Nutrition & WASH Program Manager (RFSA Purpose 2 Lead)

Mercy Corps

Kasai, Democratic Republic of the Congo 🇨🇩

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 the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal 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 and South Kivu. Mercy Corps’ 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. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including USAID, FCDO and UN-donors, the humanitarian portfolio continues to expand in order to provide multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps plans to scale up and expand its humanitarian response to reach more beneficiaries with additional and varied assistance in a wider geographic area. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.

General Position Summary

The Nutrition and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Program Manager/Purpose 2 Lead will provide oversight and guidance in the design and implementation of activity interventions aimed at improving the utilization of food among vulnerable people as part of a multi-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity valued at up to $105 million. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the Activity meets its Purpose 2 targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. In particular Purpose 2 focuses addressing the individual, social, and structural determinants of malnutrition, offering a multi-sectoral package of targeted nutrition-sensitive activities and appropriate linkages to nutrition-specific interventions. The Nutrition and WASH Program Manager should have experience leading nutrition, WASH and social behavior change (SBC) programming to improve food, nutrition and economic security and have an in-depth understanding of food and nutrition security. S/he will lead the Refine & Implement phase for Purpose 2 and, based on learning, develop/adjust intervention strategies and training curricula to ensure that quality standards are met in the implementation of activities, based on donor regulations and Mercy Corps’ high quality programming standards.

Essential Job Responsibilities


●        Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative perspectives are feeding into strengthening the humanitarian portfolio.

●        Develops strategies for improving the utilization of food among target populations through nutrition, WASH and SBC interventions.


●        Provide hands-on field support, guidance and technical oversight for the implementation of nutrition and WASH interventions throughout the project cycle to ensure project design, start-up, implementation and close-out are in line with quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices.

●        Develop Purpose 2 related program documentation (ie Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP), quarterly and annual reports, Pipeline and Resource Estimation Proposal (PREP))

●        Advise country program teams in the design, development and implementation of related components.

●        Organize regular coordination meetings with Purpose 1 team.

●        Ensure the team adopts and tracks program quality standards

●        Ensure the program meets the donor requirements.

●        Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.

●        Produce written reports on nutrition, WASH and SBC activities, capturing the impacts of activities.  

●        Work closely with local authorities and communities to ensure integrated planning and implementation that is complementary and collaborative.


●        Create and maintain a work environment based on mutual respect, where accountability is encouraged, alternative viewpoints are welcomed, the team strives for excellence, and is conducive to professional growth. Encourage a strong team spirit.

●        Promote and instill a focus on capacity building, deepen understanding and ownership of individual roles, and strengthen performance management systems through the implementation of a comprehensive staff training plan.

●        Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback through regular individual interviews and performance reviews.

●        Structure, recruit, and induct team members, working to ensure that team structure and staffing reflect the project’s vision for gender equality and ensuring that staff are prepared to succeed and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.

●        Provide ongoing supervision, leadership, support, guidance and mentoring directly to program staff.

●        Team management, evaluation and career plan with each person supervised.

●        Support the development of national staff in line with program goals, so that national staff increasingly make decisions and take on management roles.


●        Support the development of a strong learning agenda to build evidence on nutrition, WASH and SBC approaches and share/disseminate with appropriate stakeholders

●        Help develop/track key indicators in nutrition and WASH in Kasai province and consider relevance for advancing Mercy Corps’ programs and strategy

●        Take part in collaboration, learning and adaptation (CLA) events with the team and relevant program stakeholders in accordance with USAID’s CLA toolkit.

●        Contribute to the design and implementation of robust CLA approaches and processes, ensure use of existing evidence to promote performance improvement, collaboration, learning and adaptation, and identify solutions to promote data-based decision-making among program and technical staff.

●        Contribute to knowledge-sharing, lessons learned and best practices documentation to build an understanding of programmatic results and impact in relation to desired outcomes.

●        Contribute to regular donor reporting.


●        Collaborate with program, finance and administrative staff.

●        Ensure that program resources are used efficiently, effectively, and transparently towards meeting desired results.

●        Management and monthly monitoring of the budget, including monthly budget forecasts, and control of coherence of spending.

●        Monitor adherence to grant and sub grants agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.

●        Prepare procurement plan and assist with the preparation of tenders.

●        Work with HQ technical advisors to develop SOWs for technical consultants, as required.


●        Participate actively in coordination meetings with relevant clusters and working groups in Kasai province

●        Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.

●        Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.

●        S/he will be responsible for coordinating activities with the local government, potential local partners, key stakeholders, and other international NGOs.


●        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.

●        Provide in-country and remote training and support for Mercy Corps team members, partners, and others.


●        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.


Supervises Directly: Purpose 2 Team

Reports Directly to: Deputy Chief of Party

Works Directly with:  Purpose 2 Lead, Strategic Learning Advisor, M&E Lead, Gender, Youth and Social Inclusion Lead, Activity team members, PaQ team, finance, administration and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations

Knowledge and Experience

●        A master’s degree in a relevant academic area—e.g., nutrition, public health, or a related social science discipline—plus five years of relevant experience with increasing technical responsibility leading to senior level expertise are required; or An undergraduate degree in a related field and eight years of relevant work experience with increasing technical responsibility leading to senior level expertise are required.

●        At least 5 years of field-based experience effectively leading nutrition, WASH, and social behavior change (SBC) programming intended to improve food, nutrition and economic security.

●        Possess in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition security and integration of nutrition and WASH into other sectors (agriculture, livelihoods, etc.).

●        Experience leading the development and implementation of evidence-based, multi-sectoral nutrition and WASH programming.

●        Possess a strong understanding of a range of SBC theory and approaches that address changes in social norms, structures, and individual behaviors.

●        Proficient in capacity strengthening, including experience with effective adult education approaches.

●        Demonstrated ability to network and engage with a wide range of stakeholders.

●        Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis and utilization of information from a broad range of sources.

●        Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

●        Fluent oral and written French skills required.

●        Professional proficiency in English and Tshiluba is preferred.

●        Experience with USAID and US government regulations and program administration, management and reporting procedures and systems is preferred.

●        Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

●        Previous experience in DRC is highly advantageous.

Success Factors

The successful Program Manager will have strong consultative skills, and a high degree of comfort in discussing agricultural techniques and livelihood issues, often in complex scenarios. This person will develop trust easily with field teams, other Mercy Corps leadership and external partners. This person should be an excellent written and verbal communicator able to represent Mercy Corps at public events. This person should be extremely well organized and capable of tracking multiple competing priorities. The successful person will be skilled at reducing complexities to clear and understandable non-technical terms with a focus on practical next steps. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Mercy Corps offers a competitive benefits package for positions based in the Kasai province, which is an unaccompanied duty station. Tshikapa is the capital of the Kasai Province, a lively rural city of 971,000 inhabitants where humanitarian actors are present. In the city center water and power are quite stable thanks to the cash power system and hotels, small restaurants, shops and banks are reasonably accessible. There are 3 main hospitals which provide adequate health care services, with evacuation options to Kinshasa or surrounding areas as required. Telephone landlines, internet and mobile network capacity exist but are frequently at a less than optimal level. The temperature is often between 30-35 degrees.

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 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 Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Mercy Corps Diversity Statement 

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. 






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development