Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus in promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (CoP) to lead the implementation of the expected five-year USAID-funded Strengthening Accountable Governance and Civic Engagement (SAGCE) program. The proposed program will enhance citizen-responsive governance through: 1) improved capacity and commitment of subnational government to transparently and inclusively plan, budget, mobilize and manage resources; and 2) strengthened opportunities, skills, and agency for citizens and civic organizations to inform and shape government policy and hold government accountable.
The CoP will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the SAGCE 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.
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 and the country office.
- 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, while applying politically-sensitive adaptive management principles.
- 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 decentralization and local governance, participatory planning processes, community mobilization, and civil society empowerment.
- Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
- 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.
- 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, subgrantees, 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 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.
SAGCE Program Team
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Other Mercy Corps Ethiopia Directors or program managers, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in social or political science, management or public administration, international development or other relevant field related to governance programming.
- A minimum of 8 years relevant development experience with at least 5 years in senior management positions or similar size/scope of program ($15+million). Experience in USAID-funded activities strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
- Experience managing a consortium or operating within a consortium, ideally USAID-funded.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners
- Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements, preferable with USAID.
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is strongly preferred.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
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 the capital city – Addis Ababa. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is family accommodation with good freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several international schools in Addis Ababa, British systems exist for children up to 11 years old. The US school takes students to pre-university levels. Staff have access to basic services (electricity, water, sporadic internet etc). Medical facilities are basic with international clinics able to provide emergency services. This position requires 35% travel by road and air to field offices in often insecure environments. Addis Ababa is host to many international organizations including the OAU, the Economic Commission for Africa and other multi-national bodies, many of which have their headquarters based in the capital city.
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.