Director of Operations - Khartoum, Sudan

Country: Sudan
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 15 Oct 2021

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

Mercy Corps Europe, formerly known as Mercy Corps Europe, has been operational in Sudan since 2009 and currently leads humanitarian assistance and longer-term development efforts in conflict-affected South Darfur, South Kordofan, White Nile, Gedaref, and Khartoum States, supporting host communities, IDPs, returnees and refugees. Mercy Corps’ current areas of programming include food security and livelihoods, WASH, health, nutrition, peace building and protection, and Market Systems Development.

General Position Summary

The Director of Operations (DoO) will work closely with the Country Director (CD) to develop a professional, effective, efficient and results driven Operations and HR support team. The DoO is responsible for operational oversight of the Mercy Corps Country Program, including smooth functioning of all procurement, administrative, logistics and HR functions, as well as day-to-day security management.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Program Support Operations:

● Assume direct responsibility for ensuring effectiveness of operations systems for program impact including logistics, security, IT, administration and human resources, and ensure transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures, and Sudan and relevant international laws.

● Work closely with the Country Director to ensure that all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient and effective implementation.

● Ensure weekly coordination meetings between each Program, together with Finance and Operations take place.

● Recruit, manage and motivate an informed, skilled and efficient team as necessary; incorporate Performance Management systems and staff development strategies into the team building process.

● Uphold Mercy Corps’ Zero Tolerance policy to corruption.

● The DoO will also work closely with the Country Director (CD) on implementing, maintaining and improving a Program Record Retention and Archiving System of programmatic operations and documentation, to ensure compliance and linkages with financial monitoring, as well as institutional memory. Close collaboration with the CD on new program development will also be an important responsibility.

Field Office Operations:

● Work closely with the Director of Programs, Team Leaders and Heads of Office in each field site to ensure that support systems and structures are in place and compliant with relevant internal and external policies and procedures.

● Ensure that security procedures and standards are in place and respected in each field site, and that field office operations create an enabling environment for smooth program implementation.

● Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for supervision and support, and maintain close collaboration with the Heads of Office in each field site to ensure operational and programmatic cooperation in each field office.

● Frequently travel to field offices to ensure the operations functions are up and running without critical delays, and provide on-site mentoring support to field teams.

Operations Management - Human Resources:

● Facilitate transparent, effective and timely recruitment of vacancies, including providing sound orientation.

● Ensure the HR systems for national staff are implemented as described in the according to Mercy Corps Policies for international staff and Sudan’s National Staff Policy Handbook, and assist with updating the Manuals as necessary.

● Ensure that all expatriate staff obtain an orientation upon arrival and have access to all the relevant manuals and internal policies/procedures.

● Continue the development of country or field office HR policies (e.g., National Staff Policy Handbook, phone policy, salary increase) and communicate new policies to all staff as described in the Field Administration Manual.

● Assist other managers to properly implement the performance review process to ensure proper talent management (star performers are rewarded, plan for underperforming team members).

● Assist with the review of the existing salary scale in light of recent salary studies completed.

● Oversee the HCM, and HR database (and other follow-up systems) and proper tracking of key dates for team members.

● Ensure all HR policies and practices comply with local laws.

● Work closely with finance compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest, and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.

Operations Management - Administration:

● Ensure the Administration systems are implemented according to Mercy Corps policies and procedures.

● Oversee database & paper file management for administration, procurement, logistics resources documents.

● Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases and ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.

● Oversee timely travel reservations and arrangements, and maintain strong relations with transport providers.

● Ensure that all government-required authorizations and documentation are complete and up-to-date.

● Responsible for expatriate visa and work permits, as necessary.

● Oversee timely and compliant payroll management. Prepare National staff monthly payroll in association with the Finance Department.

● Ensure that all Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Sudan laws and Mercy Corps/donor policies.

● Assist the program team and departments to understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of interaction with the Administration departments. These include training, regular coordination meetings, problem solving and necessary planning activities to ensure effective and timely program implementation.

