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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has operated in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, Agriculture, market development, financial services, youth engagement, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. We take a systems-based approach in our programming, with the aim of improving the lives and potential of vulnerable individuals and communities across Nepal.
General Position Summary
The Country Director is the senior management position in Nepal, with supervisory, leadership, and managerial responsibilities over all country program personnel, offices, programs/grants, security and policies. S/He helps formulate the strategic direction for the country program in line with the local context and Mercy Corps’ 10-year Pathway to Possibility. The CD has supervisory responsibility for the country team and provides overall guidance and management of a portfolio of food security, education, protection, livelihoods, resilience and emergency response programs with an estimated FY24 budget of USD $3-5 million. The CD develops sustainable, multi-sector programming and is accountable to participants and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships in challenging environments. The CD provides overall team management, Capacity Building, mentoring to a team spread across Nepal, and ensures adherence to Mercy Corps policies and procedures including Mercy Corps’ code of ethics. The Country Director ensures and maintains a culture of professional development, strategic coherence, quality assurance, and teamwork. S/he is responsible for internal and external representation and is the primary contact and coordination point for donors.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & VISION
Formulate a clear country program strategy that expresses Mercy Corps’s added value, that is aligned with Mercy Corps’ global strategy, and which can be clearly communicated to various stakeholder including; team members, participants, government bodies, partners, and donors. Explore and evaluate new fundraising opportunities and lead efforts to attract institutional and private donors through representation and program development. Recognize opportunities for innovative action and secure resources for such programs, or otherwise convince donors and other key stakeholders to provide support. Participate in activities and efforts prioritized by regional management team. Prioritize and organize key steps and resources to achieve country-level and agency objectives. Leverage regional and Technical Support teams to support Business Development and quality program implementation efforts. Promote cross collaboration and learning; share Mercy Corps Nepal successes and technical approaches with other Mercy Corps teams in the region and globally. Explore and direct fund-raising activities with institutional and private donors aimed at leveraging the highest impact for communities. Ensure networking with key donors as well as government stakeholders to grow Mercy Corps Nepal’s programs in areas such as food security, economic opportunity, water security and, peace and good governance. The CD will prioritize building climate resilience and DRR programming.
Program Management & DEVELOPMENT
Steward overall proposal development process, including contributing to proposal and budget documents, and ensure programs are based on sound design principles and responsive to demonstrated needs. Oversee program startup and ensure program implementation adheres to Mercy Corps’s Program Management Minimum Standards. Ensure that programs are on time, on budget, and reach desired impacts with high quality, coherent results. Ensure that the Director of Programs chairs regular program coordination meetings, and that effective and timely program/grant reporting systems are maintained. Ensure that program teams comply with Mercy Corps and donor required monitoring and evaluation frameworks and establish ongoing program monitoring. Carry out routine monitoring visits to verify field activity reports. Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Do No Harm principles, and participant accountability standards. TEAM MANAGEMENT
Establish leadership and personal credibility with expatriate and national staff, and maintain a clear chain of authority and accountability. Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence, where alternative viewpoints are welcomed, and team members understand and demonstrate Mercy Corps organizational culture and values. Chair a regular Senior Management Team meeting to support Administration, conduct policy or strategy reviews as needed, or for other matters that may arise. Ensure the integration of all relevant team members into decision-making processes. Recruit and manage an informed, skilled, and efficient team, and assist with career development and team-building efforts. Working with the Human Resources Manager, maintain an adequate Human Resource plan consistent with Mercy Corps’ policies, including current position descriptions, performance evaluations, orientation materials, professional development plans, National Staff Handbook Policy (NSHP), organizational chart, and personnel grievance procedure system. Oversee and lead training and learning processes (including People with Possibility) where team members internalize and behave according to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct, Safeguarding and global Ethics and Safeguarding Policies. Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews 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. Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary. Facilitate meetings and processes where team members feel empowered and equipped to take actions towards achieving our programs’ and agency goals. Facilitate and lead regular staff meetings. Follow up with required actions as needed.
FINANCE & COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
Supervise Senior Finance and Compliance Manager and maintain relationships with relevant counterparts at headquarters. Working with Senior Finance and Compliance Manager, manage consolidated country program budget within approved spending levels, oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, and ensure adequate funds. Take decisions on staffing and other needs based on grant fund availability and country budget Analysis. Oversee accurate, transparent, timely and informative reporting to ensure program expenses are reasonable and in accordance with donor rules and Mercy Corps policies and procedures. Maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties, robust internal controls, and high standards of accountability and compliance, while minimizing fixed costs. Work closely with finance and compliance staff to mitigate fraud, conflicts of interest and legal liabilities in accordance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures. Ensure adherence to internal/ external audit requirements.
Together with delegated security focal points, manage security and safety of the country program team and assets according to best practices, Mercy Corps standard operating procedures and the local context. Ensure Country Security plans and SOPs are updated and all staff have been provided training and awareness-raising sessions; ensure this process is integrated in the onboarding of new hires. Ensure the country risk register is updated regularly with input from all department heads. Ensure all team members have the necessary security training for their respective roles. Oversee continual security assessments and make adjustments to plans as required. Liaise with the Regional and Global security team and Regional Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
Build strong constituencies among Mercy Corps headquarters and regional teams, international and local NGOs, government officials, donors, diplomatic corps and embassies, local partners, vendors, media, coordination platforms, etc. Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders. Coordinate with country team, regional management and Mercy Corps headquarters to formulate and communicate effective public relations and external messaging pertaining to Nepal. Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure. Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate. Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity throughout engagement with internal and external stakeholders.Supervisory Responsibility Director of Programs; Senior Finance & Compliance Manager; Head of Operations; Senior Human Resources Manager; Chief of Party.
Reports Directly To: Asia Regional Director
Works Directly With: Asia Regional Program Team, the Regional Performance and Quality team, Regional Security, Regional Support Services Director, Regional HR business Partner and other teams in the region and at Headquarters as needed.
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills
MA/S or equivalent in international development, economics, agriculture, disaster management, political or social science, management or other relevant field. 7-10 years of field experience in leadership position, project/program management positions is preferred. Prior experience in Nepal is a plus. Demonstrated technical understanding of at least some of the following sectors: agriculture, food security and nutrition, microfinance, disaster management, and social development. Prior experience in managing key support function areas such as human resources, finance, operations, communications and security. Demonstrated understanding of sound project management practices and protocols. Excellent program conceptualization and development capacities, including the ability to convey these ideas convincingly in writing. A high level of personal efficiency, and the ability to balance multiple urgent or important tasks without undue stress. Strong oral communication, representation and presentation skills. An impatience for ‘business-as-usual’, including the ability to clearly communicate a vision of success and operationalize this vision. Proven interpersonal and intercultural skills. Excellent oral and written English skills required. Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work. Prior experience with USAID, USDA, FCDO, EC, UN, and private donorsSuccess Factors
The successful Country Director will be good at Problem Solving, and have the ability to work out new ways to deliver successful programs and excellent stewardship of donor funds in compliance with MC and donor regulations. They will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with international and national personnel, while demonstrating the ability to multitask, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. They will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites.They will have the vision to see possibilities for positive change where others see deprivation; and be able to lead the design and implementation of bold solutions. they will skilfully acquire support of donors and regional partners for meeting the priorities of our communities while providing effective leadership. they will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building and will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Kathmandu. 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 (15-20%), 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. 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. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/STA 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.Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.