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.
We help people overcome poverty and conflict. Working with communities, we leverage local logic to help people transform their lives. To grow more food, earn higher incomes and ultimately advocate for their needs. We see global challenges as an invitation to pioneer innovative, sustainable solutions. During our 34-year history, our work has improved more than 170 million lives in more than 115 countries around the world.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps is currently implementing a five-year $41 million USAID Food for Peace Activity – called “Apolou” - to support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoralist households living across the four districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong and Moroto in Karamoja. Apolou is an integrated food security program. The goal of the Activity is to achieve a food secure future in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda through community level governance, preventing chronic malnutrition, sanitation and hygiene and sustainable livelihoods.
General Position Summary
The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a five-year, multi-million dollar USAID/Food for Peace and USAID/Uganda-funded Development Food Assistance Program (DFAP). 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.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Vision
- Recognize 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 of a program-wide resilience-building framework to guide coordination and integrated implementation.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
- 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 Uganda 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.
- Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Uganda, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, Government of Uganda authorities, and colleague agencies.
- Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 50% of time in the field.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- 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 Apolou staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
Finance & 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 Uganda.
- 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 leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
- 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.
- 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.
Deputy Chief of Party, Partnership and Quality Manager; MEL Adviser, Gender Adviser
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Finance Director, Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit and Partner Organizations
Knowledge and Experience
- Master’s degree in development studies, international relations, agriculture, nutrition, public health or related field.
- Minimum of ten years of progressively increasing management responsibility in international development projects, at least five years in a senior management role is required
- Prior experience managing development assistance projects of a similar size and scope in developing countries including USAID-funded projects. Preference for experience with Title II funded activities
- Experience managing multi-sectoral projects including agricultural development and maternal child health and nutrition.
- Proven leadership skills. Demonstrated experience recruiting, developing, and managing staff.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Understanding and demonstrated commitment to the importance of gender and youth issues in food security programming.
- Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
- Ability to travel within the country and internationally, as required.
- Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
- Experience working in sub-Saharan and preferably East Africa.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong facilitation skills.
- Ability and willingness to both lead and follow as appropriate.
- Has an internal and external network of experts to draw upon as needed.
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
The position in based in Kampala with 50%+ travel to the Karamoja region. Life in Kampala is comfortable, with a vibrant expatriate community and supermarkets with western goods at western prices. This is an accompanied post, with international schools catering to all grades. There is regular access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc. However, this position requires at least 50 percent travel by road and air to the Karamoja region. The Karamoja region as a whole is chronically under-developed and is remote, road conditions are challenging and there is very limited infrastructure in general across the region. Living conditions are basic in Karamoja (no running water, and limited electric without generators and solar systems).
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.