Emergency WASH Program Manager

Mercy Corps

Goma, , CD


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 has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 300 people working in Eastern DRC, 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 North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. 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 assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including ECHO, 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 Emergency WASH Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing the delivery of emergency WASH interventions. The WASH Manager provides technical leadership and supervision to emergency WASH program staff and 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.

The WASH Manager is an effective communicator able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objective and to represent Mercy Corps in relevant humanitarian coordination and other key coordination mechanisms. S/he will be a strong technical leader and will have excellent planning and remote management skills. S/he will contribute to program and strategy development for WASH and emergency programs.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

  • In coordination with management, set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.

  • Maintain strategic vision and provide the leadership to emergency WASH programs and program development.

Program and Technical Management 

  • Ensure the program is implemented in a coordinated way with other emergency programs and external actors, delivering assistance to the most vulnerable and using program capacity effectively.

  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, maintaining rapid response capacity, and ensure that program delivery meets Mercy Corps and donor requirements.

  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities, authorities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan (such as Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards).

  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective MEL systems to achieve the desired impact.

  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established targeting criteria and in line with gender, inclusion and protection mainstreaming best practices.

  • Ensure the program is implemented in accordance with Mercy Corps [email protected]

  • Provide strong technical oversight and leadership to WASH teams, overseeing technical design, execution, and quality control of all WASH activities.

  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of WASH activities, in accordance with Mercy Corps and donor requirements.

Financial and Operational Management

  • Collaborate and communicate with finance, procurement, logistics, HR and admin teams in an effective and inclusive way, ensuring WASH program planning is participatory of support departments.

  • Oversee and ensure that procurement and logistic planning is done in a routine and effective way, ensuring WASH goods/services meet specifications and are procured/delivered to field sites in a timely way.

  • 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.

  • In collaboration with operations teams, oversee and ensure WASH asset and stock management.

  •  Monitor adherence to grant and sub grants agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.

  •  Manage the program budget, including tacking of program spending, financial obligations, and projected spend.

Coordination and Representation 

  •  Maintain effective coordination within and across Mercy Corps emergency portfolio.

  • Identify, build and manage partnerships on state and local levels with different stakeholders such as state and local government, civil society, UN agencies, peer INGOs, businesses and program participants.

  • Host and ensure logistic support for donor or other stakeholders field visits including donors, partners, and technical support visits.

  • Participate actively to coordination meetings with emergency stakeholders (OCHA, WASH and other relevant Clusters, CCM, humanitarian actors, government of DRC). This may include representing Mercy Corps as co-lead for the regional WASH cluster.

  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.


  • 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 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.


Reports Directly To: Emergency Programs Director

Works Directly With: Emergency Program and Sector Managers, Emergency Grants Officer, WASH teams, Protection and Gender technical staff, Emergency M&E teams, Emergency Finance Manager, Operational and Procurement teams.

Knowledge and Experience
  • BA/S or engineering, management, international development or other relevant field. MAs preferred.

  • 3-5 years of management experience, managing emergency WASH programs in Africa or rural/peri-urban settings.

  • Experience with Cash for Work and durable WASH infrastructure required.

  • Experience or familiarity with behavior change communication a plus.

  • Established ability to manage and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles. Remote management experience required.

  • Demonstrated flexibility, excellent communication, planning and problem solving skills required.

  • Proven ability to learn quickly, lead a program to achieve stated results and objectives.

  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of emergency donors such as UNICEF, OFDA, and/or ECHO.

  • Understanding of best practices for gender and protection mainstreaming in WASH programs required.

  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders.

  • Experience working with host governments and national NGOs.

  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

  • Excellent oral and written English and French skills required.

  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.

Success Factors

The successful PM will combine exceptional management skills and strong technical management skills. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in DRC. Prioritizing, planning, and effective communication across departments and with teams based remotely are essential to the role. 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. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared housing will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 800,000 inhabitants. Travel may be required up to 30% of the time to program areas within North and South Kivu. 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 security is quite stable in Goma, North and South Kivu continue to be an arena 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 is 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. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.