Chief of Party, Equity and Inclusion in Education Activity, Nepal
This position is contingent upon funding and donor approval.
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 is designing a new program that will support the Government of Nepal to improve equitable access to quality basic education services for marginalized communities. The objectives will be to reduce the number of out of school children and improve learning outcomes for marginalized students. The program will be a five-year program led by Mercy Corps with the potential for international or local partners.
General Position Summary
The CoP will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a five year multi-million dollar USAID Equity and Inclusion in Education Activity to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The COPs’ responsibilities will include strengthening the capacity of local partners, training and curriculum development, facilitating clear communication between diverse groups and promoting people-to-people activities, while ensuring an adaptive approach in the Activity’s management. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he/ they will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with program team and key stakeholders.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative
- viewpoints are welcomed.
- Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program and the country office.
- Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Confirm beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.
- Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in education, gender equality and social inclusion.
- Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
- Supervise procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
- Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- 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.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Program Managers and in-country finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in development studies, international relations, education business administration or related field or two years of similar experience to substitute for a master’s degree.
- A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience implementing Education and or Inclusion programs preferably in Southern Asia.
- 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 compliance issues.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
- Experience in Nepal preferable.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
The successful CoP 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 position is based in Kathmandu and is accompanied. Kathmandu is a culturally dynamic capital city that can provide a comfortable, safe living environment with access to amenities, although a sense of patience with routine (and extended) power cuts, water shortages, air/ noise pollution, and traffic is required. Some travel to field locations may be required, some of which are easily accessible but many others of which are quite remote and require extended travel (by flight, vehicle, hiking, and occasionally motorcycle) in locations that may be distant from amenities or health care.
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.