Deputy Program Director (Water Infrastructure)

Mercy Corps

Goma, Congo - Kinshasa



Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 200 people working in 5 locations. Mercy Corps is currently in the inception phase of a large-scale 5-year DFID-funded urban WASH program. This program known as IMAGINE will reach 1.55 million beneficiaries in Goma, Bukavu and Bunia and seeks to simultaneously improve availability of, access to, management of, and proper utilization of WASH resources to ensure sustained health impacts. In support of this Mercy Corps has recently completed a number of assessments as part of the IMAGINE Inception Phase (UKAID-funded) to define key needs around WASH infrastructure, water governance, market development and hygiene practice and better understand the environmental, socio-economic and gender issues that affect WASH needs and delivery.

IMAGINE identifies critical and inter-related outputs to address these causal factors preventing sustained improvements:

              Improvements to Infrastructure to increase availability of basic WASH services from source to tap;

              Improved market-based WASH Service Delivery to engage and incentivize market actors and create more viable, efficient and sustainable WASH markets;

              Enhanced Governance and Accountability structures to ensure effective feedback loops among consumers, providers, and regulators of WASH services;

              Behavior Change interventions to improve knowledge and practice essential health practices;

              Gender integration across all IMAGINE teams and activities; and Targeted gender interventions aimed at ensuring equitable access to, and control over, WASH resources.


The Deputy Program Director – Infrastructure (DPDi) will support the Program Director in implementation of the overall program with particular accountabilities around Infrastructure. The DPDi will provide overall leadership with a particular emphasis on program quality and integration of all the key outputs of governance, behavior change, gender equity and service provision in the implementation of infrastructure output. For infrastructure, the DPDi will be accountable for the overall direction and delivery of those components.


Vision and Strategy

              Demonstrate visible leadership and adherence to Mercy Corps’ core values, principles and strategy;

              Collaborative capability to ensure that all program design aspects are implemented to good standards that adhere to industry norms/regulations, while working in a challenging environment;

              Ensure Procurement contracts for contractors or consultants are developed and prepared and are in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations and are undertaken to professional standards;

              Review all infrastructure related terms of reference and bidding documents;

              Ensure program objectives for Infrastructure and deadlines are tracked and met and support the objectives of the other outputs;

              Ensure Infrastructure work is delivered on budget, to schedule and meets high quality standards;

              Oversee the performance of the Infrastructure team, contractors and consultants;

              Oversee all aspects of design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and ensure that all program aspects are documented;

              Manage collaborative partnerships, providing effective donor liaison for infrastructure elements. Identify, build partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders;

              Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met;

              Ensure all program management minimum standards are met including risk management, issues management.

              Recognizing high levels of gender-based violence in the program areas of DRC, consultative gender sensitive processes are used to ensure maximum safety of program participants

Program Management

              Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to IMAGINE-wide program implementation;

              Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations;

              Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan;

              Develop program implementation plans for Infrastructure elements in collaboration with national staff, as well as monitor implementation, program quality, and impacts of these activities;

              Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate;

              Develop monitoring systems (with technical support from the M&E team) and provide regular reports on program activities as required by the program;

              Collaborate with evaluators and advise on evaluation and research questions relevant to Infrastructure;

              Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor (UKAID) and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.

              Oversee gender integration plan in infrastructure activities to ensure different community needs and vulnerabilities are understood and responded to during project implementation.

Team Management 

              Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;

              Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews;

              Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary;

              Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives;

              Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

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:  Infrastructure Delivery Manager



WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Deputy Program Director Change Management and other Delivery Managers, Gender Manager, monitoring and evaluation, DRC team members, DRC external finance and procurement team and members of the Mercy Corps Technical Support Units.


              MA/MSc or equivalent in engineering or an MSc/MBA in management with construction management experience and strong technical knowledge;

              7-10 years of management experience in progressively responsible positions – preferably as Technical Director or Engineering Manager for a comparable infrastructure project;

              Strong preference will be given to applicants with private sector experience, but some knowledge of non-profit organizations would be desired;

              Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues;

              Fluency in oral/written French and intermediate level English is required;

              African origin or previous experience in Africa, DRC or other developing country context;

              Demonstrated delivery capability, working within procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.


The Deputy Program Director – Infrastructure will combine strong collaborative working skills with an ability to implement programs successfully. S/he will demonstrate adaptability, flexibility in approach and a strong sense of equity. In meeting these challenges, S/he will be able to develop their team to be able to self-develop and grow with the program.  S/he will have a have both a strong coaching and mentoring capability and be able to apply these in challenging and evolving situations within a cross cultural team. In DRC, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.


This position is an accompanied post based in Goma (DRC) /Gisenyi (Rwanda). The position is entitled to individual housing and is suitable for an accompanied spouse and young children (up to the age of 10 years) due to limited education institutions. Travel to field sites (estimated up to 20%) Bunia, Bukavu, and Kinshasa will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic.

Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity. 

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. 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. 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.