● Oversee and coordinate with the liaison manager to ensure an effective timeline for a smooth visa process.

Operations Management - Procurement :

● Ensure timely and accurate processing and documentation of procurements, and ensure accurate paperwork and a supply chain as described in the Field Procurement, Policies and Procedures Manual (FP3).

● Ensure the operational systems such as PR Masterlist, contract trackers, lease trackers, vehicle maintenance tracker etc are regularly updated on a daily basis.

● Participate in the Program-Operations-Finance regular monthly review meetings

● Develop and maintain Master Agreements for the repetitive purchases for program and administrative needs in Sudan.

● Provide online, in-person and on the job training for all procurement, logistics and administration staff to build staff skill sets.

● Provide regular monthly Procurement training (separate modules) to all staff in Sudan.

● Work with Program Staff to develop Program Procurement Plans

● Participate in the proposal development stage to ensure effective procurement and logistics plans integration in the final proposals.

● Review for accuracy, completeness and compliance of all the payment requests handled by the operations team.

● Ensure procurement records systems are well managed and maintained.

● Supervise the fleet management team and ensure that systems are in place to track maintenance schedules, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling as described in the Field Fleet Management Guidelines.

● Provide direct support to ensure that all field offices meet minimum standards.

● Maintain service contracts.

● Liaise with finance to ensure compliance and payment schedules.

● Oversee tracking of all assets to ensure accurate record keeping of Mercy Corps and donor assets, including exceptional items that require registration and movement tracking, in accordance with the Mercy Corps Asset Management Manual.

● Maintain inventory records of materials and materials flow in all offices.

● Oversee customs clearing, equipment registration, licensing and insurance, etc.

● Chair tender openings as required.


● Serve as the country team’s security focal point to maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work.

● Together with the Country Director, lead the crisis management team when security/safety incidents occur, or when medical evacuations are needed.

● Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities, and that each office has regularly updated Security Operating Procedures and Security Management Plans in place.

● Attend security meetings and provide briefs to the Country Director.

● Ensure that security reporting (incident/situational) as well as monthly overviews are reported in a timely manner and according to internal procedures.


● As an appropriate interface with relevant government authorities responsible for international NGOs, labor, staff development and personnel taxes (in coordination with the Finance Director).

● Participate in Administrative working groups with other NGOs and relevant UN cluster meetings.

Organizational Learning: 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: All Administration/Human Resources, Procurement, Logistics and Security Officers and Managers within the country program.



WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Sudan Country Program staff, regional and headquarters staff as appropriate.


● MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field;

● 5-7 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in a management position;

● Extensive experience in logistics, administration and or procurement.

● Experience managing humanitarian relief and post-conflict programs in areas of affected by conflict and insecurity;

● Private sector experience desirable;

● Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues;

● Solid knowledge of security protocols and ability to work appropriately in an insecure environment;

● 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;

● Fluent written and oral communication in English is required, and the ability to speak Arabic is a plus.


The successful DoO will possess senior level experience in managing or coordinating humanitarian relief and/or post-conflict programs in areas affected by conflict, instability and insecurity. The DoO will also possess experience negotiating in difficult market conditions, which may have been obtained from working in the private sector. S/he will have an outstanding ability to multi-task, prioritize, solve problems, and pay simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership and mentoring skills. 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. In Sudan, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This is an accompanied position for Spouse/partner only based in Khartoum, Sudan, and eligible for R&R breaks. Housing is provided by the Country Office. Security conditions in the country are variable, requiring close monitoring and vigilance. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other, though the road network is good, the security situation often precludes travel by road. There is a somewhat reliable cellular phone system and internet is available at the offices. Candidates must be able to work in an environment with energy, transportation and communication challenges. The position will require travel to the field sites in Mercy Corps Sudan's operational areas up to 50% of the time including travel to some locations that may be insecure or austere.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and as such staff 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.

Ongoing Learning

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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