General Position Summary
The Mercy Corps Ethiopia Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully developing and managing all operations and programs in Ethiopia. Looking to increase interventions that have already directly resulted in lasting improvement in the lives of more than 750,000 Ethiopians, s/he will continue to develop sustainable, multi-sector programming that is accountable to the Ethiopian Government, beneficiaries and donors. Placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships, s/he pursues funding opportunities that strategically connect programs into a cohesive country portfolio, guided by a long-term strategy. With a total annual budget of approximately $15 million, the Country Director has full supervisory responsibility for the country team. The Country Director must be comfortable leading “from the middle” a team of high performers; be able to confidently represent at high-level forums to influence and secure ongoing investment; nurture a culture of shared excellence based on learning and trust, and take considered risks in innovating and negotiating within a society that is in rapid change. This is an exciting opportunity to influence key outcomes and make a lasting difference in the lives of Ethiopians.
Essential Job ResponsibilitiesStrategy, Vision & culture
- Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Lead the annual country planning process and provide strategic updates.
- Utilize headquarter and regional technical support teams collaboratively.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome. Remain current with development thinking, including adaptive management, systems thinking, complexity, social impact, value for money, etc.
- Foster a culture of learning and adaptation where programme and support actions evolve to become increasingly fit for purpose
- Build and oversee a senior management team to share in the leadership and management of MC Ethiopia.
- Develop the capacity of the senior management team and foster their leadership in developing wider team capacity, towards rewarding career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Promote accountability and learning, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect and trust where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- 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.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
- Ensure that staff onboarding is timely, comprehensive and consistent
Program Operations Management
- Apply Mercy Corps’ Monitoring, Evaluating & Learning principles and framework to programs to ensure the country’s overall strategy includes effective reporting systems.
- Ensure effective and transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
- Assure sound budgetary management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors.
- Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guidance.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps policies and procedures - Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, beneficiary accountability standards, ect.
- Support a culture of adaptive management, high-quality program performance, and learning through improved data collection and analysis.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for program activities.
- Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
- Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among program, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for program activities.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, on target and on budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming.
- Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
- Work with auditors to facilitate their work and then work with the country team to make changes based on their findings and recommendations.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
- Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local governments, foundations, the private sector, etc.
- Anticipate needs, understand donor strategies and contribute to shaping donor and partner’s views on development.
- Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country as a whole.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Liaise with the VP of Operations, Regional Program Director, and Africa Security Advisor on crucial events, high-risk periods, and incident reporting and security policy changes.
- Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps assets according to best practices, MC operating standards and field realities.
- Ensure the safety and security of staff members through regular review and adaptation of security protocols and procedures including the regularly updated country security plan.
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: 8 direct and 320 indirect staff.
Reports Directly To: Regional Program Director
Works Directly With: HQ-based Program, Operations, Finance, Regional Program Team, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
- 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs.
- 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
- Demonstrated success managing and bringing together a multi cultural team with team members in multiple offices.
- Successful and proven representation, negotiation, communication and organization skills.
- Demonstrated experience multi-tasking and success in securing funding for country programs.
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
- Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with (donor), (government) grant management.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous work experience in countries where travel to insecure areas is required, and management of programs in insecure locations.
- Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster situations as appropriate.
The successful Ethiopia CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. S/he will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building and will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. The role is a hands-on position and success will be determined by the level of direct engagement in program development, oversight of projects, fundraising for new projects and representing the agency to stakeholders. The successful CD should welcome multi-tasking and taking an active role in program design and overarching strategy. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
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.