Mercy Corps

Program Manager (Advocacy, Governance and Civil Societies)

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.

Country Program Summary

Mercy Corps has operated in Liberia since 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by the two Liberian civil wars of 1989-1997 and 1999-2003. The program has continued to adapt to the evolving context and needs of the Liberian people. With funding from the European Commission, the French Development Agency (AFD), the Swedish International Agency (SIDA), Irish Aid, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,Mercy Corps works closely with sector Ministries of the Government of Liberia and closely in line with the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda 2030. Mercy Corps program approach seeks to strengthen inclusive and integrated programming, with a focus on the following strategic priorities: ● Youth Employment, focussing on solidifying leadership in youth employment and entrepreneurship through market oriented training, skills development and employment services as well as access to entrepreneurship development.

Market Led Economic Growth, focussing on sustained, market‐led economic growth and development to reduce poverty through improved value chain systems and inclusive financial market systems.

Renewable Energy to Rural Populations, focussing on sustainable access to clean, affordable modern energy services for off-grid communities in Liberia.

Food Security, focussing on the development of productive, efficient and nutritionally diverse Agriculture Systems to improve food security.

Proactive response to emergencies, to save lives and protect livelihoods.

Governance Systems and Processes, focussing on empowering citizens to engage with authorities constructively; public authorities to develop response capacity; and empowering CSOs to be more sustainably representative.

About the SEAL Programme

The Supporting Effective Advocacy in Liberia (SEAL) is a four year program (January 2019 to January 2023) that is funded by the European Commission under the 11th European Development Fund and co-financed by the Irish AID and Swedish International Development agency and jointly implemented by Mercy Corps, Kvina til Kvinna Foundation (KtK) and the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL). The overall objective is to enable Liberian Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to contribute to inclusive wealth creation for a more equal and transparent society in support of Liberia’s 2030 Agenda for Transformation by being credible actors in the governance of the country through their engagement in the formulation of public policy, and the monitoring of its implementation. The SEAL program provides Capacity Building support through mentoring, coaching and sub-grants to the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) as well as 11 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and 15 Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) across seven counties of Liberia.

General Position Summary

The Program Manager will have a dual role, as follows: 1) to provide overall leadership for program cycle management to ensure the program delivers the desired program results (outputs and outcomes) on time, on target, on budget, and with the highest quality; and 2) to provide leadership and program cycle management coaching to the SEAL team, with a focus on effective performance management and individual development planning. The Program Manager will demonstrate above average external orientation, with a specific focus on coordination with the EC and proactively keeping Irish AID, SIDA, KtK, NCSCL, and the National Authorising Office in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning engaged. The PM will participate on the Senior Management Team (SMT) and lead by example by, among other things, promoting a positive working environment, a culture of achievement, integrity, proactive risk management (not necessarily risk aversion), and an instinct for identifying opportunities for program growth. The ideal candidate should have strong report and proposal writing skills in English, well developed managerial courage and the ability to provide adaptive leadership, reading situations accurately and being a broker or thought leader or driver as circumstances demand. A combination of previous experience as a leader of a similar program and similar funding agencies is essential.

Essential Job Responsibilities

STRATEGY & VISION

• Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.

• Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.

• Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

Program Management

General Management:

• Ensure program implementation is on time, on target, on budget, and with high quality. Proactively using effective monitoring and evaluation systems to strengthen program accountability and continuous quality improvement.

• Collaborate with program, finance, operation and administrative staff to ensure the timely allocation of resources and support for activity implementation.

• Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.

• Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices.

• Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.

• Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.

• Strengthen risk management capacities through systematic Analysis and identification of robust risk management plans, ensuring that risk aversion does not impede programme implementation or quality.

Key Program Deliverables for PM

• Prepare donor reports in collaboration with the support desk at Mercy Corps Europe, ensuring that deadlines are met, quality of reporting is strong, and that the National Authorising Office is kept informed of program status and events.

