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 Country Program Summary
For 16+ years, Mercy Corps has successfully worked in more than half of the country with communities most affected by conflict, both pre- and post-2016 Peace Accords. Mercy Corps program participants include displaced and refugee populations, smallholder farmers, victims of natural disasters, LGBTI+ community members, and youth. Mercy Corps Colombia’s rapidly growing portfolio, which will have an operational budget of approximately $30M in FY2023, includes programs focusing on the Venezuelan refugee response (including cash transfers, Psychosocial Support, legal support, small business, and employment opportunities), land titling, illicit crop substitution, and improved productivity and increased income from various licit value chains, especially for women farmers. Mercy Corps Colombia is the lead organization of the VenEsperanza cash consortium, the largest cash transfer program in Colombia, which includes as its main partners (sub-grantees) World Vision, Save the Children and IRC. VenEsperanza has reached, to date, over 420,000 individuals with Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA). Mercy Corps Colombia donors include USAID/BHA, PRM (State Department), European Commission, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Starbucks Foundation. Additionally, we have become a trusted partner of several key Government of Colombia agencies including the President’s Office, Foreign Affairs, The National Land Agency, the National Victim’s Unit, the National Learning Service, and the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare.
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit, whose role is to ensure the development of efficient and effective Program Management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs teams, portfolio and other departments and teams. This includes: positioning for new business opportunities and supporting proposal developments with Program Directors and teams; creating organization-wide systems that standardize and support Mercy Corps Colombia’s work; leading on gender and protection mainstreaming and application of best practices across the program portfolio; offering additional capacity for program assessments; developing effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes and systems; supporting the creation and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact; supervising the Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) team and the systems to put in place to strengthen it mission-wide.
The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time ensuring Capacity Building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality. The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support Mercy Corps Colombia’s humanitarian and development portfolios with limited daily support and direction.
Essential Job Responsibilities:
Provide strategic guidance and vision on Mercy Corps Program Management ([email protected]) approaches to MC Colombia Program Managers and Directors;
Support overall strategic and annual planning for MC Colombia with evidence-based contributions;
Support cross-program learning, including operation of sector-specific Technical Working Groups;
Facilitate sharing and learning across different Mercy Corps Colombia offices and support teams to incorporate learning from the response, and other regions, in project design and management;
Liaise regularly with designated Program Officers, as well as the Corporate and Foundations Partnership team, to ensure successful grant management and donor relationships.
PROGRAM QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Supervise CARM, MEL, and Gender and Protection leads to ensure programs are accountable, impactful, and gender sensitive and/or transformative;
Provide technical oversight to develop program filing and archiving systems and to ensure programs’ documentation is filed, in compliance with [email protected], donors’ regulations and good practice;
Provide support to Program Managers at key implementation moments (such as kick-off meetings, program initiation meetings, 90-day inception meetings, 90-day end of program transition meetings), as required;
Ensure all programs comply with Mercy Corps Minimum Standards;
Maintain effective communications with Mercy Corps Global staff and program teams on program quality and grants tracking issues, and information requests from internal/external sources;
Ensure quality donor reporting; edit and/or translate reports as needed.
PROGRAM AND PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT
Coordinate the development and writing of high-quality grant proposals 1) to maximize the Mercy Corps Colombia proposal win rate, and 2) to ensure a steady pipeline of funding for programs aligned with Mercy Corps Colombia and global strategic priorities;
Provide support for propositioning and new program strategy design efforts;
Liaise with the Programs, Finance and Operations teams, and external partners in the development of proposal budgets;
Provide support to the startup of new grants as needed;
Build capacity of Program Managers and Directors engaged in proposal development on proposal development processes (in line with [email protected] and internal processes) accordingly.
Foster a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback as needed;
Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND COORDINATION
Support Programs, CARM, and MEL in the development of an adaptive management culture at country-level, providing training and guidance in adaptive management techniques and decision making;
Oversee Gender and Protection staff to promote a culture of inclusion, including capacity building and specific Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives;
Build capacity of program teams with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives, and review programmatic tools (implementation and follow-up of DQA process, development and/or revision of SOPs, etc.).
Be proactive in identifying training needs for Colombia staff and local partners. Organize workshops, trainings, etc. as needed to answer those needs (including [email protected] training)
In coordination with the Country Director and other Senior Leadership, engage in effective representation with donors, international and local NGOs and networks;
Provide support for and, when requested, lead donor and other stakeholder visits;
Represent Mercy Corps Colombia in coordination platforms such as the Cash Working Group, UN coordination groups, and the International NGO Forum as needed;
Use program evidence to lead Mercy Corps Colombia’s efforts to influence the humanitarian and rural development sectors, both nationally and internationally.
Work with the Country Director and the national and regional Security Focal Points to ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
Four direct reports including the MEL Manager, the CARM Manager, and two Gender and Protection Specialists. Potential supervision of national and/or international interns.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: DCD-Operations, Land and Rural Development DoP, Emergency and Early Recovery DoP, VenEsperanza Director, Finance Manager, Security Manager, Ethics and Assurance Manager, and HR Manager. The PAQ Director also works closely with the HQ-based Regional Management Team, including the PAQ Technical Advisor, and other HQ (e.g., Technical Unit) team members.
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 and Transferable Skills
BA/S and MA/S or equivalent in international studies, economics or other relevant fields.
7+ years of experience with European and/or US institutional and private donors, including proposal development.
Knowledge of the international humanitarian system, institutions and donors, and of compliance requirements, accountability frameworks and best practices; prior experience with funding from donors such as USAID, PRM, EC, and private foundations;
Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments;
Highly-developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching;
Experience with solving complex issues collegially, defining a clear way forward, and utilizing best practices in management to ensure shared success;
Outstanding analytical and strategic thinking skills, with a focus on results and impact;
Excellent oral and written English skills required as well as fluency in Spanish;
Previous Colombia experience preferred.
The successful PAQ Director will combine exceptional writing skills and experience in providing Technical Support across program teams. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and will possess a high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to the constantly changing working environment. They will have previous experience working on a variety of different programs/sectors in emergency and development settings. 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 position is based in Bogotá, Colombia. For international hires, housing will be provided as individual accommodation. There is unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. All MC Colombia employees are expected to work a 5-day work week with occasional need to work extended hours and on weekends/holidays.
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.