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 present in Ethiopia since 2004, and acts on behalf of people who have become disenfranchised and poor. We stand with Ethiopia to find and access opportunities, and to be part of lasting and meaningful transformation in the country. Mercy Corps seeks to be influential with government and development actors towards a more resilient country where poverty is tackled through the eyes of those who understand it best. This translates into ensuring that the population is financially stable, healthy & nourished, educated & unformed, and that natural resources are accessible, shared and utilized sustainably.
Mercy Corps anticipates a multi-year, multi-million dollar USAID funded initiative focused on: stimulating increased production, productivity and marketing through more competitive livestock and livestock products markets; increasing communities’ resilience; improving alternative livelihood options through essential skills transfer; and contributing to the wider knowledge on pastoral development. PRIME will operate in multiple regions across Ethiopia.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-year, multi-million dollar USAID/Ethiopia -funded Program. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. In addition, the CoP will play a central leadership role in developing and driving Mercy Corps’ resilience strategy and program portfolio in Ethiopia.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.
- Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.
- Lead the development and execution of a program-wide resilience-building strategy to guide coordination and integrated design and implementation of resilience programming.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
- Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.
- Lead the socialization of the program with Government of Ethiopia stakeholders, ensuring necessary approvals and collaboration as required.
- Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
- Document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
- Produce written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
- Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems.
- Oversee efforts to produce strategic resilience-related research for the program.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Ethiopia, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, Government of Ethiopia authorities, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 30% of time in the field.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Supervise and manage all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.
- Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.
- Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of Ethiopia.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Liaise with and represent program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders.
- Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director.
- Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
- Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local government.
- 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.
- 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.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Finance Manager, Operations Staff, Technical Support Unit and Partner Organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, economic development or other relevant field.
- At least 10 years of relevant international experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.
- At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience in project management related to multi-sectoral, USAID funded activities strongly preferred.
- Prior experience managing USAID-funded assistance projects of a similar size and scope in developing countries; experience managing multi-sectoral projects including livelihoods, agricultural development, resilience, market-based approaches to economic development, climate change, food security, gender, conflict.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
- Experience working in Ethiopia/Horn of Africa.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an ability to approach complex development challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about improving food security, community development and resilience. The CoP will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as 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. The successful Chief of Party must be comfortable operating and traveling in a sometimes volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The CD is based in the capital city – Addis Ababa. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is family accommodation with good freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several international schools in Addis Ababa, British systems exist for children up to 11 years old. The US school takes students to pre-university levels. Staff have access to basic services (electricity, water, sporadic internet etc). Medical facilities are basic with international clinics able to provide emergency services. This position requires 35% travel by road and air to field offices in often insecure environments. Addis Ababa is host to many international organizations including the OAU, the Economic Commission for Africa and other multi-national bodies, many of which have their headquarters based in the capital city.
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.