• Conduct regular program status reviews of planned vs actual on both planned results (outputs and outcomes) as well as budget vs actual expenditures, and institute robust corrective action plans to ensure that delivery is on time and on target.

• Develop a clear engagement plan for the NCSCL, 11 CSOs and 15 CBOs to ensure that the program delivers on commitments in line with the program logframe and grant agreement.

• Develop an engagement strategy focussing on strengthening the role of the NCSCL in planning and executing the programs.

• Collaborate closely with Kvinna till Kvinna to ensure that capacity building efforts are based on a compelling analysis and prioritisation is strong.

• Collaborate and coordinate proactively with the EC and other key stakeholders (KtK, NCSCL, Irish Aid and SIDA and the National Authorising Office), ensuring that they participate in or contribute to regular progress updates and reviews as well as key events.

• In collaboration with the communications department, ensure a robust program branding and visibility strategy; update the communication plan; and produce external-facing communications products (e.g. posters, leaflets and stickers) that highlights program achievements and best practice.

• Proactively develop networks and partnerships that enrich the drive towards achieving program deliverables.

• Proactively identify program development opportunities, develop logframes, write concept notes, and program budgets TEAM MANAGEMENT

• Recruit and provide at least three months-long shadowing for a national PM (July - September 2021).

• Conduct capacity assessment for the team, develop a relevant capacity of the team, and execute prioritised Capacity Development activities that are cost effective and do not disrupt program execution.

• Strengthen performance management through strong objective setting, individual development planning, and cycles of regular performance feedback.

• Strengthen staff participation and in report writing, especially online collaboration and skills in Word/Google Docs and MS Excel/Google sheets.

• Create opportunities for team members to take more responsibility, use their talents, and learn.

• Promote a collegiality and collaboration beyond the SEAL program team.

INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION

• Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.

• Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

• Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.

• Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.

• Exhibit an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

SECURITY

• Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

• Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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

Direct Reports: 2 Staff Overall responsible for the SEAL Team

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Director of Field Programs Implementation Works Directly With:

External: EU, NCSCL, KtK, National Authorising Office, Irish Aid and SIDA ● Internal: program staff, key departments at CO (Finance, MEL, Ops, HR), HQ-Finance, HQ-Governance Technical Support Unit (TSU), HQ-MCE Desk.

Knowledge and Experience

• Master's degree or equivalent. Specialisation in Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development preferred. Other tertiary qualifications coupled with relevant experience can be considered.

• Minimum 4 years program management experience as a leader of a program team in Governance, Advocacy, and CSO capacity building.

• Strong knowledge and skills in donor compliance. Experience in managing grants by EC is a requirement. Experience in managing grants from SIDA and Irish Aid an added advantage.

• Well developed skills in performance management and leadership mentoring and coaching.

• Strong knowledge and understanding of Public Financial Management, Budget analysis and Public Policy is an advantage.

• Well developed skills in program cycle management and program management tools. Experience with PM@MC is an added advantage.

• Experience working with CSO umbrella organisations • Experience in working with national/host governments and its agencies.

• Effective verbal and written communication in English. Report and proposal writing skills in English is a requirement.

• Ability to adapt and thrive in multi-cultural teams.

• Ability to proactively identify program development opportunities, develop logframes, write concept notes, and program budgets.

Success Factors:

● A combination of exceptional aptitude and skills in effective program cycle management, grant management and donor compliance, maintenance of donor and partner relationships, and ability to identify and nurture talent.

● The PM will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region.

● S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills.

● Prioritizing, Problem Solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.

● 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.

Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions

The Program Manager for SEAL is based in Monrovia. This location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several International schools in Liberia. Staff will have access to basic services – medical, electricity, water etc. This position requires 40% of travel by road to field offices in remote areas.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.

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.

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

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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct policies and are required to complete mandatory corresponding learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Accountability to Participants

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

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