PROGRAM/ DEPARTMENT SUMMARY:
Mercy Corps started operations in Liberia in 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought on by the two Liberian civil wars which took place from 1989-1997and 1999-2003. Since then, Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of Liberian people. Based on the changing needs, Mercy Corps Liberia has implemented programs in renewable energy, food security, agricultural livelihoods, financial inclusion, nutrition, water and sanitation, infrastructure, and in youth economic empowerment.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
Reporting to the Country Director, the Deputy Country Director (DCD) oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects related to ongoing program activities in Liberia including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling program activities. Additionally, the DCD will ensure accountability of MCL program towards the development needs in Liberia and the donors supporting the response. The DCD is expected to contribute to quality assurance of program implementation across all grants. The post-holder will work closely with the Liberia SMT and the field team (currently three field offices) for the strategic development and management of Mercy Corps’ programs. As head of the program team and the operations department, he/she will be in charge of implementing MCL’s projects and to improve the capacity and volume of the programs. This position will require exceptional flexibility.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Country Program Leadership
- Deputize for the Country Director in his absence.
- Provide effective support and assist in the management of Mercy Corps’ portfolio of grant-funded projects in Liberia
- Prepare monthly, and quarterly project reports in collaboration with the Country Director
- Oversee data collection and data management for all projects in Liberia.
- Monitor all grants from design through mobilization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and close-out/demobilization phases
- Develop work plans and budget forecasting for projects
- Support all donor reporting and communications and track major grant milestones deliverables, cost share requirements, project burn rates and major procurements
- Support in the development of financial management tools and the monitoring of budgets
- Cross-check detailed transactions and review budget versus actual (BVA) spending reports to determine status of program burn rate
- Liaise with finance managers and program managers to ensure both parties are aware of spending rates
- Work with the Country Director, Program Managers and Country Finance Manager to ensure spend-down plans and cash projections are developed and monitored
- Assist in staff salary allocations and financial planning
- Support the development of procurement plans and operational analyses
Program Monitoring and Evaluation
- Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool, encouraging consistency across programs.
- Work with the Country Director to roll out and monitor DIG (Design for Impact) across all programs and develop a global MEL system with existing MEL staff.
- Ensure the application of a practical field based M&E system/plan for each project/program
- Conduct frequent field visits to project sites to assess activities and ensure efficient use of resources
- Advise Program coordinators and Project/Program Managers to adapt projects according to monitoring and evaluation findings
- Advise on and assist with project reviews conducted by the M&E Unit.
- Together with the M&E team, ensure capitalization of best practices and lessons learnt for projects in the area of operations
- Work closely with the relevant HQ desk support, Programs’ team to ensure that donor reports effectively demonstrate the impact of Mercy Corps’ program interventions.
- Work with Program Managers to put in place tools for the easy tracking of upcoming donor reports.
- Review all donor reports to ensure that they meet high-quality standards.
Program Support Operations
- Supervise the Operations department to ensure that operational systems and processes are responsive to program needs and that procurement and logistics are on hand and on time for program implementation.
- Conduct him/herself professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Other duties as assigned.
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.
Program Managers/Directors, and the Country Operations Manager
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Country Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Department Heads, Program teams, finance and operational staff; HQ Regional Program Team; Technical Support Unit; Resource Development Department
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field. MA/S preferred.
- 4-6 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in a senior management position.
- Experience managing development programs in fragile environments,
- Previous experience working in Anglophone Africa is strongly preferred.
- Proven track record in program design, proposal writing and development, and donor reporting.
- Experience managing programs in the relevant technical area(s) including Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Economic Recovery, Renewable Energy, Governance, Financial Services, in a development context
- Strong M&E skills.
- Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues.(EU, SIDA, USAID preferred)
- Strong management skills with a good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
- Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Skilled in partnering with the private sector and civil society organizations, public/government entities, local NGOs, etc.
- Fluency in written and oral English is required.
- Strong knowledge and experience of the Coastal West African context is a significant advantage
The Liberia Deputy Country Director is expected to be a high performer in project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance; and program development. Additional experience in Operations Management will ensure success in this role. Because the Deputy Country Director will be involved in resource mobilization (including the development of detailed activity plans and work plans), conducting assessments and evaluations, reporting, and proposal writing, the ideal candidate would need to have excellent writing skills in order to succeed.
LIVING /ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The position will be based in Monrovia and may require up to 30% travel to other Mercy Corps offices in Gbarnga, Buchanan and Rivercess. The security situation is stable; general unrest is not anticipated. Monrovia and towns in outlying areas are generally safe, though come with the same safety considerations as any other city. Life in Monrovia is basic but comfortable, with good accommodation, and a busy expatriate scene.
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.
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