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 operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps' national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Mercy Corps' key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC's humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps is also currently responding the unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. The current annual budget includes resources from DFID, USAID, ECHO, UN-donors, Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others. Currently, the DRC program represents one of Mercy Corps' largest country programs world-wide.
General Position Summary
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit, whose role is to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs teams, portfolio and other departments and teams. This includes: Positioning for new business opportunities and supporting proposal developments with Program Directors and teams; creating organization-wide systems that standardize and support Mercy Corps DRC's work; leading on gender and protection mainstreaming and application of best practices across the program portfolio; offering additional capacity for program assessments; the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes and systems; supporting the creation and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact; leading the Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) and the systems to put in place to strengthen it mission-wide.
The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time ensuring capacity building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps DRC's humanitarian and development portfolios, including WASH, CTP, Food Security, Governance, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Conflict Resolution, Protection and Market Based approacheseducation with limited daily support and direction.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & PLANNING
- Support to overall strategic and annual planning for MC DRC with evidence-based contributions;
- Coordinate input for the development and review of strategies across departments and portfolios;
- Provide oversight of the Performance and Quality (PaQ) team's strategy with clearly defined roles and responsibilities;
- Provide supervision to the PaQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the strategy and that they have access to MC resources;
- Support the development of sector strategies and support the MEL Teams in developing corresponding MEL frameworks in accordance to the overall country strategy and with relevant team members across both humanitarian and development portfolios;
- Lead the development of processes to support programs team in integrating cross-program learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design;
- Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, and end of program transition meetings;
- Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to internal and external stakeholders, translating into concrete work plans and results;
- Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, and global program quality initiatives; PM@MC, gender minimum standards, cash minimum standards, adaptive management, TOLA etc;
- Facilitate the development and pursuit of thematic, cross-cutting strategic priorities;
- Ensure that MEL, Program Quality and Development, Technical and Communication Teams teams are collaborating with the various Programs teams and other internal stakeholders effectively, adding value to the program and maintaining strategic focus;
- Support the development/updating of the Country Strategies by leading the development and integration of data analytics derived from programs among all portfolios, ensuring the DRC mission is driven by an evidence-based strategy;
- In collaboration with the Director of Programs, support the development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions, and within and across programs portfolios.
VISION AND LEADERSHIP
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed;
- Ensure DRC Country Office complies with the MCs Quality Framework, Relevant technical standards and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS);
- Interface with headquarters effectively to execute strategy and build effective relationships with the Technical Support Units both regionally and globally;
- Provide leadership to increase coordination, collaboration, communication and harmonization of Mercy Corps programming and operations in DRC;
- Build consensus around a common vision of what shared success in DRC looks like, including development and tracking appropriate indicators;
- Facilitate sharing and learning across different Mercy Corps DRC offices and support teams to incorporate learning from the response, and other regions, in project design and management;
- Engage DRC Programs leadership in ongoing context analysis that enables programs and teams to adapt to significant and to work together in a collaborative and impactful manner;
- Create and maintain systems to ensure efficient and transparent capture of program data for management decision-making and timely and informative internal and external reporting;
- Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative programming across the programs portfolio;
TECHNICAL QUALITY & PROGRAM PERFORMANCE
- Lead in establishing systems, policies and approaches necessary to ensure and demonstrate the quality of programs.
- Ensure that proper Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning tools in line with Mercy Corps guidelines and policies are effectively used by the programs teams.
