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into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
The Goal of the Nafoore program is to “increase resilience capacities of vulnerable Mauritanian Youth to resist radicalization and recruitment by VEOs. The program intends to meet its Goal through the achievement of three Objectives; O1: Increase Income for Vulnerable Youth; O2: Strengthen Youth Agency in their Lives and Communities; O3: Expand safe, supportive youth social networks.
To achieve our Objectives, the intended model of implementation is also to facilitate rather than directly implement through the medium of an affiliated network of partner organizations (“the Nafoore Network”). The network’s constituent members will be drawn from among organizations (and individuals where relevant) identified by youth as key to helping them achieve Positive Youth Development goals across objectives and related results. The Results anticipated under each Objective are presented below:
O1 Increase Income of vulnerable Youth
O2 Strengthen Youth agency in their lives and communities
O3 Expand safe supportive youth social networks
The program will be implemented jointly between Mercy Corps and Counterpart International in partnership with local organizations. The lead-partners will primarily focus on providing technical expertise and capacity building support to network members – enabling them to in turn work towards achievement of program results. However, there will need to be robust Collaboration, Learning and Adaptation (CLA) actions integrated into implementation to ensure most effective allocation of resources towards achievement of program results – and the linked development of strong Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) systems. Positive Youth Development (PYD) principles are also threaded throughout our design, and all proposed results, activities and learning agendas align with PYD domains: Assets, Agency, Contribution and Enabling Environment. Our fundamental design approach which cross-cuts all objectives is that “youth co-develop and lead solutions for building their assets, agency, contribution and resilience with facilitated, tailored support from program partners”.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the NAFOORE program, 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 stakeholders.
The CoP will provide technical direction and thought leadership on preventing and countering violent extremism through use of the implementation modalities (and any necessary, evidence based adaptations) described above, ensuring a sensitive and effective approach to achieve program success as well as contributing to Mercy Corps’ reputation and thought leadership in peacebuilding and P/CVE in the Sahel. The CoP will ensure that all program team members and key stakeholders are working toward a common P/CVE goal and are following best practices in Positive Youth Development, market-based employment opportunities, and civic engagement.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
● Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with program team and key stakeholders.
● Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program.
● Actively share learning with and absorb lessons from Mercy Corps’ and other organizations P/CVE programming in the Sahel region.
● Shape and work toward a forward-looking research and learning agenda that will inform program success as well as other P/CVE programs in-country and in the region
● 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.
● 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.
● Confirm beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.
● Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building.
● 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.
● Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in P/CVE, peacebuilding, conflict sensitivity, youth employment, psychosocial support and safe spaces, and other related areas .
● Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
● Supervise and/or Coordinate with procurement, logistics, and 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.
● 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.
Finance & Compliance Management
● 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.
Influence & Representation
● Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
● Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
● 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 beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
The COP will oversee the DCOP and technical support team members for each objective. Contingent on budget, there may also be cross-cutting Financial Inclusion, sequencing Integration and Learning (SIL) + CLA and gender specialists. Mercy Corps will oversee financial and contracting aspects of sub-granting to Nafoore Network partners – with routine programmatic decisions taken by the COP in collaboration with a senior management committee (DCOP + technical teams).
Reports Directly To: Country Director for Mali & Mauritania
Works Directly With: Other CoPs or program managers in Mali, finance and operations teams, Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
● MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field
● A minimum of 5 to 7 years of overseas experience including 3 years in a senior management position.
● Specific, in-depth experience leading a P/CVE program and/or other highly sensitive program in a violence prevention context
● Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
● 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.
● Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues.
● Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
● Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
● Foreign language ability French, Arabic, English.
● Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
● Experience in the Mauritania or in the Sahel region required.
● Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
The successful Chief of Party 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 Nafoore program office will be based in Nouakchott – with smaller hubs proposed in Ayoun El Atrous and Néma – with travel to field sites anticipated. The CoP is based in Nouakchott. The location is (accompanied/unaccompanied and secure/insecure). Housing is (group/individual) accommodation with (limited/unlimited) freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are (# or confirmation) International schools in (country). Staff have (degree of) access to (services – medical, electricity, water, etc). This position requires (% of time) of travel by (mode of transportation) to field offices in (level of security) environments. This position (is/is not) eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits. Also, be sure to include exceptional work schedules (e.g., evenings and weekends required; 6-day workweek; etc.). This role is accompanied for spouse only.
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.
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.