WASH Program Manager

Mercy Corps

Aden, Yemen 🇾🇪


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 works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.  

In response to acute and increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen, Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010. Primary program interventions include water, sanitation and hygiene; food security and nutrition; and livelihood support. Mercy Corps also develops value chains within the agriculture sector. Strategies to enhance the resilience of communities to the harsh environmental and social conditions in the country cut across the portfolio.  The country program works to pivot its programming in response to exacerbated humanitarian need following from the airstrikes on Yemen, which began in March 2015.

During this critical period in Yemen, Mercy Corps is not only providing humanitarian assistance but also working closely with its Yemeni partners and local communities to implement programs that emphasize long-term development and resilience building.  It is essential that Mercy Corps have strong systems in place to monitor, evaluate, and measure the impact of its work. Information gathered through these activities helps Mercy Corps to strengthen its programming and assists the country program to remain accountable to communities and donors alike.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps, with funding from Global Affairs Canada, will be implementing a 12-month targeted intervention to support conflict-affected populations with essential WASH services and livelihoods support. The Program Manager will be responsible for oversight of program planning, monitoring and management of the day-to-day implementation and operations of the program, including ensuring the delivery of high quality programming; managing a team of staff across dispersed locations; and managing program budgets. The position includes developing tools for planning, assessment and intervention monitoring; building active community participation into project design and implementation, ensuring design of high quality interventions suited to the local context, monitoring and tracking program activities; designing training modules and delivering trainings for Mercy Corps staff, and designing and supervising baseline and end line surveys (including KAP).

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Support the Mercy Corps team in identifying additional opportunities for short, medium and long-term programming.
  • Contribute to design of new proposals based on sectoral and general knowledge.
  • Integrate the use of community approaches in the design, implementation, and maintenance of projects.
  • Partake in planning and design efforts as requested.
  • Collaborate with finance to develop budgets for WASH related work.
  • Lead WASH aspects of technical assessments in coordination with other thematic areas and/or other external sector agencies.
  • Develop realistic work plans per grant in conjunction with relevant sector leads and the Director of Programs.
  • Ensure provision of program quality in all aspects of design, planning, and implementation of WASH and infrastructure interventions.
  • Ensure the mainstreaming of core protection principles through design and planning of sector interventions.


  • Develop needs assessment strategies, design interventions accordingly and contribute to building the capacity of Mercy Corps staff, as well as project stakeholders.
  • Provide technical oversight to the field teams and mentor senior staff in the design of WASH and livelihoods activities, including rehabilitation/renovation of water and sanitation systems, solid waste management, excreta disposal, hygiene promotion and emergency water supply, cash for work.
  • Communicate project work plans to Director of Programs, the Reporting & Programme Development Manager, and other departments as applicable.
  • Work with the Director of Programmes and other relevant team members to ensure joint planning and grant compliance.
  • Work with the Director of Programmes to overcome implementation challenges based on practical solutions.
  • Ensure the tracking, monitoring and quality reporting of all programme interventions.
  • Complete budget pipeline planning, monitoring and monthly follow up, in collaboration with senior technical staff and in coordination with the Director of Programmes.
  • Ensure documentation and filing of project activities in compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Supervise and monitor the implementation of programme activities, ensuring that all activities are compliant with the grant requirements.
  • Work with the Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Participate in cluster working groups and meetings.


  • Prepare procurement plans based on project cycle for the programme.
  • Manage grant budget lines.
  • Ensure all necessary purchase requests are accurately prepared and submitted on time.
  • Outline indicators and outputs to be measured to determine success of intervention.
  • Work with M&E to translate assessment criteria to tools and methodology for monitoring and evaluation of interventions.
  • Provide technical input and indicators to the M&E Unit to be incorporated into tools and formats as needed.
  • Contribute to the design of holistic community assessments.
  • Support the establishment and maintenance of monitoring and evaluation systems for internal and external use.
  • Ensure internal and donor compliance through a strong knowledge of rules applicable to the Yemen context.
  • Work closely with the Director of Programmes on planning and follow-up of aspects of the grant.
  • Stay informed of incidents as they arise through the field and are raised through the program coordination mechanism.
  • Enhance internal and external compliance through supporting incident reporting mechanisms when needed.
  • Maintain and coordinate reporting and documentation of programme activities.
  • Timely preparation bi-weekly, quarterly and interim donor reports for relevant activities under the guidance of the DoP and Reporting & Programme Development Manager.


  • Provide technical supervision and support to technical staff.
  • Assess capacity of Mercy Corps technical staff, as well as other stakeholders, to perform functions.
  • Work with other middle and senior management staff to consider alterative ways of doing distance capacity development and learning in the Iraqi context.
  • Recruit and train of field technical staff.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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

Direct supervision of staff in the programme, including DPMs, SPOs, POs, CMs, the MEL team.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programmes

Works Directly With: MEL Team, Programme Managers, Reporting & Programme Development Manager. Coordinates with HQ Regional Programme Team.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Civil Engineering, Public Health or related field. Masters preferred.
  • 5 years on a relief setting with WASH management or managerial experience; from starting up programs to working in emergency and transitional contexts.
  • 2 years on a relief setting with cash for work management or managerial experience.
  • Experience from complex and complicated settings with time sensitive deliverables in unstable environments
  • Strong experience of mentoring a team, identifying talent and building their capacity.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian standards and codes, including SPHERE.
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches and community sensitization and mobilization.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of GAC programs.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders including host governments, and national and international NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is a plus.
  • Previous experience in similar contexts.

Success Factors

The successful Manager will combine exceptional technical skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have previous experience in working in large-scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict context. S/he will have an outstanding ability to design and provide technical oversight of innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the area. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. The successful candidate will be able to provide technical oversight to large relief programs in an austere environment; be focused on capacity building of national staff; have strong program support skills, good information management skills and maintain a sense of humour.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Aden, Yemen with 50 % travel to Taiz and other project locations within Yemen as required for coordination and project management. Personnel in these locations are expected to follow all security protocols. This location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.

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.