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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been supporting the communities in Syria, focusing its interventions on Emergency, Wash and Livelihoods. With funding from DFID, French MoFA, ECHO, EC and OFDA, Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Syria to respond to the priorities/ needs of people in conflict zone.
The Partnership Program Manager will play a key role within Mercy Corps’ Northeast Syria (NES) portfolio. S/he will be responsible for overseeing partnerships with Syrian NGOs, which will entail strong collaboration and facilitation with other departments within the NES program including Sub-Awards, M&E, Programs, Operations, HR, and Finance.
This position requires someone with vision and leadership skills, to help the NES team identify, plan, and implement a successful partnership portfolio. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders, and to facilitate consensus building and drive through team goals amidst competing priorities. S/he must be eager to forge a new component of partnership within the NES program, and while building on Mercy Corps Syria’s breadth and depth of partnership experience s/he will essentially develop this program to meet the unique contextual needs of Northeast Syria.
In the first phase of this position, s/he will lead the NES team through a process of identifying opportunities for partnership that are in line with the overall NES program strategy. The NES program aims to work with partners for a range of objectives, including increasing Mercy Corps access and investing in longer term sustainability of local humanitarian actors and civil society. The Partnership Program Manager will guide the NES team to identify the appropriate partnership approach for each of their distinct partners and projects to ensure that a combination of grant management, technical oversight, capacity strengthening, and verification objectives are tailored to meet the respective partnership goals.
The Partnership Program Manager will also lead the establishment of the Partnership team within the NES program. The exact team composition will reflect needs that will be identified in the first phase described above, but is expected to consist of staff dedicated to partnership programming with specific technical experience such as Programs (sectors will depend on partners’ projects), M&E, Finance, Compliance & SubAwards, and Operations. The Partnership Program Manager will then supervise this team. During the period of establishing this Partnership focused team, the Partnership Program Manager will achieve partnership objectives through the current NES teams who oversee direct implementation – requiring very strong leadership, communication, coordination, and collaborative skills.
Technical Leadership & Guidance
- Sensitize and foster shared commitment to programming in partnership among the entire NES team. Build the teams general knowledge of what partnership means and how it contributes to the NES program objectives.
- Provide guidance to the entire NES team on the various objectives and approaches to building partner capacity. This includes overseeing the development of capacity building plans, coordinating their implementation, and supporting the monitoring and measurement of progress.
- Represent NES to the wider MC Syria and INGO community with regard to the partnership program in NES, including liaising and collaborating to learn from and inform other programs.
- Ensure that NES contributes to MC Syria partnership mapping and tracking exercises and serve as a focal point within the NES team to liaise with other INGOs or potential donors to NES partners.
- Facilitate internal workshops, lessons learned sessions, or workshops as necessary that are aimed at moving forward the partnership agenda in NES.
- Where needed, support the NES team to identify other MC Syria resources to strengthen their ability to work with partners.
- Contribute to MC Syria’s learning and strategy related to partnership approaches and capacity strengthening (through workshops, participation in evaluations and studies, preparation of toolkits, collection of data and other measurement, etc).
- For select projects, provide overall management of the Subawards. This entails overseeing the sub-awarding process, including partner selection, due diligence, contracting, project start-up, project implementation plans, capacity building, reporting, monitoring and project close-out requirements. (Some projects will have dedicated managers who will be responsible for the sub-award processes.)
- Coordinate with the Programs, PaQ, Operations, Finance, HR, Subawards and security team to provide technical oversight, and capacity building training and coaching to ensure that partners implement quality interventions in line with donor regulations, minimum standards and humanitarian principles. This entails identifying key points in a partner project that require MC Syria NES team to review and approve project tools our outputs; coordinating with MC Syria NES team to assess partner capacity and develop and implement capacity strengthening plans.
- Coordinate with PaQ to ensure that monitoring of partner projects is conducted in time and informs program adaptations where necessary.
- Where needed provide input, and / or lead on partner program design, including developing logframes, narratives and budgets.
- Collaborate with NES team to review, improve, and approve partner reports and serve as focal point to ensuring that partner inputs are included into MC donor reports and are of high quality and timely.
- Work with all MC Syria stakeholders to establish a well-structured filing system for all partnership projects, including: project reporting, photos, videos, and other means of verification, as well as detailed beneficiary records in line with PM@MC requirements.
- Oversee design of the NES partnership staffing structure and its recruitment.
- Supervise the NES partnership team, including positions that may directly report to other department heads but contribute entirely or largerly to the partnership program.
- Advise and mentor project staff on appropriate partnership approaches
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and help them constructively identify problem solving options.
- 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.
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with other MC teams, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
- Engage constructively with relevant internal and external coordination mechanisms on behalf of the project as necessary.
- 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.
- SUPERVISES: Capacity Building Officer (1) and remaining NES partnership team (to be recruited)
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Area Director, Director of Programs, Humanitarian Director, Director of Operations, relevant Program Managers
Knowledge and Experience
- 5+ years of experience working in humanitarian crises
- 5+ years of experience working with local partners, including managing the grants cycle process from partner selection to close-out.
- 3+ years of experience managing multi-dimensional programming is required; remote management, emergency or conflict contexts is preferred
- Excellent analytical and strategic thinking skills and ability to develop short and long term plans and strategies are required.
- Experience supervising, coaching, supporting, and managing the workflow of a team
- Extensive project design and proposal writing experience is required; working with or supporting local organizations in proposal writing is preferred
- Proven success managing US government funding, including the oversight of sub-grants
- Demonstrated commitment to enhancing the professional skill sets and building the capacity of more junior team members
- Passion for and dedication to working with local partners and familiarity with partner-driven approaches a must
- Experience with partnership modalities, especially those geared towards strengthening capacity
- Experience with training and coaching on organizational or technical topics a plus
- Multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are necessary, as are patience, a sense of humor, and interest in working with diverse teams
- Excellent oral and written English skills; familiarity in Arabic is highly advantageous
- Bachelor or equivalent in relevant field (international development, international relations, international law, etc.). Masters is preferred.
The successful candidate will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, and creative problem-solving. S/he has initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity strengthening of national staff and local partners. S/he will be known for flexibility and creativity in project planning and building responsive systems, and is able to solicit and understand diverse perspectives, build consensus among a variety of stakeholders, and effectively and clearly communicate decisions.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is currently based in Hasakeh City with travel to other locations, including various locations within North East Syria, context permitting. This position is unaccompanied. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.