Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian and development Non-Governmental Organization which has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of about 300 people. Mercy Corps’ country office is located in Goma with field offices in Kitchanga, Kiwanja, (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu), and a representative office in Kinshasa.
Current Mercy Corps DRC activities in DRC focus on humanitarian and stabilization programming, in sectors of; WaSH and emergency cash-based assistance, food security, good governance and economic recovery programs, with an increasing shift towards transitional and integrated development programming.
Program / Department Summary
A Consortium composed of Mercy Corps (MC) and Search for Common Ground (SFCG), in cooperation with multiple local and international partners, are implementing the integrated Food Security and Inclusive Access to Resources for Conflict-Sensitive Market Development (FARM) program, which seeks to improve stability for men, women, boys and girls through improved land governance and access to land, as well as the development of a more efficient and inclusive market environment for over 250,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, in the chiefdoms of Bashali (Masisi) and Bwisha (Rutshuru). FARM is a four years program funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kigali, Rwanda, aligned with the International Stabilization Support Strategy (I4S), which paves the way for the stabilization of Eastern DRC.
General Position Summary
The Market and Value Chains Development Manager will be responsible for providing leadership, technical oversight and ensuring direct management for all activities related to FARM’s Strategic Objective 2: Strengthen market systems and cooperation between value chain actors, with particular attention on improving agriculture markets and value-chain development. He/she will define implementation strategies in coordination with the Programme Director and the program’s democratic dialogue processes, train staff, provide them with technical assistance; and ensure that common strategies and approaches are applied consistently in all communities through the development of manuals with detailed instructions for implementing activities. He/she will also keep abreast of the latest research and evolutions in the field of market/value chain development (specifically the MSD approach) and integrate new ideas and approaches as appropriate, seek additional technical assistance as needed from Mercy Corps headquarters or regional offices and ensure effective working relationships with collaborating agencies. The Manager will lead coordination with the FARM program’s third-party technical lead on value chain and market systems development.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Management and Implementation:
- Provide leadership and management of all aspects of SO2 activity design, planning, implementation, quality and accountability.
- In coordination with the third-party technical lead, using an MSD approach, ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and market development needs, consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, value and quality standards.
- Oversee all activities related to market/value chain development, entrepreneurship and youth specific community projects, ensuring that all staff are following workplans, activities are on schedule, and project deliverables are completed as planned.
- Advise Team Leader and sector specialists on technical aspects of market/value chain development in a gender, age, conflict and ethnicity sensitive manner.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to community needs and consistent with Mercy Corps’ and technical guidelines.
- In coordination with the country DMEL department, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact.
- Together with the Program Director and S01 Manager design SBCC (social and behavior change) activities to address program goals including the promotion of gender and age equitable attitudes.
- Advise on technical aspects of market/value chain development in SO1 (Land Access and Use) as needed.
- Support the Program Director to liaise with The Dutch Embassy in Kigali and Goma Representation and represent the program to other ISSSS aligned or funded programs, cooperating sponsors and other stakeholders.
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field (including the Clusters), in close coordination with the Program Director.
- Coordinate activities with SO2 partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Identify, secure and maintain relevant partnerships to ensure successful program implementation, in line with MSD approach.
Finance, Compliance and Quality Management
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Provide technical and management support for the reporting requirements to the program.
- Ensure that the FARM program has sufficient systems in place to meet program management standards and comply with donor regulations and good practice.
- Ensure that the Program File for SO2 is kept up to date and meets minimum program management standards.
- Support development and implementation of program policies, protocols and systems.
- Work with program staff to integrate quality monitoring processes based on protocols into program implementation, including internal and external reviews of program quality.
Team Management Support
- Build the capacity of DRC staff and local partners in the area of reporting to enable them to develop high quality reports and other documents.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Contribute to program team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and build capacity related to market and value chain development.
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 towards 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.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Direct Supervisor to SO2 Team Leader
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Program Director – FARM
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Subgrants & Partnerships Manager, SO1 Manager, FARM M&E Team, program staff, finance, operations and program support staff.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- MA/Sc or equivalent experience in social science, management, international development or other relevant field;
- 3-5 years relevant professional experience implementing value chain and / or market system development; agricultural or livelihood programs, preferably in insecure or transitional environments;
- Flexibility, learning attitude, willingness to work with many iterations in program implementation;
- Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills;
- Experience in gender and youth integration;
- Strong written and oral English preferred;
- Experience managing national and international staff;
- Familiarity and experience with Dutch regulations preferred;
- Experience managing sub-grantees preferred;
- Experience / skills managing programs in insecure regions required;
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;
- Experience in Africa, specifically DRC, preferred;
- Patience, perseverance, initiative and a sense of humor required.
- Fluency in written and spoken French required.
The successful Market and Value Chains Development Manager will be familiar with the particular challenges of market development in Eastern Congo, including regional implications. He/she will have a strong combination of team leadership, coordination, experience in conflict sensitive development and implementing programs in contexts of insecurity. S/he will have familiarity with the procedures of the MSD approach, and the capacity to manage relationships with different levels of value chain actors, supporters and influencers including farmer organizations, inputs providers, microfinance institutions, traders, parastatal and civil society organizations as well as government ministries and institutions on a local level. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for inclusive market development to promote sustainable practices to achieve food security, contributing to increased stability. A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other humanitarian actors implementing in the areas of intervention. A successful Market and Value Chains Development Manager will complete activities in a timely manner in accordance with Mercy Corps and donor procedures and guidelines.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions:
This position will be based in Goma (DRC). Accommodation will be provided in Goma within group housing. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. There are different restaurants and leisure activities available.
While conditions in the country are improving, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps’ sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.