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.
Mercy Corps has been present in Mali since 2012, providing humanitarian assistance and improving food and nutrition security, livelihoods, governance, and conflict resolution for more than a half million people. Our lifesaving, early recovery and development programs contribute to Mercy Corps’ overall objective in Mali to support vulnerable and at-risk populations to recover from food security crises, while building their resilience and restoring peace and stability. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the implementation of an expected five-year USAID/Office of Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity for Mali. This proposed program will bridge humanitarian assistance and longer-term development programming in conflict-affected areas, with the overall goal of improved food security and resilience of target communities. Program objectives focus on stabilizing vulnerable households by reducing the impact of shocks and connecting households to basic services; engaging youth as key drivers for community development and increasing sustainable livelihood opportunities; and having communities drive approaches to manage natural resources and community assets sustainably and productively.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a five-year, $60 million USAID/Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity. 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.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- 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 and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
- 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).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and 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.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Mali, headquarters, USAID, Government of Mali authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.
- Ensure integration of community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination.
Finance & Compliance Management
- In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics 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 Mali.
Influence & Representation
- 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.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
- 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 program participants
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participant 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: Program staff, finance, administration and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, management, public health, economic development or other relevant field.
- At least 10 years of relevant development experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.
- At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope, USAID/FFP-funded activities strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to the importance of gender and youth in integrated programming.
- 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 and French.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
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 is based in Bamako, Mali, with regular travel (up to 40%) to implementation areas as the security situation allows. This is an accompanied position. Currently, expatriate team members based in Bamako are eligible for R&R every six months. The COP is entitled to individual housing. There is regular access to electricity and water, though there are occasional electrical outages. Access to quality health care is limited. There are a number of clinics in town, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. Internet is limited, but available in Mercy Corps offices. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods in Bamako.
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.