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.
Mercy Corps Mali
Mercy Corps has been working in Mali since 2012 supporting vulnerable and at-risk Malian women, men and youth to cope with food security and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, restore peace and stability, and address humanitarian and development structural challenges. Our programming consists of humanitarian response (food distribution, WASH, Shelter), building resilience (livelihood support) and social cohesion. With a rapidly growing portfolio of funding and programming from FCDO, USAID, Sida, EU and others, Mercy Corps Mali is implementing an integrated humanitarian, development and conflict-prevention response to create a sustainable and impactful improvement in the human security of some of Mali’s worst conflict-affected areas. Mercy Corps is currently expanding its portfolio of programs across Mali to better support communities in preventing the further spread of violent conflict through several multi-year programs aimed at supporting human security, justice and stabilization, as well as a combined humanitarian response in the center of the country that has supported the food, water, hygiene, shelter and livelihood needs of over 100,000 persons in the last 18 months.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps Mali is searching for a Director of Programs with experience of implementing multi-thematic programs in contexts of crisis and conflict to oversee Mercy Corps Mali’s growing portfolio. The Director of Programs is a resourceful and proven leader responsible for new business development and resourcefully overseeing all programming in Mali. They place a high value on teamwork, collaborative approach and innovative solutions to development and humanitarian issues; internal communications while empowering national staff; creative partnerships in tough environments; and accountable programming to beneficiaries and donors. The Director of Programs is committed to a holistic approach in program implementation by bringing together different program portfolios, helping in advancing the organization’s country strategy and building a healthy team culture that promotes generosity and growth.
They will work closely with the Country Director (CD), Programs, and Monitoring & Evaluation teams to design and implement sustainable and impactful multi-sector programming that is accountable to beneficiaries and donors. The Director of Programs will ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability in close collaboration with the operations team. S/he will help represent the Mercy Corps programs to donors, other NGOs and stakeholders, thematic clusters, relevant government authorities, and other program partners.
STRATEGY AND PLANNING
- Ensure Mercy Corps has an up-to-date understanding of the country’s socio-economic situation, (donor) trends, needs and gaps, and who does what and where (3W)
- Work closely with the Country Director and programs team to build a donor’s strategy to increase the portfolio of the country ensuring that proposals are aligned with the country and broader Sahel strategy.
- Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to program leadership team, and other team members and stakeholders, translating into concrete work plans;
- Work closely with the CD and Regional team – as well as ensure ground-up participation and input from the Program and MEL team - to develop and implement an ambitious country strategy to deliver transformative change for Malian communities
- Support the periodic update of the Country Strategy, including organization of design and feedback sessions across field bases to feed into the national-level discussions. Lead localized strategy initiatives, such as a dedicated country-level Peacebuilding Strategy
NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
- Lead and coordinate proposal development in line with the country strategy and recognize opportunities for innovative actions, with support from technical Units, HQ and field staff
- Lead or support the identification of new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs and the country strategy, in coordination with the Country Director and Program Managers, as well as the Africa-based Regional Program Director, Regional New Initiatives Manager, headquarters-based Senior Program Officers, Technical Advisors and other relevant staff and Technical Support Units (TSUs).
- Lead or support the development of solicited and unsolicited proposals and concept notes.
- Enhance donor relations, with a particular emphasis on helping to diversify the agency’s funding base in the country.
- Lead the strategic refinement and institutionalization of the Program and MEL departments as a whole, working with Program Managers/Directors, PAQ Lead, Grants & Program Support Manager and other advisory positions and the broader senior management team in Mali to troubleshoot coordination issues and create a strong, efficient and durable departmental structure
- Provide leadership in the programs department to ensure consistent quality, including the incorporation of cross-cutting themes, quality data analysis, lessons learned and best practices.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and aligned with Mercy Corps’ minimum standards, values, global strategic roadmap.
- To the extent possible, conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching.
- Work closely with the Operations Manager 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.
PROGRAM PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY
- In close coordination with the PaQ (Program Quality) lead, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning teams and Program Managers, ensure clear programs’ monitoring systems are in place; quality, transparency and accountability are maintained throughout all phases of programs’ implementations.
- Ensure the timely and evidence-based adaptive management of programming, incorporating indicator tracking and routine monitoring into all Program/MEL meetings (Quarterly meeting, Monthly meeting) for evidence-based decision making
- Ensure adherence to PM@MC (Mercy Corps’ program minimum standards), including developing a plan for training programs teams on new systems (PM@MC 2.0) and capacity building.
