Emergency WASH Program Manager

Mercy Corps

Goma, , CD



Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 250 people working in North and South Kivu. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Katwe, Mweso, Butembo (North Kivu), Bukavu (South Kivu). Current Mercy Corps activities focus on the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in camps of internally displaced people, but also large-scale WASH infrastructure and service delivery development in urban centres. Mercy Corps also has Food Security, Economic Recovery/Development and Governance programmes, with an increasing shift towards transitional and integrated development programming. The DRC team has a strong commitment to providing entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to development challenges, and is actively seeking and facilitating market-based solutions.


The Emergency WASH Program Manager is a key management position for Mercy Corps DRC’s Response, Recovery and Resilience work with supervisory and managerial responsibilities, including directly managing all emergency WASH programs and activities implemented by Mercy Corps in DRC. The Emergency WASH Program Manager provides technical leadership and supervision to emergency WASH program staff. S/he is responsible for overseeing program implementation and ensuring achievement of program objectives in compliance with both Mercy Corps and donor requirements. Monitoring and evaluation, donor reporting, and building the program management (including M&E, communication, financial management and reporting) skills of key national team members will also be essential responsibilities. This position is based in Goma but the staff member is expected to spend approximately 30% of his/her time in field bases in order to oversee activities and ensure program quality.

The Emergency WASH Program Manager closely works with other WASH programs within Mercy Corps in order to capitalize experiences. S/he actively participates in humanitarian coordination in Goma and ensures field staff participate in coordination meetings at sub-office level. S/he supports the WASH Cluster coordination in North Kivu as required. S/he plays a key role in program development, proposal writing, and shaping Mercy Corps’ overall program strategy for emergency and transitional programming in WASH as well as other sectors.



In close coordination with Ops Director in Goma and Head of Office in Mweso (and potentially other sub-offices in case of extension):

  • Ensure all team members understand and are compliant with Mercy Corps policies on safety and security, conflict of interest, and general conduct appropriate to an international NGO.
  • Oversee and ensure effective and transparent use and documentation of financial resources by all staff in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Oversee and ensure that procurement is completed, documented and delivered to end-user in a timely manner, ensuring that items procured meet specifications of the end-user while adhering to donor and Mercy Corps procurement guidelines.
  • Oversee all aspects of asset as well as stock management, including ensuring sound transfers between sub-offices.

Program Management and Implementation

  • Provide leadership and management of all aspects of program design, planning, implementation, quality and accountability.
  • Ensure adherence to all minimum standards as required by Mercy Corps’ Program Management Initiative.
  • Build the capacity of more senior national team members in program management, M&E, communication and reporting, and provide mentoring as necessary.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities needs and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines (e.g. Cash-for-Work, Community Mobilization), principles, values, quality standards (e.g. SPHERE, North Kivu WASH Cluster, Program Management Initiative) and Mercy Corps’ 5-year strategy and annual plans.
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity, Do No Harm/protection mainstreaming, environmental sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
  • Monitor adherence of program and all team members to grant agreements, Mercy Corps policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations.
  • Establish, manage and coordinate work plans for all program activities, including making adjustments in response to any changes in the security situation in close coordination with the Ops Director in Goma and Head of Office Mweso, and the DCD – Programs.
  • Implement a subgrant system for local partners and ensure compliance with financial and programmatic requirements by local partners.
  • Design and implement a capacity building plan for local partners in close coordination with Finance and Operations Departments.
  • Manage the program budget, including: approval of appropriate program expenses (within approval limit), tracking of program spending and financial obligations, verification of monthly budget-vs-actual reports, estimation of projected spending and submission of monthly cash forecasts, etc.
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation system for all program activities, including the planning and execution of any required evaluations, to ensure that accurate and timely information is available for the donor, clusters/working groups, or other actors.
  • Document lessons learned and best practices and integrate into program activities as appropriate.
  • Liaise regularly with Mercy Corps Operations and Finance departments to ensure the support necessary to carry out activities according to Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Conduct frequent field visits to all program sites in order to ensure that programs are adapted to local needs, provide quality control assurance, and to conduct regular audits of program activities.
  • Provide regular internal and external reports on program status, as required.
  • With the support of the DCD – Programs, take a leading role in the design of emergency and transitional strategies and programs and related proposal development.
  • Actively seek future programming and funding opportunities to further develop and expand on existing programming, with a view to implementing the emergency and transitional strategies as well as Mercy DRC’s long-term strategies.

Coordination and Representation:

  • Represent Mercy Corps to government, donors and NGOs and other relevant actors in the WASH sector.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships and coordinate with relevant international and local agencies active in the WASH Cluster, Camp Coordination and Camp Management Working Group, and other cross-cutting sectors (including the Protection and Early Recovery Clusters), as well as other international agencies in the field, local authorities (e.g. Health Zones and centers), associations and the IDP camps themselves.
  • When appropriate, assume the responsibilities of the WASH Cluster co-facilitator including; following up on WASH alerts across the Province with Cluster partners, contributing to the development of WASH Cluster strategies and the Strategic Response Plan, participating in Intercluster meetings, etc.
  • Document and communicate program implementation experience and lessons learned to support coordination and learning efforts.


  • Other duties as assigned.

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.


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.


This position requires supervision of a team of approximately 30 national staff. The Emergency WASH Manager is responsible for the direct supervision of emergency WASH program staff in Goma and Mweso.

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO:  Deputy Country Director – Programs


WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: The Emergency WASH Program Manager works directly with Goma-based staff, including the Operations Director, Finance Director, Country Director, Logistics Manager, Procurement Manager and members of urban WASH programming team.          


  • BA/S in engineering, management, international development or other relevant field. MAs preferred.
  • Significant experience successfully managing programs and teams in the field, preferably in Africa. Program experience should include program implementation, M&E, needs assessments, reporting and proposal development and budget monitoring.
  • Experience with WASH programs with a focus on sustainable infrastructure, Cash-for-Work and hygiene education programming is highly desirable.
  • Experience working with local partners is strongly preferred.
  • Good organizational and program management skills and the ability to anticipate program needs.
  • Ability to effectively represent the organization and its interests to a diverse range of stakeholders, including local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, donors, other international organizations, the media and the community.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required.
  • French proficiency required and excellent oral and written English skills an advantage, with Swahili skills a bonus.


The successful Emergency WASH Program Manager will be conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment and commitment to integrity. S/he will have strong understanding of the long-term implications of humanitarian and development work and the importance of incorporating the development of civil society and local partners into activities. 

S/he will be able to interact productively with partner and peer agencies, and demonstrate effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills.

Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required. S/he will have interest and ability to travel and work in remote environments and awareness of and sensitivity to multi-cultural international development work and ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles.

Finally, s/he will be able to creatively problem-solve, juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations. Patience, tenacity, dedication to improving aid delivery and a good sense of humor are key for this role.


This is an unaccompanied post based in Goma, DRC. The position is entitled to share staff housing in Goma and is not eligible for hardship but is eligible for one R&R per year. Approximately 30% travel to field location required.

Goma is a provincial capital of around 1million inhabitants. 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. 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.