Mercy Corps

Senior Program Coordination Lead

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.

Mercy Corps has been working in Mali since 2012, supporting vulnerable communities and at-risk Malian women, men and youth to cope with food security and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, restore peace and stability, and address humanitarian, development and stabilization structural challenges. With a growing portfolio, Mercy Corps Mali is increasing striving to integrate its humanitarian, development and conflict-prevention programming to create a sustainable and impactful improvement in the stability and development of some of Mali’s worst conflict-affected areas.

Program Summary

Mali suffers from a lack of legitimate governance structures and bears the burden of a legacy top-down colonial justice system that often fails to connect to the realities and needs of its population. In such a context, addressing the drivers of conflict while supporting Access to Justice in Mali’s stable yet fragile regions is key to preventing the immediate spread of insecurity southwards while addressing structural issues.

Mercy Corps anticipates an upcoming justice- and stabilization-focused project focused on fostering inclusive and effective justice in Mali through a holistic package of grounded, bottom-up actions centered around issues of land conflict, natural Resource Management and access to justice. An initial 12-18-month inception-phase package will contribute to the immediate stabilization of increasingly at-risk areas while incorporating an in-depth research diagnostic that focuses on cultivating an in-depth understanding of access to justice issues in Mali and will inform the further three to four years of programming. The first component (conflict mitigation) will consist of activities aiming at preventing the further spread of insecurity – especially land conflict – through support to existing conflict prevention mechanisms and targeted actions to address structural natural resource management issues. The second component (research), will help the program (i.) determine what “Justice” actually means for Mali’s diverse communities and identify those who are most impacted by structural and horizontal justice inequalities; (ii.) understand and lay out what access to justice looks like on the ground and; (iii.) identify key local, regional and national stakeholders to engage with to achieve the full access to justice goals.

General Position Summary

To bring this vision to fruition, Mercy Corps is seeking a Senior Programs Coordinator for an anticipated Justice and Stability program in Mali. The Justice and Resilience Senior Programs Coordinator will drive the day-to-day implementation of the multi-sectoral and multi-year program, working closely with the program’s Director to ensure an integrated and impactful approach across outcomes, activities and partners.

S/he will lead the day-to-day implementation of program activities - supervising and coordinating program staff, working continuously to improve and adapt activity design and implementation, and ensuring accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations and quality implementation. S/he will represent the program to relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and local stakeholders when the Program’s Director cannot, and will ensure that activities are implemented in a conflict-sensitive approach with a solid Analysis and understanding of localized security dynamics.

Given the complexity of the program – especially the unconventional combination of research and conflict prevention programming alongside community- and system-level work to address structural inequalities and barriers to justice for all, – a crucial part of his/her responsibilities will be finding and implementing, impactful ways for the better integration of activities and diverse teams across the project’s outcomes. The Senior Programs Coordinator will therefore be an important part of the team working to ensure that the program both meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget, and delivers impact in a challenging and increasingly fluid environment.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Work closely with the Justice and Resilience Program Director, country leadership and program partners to refine the vision and strategy for the implementation of the justice and stability program
  • Play an active role in identifying and trialing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program and the Mercy Corps Mali mission
  • Work closely with the program’s Director, Deputy Country Director, MEL Advisor and Manager to ensure integration and coordination between the project’s different conflict prevention, resilience, and governance activities.

Program Management

  • Engage with research teams – both internal and external - to contribute towards the attainment of research outputs, applying research results to further the refinement of the justice and stability program including a program logic, and refined activity-level SOPs.
  • Working closely with the program’s Director to ensure project implementation is on time, target and budget, and is effectively capturing and sharing evidence of impact
  • Work closely with the Mercy Corps technical teams and program partners’ advisors to mainstream gender, diversity and inclusion throughout programmatic activities with emphasis on mainstreaming issues required to advance access to justice for communities most affected by structural inequalities as informed by research;
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Integrate community-led approaches, gender sensitivity, adaptive management and Capacity Building into all activities as appropriate. Work to ensure that all interventions in the project adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Coordinate with Heads of Field Offices and Program Coordinators to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • Regularly update the high-level project workplan, ensuring the project remains on-track. Work with field team members and partners to build and update activity-level integrated workplans across the different sectors and ensure adherence to these timelines
  • Work closely with the program’s Director and MEL teams to support a strong and accountable monitoring, evaluation and learning processes. Work closely with the MEL Advisor and MEL Manager to support the implementation of Mercy Corps’ TolaData indicator tracking system within the justice and stability program


  • Work closely with Heads of Offices, the program’s Director and Head of Operations & Security to ensure adherence to security SOPs amongst the program field team. Monitor and report back on evolving conflict dynamics across Segou, Sikasso and Koulikoro regions. Work with security teams and the program’s Director to ensure sustained access for field team
  • Ensure that activities are implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of localized security dynamics.

Team Management

  • Foster a culture of innovation and adaptive management across the diverse field-based program team members, ensuring the coherency across outcomes and sectors and documenting and disseminating best practices
  • Support the alignment of the implementation of the program’s highly varied sectors and components
  • Lead on sequencing, integration and layering to ensure that the various program team members (e.g. agricultural team members, conflict prevention team members), MEL and partner teams do not conduct their activities in siloes
  • Develop the capacity of the field-based program teams, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence
  • Recruit, orient and lead team members as necessary.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • Work with the program’s Director to prepare for monthly Budget vs Actual (BvA) reviews, cost projections, and ensure tracking of expenditure rates

Influence & Representation

  • Represent the project, when the program’s Director is not available, with local, regional and national levels of government, state authorities and traditional authorities. Build relationships with key stakeholders in the target regions, including local communities, traditional leaders, state authorities and technical services
  • Support the production of the program’s research output at the national and regional level, in coordination with program partners, Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit, MEL team and the program’s Director
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.

Supervisory Responsibility

Program Coordinators


Reports Directly to: The Justice and Resilience Program Director Works Directly with: Consortium partner project staff; MEL Advisor, Manager and Officers; Heads of Offices; Manager of Operations & Security; Conflict Program Manager; Humanitarian Program’s Director; and Gender Advisor

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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field and minimum 5 years’ experience working in conflict settings
  • Demonstrated NGO experience in either conflict prevention or resilience-building programming in Mali;
  • Experience with field research and community-led justice initiatives is a plus, as is experience with natural resource management issues in Mali and sustainable support to agricultural and pastoral communities
  • Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of conflict-sensitive approaches, access negotiation and maintenance of team security while in the field
  • Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, prepare and submit quality reports, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Fluency in French required; proficiency in local languages applicable to Segou, Sikasso and Koulikoro (Bambara, Fulani) a strong asset; proficiency in English a strong asset
  • Strong communication skills

Success Factors

The successful Senior Programs Coordinator will combine strong project management and leadership skills, an energetic personality, enthusiasm to implement innovative approaches and drive for inspiring teams to attain results. S/he will have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, Problem Solving and simultaneous attention to detail and project 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 Segu, Mali, and requires up to 50% travel to additional field bases inside Mali – primarily to field offices in the Segou, Sikasso or Koulikoro regions, out of which the program will be run - should security permit. The position is an unaccompanied posting. There may be additional international or regional travel, including to insecure and/or remote locations.

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.

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. 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.

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