Mercy Corps

Director of Program Controls, Sustainable Water & Sanitation Systems Activity

Mercy Corps

Job Description


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.

The Program

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007,with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and
immediate humanitarian response programs 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; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

In October 2020, Mercy Corps started the five-year USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity, with a budget of $32 million to be implemented in 4 locations across North and South Kivu. Building on the successes of Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE program, and those of other WASH actors in Eastern DRC, USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity (SWASSA) brings together a consortium of 4 international partners to focus on water and sanitation. In partnership with USAID and in
line with Development Objective 2 of USAID’s DRC Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), SWASSA aims to show that it is possible to achieve genuinely sustainable increases in access to clean water by implementing contextually relevant, performance-based contractual models for water service delivery in collaboration with state and local entities including ETDs and Provincial Administrations.

The Position

The Director of Program Controls supports the USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity’s leadership to ensure effective Program Performance and Quality, Operations and Administration, Grants & Reporting, and Workforce Development services. S/he is detail oriented and has excellent planning and strategic thinking skills. S/he will be an effective communicator with exceptional team building and coordination skills. This is a role reinforces the quality and on time and on scope management of a large complex program. S/he must be creative and ambitious, continuously
pushing to improve the quality of program implementation and maximize the impact of the program.

Essential Responsibilities


Responsible for driving and ensuring that all components achieve their Program Controls [email protected] 2.0 responsibilities supporting the CoP in the component review functionDevelop and maintain a cohesive, program-wide controls approach, including the areas of schedule, financial, contracts, risk, policies, operational procedures, and program information/ documents which aligns with [email protected] minimum standards.Act as a ‘champion’ for Program Controls, ensuring program-wide compliance and information sharing. Provides strategic advice to the CoP & leadership.Focus on a Capacity Building plan to support all component leads and team members to strengthen their understanding of Program Controls.Develop Program Controls tools and guidelines. These will include standard operating processes, efficient use of from management, workflow process design, complex gaant program tools, risk tools etc.Lead cross component workstreams, for example all biannual strategy meetings or all team trainings.Responsible for a structured and consistent approach to Workforce Development across the entire team – the aim is to have a workforce plan that develops staff, their progression and improves program adaptation and learningOversee the implementation of team coordination mechanisms such as shared calendars and meeting schedules, ensure effective communication between all bases (South Kivu and North Kivu).


Manage the Controls and PQ Team and set expectations for the PQ Manager who will be responsible for Program Quality, in particular Communications, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and CARM.Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where accountability is promoted, alternative viewpoints welcomed, the team strives to achieve excellence, and is conducive to professional growth. A key facet of the SWASSA team is to ensure accountability and a shared approach to behaviors; maintaining and improving a healthy team culture is essential to this roleProvide team members with information, tools, and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.Supervise, hire, and orient new team members as necessary; communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.Provide continued capacity building to all direct reports and broader program team members and create a pleasant work environment that promotes learning, accountability, and ownership.
Grants Management

Support the Chief of Party in ensuring the Program is running on time and on scope through regular component reviews and optimal integration of components for maximum impact.Help the Chief of Party ensure all Program Management minimum standards are met (including active risk management, issues management, lessons learned etc.). Communicate and inculcate these requirements across the team.Coordinate with Program, finance, and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).Review, coordinate, compile and finalise all official donor reports after initial drafting by components and Consortium partners.Oversee the communications team in drafting of program updates for donor and other key stakeholders.Set up and oversee a strong Program documentation system, ensuring records are archived according to minimum standards and donor requirements.Ensure program reports comply with donor and Mercy Corps’ procedures and best practices.Ensure that program information shared with stakeholders is presented in languages, formats and media that are appropriate for, accessible to, and can be understood by the target population.

Supervisory Responsibility

PQ Manager, Senior Operations Officer, Senior Reporting Officer


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party, Program Delivery Managers (M&E, Market Service Delivery, Governance, Infrastructure), Heads of Offices, Operations Director, HR/Admin Director, Finance Director, PAQ Director and associated support department Managers.

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

Equivalent practical experience or BA/S in management, political science, international development, or another relevant fieldCertified in program management.At least 5 years of experience in international development programming, preferably in Africa or in a protracted crisisPatient and committed to capacity building, training, and coaching of a team with diverse skillsets.Experience in implementing and managing Program Controls including work planning, risk management, governance, and Resource Management.Demonstrated practitioner level capability in time-based planning tools – such as MS project or similar or an in depth understanding in how to approach their use.At least 3 years’ experience with managing US and/or European institutional donors, including strengths in grant management, coordination, and donor reporting.Demonstrable ability to produce high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal directionExcellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with senior leaders (both internal and external) is essentialAbility to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time, with little to no directionProven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultantsFluent English required and fluent French desirableAbility to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement.Prior work experience in the DRC and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage

Success Factors

The successful Director of Program Controls will combine exceptional strategic thinking skills with an ability to focus on minute details. S/he will approach the position with a systems-thinking lens, possessing a high level of adaptability to creatively find solutions when things don’t go to plan, and continuously pushing for systematic improvements and growth. The ability to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments is essential
for success.

The Director – Program Controls will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will provide the space and support for the team members to realize their full potential in a high-pressured environment. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, Problem Solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential.

The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork andaccountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Individual accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy.

Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants. Living in Goma is mostly 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 several 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.

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.

Ongoing Learning

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
Apply Now