promotes learning, accountability and ownership;
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance, and reach objectives;
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options, and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
PROGRAM QUALITY, LEARNING, RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Ensure that robust monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and program performance and quality (PaQ) systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool, encouraging consistency and best practice across programs;
- Ensure that program managers have adequate understanding of MEL, PaQ, communications and research;
- Promote a programmatic environment of evidence-based decision making;
- Provide ongoing training and guidance to staff on best practices;
- Ensure all programs adhere to all Mercy Corps’ program management minimum standards;
- Oversee the Program Performance and Quality team
- With the Country Director, help staff identify and take advantage of professional development opportunities;
- Contribute to the country team building efforts.
- Oversees the Media and Communication Manager and ensures that an effective communication strategy is developed and implemented;
PROGRAM MINIMUM STANDARDS AND REPORTING
- Ensure that program documentation and program minimum standards are consistently adhered to;
- Ensure that a comprehensive reporting schedule and quarterly planning process are maintained and adhered to according to requirements;
- Ensure that donor reports produced by the Programs team effectively demonstrate the impact of Mercy Corps’ program interventions;
- Review all reports to ensure a high-quality product.
PROGRAM SUPPORT OPERATIONS
- Assist the Country Director with adequate financial and staff forecasting, and ensure that available funding is in alignment with staffing plans;
- Work closely with the Operations Director and Finance Director to ensure that operational and financial management systems are responsive to program needs and that program staff are adhering to both donor and Mercy Corps procedures and regulations;
- Lead all Budget versus Actuals (BVAs) meetings and ensure that all programs are on time, scope and budget;
- Work closely with the Finance team and the Program Managers to identify, manage and track co-financing;
- Work closely with HR Manager to ensure all staff contracts and Human Resources procedures and requirements are in place and up to date;
- Ensure adequate performance reviews are done on time, and that staff are given constant feedback on work performance and key priorities.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.
Program and Sectors Managers, PaQ Manager, Communication and Media Coordinator
Reports Directly To: Country Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Lebanon Programs, Operations, Finance, and HR teams; Regional Middle East Leadership and Program Team; Global Technical Support Unit, Global Program Performance and Quality Team, Global Finance and Operations Teams,
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:
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred;
- 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing large, transitional development programs;
- At least 2-3 years of senior-level leadership and field management experience, including building, managing and leading a team of professionals;
- Experience designing and managing humanitarian response and development programs;
- Experience with Economic Development, Resilience, Governance and Humanitarian programming is key; in particular, in displacement, economic challenges and social stability context; preference also given to candidates with background in the Middle East region
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments;
- Excellent writing skills and experience with proposal development processes with prior experience with USAID, UN, EU and other bilateral funding agencies;
- Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with UN, USG and European grant management;
- Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills;
- Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is a plus;
- Experience managing national and international staff;
- Previous work experience in the Middle East preferred.
The successful candidate will have deep commitment to humanitarian principles and values and the willingness to learn new skills and methodologies while driving an innovative and impactful program strategy. They will have the ability to work under pressure, independently and with limited supervision and demonstrate creative problem-solving skills. The candidate will have highly developed interpersonal communication skills and demonstrate decision- making and leadership skills and excellent time management capacities.
Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Beirut, Lebanon and is an accompanied position. The country is currently going through an important economic crisis that has some effect on the living conditions, access to basic services and infrastructure.
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.