Chief of Party-Rural Resilience Program (Nigeria)
This position is pending funding and approval
About Mercy Corps
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 exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by building secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls' empowerment, economic development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the north-east of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian program in 2014 to has decided to address the rising humanitarian needs among displaced households and vulnerable host communities by starting its humanitarian program in July 2014. Mercy Corps Nigeria's humanitarian program aims to provide assistance to populations affected by the crisis in north-east Nigeria through . With funding from humanitarian donors including OFDA, FFP, and ECHO the humanitarian program has been focusing on food assistance, non-food items distribution, protection, livelihoods support, WASH and capacity building of humanitarian response actors, as well as adolescent girls and boys empowerment and youth engagement programs. As Mercy Corps plans to scales up and expands its humanitarian response in northeast Nigeria to reach more beneficiaries with additional and varied assistance in a wider geographic area, we are realigning our strategy to include integrated programming which addresses the root causes of the crisis and seeks to build long-term resilience to future shocks and stresses. Mercy Corps is investing in a resilience approach as a core strategy to contribute to stability in the Lake Chad Basin region, with northeast Nigeria as an anchor. In addition to humanitarian program, Mercy Corps also implements adolescent girls and boys' empowerment and youth engagement programs.
All Mercy Corps interventions in Nigeria are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-year, multi-million dollar USAID/Nigeria -funded Rural Resilience Program (RRP). S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps' policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. In addition, the CoP will play a central leadership role in developing and driving Mercy Corps' resilience strategy and program portfolio in northeastern Nigeria. In line with this role, s/he will also share strategic vision as the agency establishes a comprehensive response to the Lake Chad Basin crisis and builds an evidence base for a resilience approach to alleviating the crisis and its root causes.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.
- Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.
- Lead the development and execution of a program-wide resilience-building strategy to guide coordination and integrated design and implementation of resilience programming.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
- Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.
- Lead the socialization of the program with Government of Nigeria stakeholders, ensuring necessary approvals and collaboration as required.
- Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Produce written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems.
- Oversee efforts to produce strategic resilience-related research for the program.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Nigeria, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, Government of Nigeria authorities, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 30% of time in the field.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Supervise and manage all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of RRP staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
Finance & Compliance Management
- In collaboration with the country program's operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps' policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps' policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of Nigeria.
Influence & Representation
- Liaise with and represent program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders.
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local government.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Director of Humanitarian Programs, Finance Manager, Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit and Partner Organizations here
Knowledge and Experience · MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, economic development or other relevant field.
· At least 10 years of relevant international experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.
· At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience in project management related to multi-sectoral, USAID funded activities strongly preferred.
· Prior experience managing USAID-funded assistance projects of a similar size and scope in developing countries; experience managing multi-sectoral projects including livelihoods, agricultural development, resilience, market-based approaches to economic development, climate change, food security, gender, conflict.
· Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
· Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
· Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
· Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa.
· Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
· Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
Success Factors The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an ability to approach complex development challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about improving food security, community development and resilience. The CoP will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. 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 and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. The successful Chief of Party must be comfortable operating and traveling in a sometimes volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in Abuja, but will require frequent travel (60%) between field locations, including insecure northeast. Security in Abuja is generally good, although there are times when security is an issue. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Abuja is an accompanied location suitable for spouse/partner or dependents. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices, although might be inconsistent. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive. There is good number of school with different education philosophies and curriculum (British, American, French, and German to name a few).
Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in the guesthouse and hotels/guesthouse as applicable in each location. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously.
Given the nature of the humanitarian context, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.
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.