Deputy Chief of Party/Technical Director, Equity and Inclusion in Education, Nepal
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Program / Department Summary
The anticipated USAID/Nepal Equity and Inclusion in Education (EIE) program is expected to be a USD $15M, five-year program aiming to strengthen inclusive education systems in Nepal. While the final scope of the program will be more fully revealed when the RFA is released, it is believed that the program will be a key support to the government’s inclusive education strategy, focusing on three key pillars: access, participation, and learning outcomes for eight dimensions of equity: gender, socio-economic status, geographical location, health and nutrition status, disabilities, caste and ethnicity, language, and vulnerable groups. The program is expected to target marginalized and vulnerable students in the most education-challenged areas of Provinces 2, Karnali and Sudurprachim provinces. Key approach areas included in the design are expected to center around governance support; COVID-19 “catch-up;” out-of-school learners, drop-outs and transitions; and teacher training, quality and management. Furthermore, community and cultural dimensions are considered a large component in the push and pull factors of inclusion and equity in the current education system and will also be a considerable component.
General Position Summary
The DCoP will provide support to the overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the upcoming USAID/Nepal Equity and Inclusion in Education program, as the deputy to the program’s Chief of Party. The DCoP will provide the CoP advice, context, support and backstopping to ensure the program best helps meet the real, dynamic and complex needs of the people in the program implementation area. The DCoP is a key role in ensuring that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, on-scope, and within budget. The DCoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations.
Importantly, s/he will serve as the primary program Technical Director, supervising all technical approaches and being the primary leader 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. S/he will be expected to drive an innovative, integrated technical approach to program implementation, that focuses on long-term change and sustained impact.
As gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), safeguarding, governance, and resilience are cross-cutting and core components of all Mercy Corps projects, the Deputy Chief of Party is required to own these components and ensure these components are integrated into his/her work area.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- 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 up to three provincial offices, ensuring the programs approach and vision to implementation management remains safe, efficient, coordinated and beneficiary responsive.
- Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in inclusive education, and are done in close collaboration with other programs and Government of Nepal education 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, most specifically within inclusive education approaches.
- Serve as the primary role responsible for not only an integrated programming design, but most specifically, ensuring that GESI, governance, and resilience is 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 start-up, including key assessments, baseline analysis and target design, beneficiary targeting, and refinement of clear strategy approach documentation.
- Support operational aspects of program start-up, 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 the delivery of the same.
- Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to vulnerability criteria.
- Integrate community approaches 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 to design effective M&E systems, including linkages with 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 - spend up to 45% of 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 programs vision and theory of change as per the resilience framework and related learning.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones 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 overall program strategic and inclusive 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 & 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 M&E Director, support the roll out of monitoring and evaluation framework, and strategic research that contributes to program learning related to resilience.
- Document achievements/impact of innovative program components of the program.
- Ensure that M&E and all team members’ together focus on assisting the program to generate practical information that can be used for ongoing program analysis and decision-making while also capturing results at the impact level.
Finance & Compliance Management
- 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
- Monitor adherence to grant 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 make adjustments to spending and work plans accordingly, as needed, but also in compliance with donor regulations.
Coordination, Influence & 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 the external communications strategy and activities and support ensuring that sufficient content is contributed, and branding and quality communications standards are maintained.
- Work with the other development organizations, especially with USAID’s implementing partners, to create a synergy in program implementation and reduce the possible duplication of resources.
- Encourage, support, and mobilize the 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.
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.
As this program is still in the design stage, the full organizational chart is yet to be finalized. Expected direct reports include Heads of Sub-Offices, technical component leaders, and consortium partners.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Country Director, Director of Programs, MEL Director, other program managers in-country, finance, HR, and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field [include technical fields as per program]. Formal education or training in the inclusive education sector preferred.
- A minimum of 7-10 years of professional experience in the international humanitarian or development sector, including 3 years in a senior management position.
- 3-5 years of program management experience in the education sector, preferably with inclusive education, preferably in Nepal.
- Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Government of Nepal education strategy and priorities, plus partner best practices in successful inclusive education 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 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 donor compliance issues.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Foreign language ability in Nepali preferred/required.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
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 building, 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
The DCoP is based in Kathmandu but with significant travel to program locations across the country. The location is accompanied for an international candidate and a secure location for families. Housing for international candidates is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. 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 at least 60% of travel by road or domestic airlines to field offices in safe environments. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.
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 work environment.