Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management. With the financial assistance from OFDA and FFP, Mercy Corps currently implementing a multisector intervention focusing on emergency WASH, Shelters, NFI, Cash and food to displaced populations and host communities in several LGAs in the northeast. With anticipated funding from a larger variety of donors, Mercy Corps is expecting to expand its humanitarian response to reach more beneficiaries in a larger geographic area. All Mercy Corps interventions in Nigeria are implemented in a conflict, protection and gender sensitive manner.
The Humanitarian Response Director (HRD) will provide overall oversight, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-million dollar humanitarian portfolio, supported by donors such as OFDA, FFP and expected ECHO. S/he will manage humanitarian project managers as well as work closely with Technical Advisors, providing strong leadership and ensuring proper coordination in order to operate effectively and deliver on the projects’ intended impact. S/he will help in program scale up or expansion by eliciting new funding, increasing visibility and communicating the impact of our programming to donors and partners.
The HRD will serve as a strong team leader for Mercy Corps Nigeria’s Humanitarian programs, will represent the interests of the agency and partners, and ensures all parties are working effectively and efficiently. S/he should be well versed in the Nigeria NE context, is detail oriented, and has excellent planning and strategic thinking and reporting skills. S/he will also be experienced in networking and donor representation. S/he will be an effective communicator with exceptional team building and coordination skills.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Design
- Manage and oversee the implementation of OFDA, FFP and ECHO or other emergency grants targeting vulnerable populations in Northeastern Nigeria, including high level management of the grant to ensure the programs are on time, scope and budget.
- Lead the design and implementation of new emergency programs based on needs analysis, assessments and sectoral information
- Work with program teams to grow visibility of MCN humanitarian programs with a focus on donor and government relations
- Proactively keep abreast of humanitarian issues and priorities in NE Nigeria and ensure Mercy Corps is well positioned and prepared to respond
- Participate in Mercy Corps Nigeria’s strategic planning processes and ensure key humanitarian issues are prioritized
- Represent Mercy Corps at key humanitarian meetings, attend coordination meetings and maintain regular contact and networking with relevant NGO, government of Nigeria, UN, multilateral and bilateral donors
- Report on program progress, obstacles and recommendations as required and produce regular updates and success stories for dissemination to donors
- Promote and adhere to the principles and objectives of Mercy Corps.
- Conduct yourself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Provide high level and management support to team around food security, nutrition, cash as a modality and humanitarian best practices.
- Maintain awareness of important global humanitarian issues, gaps, and identify opportunities for innovative solutions to share with Mercy Corps Nigeria Senior Leadership
- Work closely with the Technical Support Lead and Advisors to plan and prioritise support and integration across programs
- Guide team to ensure adherence to donors’ compliance guidelines
- Ensure all MC administration, logistical, human resources and financial procedures are followed in relation to implementation of humanitarian grants.
- Integrate conflict prevention and peace building programming techniques in emergency and humanitarian response programs
- Integrate gender sensitive and protection programming activities in emergency and humanitarian response programs
- Conduct regular site visits to ensure proper delivery of services.
- Assist with security monitoring to ensure MC staff, assets and partners are able to work securely.
- Train key Mercy Corps Nigeria staff in humanitarian principles and best practices and proactively identify staff for relevant humanitarian trainings
- Facilitate synthesis of best practices and lessons learned and promote an overall culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection on program data.
- Support documentation, sharing, and integration of lessons learned into strategic design and implementation.
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.
- Maintain an active advisory role with consortium partner program and MEL teams to help guide towards robust and relevant data collection.
- Build the capacity of team members across all consortium partner staff through the circulation of resources and ad hoc mentorship.
Supervisory Responsibility: OFDA Program Manager, FFP Program Manager
Reports Directly To: Director Field Implementation
Works Directly With: Program Teams, Technical Support Lead and Technical Sector Advisors, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Team, Finance and Operation team
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in international development or a related field preferred.
- Minimum of seven years’ experience in management role in international development or humanitarian/early recovery programming.
- Comprehensive understanding of donors such OFDA, FFP, ECHO, protocols and emergency donor ways of working and funding mechanisms required.
- Previous experience in writing humanitarian response proposals and rapidly designing emergency response programs
- Demonstrated success in programs related to emergency response required
- Thorough understanding of the context and current environment in Nigeria essential
- Proven managerial skills required
- Demonstrated ability to function as a social entrepreneur and proven success with building, managing and leading a team of professionals and the ability to function as a team player among peers.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, prioritization skills are necessary.
- History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, the private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments.
- Prior work experience in Africa strongly preferred; an ability to work comfortably, effectively and creatively within the cultural environment of Ethiopia and areas of poor security required.
- Experience using systemic monitoring and gender/conflict sensitivity techniques and dynamism in working with multicultural team environment
The successful candidate will be a self-starter, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. S/he will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. S/he will be a team-player with positive attitude to problem solving and conflict resolution. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff, and will be able to apply creative solutions to program quality and team-building. S/he will also have the skill to engage, motivate and encourage staff to bring creative solutions to development issues, identify opportunities for increased impact, and pursue project objectives.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria and requires frequent travel to deep field location and Abuja. Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously. Access to good medical services in the field is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic. The location is eligible for hardship and 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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.