****This position is subject to funding and donor approval of final candidate**
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 has been operating in Somalia since 2008. With a team of around 100 people and programs operating throughout the country, Mercy Corps’ overall goal is to build a peaceful and prosperous Somalia where all people feel secure, are economically empowered, and are meaningfully engaged. Mercy Corps’ current portfolio in Somalia focuses on humanitarian response and resilience; inclusive economic growth; enhancing trust and accountability between communities and their government; and improving youth livelihoods and education opportunities. All Mercy Corps interventions in Somalia are implemented in a conflict- and gender-sensitive manner.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (CoP) to lead the implementation of the expected five-year, up to $40 million USAID-funded Local Governance and Reconciliation Activity (LGRA). The proposed Activity will promote more effective and legitimate local governance that offers a credible alternative to Al-Shabaab rule in southern Somalia through:
- supporting districts to prevent and manage conflict impartially and promote greater participation of citizens in decision-making, particularly among women, youth and historically marginalized communities.
- improving the performance – or effectiveness – of the Somali state by supporting districts to mobilize and manage resources, and identifying and responding to citizen priorities.
General Position Summary
The CoP will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the LGRA, to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. They will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & VISION
● Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
● Active participation in Mercy Corps’ strategic discussions in country and at global level.
● Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
● Confirm participants are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.
● Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building.
● Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, safeguarding, Do No Harm principles, and participant accountability standards.
● Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in decentralization and local governance, participatory planning processes, community mobilization, and civil society empowerment.
● Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
● Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
● Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
● Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach 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.
FINANCE & COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
● Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.
● Ensure sound financial management, including programmatic budgeting, spending projections, and monitoring of payments in compliance with USAID standards.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
● Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
● Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
● Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
● Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
● 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: LGRA Program Team
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party (if applicable), other Mercy Corps Somalia Directors or program managers, M&E / CLA, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Program Performance and Quality team, consortium partners
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Knowledge and Experience
● MA/S or equivalent in social or political science, management or public administration, international development or other relevant field.
● At least 10 years of relevant development experience, including 5 years in a senior management position. Previous experience as a Chief of Party or similar role managing a multi-year program, with a similar size/scope (up to $40 million).
● Understanding of and familiarity with Somalia’s government structures, political economy, civil society, and conflict dynamics.
● Demonstrated technical expertise in good governance and reconciliation norms and approaches.
● Experience with USAID-funded activities strongly preferred.
● Previous experience in Somalia or the region is desirable.
● Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
● Experience managing a consortium or operating within a consortium, ideally USAID-funded.
● Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements, preferable with USAID.
● Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
● Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
● Strong understanding of USAID compliance issues.
● Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They 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. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous 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 CoP is based in Mogadishu. The location is unaccompanied. Accommodation is in group housing, with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have access to basic services (electricity, water, sporadic internet etc). Medical facilities are basic. Mobility in Somalia is restricted and must first be cleared with the Security Advisor. This post is eligible for Hardship and R&R. The standard Somali work week is Sunday – Thursday.
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.
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 toMercy 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