Mercy Corps has been present in Liberia since 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by the two Liberian civil wars which took place from 1989-1997 and 1999 – 2003. Since then, Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. With funding from USAID, the European Commission, the French Development Agency, Sida, Irish Aid, etc., Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Liberia to respond to these priorities/ needs in the areas of access to renewable energy, food security, agricultural livelihoods, financial inclusion, WaSH, Infrastructure and in Youth Economic Empowerment. Mercy Corps Liberia works closely with the Government of Liberia (especially the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education), the private sector, CSOs, International and Local NGO’s to implement its programmes from three field offices (Monrovia, Buchanan, Gbranga).
The Program Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing the delivery of PROSPECTS III, including daily management of program activities and staff. S/he will ensure that appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results. The PM is a strong team leader, able to develop and mentor program implementation team members in all three project locations (Montserrado, Bong and Nimba Counties), s/he is an effective communicator, able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. S/he is responsible for managing relationships with local partners, beneficiaries and donor representatives, contributing to the achievement of country goals through innovation and program development; displaying expertise in Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship sectors as well as regional experience to the team on the ground.
PROSPECTS III is a youth livelihood program that empowers young Liberians to find meaningful, market-driven employment or self- employment through increasing their skills, self- confidence and creating economic opportunity. This third iteration of the Sida funded program started in 2017 and ends in August 2020.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Planning
- Provide overall strategic direction, leadership, technical and operational management of the PROSPECTS team to ensure the timely and qualitative delivery of program objectives.
- Support development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative view points are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.
- Develop and organize activities to leverage existing and secure new resources and support for programs.
- In close collaboration with the PROSPECTS team, program, finance and administrative staff, ensure that all components of the PROSPECTS III program are implemented in alignment to donor and Mercy Corps policy guidelines.
- In particular, provide strategic guidance to the social business team to launch the solar energy products distribution and retailing network.
- 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.
- In coordination with the Country MEL manager, ensure that robust monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), knowledge management and quality assurance systems are in place, adhered to and used as decision-making tools to inform adaptive management, while also capturing best practices and lessons learned across programs.
- Support PROSPECTS teams to oversee performance of Apprentices, National Cadets, grantees and technical contractors.
- . Ensure the timely preparation of high quality progress, program, and donor reports in both content and form from the PROSPECTS implementation team
- Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the Program Management at Mercy Corps guidelines.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- Develop the capacity of the team by deepening their understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & achieve 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.
Influence & Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with partners, grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Exhibit an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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.
(Social Business Manager, Employment and Entrepreneurship Manager, Project Coordinator).
Reports Directly To: Team Leader – Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship
Works Directly with: (relevant field-based PMs, HQ-based Program Operations, Finance, MEL, and TSU staff)
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/BS or equivalent in Business Administration, International Aid, renewable energy (particularly solar) development or other relevant field; MA/S would be an added advantage.
- 3 to 5 years of international relief and development program management experience, in Youth Employment and Empowerment, Social Business management, Renewable/Solar Energy Development or Financial Inclusion
- Established ability to manage and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles.
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
- Proven ability to learn quickly, lead a program to achieve stated results and objectives.
- Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funded programs.
- Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders.
- Experience working with host governments, national and international NGOs.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
The successful PM 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 team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, 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 Program Manager is based in Monrovia. This location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are International schools in Liberia. Staff will have access to (services – medical, electricity, water, etc). This position requires (40% of time) of travel by road to field offices in stable and secured environments.
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.