WASH Grants Officer

Mercy Corps

Goma, , CD

Program / Department Summary

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 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 Mweso (North Kivu) and Bukavu (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 provide assistance to populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including OFDA 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 Grants Officer is responsible for daily grant management of WASH emergency programs and ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results, as well as engagement with Program Managers and teams to ensure grant compliance.  The Grants Officer is highly motivated, s/he is an effective communicator, s/he is highly motivated, self-driven and able to move forward complex projects with limited daily support and direction; s/he is able to work remotely with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. 

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative view points are welcomed.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country strategy development and implementation of humanitarian programs.
Program and proposal development
  • Contribute to or lead proposal development and the design of new programs.
  • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine community needs and priorities, identify partnership opportunities and Mercy Corps competitive advantage for funding.
  • Provide support for prepositioning and new program strategy design efforts. 
grant and quality Management
  • Support program manager to ensure successful program start-up and ongoing program management and grant administration of humanitarian program teams;
  • Support PM and M&E staff to ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria;
  • Support programs to establish effective program reporting, monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability systems for both internal and external use in coordination with the program team and MEL staff;
  • Ensure MC has up-to-date information on the affected and targeted community and numbers with different stakeholders;
  • Ensure program management and filing systems are in place, adheres to internal and donor’s regulation and filing is regularly maintained;
  • Ensure that the humanitarian programs have sufficient systems in place to meet program management standards and comply with donor regulations and good practice,
  • Support PM to ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts;
  • Work with program staff to integrate quality monitoring processes based on protocols into program implementation, including internal and external reviews of program quality.
  • Ensure that program information shared with stakeholders is presented in languages, formats and media that are appropriate for, accessible to, and can be understood by the target population.
  • Provide technical and management support for the reporting requirements to humanitarian programs.
Representation and coordination
  • Provide support to the Program Manager to represent Mercy Corps humanitarian programs with national and international counterparts, donors, partners and participate in coordination forums as required.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • 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 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.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Emergency WASH Program Manager

Works Directly With: WASH Project Staff, RRMP Director, DMEL Department, Finance Manager, Operations Director (and associated Managers), Gender Advisor, Accountability department, HQ-based desk teams, and TSU staff, regional humanitarian response team.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/BS or equivalent in international studies, economics or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • 1-2 years of experience with European and US institutional donors, including grants management, and proposal development.
  • Field experience in emergency environments. Exposure to gender, protection, WASH or other emergency programs.
  • Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement.
  • Demonstrated ability in proposal development and program design required.
  • Advanced written and spoken English is required.
  • Fluency in French is required.
  • Ability to deliver high quality reports within short deadlines.
  • Ability to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time.
  • Excellent communication skills, experience in representing an organization.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required.
  • Experience in designing and rolling-out operational research is preferred.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants.

Success Factors

The successful Grants Officer will combine exceptional writing skills and experience in providing support to emergency programs.  S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and will possess high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to the constantly changing working environment. S/he will have previous experience working on emergency programs in insecure and conflict context. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 1,000,000 inhabitants.  Travel may be required up to 15% of the time to program areas within North and South Kivu and Kinshasa. 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.