WASH Program Manager

Mercy Corps

, , LB


Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. The agency pursues its mission through emergency relief services, sustainable community development, civil society and economic development initiatives. Mercy Corps has been present in the Middle East since the 1980s and works in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. 

Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps has implemented community development programs focused on promoting economic development and increased opportunity for disadvantaged communities, while responding to emergencies as they emerged in the country.  In 2012, the program portfolio shifted in response to the massive refugee influx from Syria and Mercy Corps in Lebanon has solidified its emergency response programming while integrating longer-term development programming by focusing on key sectors: Protection, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Governance and Conflict, and Livelihoods.  Recognizing the disproportionate impact of the crisis on the water and sanitation situation in Lebanon, both in terms of access and quality in Lebanon, Mercy Corps has prioritized WASH, rapid impact projects, and basic municipality-focused services at the core of FY16/17 targets.

The WASH Program Manager is based in Beirut and responsible for the overall leadership, strategic direction, and technical and operational management of the integrated WASH Program portfolio as well as new business development initiatives. S/he will be accountable for the formulation, design, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of Mercy Corps WASH work in Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, Tripoli +5 and the Bekaa regions. S/he will also provide leadership and direction to ensure that protection issues are integrated into WASH programming, as well as developed in a gender sensitive manner. S/he will ensure the quality of rigorous data collection and analysis to inform evidence-based integrated programming.  The WASH Program Manager will play a key role in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with relevant donors, government actors and other relevant stakeholders.

Strategic Direction, Portfolio Quality and Growth
 • Provide overall strategic direction and vision, leadership, technical and operational management of the WASH portfolio; 
• Carry out effective oversight of an estimated $4m portfolio comprised of a range of multi-faceted, donor-funded programs;
• Improve short-term WASH interventions and scale-up to longer-term responses focused wastewater collection and solid waste management, operation and maintenance for WASH projects.
• Establish appropriate sectoral coordination mechanism with the Ministry of Energy and Water, Water Establishment and national working groups. 
• Supervise the implementation of the behavioral change and awareness raising strategies in relation to WASH related issues. 
• Ensure that all interventions are in compliance with international norms and standards, national laws and policies, technical standards and organizational policies; 
• Strengthen existing management and information systems to document achievement of measurable milestones and to ensure timely compliance with donor requirements;
• Develop rigorous M&E, accountability and learning systems for optimal program quality and local partner organization capacity strengthening; 
• Contribute to organizational strategic planning and new program development for appropriate expansion and growth of Mercy Corps’ WASH portfolio;

Team Management
• Ensure that teams fully adhere to international, technical and organizational minimum standards, including adopting gender, conflict sensitive, and participatory approaches to ensure that Do No Harm and other principles are fully respected;
• Supervise and mentor Project Managers to effectively manage programs, including workplan monitoring, budget forecasting and monitoring, accurate and timely reporting, and efficient use of resources; communicate clear expectations, set performance objectives, provide regular and timely performance feedback, and conduct annual performance reviews;
• Cultivate cross-sectoral synergies and linkages in relation to WASH, as well as linking to other aspects of the Lebanon portfolio, namely protection, livelihood (i.e. Cash for Work), conflict/ governance, and youth;
• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among Mercy Corps staff and with local partners;

Technical and Operational Management
• Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness of all functions and activities of the WASH portfolio;  
• Coordinate closely with Mercy Corps’ Operations Team to facilitate procurement planning and execution to facilitate timely implementation, including informing contractor and vendor selection and contract development;
• Ensure staff compliance with financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with Mercy Corps and donor requirements;
• Ensure staff comply with coordinated budget monitoring processes for all programs; 
• Identify opportunities to introduce efficiencies and eliminate redundancies in existing processes for streamlined sector operations;

Representation and Advocacy
• Cultivate strategic partnerships and maintain effective working relationships with key Government, International Governmental Organizations/International NGO, civil society and private sector stakeholders to advance organizational sector strategies;
• Liaise with key stakeholders to coordinate responses and identify strategies to provide additional support to vulnerable communities with programmatic synergies;
• Liaise with global WASH Advisor to identify strategies to strengthen programming and to promote Mercy Corps’ thought leadership role on WASH in Lebanon and across the region;
• Ensure regular attendance in technical working group and task force meetings;

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: Project Managers, Infrastructure Manager, and Coordinators 
Reports directly to:  Director of Programs  
Works directly with:  Program, Operations, Finance, and Monitoring & Evaluation Teams

• BA/S or equivalent in engineering or social science, management, international development, or other relevant field; 
• Minimum five years of progressive experience and proven record of achievements in designing and implementing WASH-related programs;
• Strong strategic thinker with demonstrable capacity to translate concepts into action; 
• Experience in WASH programming required; specialized background in small-scale infrastructure rehabilitation, water and sanitation systems, etc. preferred;
• Excellent budget management skills required;
• Strong organizational and management skills, including previous experience managing international teams to successfully plan and implement quality programming;
• Demonstrated ability to implement programs with rigorous deliverables and timelines in accordance with timeframes and donor regulations; 
• Knowledge of Lebanon, in particular issues facing refugee and Lebanese youth; preference given to candidates with background in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region;
• Proven track record in staff and stakeholder training and capacity building, as well as mentoring and training;
• Ability and interest to work with a multi-ethnic team in a culturally appropriate manner;
• Proficiency in English essential and Arabic preferred

The WASH Program Manager will have extensive experience in leading teams, in both management and technical fields, with a proven track record of strategic planning, programmatic achievements, management competence, diplomacy and interpersonal skills.  S/he will be a decisive leader, exercise sound judgment, possess excellent communication, interpersonal and analytical skills and have a high level of integrity and flexibility to adapt to conditions of ongoing change. S/he is able to prioritize among competing tasks while also filling in gaps as needed to ensure success of the overall WASH portfolio. The WASH Program Lead is a strategic and solutions-driven thinker with the ability to articulate and translate innovative ideas into solid programming and to build positive relationships with his or her team, and with key stakeholders at various levels.   

This position is based in Beirut, Lebanon, a pleasant and cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean, with frequent travel throughout Lebanon. The security situation is uncertain in Lebanon, with a possibility for rapid deterioration, particularly dependent on the Syrian conflict.  Though currently secure in Beirut, all security guidelines and protocols must be closely followed at all times.

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