Team Leader: Resilience Knowledge Hub - Zimbabwe

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Harare, Zimbabwe
Apply by 5 April 2018
Senior-level , Field assignment
Posted on 6 March 2018

Job Description

This position is contingent up on funding. Zimbabwe nationals are highly encouraged to apply. Quick turnaround expected with screening of CVs on a rolling basis.
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 exists to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by building secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps has been present in Zimbabwe since 2002, focusing its interventions on a multi-sectoral market systems development portfolio mobilizing communities to promote small scale agriculture and revive local economies. Its current operations focus on helping smallholder farmers increase their incomes and harvests through the power of technology and increasing urban household access to quality, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene services. Zimbabwe continues to experience recurrent environmental, economic and social shocks that affect the wellbeing of its communities and undermine development investments. Mercy Corps puts resilience at the core of its strategy to contribute to the wellbeing of Zimbabweans by building communities’ capacities and strengthening systems and institutions.

General Position Summary

The Team Leader for the Resilience Knowledge Hub under the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) will be responsible for the overall leadership, technical direction, and management of a multi-donor funded resilience research and knowledge management hub in Zimbabwe. S/he will work closely with UNDP, the umbrella lead, to manage this project; coordinate with multiple stakeholders who are implementing ZRBF projects across the country; and establish productive partnerships with the government of Zimbabwe at various levels for the successful implementation of the project. The Team Leader will supervise a team of technical specialists and researchers 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.

The goal of the Resilience Knowledge Hub project is to strengthen the capacity of ZRBF stakeholders, including national and subnational institutions and grantees, in understanding and applying resilience concepts, tools, approaches and methodologies in their work to drive the resilience agenda, as outlined in the Zimbabwe Resilience Strategic Framework. The intervention will support and provide technical guidance to ZRBF stakeholders to conduct and operationalize context, gender, and resilience analyses; reporting; scenario planning; and results mapping to inform and influence ZRBF project planning and implementation processes. By doing so, the intervention will inform program and policy decisions for resilience across ZRBF investments, including crisis modification and High Frequency Monitoring System to strategically layer, sequence and coordinate the ZRBF investments and adapt them to the rapidly changing environment.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
  • Lead the development and execution of a hub-wide resilience-building strategy to guide knowledge generation and application in program implementation in close collaboration with implementing partners.
  • Provide support on programmatic and operational matters ensuring program produces the highest possible impact and remains in line with the overall strategy
  • Responsible for the preparation of program annual plan and operations and lead administration of the plan/budget throughout the fiscal year.
  • Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed
Team Management
  • Assist with the recruitment, selection, orientation and training of Project team members and consultants
  • In partnership with the Mercy Corps Country Director work to motivate, empower and guide teams towards excellence.
  • Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming across project partners
  • 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 and consultants 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.
Program Operations Management
  • Manage resilience research specialist, gender specialist and technical teams towards achieving programmatic excellence and country and agency strategies.
  • Oversee program start-up, ongoing program management and partner coordination ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from strategic work-plans, and ensure project delivery is on time, scope and budget.
  • Lead the generation, sharing, and application of knowledge on resilience across ZRBF stakeholders to encourage innovation, expand effectiveness, and leverage experience for maximum collective impact
  • Lead a process of building ownership for policy change through consultation, outreach, and dissemination of resilience knowledge and learning.
  • Provide strategic technical oversight and guidance to project partners.
  • Lead the design and implementation of demand-driven capacity building through focused transfer of knowledge and skills related to resilience concepts, approaches and analysis, ensuring relevance to various ZRBF project implementation strategies.
  • Lead the design of dynamic trainings, developing course content, and developing manuals, and for ensuring effective delivery of all required trainings and workshops.
  • Produce written research papers, training materials, and reports on program activities and impact.
  • Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, ensuring linkages with Mercy Corps’ internal M&E systems.
  • Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Zimbabwe, partner organizations, Mercy Corps’ East and Southern Africa Regional Resilience Hub and headquarters, UNDP, Government of Zimbabwe, and ZRBF consortium agencies.
Influence & Representation
  • Develop and nurture culturally-sensitive internal and external relationships and networks to ensure optimum communication and program success.
  • Liaise with and represent program to UNDP and other cooperating donors 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, dialogue and information sharing among consortium partners, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.

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 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: Resilience Research Specialist, Gender Specialist, Finance and administration officer and other program team members. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined

Reports Directly To: Mercy Corps Zimbabwe Country Director with dotted line reporting to the East and Southern Africa Regional Resilience Director

Works Directly With: Operations and finance team, Director of Programs, Regional Resilience Director, Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director, Global Resilience Team, and partner organizations

Knowledge and Experience
  • Advanced university degree in rural development, agricultural economics, environment studies, agricultural, development studies or other closely related field.
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in resilience-related projects
  • At least 5 years of relevant or associated management experience in similar resilience-related knowledge generation and application projects/programs; strong preference given to candidates with prior experience in Africa.
  • Proven experience in resilience capacity building tools/training development and implementation
  • Demonstrated ability to build network or community of practice”; work across multiple projects to identify cross-learning opportunities Extremely strong writing skills, including past experience generating substantive written products; excellent verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated proficiency and experience with EC, UN, DFID and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements.
  • Exceptional program and project conceptualization and design skills.
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication, organization, and prioritization skills and experience.
  • Ability to handle multiple issues at one time, including emergency situations.
  • Must be adaptable to and comfortable with shifting priorities.

Success Factors
The successful Team Leader will combine exceptional research and 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 communities’ livelihoods and resilience. The Team Leader will have 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 and 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.


About the Organization

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided over $575 million in assistance to 73 nations. The agency's programs currently reach 5 million people in more than 25 countries, including the United States. Mercy Corps is a nonprofit organization with headquarters offices in Portland (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Washington, DC, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Known for its quick-response, high-impact programs, over 95 percent of the agency's resources are allocated directly to programs that help those in need.

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