Mercy Corps is hiring a
Chief of Party - Resilience
Food Security Activity
The position is contingent on new funding
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the implementation of a five-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) for DRC. The Activity will contribute to food and nutrition security for households and communities in Eastern DRC.
The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the Activity meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The COP will supervise Activity staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders for this Activity.
● Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of Activity implementation, development and management. Ensure that Activity implementation is responsive to communities, and aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles, values and strategic plan.
● Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/interventions, methods of operation and means of evaluation.
● Oversee Activity start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various country locations.
● Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
● Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantees.
● Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting Activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
● Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps DRC, headquarters, USAID, Government of DRCi authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.
● Ensure integration of community approaches, gender and social inclusion sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
● Support Mercy Corps’ global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.
● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
● Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
● In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics needs of the Activity are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the RFSA.
● Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of DRC.
● Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events.
● Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director and Director of Programs.
● Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
● Establish and maintain relationships with communities, partners and local government.
● 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 the Activity is implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national organizations. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Country Director, PaQ Director and other DRC program Directors, Activity team members, finance, administration and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations
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 projects.
● MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, agriculture, nutrition, public health, business administration or other relevant field.
● At least 10 years of relevant development experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities, at least five years of which must be based in country programs.
● At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope ($20 million +); management of USAID Activity(ies), especially a Development Food Security Activity strongly preferred. Preference for experience with projects addressing resilience, agriculture, natural resources management, agribusiness, peacebuilding and conflict management.
● Must demonstrate expertise in food and nutrition security.
● Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations and partners. Experience with consortium management is preferred.
● Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to the importance of gender and youth dynamics in food security programming and within staff and management of the activity.
● Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
● Understanding and knowledge of USAID regulations and program administration, management, and reporting procedures and systems is preferred.
● Prior humanitarian and/or development experience working in a context similar to DRC.
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French.
● Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
The successful COP 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 teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring and interpersonal skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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.
This position is an accompanied position in Bukavu, South Kivu (DRC) (based in Cyangugu, Rwanda if accompanied with spouse and/or children). Individual accommodation will be provided according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. The position is eligible for R & R. Bukavu is a provincial capital of about 1,200,000 inhabitants and life is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Security conditions are stable in Bukavu and in the program intervention areas. Health services are available, with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.
Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.
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.