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.
Mercy Corps has been operational in the Central African Republic since September 2007. With a focus on development and transitional programming, Mercy Corps is implementing water/sanitation, food security, livelihoods, civil society building, gender-based violence (GBV) and protection programs throughout the country as well as peacebuilding. Since November 2015, Mercy Corps has been implementing the USAID/Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM)-funded Advancing Solutions for Peace through the Intercommunity Reconciliation and Engagement (ASPIRE) program. ASPIRE works with youth and community leaders to manage inter-group tensions, rebuild community cohesion, and strengthen pluralism in the western town of Bouar. Mercy Corps works with the Inter-religious platform in Bouar to build and strengthen Peace Committees which are led by members of all faiths, as well as with women and youth community members.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
The Conflict Mitigation Program Manager will have responsibility for the overall achievement of objectives, and administration and implementation of ASPIRE. This will include strengthening the capacity of local partners in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict management, training and curriculum development, reviewing the design and implementation of peacebuilding projects, facilitating clear communication between diverse groups, and ensuring rigorous measurement of program impact and timely reporting. In addition, the Program Manager will represent Mercy Corps in fora, meetings and conferences with other organizations working on peacebuilding and social cohesion.
ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
Vision, Leadership and Strategy
• The expat Program Manager will primarily provide overall technical support for the implementation of the CMM ASPIRE program. Provide technical support and training to program staff and liaise with Mercy Corps’ technical support team in the US.
• Conduct regular M&E visits to the team in Bouar and coordinate with M&E unit in Bangui.
• S/He will have overall responsibility for the achievement of the CMM ASPIRE program’s goals and objectives, based on lessons learned from Mercy Corps’ experience in CAR as well as based on international best practices.
• Will be responsible for ensuring that the program runs smoothly by providing overall leadership, management, supervision, and strategic vision for the implementation of the program, while supporting the National PM to manage staff and resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, within budget, and at a high level of quality.
• S/He will support the National PM to supervise key staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and comply with donor rules and regulations.
Support the National PM to:
• Develop a clear vision for the CMM program, as well as a clear and effective strategy for program implementation and evaluation around conflict management, reconciliation and social cohesion.
• Ensure that the CMM program strategy is clear and communicated to team members, local beneficiaries and partners.
• Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles and values (Vision for Change).
• Collaborate with other related Mercy Corps programs to create synergies wherever possible.
• Represent Mercy Corps in INGO meetings on social cohesion and other donor meetings in Bangui.
• Travel regularly between program areas to provide relevant technical support to ASPIRE activities and partners and liaise with other stakeholders and Mercy Corps programs to ensure program quality, innovation and consistency.
• Provide leadership and oversight in all aspects of program implementation, management and evaluation.
• Provide technical leadership to the program in at least one of the following areas as it relates to conflict mitigation: security planning, protection/psychosocial programming, interfaith peacebuilding, economic development and/or natural resource development.
• Ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ Program Management and Gender minimum standards.
• Monitor adherence to the donor grant agreement, as well as Mercy Corps’ and donor’s policies and procedures for procurement and compliance.
• Oversee program staff performance and quality of program implementation.
• Conduct frequent field visits to all program sites.
• Create a work atmosphere that promotes professional development of personnel at all levels.
• Establish performance expectations and regularly provide constructive feedback to staff.
• Contribute to team-building efforts across the program and encourage the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
• Facilitate training and management of staff, particularly national team members.
Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation
• Establish and oversee effective program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting systems for both internal and external use and ensure high quality input is obtained from team members.
• Use reporting results to monitor program success, measure impact, and calibrate program strategy accordingly.
• Ensure documentation of achievements and lessons learned to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated in quarterly and final program reports.
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: Entire program team composed of national PM, M&E officer, facilitators
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Country Director/Director of Programs, CAR
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Mercy Corps’ Finance Manager, Operations Manager, Program Managers, and other MC staff in CAR and headquarters; local government and partner organizations.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
• MA/S or equivalent in management, social sciences, international relations or other relevant field.
• Minimum seven years’ NGO experience in progressively responsible positions, including at least 2 years in a supervisory position.
• Demonstrated experience implementing conflict management and/or protection programs in insecure or transitional environments.
• Experience working on socio-economic programs (VSLAs, cash for work, cash transfers, livelihoods recovery, etc.) is a plus.
• Experience working in conflict-affected zones is essential.
• Strong listening, facilitation and consensus-building skills.
• Experience managing national and international staff.
• Knowledge of people-to-people peacebuilding programs and ‘Do No Harm’ principles.
• Knowledge of and experience with social cohesion, conflict management, interest-based negotiation and mediation trainings.
• Familiarity and experience with USAID regulations preferred.
• Must be able to work independently while being a strong team player.
• Fluent English and French are required.
• Patience, flexibility and excellent diplomatic skills are critical.
Knowledge & Experience
• Master’s degree in conflict mitigation, social sciences, international relations or other relevant field preferred.
• Seven years relevant professional experience with conflict management programs, preferably in insecure or transitional environments.
• Previous experience of working in insecure environments.
• Conflict analysis skills and experience in /natural resources management programming a plus.
• S/he is aware of the sensitivities of working in the Central African Region and will help ensure that the programs respect international agreements.
• Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills.
• Increase staff capacity by designing and leading technical training sessions on conflict management for Mercy Corps staff and local partners and provide ongoing training and mentoring.
• Strong writing, research, training and M&E skills for conflict programming.
• Experience managing national and international staff.
• Must be able to work independently while being a strong team player
The successful Program Manager will have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines within a complex team. S/he will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps. S/he will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate, assume leadership, and make solid decisions while working remotely from country leadership.
LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The position is based in Bangui, CAR.
This position is eligible for hardship benefit and is unaccompanied.
Recent increases in violence around the capital and areas to the north and west has led to a more fluid and less stable situation on the ground. Hospitals and access to quality health care are very limited. Malaria is prevalent. It is estimated that 7-8% of the population may be HIV positive. Suitable group housing is available, but electricity and clean water are sometimes sporadic.
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.