Head of Office - Berberati, CAR

Operations & Logistics Berbérati, Central African Republic


Description

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 has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since September 2007. With offices in Bangui, Bouar, Bambari Bangassou and soon Berberati.  Mercy Corps works to integrate short-term humanitarian assistance with programs to strengthen community resilience and support market-led economic development, with a cross-cutting accent on governance and gender. The organization takes a sustainable approach to its programming, seeking to change behaviors and create institutions to foster long-term development in the sectors of protection, governance, civil society capacity building, youth employment, water/sanitation, and food security. Funding comes from a range of donors including the European Commission, BHA, the United Nations, Agence Française de Développement, as well as private foundations. By addressing a number of overlapping and associated needs within a wide range of activities, Mercy Corps in CAR takes an integrated approach to ensure the greatest possible impact.

In the new Berberati office the program includes currently the implementation of a portion of a large 4 year Program that focuses on youth employment and works with the relevant existing services to strengthen the quality of the vocational training offer, the integration of young people (girls and boys) and the strengthening of the coordination and governance of training centers in Bangui and its surroundings and in the West and the Southwest of the country (Lobaye, Mambéré-Kadéi, Nana-Mambéré).   Berberati is therefore one of the geographical areas the program covers.

General Position Summary 

The Head of Office is a senior management position for Mercy Corps CAR with supervisory and managerial responsibilities.  

The Head of Office (HoO) is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Berberati office, ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps’ and donors’ policies and procedures, ensuring internal and external coordination, and representation in Berberati. This includes training staff as needed and supervising administrative, logistics, and finance staff members.  The HoO will need to closely coordinate with the Program Manager (based currently in Bouar) that is responsible for the programmatic implementation of the Youth Employment Program, in order to be sufficiently informed about all the activities being implemented in Berberati.  

The HoO is responsible for maintaining very strong relationships with the CAR Bangui-based Sr. leaders, especially with the Country Director, Director of Operations and Director of Programs.

Essential Job Responsibilities 

Strategy & Vision
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Lead the identification of new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs in his area of supervision and the country strategy, in coordination with the Program Director and Country Director as well as headquarters-based Senior Program Officer, Technical Advisors and other relevant staff.
Operations Management
  • Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) of the Mercy Corps office and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Maintain regular contact with Operations Manager/Director and Finance Manager. 
  • Oversee management, supervision and training of all aspects of finance, administration, HR, and logistics in the Berberati office.
  • Ensure that procurement is completed, documented, and delivered to end-user in a timely manner, ensuring that items procured meet the specifications of the end-user while adhering to donor and Mercy Corps procurement guidelines.
  • Ensure all aspects of asset management, including maintenance of the asset register and investigation of any missing assets.
  • Supervise the management and maintenance of vehicle fleet, office facilities, and equipment, including power supply.
  • Oversee database and paper file management for program, finance, administration, HR, and logistics documents; ensure files are complete and in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ Bangui and HQ offices on travel and logistics support, as required.
Security management
  • Up-date and maintain the security plan for the area of operation.
  • Follow up any development/changes in regards to the security situation. 
  • Ensure adequate security coordination with other humanitarian actors in the areas. 
  • Liaise with the Manager/Director of Operations and Country Director on any degradation in security situation. 
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
Finance & Compliance Management 
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming and operations.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
Team Management 
  • 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. 
  • Implement and ensure all project staff effectively use the performance planning and management system, establish performance expectations and regularly provide constructive feedback to program staff.
  • 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.
Influence & Representation 
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders in coordination with the SMT team..
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Liaise with local government officials, local NGOs and civil society organizations, local religious leaders and other community members to ensure support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps projects in the area of operations.
Organizational Learning  
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

This position requires direct supervision of the Operations team for the base and dotted line supervision of the Program team based in Berberati to cover all operational aspects (security, logistics, admin..)

Accountability 

Reports Directly To: Country Director with dotted line to the Operations Manager

Works Directly With: Finance Manager, M&E Manager, Compliance Manager, Youth Employment Program Manager, and partner organizations.

Knowledge and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in relevant field management, operations, logistics, international development, finance).  
  • At least 3-5 years of relevant Operations management experience. 
  • Sound understanding of financial, procurement, administration, and logistics management systems.
  • Experience managing security protocols and responding to incidents/crises in conflict areas; 
  • Experience coordinating multiple activities, developing synergies and creating opportunities for collaboration;
  • Demonstrated experience in team building and team coordination for achieving program goals;
  • Strong commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in project design and implementation;
  • Experience working with host governments at the national and sub-national level, INGOs and national NGOs and familiarity with international humanitarian operations, coordination structures, and the mandates of UN agencies, and other NGOs.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills; detail-oriented; and possessing an ability to anticipate program and operational needs. 
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively with others in a team environment and to a diverse group of national and international staff.  
  • Understanding of participatory methodologies for project design, implementation and evaluation. 
  • Knowledge of humanitarian regulation and compliance standards including SPHERE, AFD, EU, ECHO, BHA, and UNICEF core commitments.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required. 
  • Fluent French and English essential
  • Knowledge and experience of the CAR context, along with Sango, is an advantage.

Success Factors 

A successful candidate will be conscientious, with excellent judgment and will display an entrepreneurial spirit that is both creative and flexible. S/he will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, participatory leadership and tactful decisiveness to assist in the development and implementation of Mercy Corps’ country strategy. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The individual will be a strategic thinker able to bring ideas to implementation in growing program operations. S/he will have exceptional proposal development skills and an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in the country. An interest and ability to travel and work in very remote environments, and awareness of and sensitivity to multi-cultural international development work and ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles is required.  An even temperament and a good sense of humor are appreciated.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The HoO will be based in Berberati and will travel to Bangui on occasion. This is an unaccompanied post and eligible for Hardship and R&R. 

The Central African Republic is a nation of 4.6 million people, ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world, with an average life expectancy of only 49 years. Hospitals and access to medicines is very limited. Malaria is prevalent and it is estimated that 7-8% of the population may be HIV positive. 

Berberati is one of the larger cities of the country and the capital of the Mambere Kadei Prefecture.  The city is relatively calm and safe.  However, criminality, mainly petty theft and robberies, constitutes the main cause of insecurity, and travel in some of the surrounding areas can be dangerous due to armed road bandits.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting. 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.

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. 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.