Organization: Mercy Corps
*Position is contingent upon funding
*Estimated start of activities December 1st, 2018
* Duration of the program is 2 years
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 has been present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, nutrition, governance and emergency response outcomes. Our work in these areas contributes to Nigerien communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps has been working through partners in Burkina Faso since 2016 on conflict and livestock programming.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Cash & Food Security Program Manager to lead the implementation of an anticipated two-year USAID-funded Cash-for-Work food security program that is expected to start in December 2018. The proposed program will promote an integrated Cash Assistance and Resilience-building to Environmental Shocks approach to meet the immediate food needs of the target population while simultaneously (re)building for the future. The program objectives are to 1) reduce acute food insecurity by increasing food access through conditional, market-based cash assistance that will meet the macronutrient needs of vulnerable households and 2) reduce chronic food insecurity by protecting or improving productive assets and increasing adaptive capacity to variable stresses. Specific interventions will target community-relevant and nominated cash-for-work activities accompanied by complementary activities on nutritional education and practices as well as smart agriculture.
General Position Summary
The Cash & Food Security Program Manager will be directly responsible for the smooth and timely implementation of the Cash-for-Work food security program, which is composed of according to the proposal, implementation plan, and donor guidelines. This will include program planning, staff management (recruitment, training and supervision), monitoring and evaluation, timely reporting, finance management / compliance program, asset management, agency representation at field level and program stakeholders, all while ensuring accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. This is a 24-month, high intensity program with large cash transfer assistance requiring high degree of diligence with transparency, timeliness and accountability. S/he will be the primary program representative to beneficiaries, donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment to welcome alternative viewpoints.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources and accountability to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and advocate to stakeholders for collaboration and support.
- Responsible for the design, planning, coordination, M&E of all program activities (i.e. the Cash-for-Work activities, nutrition education & awareness, agriculture extension services, gender, micro-finance, etc.), selection of beneficiaries, final lists, and the implementation / execution of all planned activities, in close interaction and collaboration with the technical services of the State and other partners in the areas of intervention.
- Supervise all program officers and field agents to ensure successful program delivery in close collaboration with all stakeholders.
- Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of the field teams.
- Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
- Identify partners and institutions for effective and transparent cash transfer, develop MOUs and contracts and oversee cash assistance delivery.
- Develop and implement a system of continuous tracking of vulnerability index to replace households with improved livelihood with newly identified household eligible for cash assistance
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems, post-distribution monitoring to reach desired impacts, and according to Mercy Corps and donor rules & regulations.
- 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.
- Recruit, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
- 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.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- 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.
CASH, Finance & Compliance Management
- Provide adequate control over cash operations and ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency cash programming
- Monthly review budgeted cash expenditures to monitor the burn rate.
- Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Niger.
Influence & Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with eligible institutions, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Coordinate effectively with Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) cluster, and interagency Cash/Market and Urban livelihood Working Group.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- 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.
- 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 team members working on the program, as well as coordination with international and national program partners operating in the area. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
- Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director/Director of Programs
- Works Directly With: Program staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, and HQ Technical Support Unit.
Knowledge & Experience
- Master or equivalent in Food Security & Livelihoods, rural development/agriculture, national resource management, economic development, or other relevant field preferred
- Minimum 3-5 years of relevant emergency or development experience – ideally in food security, agriculture, and/or rural development – with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.
- Experience managing a large cash assistance
- At least 3 years in a program management role with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope, USAID- funded activities strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated experience in program management and budget/financial management.
- Experience working with USAID/Food-for-Peace rules, regulations, and requirements desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Fluency in French and excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
The successful Program Manager will have demonstrated ability to implement a program ensuring its proper project cycle management and to multi-task, meet deadlines and process with strong interpersonal and intellectual skills. S/he will be proactive, will have the ability to provide effective leadership and will be willing to learn and work in accordance with Mercy Corps policies. 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 Program Manager will be based in Niamey, Niger with regular field travel. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Niger. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position requires up to 50% of travel by road to field locations in relatively secure environments but climatically harsh conditions. This position is not eligible for hardship benefits but is an R&R post.
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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.