Program Manager, Governance and Localization

Closing date:

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps Liberia began operations in 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by the two Liberian civil wars which took place from 1989-1997 and 1999–2003. Since then, Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. With funding from the European Commission, French Development Agency, Swedish Embassy, Irish Aid, and US Department of Agriculture, among others, Mercy Corps Liberia has implemented a range of programs focused on renewable energy, food security, agricultural livelihoods, financial inclusion, nutrition, water and sanitation, infrastructure, and youth economic empowerment. Mercy Corps Liberia works closely with the Government of Liberia (especially the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Health, Labor and Education), the private sector, civil society, international and local NGOs to implement its programs from three offices/sub-offices (Monrovia, Buchanan, River Cess). Mercy Corps is one of the foremost development actors in Liberia implementing strategic and systems driven programming in youth employment and entrepreneurship, market systems development and good governance.

The Position

The Governance and Localization Manager will have a dual role, as follows: 1) to provide overall leadership and oversight for current Mercy Corps governance and civil society programs, such as SEAL, including donor reporting, relationship management with donors, and ensuring the program delivers results (outputs and outcomes) on target, on budget, and with the highest quality; and 2) to provide governance and localization expertise, including supporting business development opportunities regarding proposals with a focus on governance, peace and conflict or civil society and supporting Mercy Corps Liberia’s efforts to localization.

The Governance and Localization Manager will demonstrate above average external orientation, with a specific focus on coordination with the EC and proactively keeping donor partners, consortium partners and government entities engaged. The Manager may be included in the Senior Management Team (SMT) and lead by example by, among other things, promoting a positive working environment, a culture of achievement, integrity, proactive risk management (not necessarily risk aversion), and an instinct for identifying opportunities for program growth. The ideal candidate should have strong report and proposal writing skills in English, well developed managerial courage and the ability to provide adaptive leadership, reading situations accurately and being a broker or thought leader or driver as circumstances demand. A combination of previous experience as a leader of a similar program and similar funding agencies is essential. S/he will work 70% for Liberia team and 30% of time will be to support wider governance and localization efforts in the country, including mainstreaming governance and localization across programs.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development, focused on governance, localization and civil society.
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.


  • Develop Mercy Corps Liberia Localization Strategy – including goal/objectives and clear activities/outcomes that link into our existing programming.
  • Ensure mainstreaming of Localization Strategy across programs, in coordination with program management.
  • Implement or monitor implementation of the Localization Strategy, which may include piloting new concepts around franchising or other mechanisms of deepening partnerships with local civil society.
  • Be up to date with developments in the localization discussions within and outside of Mercy Corps and keep the Liberia SMT informed and up to date of key developments and opportunities for change.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at discussions and processes to do with localization processes in Liberia among the international and donor community, leading working groups across agencies as needed.


General Management:

  • Ensure program implementation is on time, on target, on budget, and with high quality. Proactively using effective monitoring and evaluation systems to strengthen program accountability and continuous quality improvement.
  • Collaborate with program, finance, operation and administrative staff to ensure the timely allocation of resources and support for activity implementation.
  • 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.
  • Be accountable for fulfilling Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and
    beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Strengthen risk management capacities through systematic analysis and identification of robust risk management plans, ensuring that risk aversion does not impede program implementation or quality.
  • Be aware of Mercy Corps strategic processes and timelines, including proposal writing and ensure inclusion of key civic actors and national staff in set processes.

Key Program Deliverables for PM

  • Prepare donor reports in collaboration with the support desk at Mercy Corps Europe, ensuring that deadlines are met, quality of reporting is strong, and that the National Authorizing Office is kept informed of program status and events.
  • Conduct regular program status reviews of planned vs actual on both planned results (outputs and outcomes) as well as budget vs actual expenditures, and institute robust corrective action plans to ensure that delivery is on time and on target.
  • Collaborate and coordinate proactively with the EC and other key stakeholders (KtK, NCSCL, Irish Aid and SIDA and the National Authorizing Office), ensuring that they participate in or contribute to regular progress updates and reviews as well as key events.
  • In collaboration with the communications department and the SEAL PM, ensure a robust program branding and visibility strategy; update the communication plan; and produce external-facing communications products (e.g., posters, leaflets and stickers) that highlights program achievements and best practice.
  • Governance manager will also provide support on new business development, lead writing or providing technical input into any new proposals around governance, peace and conflict and civil society. Consultant will lead or support visioning or strategy development activities for Mercy Corps Liberia around governance, peace and conflict and civil society.


  • Shadowing for a national PM in Liberia,
  • Conduct capacity assessment for the team, develop a relevant capacity of the team, and execute prioritized capacity development activities that are cost effective and do not disrupt program execution.
  • Strengthen performance management through strong objective setting, individual development planning, and cycles of regular performance feedback.
  • Strengthen staff participation and in report writing, especially online collaboration and skills in
    Word/Google Docs and MS Excel/Google sheets.
  • Create opportunities for team members to take more responsibility, use their talents, and learn.
  • Promote a collegiality and collaboration beyond the SEAL program team.


  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Exhibit an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

Supervisory Responsibility

SEAL PM in Liberia, (reporting lines in other countries will be determined later, if any)


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs Liberia

Works Directly With:

  • External: EU, National Authorizing Office, Irish Aid and SIDA and other stake holders and donors
  • Internal: program staff, key departments at CO (Finance, MEL, HR, other sector leads) and TSU, focal points in other countries,

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Master’s degree or equivalent. Specialization in Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development preferred. Other tertiary qualifications coupled with relevant experience can be considered.
  • Minimum 4 years program management experience as a leader of a program team in Governance, Advocacy, and CSO capacity building.
  • Strong knowledge and skills in donor compliance. Experience in managing grants by EC is a
    requirement. Experience in managing grants from SIDA, USAID and Irish Aid an added advantage.
  • Well-developed skills in performance management and leadership mentoring and coaching.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of Public Financial Management, Budget analysis and Public Policy is an advantage.
  • Well-developed skills in program cycle management and program management tools. Experience with PM@MC is an added advantage.
  • Experience working with CSO umbrella organizations
  • Experience in working with national/host governments and its agencies.
  • Effective verbal and written communication in English. Report and proposal writing skills in English is a requirement.
  • Ability to adapt and thrive in multi-cultural teams.
  • Ability to proactively identify program development opportunities, develop log frames, write concept notes, and program budgets.

Success Factors

  • A combination of exceptional aptitude and skills in effective program cycle management, grant management and donor compliance, maintenance of donor and partner relationships, and ability to identify and nurture talent.
  • The PM will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative
    programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region.
  • S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills.
  • Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Monrovia. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff has good access to services, medical, electricity, and water, etc. International schools are available. This position requires up to 40% of travel to field offices in secure environments. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.**

How to apply

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