Mercy Corps

Humanitarian and Sustainable Solutions Director

Mercy Corps

Job Description

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 present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery and resilient growth of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management. The Nigeria country program has grown considerably over the last few years, and is now among the largest Mercy Corps Country Programs globally, with a mixed donor & programming portfolio.

General Position Summary

As a member of the Senior Management Team, the Director of Humanitarian and Sustainable Solutions, will provide leadership and strategic direction to Mercy Corps Nigeria’s humanitarian and sustainable solutions initiatives. S/he will strengthen and guide a cohesive portfolio that capitalizes on Mercy Corps’ signature approach for building resilience in complex crises, spearheading efforts to build reinforcing technical strategies and improved systems for joint context Analysis and adaptive implementation across humanitarian and recovery-focused programming, and proactively link to other development-focused initiatives. The role elevates and connects strategic approaches for strengthening market systems in crisis and ensuring integration of conflict prevention/mitigation and gender and social inclusion across the portfolio in Northern Nigeria. The role will champion the use of crisis analytics to generate and apply continued and ongoing insights of the operational context that looks at the security and evolving context alongside other key risk factors such as climate events, economic disruptions, or disease outbreaks that exacerbate fragility.

The Director of Humanitarian and Sustainable Solutions will be a solution holder and proven negotiator able to appropriately manage and enhance essential relationships with key external stakeholders, including donors and host Government representatives.

Essential Job Responsibilities

STRATEGY AND VISION:

  • Ensure MC Nigeria’s humanitarian relief and sustainable solutions portfolio is aligned with the overall country strategy and reflective of Mercy Corps’ Towards Resilience approach;
  • In partnership with the Country Director and Director of Programs, set the direction of the humanitarian relief to resilience portfolio by developing an overarching strategy for humanitarian to sustainable solutions strategies in Northern Nigeria
  • Ensure programs are implemented in ways responsive to the communities, and in line with Mercy Corps principles, values, strategic plan and compliance procedures.
  • Proactively keep abreast of humanitarian issues and priorities in Nigeria and ensure Mercy Corps is well positioned and prepared to respond
  • Identify suitable opportunities to develop new and innovative programming and to secure the necessary funding to drive this forward.
  • Develop and promote systems for enhanced cross-program integration and joint analysis, learning and adaptive management, promoting and leveraging Mercy Corps’ signature technical approaches in protracted crises, such as markets in crisis and crisis analytics;
  • Lead and leverage the crisis analytics team to generate critical analysis of the situation in Nigeria that leads to actionable forward-thinking initiatives that address key drivers of instability and ongoing fragility;
  • Identify gender priorities and approaches to address program needs and share learnings among team and Senior Leadership
  • Develop and implement a strategy to promote local partnerships and develop a framework for national partner identification and selection and subsequent support, mentoring and oversight;
Program Management

  • Manage and oversee the implementation of humanitarian relief and recovery programming targeting vulnerable populations in Northern Nigeria and ensure programs are on time, on scope and on budget;
  • Ensure all MC Administration, logistical, human resources and financial procedures are followed in relation to implementation of humanitarian grants.
  • Work closely with the Finance team to review monthly budget versus actual financial management information to ensure that all program expenditure is on track and does not exceed approved budget variance limits;
  • Work closely with the MEL team to ensure that all essential program, organizational metrics, and lessons learned are being adequately captured;
  • Facilitate synthesis of best practices and lessons learned and promote an overall culture of adaptive learning through systematic analysis and reflection on program data;
  • Ensure that all donor reports are submitted on time and to the highest possible standard;
  • Foster a collaborative team atmosphere which engages and supports all team members and supports a cuture of adaptive management
  • Provide support and identifying opportunities for mentoring and training for the team members to deliver impactful humanitarian and sustainable solutions programming;
PROGRAMMATIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Work closely with Country Leadership and team to identify new program opportunities, and develop concept notes in partnership with team to share with potential donors;
  • In partnership with the team lead the design of new emergency relief and resilient recovery programs based on needs analysis, assessments and sectoral information;
  • Engage team in adaptive management practices to influence the design of new innovative and sustainable approaches to programming in humanitarian contexts
  • Coordinate with Program Leadership (including DoP and other program leaders) of development and peacebuilding focused programming to proactively develop concept notes to strategically integrate, sequence and layer programming;
  • Proactively seek potential funding sources among traditional as well as non-traditional donors, in line with MC’s overall strategy in Nigeria;
REPRESENTATION & COORDINATION

  • In partnership with the team and leveraging the work of the Crisi Analytics team ensure coordination and development of a learning and influence agenda for Northern Nigeria;
  • Serve as a thought leader in MC Nigeria’s humanitarian, triple nexus and resilience community and ensure full coordination and communication across the sectors;
  • Represent MC Nigeria with relevant INGO/UN agencies and within humanitarian cluster coordination structures
  • Represent MC Nigeria with relevant state government officials and other state agencies for example MRRR, Borno State Development Agency etc.
  • Work collaboratively to build a range of mutually beneficial partnerships with other stakeholders both national and international;
  • Maintain and develop relationships and partner with host Government representatives at both the State and Federal level;
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, government and other stakeholders;
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met;
ADDITIONAL DUTIES

  • Other duties as reasonably requested.
Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

ADAPT Program Director, Crisis Analytics Senior Advisor, MAIDA Program Director Accountability Reports Directly To: Director of Programs Works Directly With: Director of Programs; Program Managers; Operations and Finance teams.

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent in international development or related field preferred.
  • 8+ years of experience in international development and humanitarian response preferred.
  • Comprehensive understanding of humanitarian donor ways of working and funding mechanisms required.
  • Previous experience in writing humanitarian response proposals and rapidly designing emergency response programs
  • Demonstrated success in programs related to emergency response required
  • Thorough understanding of the context and current environment in Nigeria preferred
  • Proven managerial skills required
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a solution-seeker and proven success with building, managing and leading a team of professionals and the ability to function as a team player among peers.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, prioritization skills are necessary.
  • History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments.
  • Prior work experience in Africa strongly preferred; an ability to work comfortably, effectively and creatively within the cultural environment of Nigeria and areas of poor security required.
  • Fluency in English written and oral communication required.
Success Factors

A successful Director for Humanitarian and Sustainable Solutions will be a self-starter, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. S/he will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. S/he will be a team player with a positive attitude to Problem Solving and conflict resolution. The successful candidate will be focused on teambuilding and Capacity Building of staff, and will be able to apply creative solutions to program quality. S/he will also have the skill to engage, motivate and encourage staff to bring creative solutions to development issues, identify opportunities for increased impact, and pursue project objectives.

Living /Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state with regular travel to program locations including deep field sites. The location is generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are domestic travel options from Maiduguri Airport. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. This position requires 40% travel by road and air to field offices that are located in highly insecure locations.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on short-term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' 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, reach their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborate to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity 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 based on 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.**
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