Mercy Corps is prepositioning for the anticipated USAID RFA for Georgia: Civil Society Engagement Program in Georgia. Mercy Corps has been working in Georgia since 2000, initially responding to post-conflict needs and promoting community mobilization, and then transitioning to supporting market systems development, rural development, farmers’ cooperative development, governance, disaster risk reduction, and women economic empowerment in six of the country’s ten regions. Since 2000 our programs have reached approximately one million people in all major urban and rural communities of the country’s ten regions.
Guided by our Vision for Change Mercy Corps has partnered with and strengthened civil society at local, provincial and national levels to foster local ownership, participation and voice. Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) for the upcoming five-year USAID-funded Civil Society Engagement program with the goal to increase citizen engagement, awareness and participation in civic actions and democratic processes. Specifically, the activity will enhance the capacity of formal and informal civic entities working at the local, regional and national to address citizen identified issues; foster greater connectivity and collaboration between newly emerging grassroots groups and their national and regional level counterparts; and, enhance the long term sustainability and self-reliance of the civil society sector. The activity will meet these objectives by providing a wide range of technical support options and resources that promote an inclusive civil society practices and initiatives.
The Chief of Party will provide overall technical leadership, management and strategic vision for the implementation of the anticipated five-year, multi-million dollar USAID Civil Society Engagement Program in Georgia. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget, and in alignment with democratic and good governance values based on respect and equity. 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.
STRATEGY, LEARNING AND IMPACT
- Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
- Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.
- Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Participate as an active, integrated member of the team providing technical support to a portfolio of field programs including those in complex crisis environments.
- Support effective interventions in the areas of the social cohesion and social accountability programs, using integrated approaches and applying systems thinking.
- Help maintain standards of program delivery that apply agency priorities and comply with relevant regulations and requirements.
- Help the team gather, refine, and disseminate tools such as training presentations and manuals, teaching notes, best practices and lessons learned, program examples, and monitoring and evaluation tools.
- Build capacity with Mercy Corps staff to better design and implement programs.
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
- Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
- 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.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- 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.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Represent Mercy Corps at academic events, conferences, media forums, and other events; contribute to thought leadership in their area(s) of expertise.
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: Program team, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team,
HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations.
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 Qualification & Transferable Skills
● MA/S or equivalent in a relevant field, such as international development, organizational development, public policy, civil society, economics, or public administration.
● A minimum of 10 years of experience, including five years managing large civil society strengthening and governance programs in a senior management position. Must have experience managing large civil society program(s) of a similar size and scope, preferably in Georgia or the former Soviet Union.
● Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including national, provincial, district, and local government officials, NGOs, private sector, donors, local organizations and partners.
● Strong leadership and communication skills; excellent track record of managing diverse, multi-country teams.
● Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
● Experience working in Georgia; knowledge of the civil society context highly preferred.
● Demonstrated experience in civil society strengthening, CSO capacity development, civic engagement, and coalition building.
● Experience managing USAID programs.
● Fluency in English is required; fluency in Georgian preferred; other languages spoken in Georgia an asset.
The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he 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 teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous 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 COP will be based in the capital city, Tbilisi. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with complete freedom of movement in Tbilisi and other locations in the country for which no travel restrictions exist. Staff have access to reasonable quality healthcare services in Tbilisi and access to reliable water services. Access to electricity during the hot season can be less reliable, with the occasional power cut. This position requires at least 25% travel by plane and vehicle to field offices in environments that for the most part are secure. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.
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 Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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.