Director of Programs - Abuja, Nigeria.
NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy
About Mercy Corps
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
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 400 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in Lagos in the South; Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau in the Middle Belt; Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa in the North; and Borno in the complex crisis of the Northeast. Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peacebuilding, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian needs, and market systems development. Working with a diverse funding base that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations (UN), European Commission (EC), European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), Global Affairs Canada (FKA DFATD), and several foundations, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. We stand with Nigeria to find and access opportunities, and to be part of lasting and meaningful transformation in the country.
General Position Summary
The Director of Programs (DOP) role is an exciting opportunity to shape and lead our programs in-country. The DOP is a proven leader that is directly responsible for overseeing the programs portfolio in Nigeria. The role will ensure that adequate leadership is applied to the implementation of relevant, innovative and adaptive programs. S/he will work closely with the Country Director (CD) to ensure effective program coordination and technical support, as well as program quality and accountability in close collaboration with the operations, finance and internal control teams. The position will be based in Abuja with frequent travel to locations throughout Nigeria. The DOP should be able to lead complex program implementation in a country program that operationally spans many field offices, and works in complex, insecure and unpredictable environments.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & VISION
- Demonstrate visible leadership and adherence to Mercy Corps’ core values, principles and strategy.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country strategy.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome.
- Provide leadership for the development of a countrywide three-year strategic plan, annual Fiscal Year Plans, and development of sector strategies working in close cooperation with the Country Director and COPs.
- Ensure integration and linkages between field offices and programs/sectors.
- Ensure cross program communication and learning; organize and facilitate country-level senior management meetings to create a platform for nationwide strategy, learning and facilitate integration of programs
- Ensure program implementation is on time, on target and on budget, using effective M&E systems to demonstrate the desired impact.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities, authorities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and vision.
- Provide leadership and direction to Nigeria program staff and support the Country Director to strengthen program strategies, program quality, partnerships, and accountability in accordance with Mercy Corps and donor policies.
- Manage and maintain ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, focusing on the integration of programs.
- Ensure that regular monitoring of project activities and project impact is undertaken, in accordance with existing Mercy Corps’ Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation guidelines.
- Oversee program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting, distribution processes and capacity building of partners as needed.
- Maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources and timely, accurate and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures
- Support onboarding structures that include Adaptive Management, PM@MC, Community Mobilization and gender and protection sensitive programming.
- Promote adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators, M&E, and adaptive management approaches, and country-level learning and strategic objectives. Contribute to a culture of curiosity, high-quality program performance, and learning.
- Build a cohesive team spirit and culture among staff and delegate functions and responsibilities to them while ensuring achievement of program objectives.
- Supervise, provide leadership, mentor and build the capacity of senior program staff in program/project design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management that creates a working atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellence at all levels.
- Maintain effective and positive internal communication with Mercy Corps staff in all field offices, this includes ensuring open and harmonious communication all of the different departments, offices, and programs.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- 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.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- With guidance from the Country Director, develop and maintain both internal and external relationships to ensure optimum program success including Mercy Corps headquarters and regional offices and teams, international and local NGOs, government officials, donor community officials, diplomatic corps and embassies, private sector partners, vendors, media and the general public.
FINANCE & COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- Ensure compliance and transparent use of resources in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Nigeria.
- Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations; compile and update applicable local policies; and train Mercy Corps program and partner staff in these policies.
- As part of the senior management team, work within operations systems for program impact including finance, logistics, security, and administration.
- Work with Program Heads on proper budget management, including forecasting and procurement planning.
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.
Supervisory Responsibility: Program Managers, Program Directors, Team Leaders. relevant advisors (TBC).
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: HQ-based Program, Operations, Finance, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Unit; Nigeria Operations, Finance
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S and/or equivalent in management, international development or other relevant field.
- 5-7 years of overseas experience including at least five years in a senior management position.
- Experience managing development and humanitarian programs as well as transitional programs in insecure areas affected by conflict.
- Proven track record in successful proposal writing and program development.
- Experience managing programs in relevant technical area(s) including food security, economic development, gender, livelihoods and financial services.
- Strong understanding of conflict sensitive program mainstreaming, gender or protection mainstreaming would be an advantage;
- Strong M&E skills with extensive field experience in developing practical, useful, timely monitoring systems, both at the program- and country-levels that promote use of data for adaptive management and learning.
- Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues.
- Strong management skills with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Solid knowledge of security protocols and ability to work effectively in an insecure environment.
The role is a hands-on position and success will be determined by the level of direct engagement in program development, oversight of projects, fundraising for new projects and representing the agency to stakeholders. The successful DOP should welcome multi-tasking and take an active role in program design and overarching strategy. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The DOP is based in the capital city - Abuja. The location is accompanied and generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. There is a wide variety of schools with different education philosophies and curriculum (British, American, French, and German to name a few). This position requires about 40% travel by road and air to field offices.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on short term assignments. 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.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
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