- Support the design of a Performance & Information Management System;
- Support, through the MEL specialist, the development and operation of a monitoring system that provides timely and accurate project results by embedding MEL across program implementation and a country level dashboard tracking system;
- Ensure high quality evaluations are conducted to demonstrate outcomes and impact and accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects with a focus on knowledge management;
- Ensure regular data collection and meaningful analyses, with regular dissemination of strategic information to CLT and other relevant staff to drive learning and improve program quality;
- Oversee the creation (or maintenance) of appropriate country-level trackers, such as beneficiaries trackers, and explore the use of online tools as needed;
- Ensure effective collaboration between MEL staff, Technical advisors and Thematic specialists in the development of sector log frames, indicators, implementation plans, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools
- Develop key research questions with technical experts and ensure evidence generation in programs with a focus on learning and recommendations from those programs;
- Participate in project kick-offs for significant grants to ensure effective strategic direction and project close-outs to gather learning and share results;
- Support the Gender and Protection Advisor in leading the roll-out of Gender, Diversity and Integration as a priority area for MC DRC programs;
- Ensure that an appropriate Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) is rolled out and in place for priority Mercy Corps DRC programs, including initiatives to ensure consistency and standardization in systems, reporting and monthly dashboard presentation for the whole DRC mission
- Ensure all MC DRC programs comply with MC's Gender and Cash Minimum Standards;
- Provide training and other resources to raise awareness of gender across MC DRC country office;
- Create a culture of gender-sensitive, and where appropriate, gender-transformative programming.
PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT, REPORTING, AND COMMUNICATION
- Support the design of cost-effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring relevance to stakeholders and agency strategy;
- Ensure the PaQ team effectively contributes to proposal development processes, following agency best practices and donor compliance, in coordination with MC DRC programs, finance and operational staff, as well as HQ and regional teams;
- Support Grants Managers in reviewing concept notes, proposals, and regular donors and internal reporting, ensuring all qualitative and technical aspects are highlighted and taken into account;
- Ensure the PaQ Team carries out effective reviews of program reports, makes sure these are consistent with data from MC DRC information management systems, and include well documented success stories and infographics to highlight program impact, and include information on lessons learned to inform on required adaptation of activities and future program design;
- Ensure the PaQ Team through the Communication Advisor provides adequate support to program teams on communications and visibility and assist in the development of program communication plans;
- Contribute to the dissemination of written products.
- 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;
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives;
- Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
- 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.
- Ensure appropriate staffing within your purview, and ensure all staff understand and are able to perform their role
- Work with HR in the recruitment, training, and professional development for your staff
- Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process
- Provide supervision to the PaQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the PaQ team's strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
REPRESENTATION AND COORDINATION
- Participate and/or organize internal meetings to inform the development of improvements in Mercy Corps DRC working practices.
- Lead efforts in sharing best practices with other NGOs working in DRC.
- Represent Mercy Corps in external coordination and donor meetings, as required.
- Participate in the complex program board calls, if needed.
As part of MC's commitment to organizational learning and in support of MC understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, MC expects all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Supervisory Responsibility: MEL Specialist, Program Quality and Development Manager, Communication Advisor, Gender and Protection Advisor (potentially other technical advisors)
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Programs Directors/Managers, MEL Teams, Internal Control, Ethics and Assurance Manager, Safeguarding Manager, as well as Regional and Global PaQ and TSU teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor's degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- At least 6 years experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation.
- Experience working in the Africa region and high risk context preferred.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.
- Extensive experience with Program Quality, monitoring and evaluation, information management, and other learning efforts and technical areas in at least several field of MC DRC sectors.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Excellent listening, inter-personal, communication and networking skills; and the ability to work with diversified populations
- Skilled at delivering and facilitating training and capacity building interventions, e.g. coaching, mentorship.
- Analytical, problem solver, with strong experience and understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
- High level of self-awareness and self-development with the maturity to deal with constructive feedback
- The willingness and ability to adapt leadership and management style as appropriate
- Experience of conducting research, drafting and presenting reports to varied audiences.
- Fluency in English and French is required.
The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. S/he has a thorough understanding of what is takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability**.** S/He should have good communication and diplomatic skills. S/He should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively. S/he has 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 DRC.
LIVING /ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants, with travel to Butembo, Beni, Bunia, Bukavu, and Kinshasa, and other areas as requested. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There's reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.