- Work with the PaQ Lead to provide in-depth support to program teams at key programmatic moments, such as program start-up, kick-off meetings, 90-day inception meeting check-ins, quarterly programs meetings, quality audits and spot checks, collecting lessons learned, 90-day end of program transition meetings.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented on strong foundations of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
- Work with PAQ advisor to establish and run Community Accountability Response Mechanisms (CARM) throughout the country office.
- Ensure the standardization and harmonization of tools, SOPs and processes used by Program team members, creating a stronger departmental structure and alignment in management.
REPORTING AND GRANTS MANAGEMENT
- Ensure that contractual obligations (including visibility requirements) and reporting deadlines are known and met by Program, PAQ and Support teams (Finance, Operations, HR);
- Work with Program Directors and Managers to monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures, and relevant external rules and regulations.
- Support Program Directors and Managers to oversee performance of partners, sub-grantees, and technical contractors.
- Work with the Grants and Program Support Manager to coordinate the production of timely and quality donors’ reports on all in-country programs in close coordination with all programs’ teams and HQ Senior Programs’ Officers for timely submissions of the reports. This includes reviews, editing, translations and contributions to report writings and backstopping for Program Managers/Directors during their absence.
- Ensure a clear understanding of donors’ requirements regarding reports, success stories, communication by all programs’ teams and ensure grants are accurately tracked.
- Ensure that donor reports produced by the Grants & Program Support Manager and Programs team effectively demonstrate the impact of Mercy Corps’ program interventions, and are consistently of high quality to demonstrate progress and impact of Mercy Corps’ programs.
- Work with Program Managers and field teams to identify capacity building needs or structural issues in the department hampering implementation.
- 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.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Establish close and productive relationships with donors, national government authorities, and cluster members (UN and NGO) in Bamako, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Represent Mercy Corps at relevant coordination meetings in Bamako (GTAH/Heads of missions, Clusters, Humanitarian Advocacy Group, etc.), and play a lead role in other advocacy and coordination bodies.
- Coordinate with other NGOs in Mali to consolidate Mercy Corps’ comparative advantage, while identifying new strategic partnerships.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.
PaQ Lead (international), Program Managers/Directors/Coordinators (national and international, 3-4), and Grants & Program Support Manager (international)
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Country Operations, Finance, Human Resources and Security Heads of Departments; HQ & Regional Technical Support Unit; Donors, and partners (NGO and INGO)
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 Qualification & Transferable Skills
- MA/S or equivalent in political science, social science, management, international development or other relevant field.
- 5-7 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in Proposal Development, Program Management, Program Implementation, Grant Management, etc.
- Experience managing programs in relevant technical area(s) that may include food security in complex food/nutritional insecurity environments, agriculture, economic recovery, environment, livelihoods, financial services, gender and/or peace building.
- Proven record of accomplishment in program design, proposal writing and development, and donor reporting.
- Strong knowledge of conflict and fragility drivers, experience in program design and implementation in fragile contexts, including managing humanitarian relief and/or transitional programs in areas affected chronic food and nutritional insecurity, climate change, cycles of drought, etc.
- Robust past experience in working with USAID (OFDA, BHA, CMM), FCDO (CSSF, DfID, FCO), SIDA and the EU including knowledge of donor requirements and compliance issues.
- Strong M&E skills.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Strong knowledge and experience of the Sahel context is a great advantage.
- Fluency in French and excellent oral and written English skills required
The successful Director of Programs will have experience in coordinating and managing programs related to peacebuilding, humanitarian, and resilience programming. S/he will have exceptional program development and proposal writing skills, and an ability to contribute significantly to the design, implementation and management of innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership, communication and 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. Patience, tenacity, diplomacy and a sense of humor will contribute to success.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is accompanied and is based in Bamako with at least 40% of travel to project areas, security permitting. Eligible to R&R Benefits. Housing is provided as individual accommodation with freedom of movement beyond the house/office. While the city has been mostly secure, attacks against foreigners in 2016 in some public places underscore the fluidity of the situation and may require expatriate staff to adhere to security policies, such as restrictions on movement.
Bamako is served by an international airport with daily flights to European and African destinations. Restaurants and shopping options are available but may be limited. Restaurants and shopping options are available all over the town, with reasonable access to most consumer goods. Health care services exist and developing rapidly. However for more serious conditions, medevac to Dakar, Senegal or Europe may be required. International schools are available. Bamako is considered an accompanied/family post.
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.
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.