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BackgroundMercy Corps has been present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, gender, social cohesion, governance and emergency response outcomes. Mercy Corps has also been working in Burkina Faso since 2016 with activities in conflict research and livestock programming. Our work in these areas contributes to local communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps is currently implementing several development and humanitarian programs worth more than $27 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri, as well as Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso. In 2019, we were able to benefit more than 89,000 vulnerable Nigeriens.
General Position SummaryThe Director of Programs (DOP) will have full management responsibility and budget oversight over more than $10 million in programming. He/she will work closely with the Country Director (CD) and the programs team to lead new business development and to ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability in close collaboration with the operations team. He/she will help implement the county strategy and vision and ensure technical quality at program level. The position is based in Niamey, with regular travel to the field sites and to neighboring Burkina Faso. S/he will help represent the Mercy Corps programs to donors, other NGOs, stakeholders, thematic clusters, relevant government authorities, and other program partners
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Assist the Country Director with driving the strategic vision for Mercy Corps in Niger and Burkina Faso and implementing the three-year country strategy. This includes ensuring that crosscutting themes are integrated in all aspects of program implementation, development and management.
- Help outline and maintain strategic plans for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.
TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP & PROGRAM COORDINATION
- Provide leadership in all aspects of program oversight and coordination to ensure consistent quality, including the incorporation of crosscutting themes, quality data Analysis, lessons learned and best practices.
- Work with the Deputy Programs Director and Program Managers to monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations.
- Support the Deputy Programs Director and Program Managers to oversee performance of partners, sub-grantees, and technical contractors.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching.
- Build up programs’ staff capacity and ensure effective and qualitative program implementation
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify that all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, Administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support all program activities.
- Ensure Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC) based on the organization-wide guide.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning
- Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, accountability, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool.
- Work with the Country Director to roll out and monitor DIG (Design for Impact) across all programs and develop a global MEL system with existing MEL staff.
- Provide ongoing training and guidance to team members on MEL best practices.
NEW BUSINESS / PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
- Work closely with Mercy Corps’ New Initiatives Team to identify 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 Regional Program Team, headquarters-based Senior Program Officers, Technical Advisors and other relevant staff.
- Plan and lead the country team to assess the needs for Program Design, evaluate, analyze and further develop multi-year country specific strategic plan for Niger, in line with the regional value propositions and Mercy Corps’ global strategy.
- Put in place a business team focusing on the development of new businesses, new programs, etc.
- Work closely with the Country Director and program team for the development of solid solicited and unsolicited concept notes and proposals.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Establish close and productive relationships with donors, NGOs, national government authorities, and strategic partners in Niamey, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that all team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
AccountabilityReports Directly To: Country Director Works Directly With: Program team, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in international development, political/social science or other relevant field.
- A minimum of 8 years of experience in progressively more senior management roles in international NGOs of great scope and complexity.
- Demonstrated leadership, strategic thinking/planning, and management and presentation skills.
- Proven record of accomplishment in program design, proposal writing and development, and donor reporting.
- Experience managing programs in relevant technical area(s), including ideally food security in complex food/nutritional insecurity environment, Agriculture, economic recovery, energy & environment, gender, livelihoods, and financial services.
- Experience with resilience programming, humanitarian response, and/or market systems strongly preferred.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain relationships with implementing partners, host governments, donors, local organizations and partners.
- Considerable experience with capacity building of team members around key technical areas.
- Strong familiarity with CLA, MEL systems and accountability mechanisms.
- Fluent written and oral communication in English and French.
- Relevant experience in the Sahel or West Africa required.