Program Manager – Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps implements high-quality analytical development work in very difficult places. We have been operating in Kenya since 2008 and are presently implementing development programs across the Central, Rift Valley and Northern regions of Kenya. We are currently implementing a 3-year Nike Foundation funded program, focused on improving livelihoods in Turkana and West Pokot (Kenya) and Karamoja (Uganda) regions. The project, called Girls Improving Resilience with Livestock (GIRL), aims to empower pastoralist girls in the Turkana region to improve their livelihoods and personal agency, as well as increase the food security and adaptive capacity of their households and the resilience of their communities. We are also implementing a 2 year Women Empowerment poverty graduation model pilot in partnership with BOMA project. Mercy Corps opened its Lodwar office in January, 2015, in support of its cross-border conflict management programming.

The Program Manager will be a highly skilled, creative problem solver with strong experience working in livelihoods with a focus on engaging marginalized populations to join our team in Turkana office. S/he will participate in strategy development and supervise the daily implementation of long-term development programming under GIRL’s three objectives, focused on livelihood development, girls’ empowerment and food security. The Program Manager will also lead the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) i.e. BOMA project women poverty graduation model.

Program Management:
• Lead the conceptualization, implementation and continual improvement of dynamic, analysis-rooted development interventions in Turkana County in collaboration with Lodwar-based GIRL and REAP team;
• Set an example as a thought leader in the Lodwar office, continually encouraging staff to re-evaluate their strategies, gather and incorporate tacit information, and adapt programming to new learning and environmental conditions;
• Recommend program priorities and explore, evaluate and present new country opportunities that leverage impact and/ or complement core activities;
• Coordinate, manage and motivate the GIRL and REAP Turkana program team, ensuring that they have clear objectives/individual work plans as part of performance management) and receive meaningful feedback on their performance;
• Ensure an integrated approach to program implementation in order to maximize resource utilization and synergy between the staff and different MC programs.
Office Management:
• Ensure proper logistics, administration, human resources and transport needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps policy and with the maximum benefit to the program;
• Manage the training of program staff to ensure staff are of the quality and capacity to successfully implement activities. Monitor and advise on staffing needs throughout the program. In conjunction with the HR department, ensure evaluations and disciplinary measures are made, as necessary according to Mercy Corps policy;
• Exercise sound judgment to ensure project expenses are reasonable, allocable and prudent. Ensure all project funds are spent in accordance with donor rules and regulations. Work with the GIRL Program Director to forecast expenditure surpluses and deficits to enable adjustments to be made to the program in a timely fashion;
• Oversee the program filing system and ensure that information is organized according to the reporting and auditing needs of the program. Ensure required levels of confidentiality;
• Provide direct and ongoing supervision and managerial support to all staff on the program;
• Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
• Support the development and continual revision of a dynamic, programme-wide monitoring and evaluation system linked to program strategies, indicators, and information management tools, which supports programme management, accountability and learning. Coordinate data gathering and management with all Lodwar-based program staff and take overall responsibility for GIRL and REAP monitoring and evaluation in the Turkana office;
• Ensure that team leaders are paying sufficient attention to the continual gathering and digestion of operating environment data and activity reports, and that teams are holding frequent activity review sessions to continually re-examine the relevance and impact of their programming;
• Coordinate and share information with the GIRL Program Director to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are being achieved. Advise both on suggested improvements and necessities, as required;
• Produce written reports on the program activities capturing impacts related to all activities;
• Conceptualize and implement new mini-research efforts as opportunities arise;
• Ensure close coordination and sharing of information with other stakeholders such as other donors, other NGOs, and local authorities.
External Representation and Coordination:
• Ensure establishment and maintenance of relationships with communities, village councils and local government in Turkana target areas;
• Coordinate and share information and findings with the GIRL Program Manager in Kapenguria and in Karamoja;
• Support and coordinate visits from regional and HQ based staff and external visitors, such as donors and media, in collaboration with Program Coordinator;
• Establish and maintain contact with all key actors as relevant for program implementation –government ministries, UN, NGOs, partners – and establish mechanisms for contacting local community organizations and partners and other local NGOs/CBOs in line with key GIRL areas of work.
• Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring positive recognition to Mercy Corps and to not endanger mercy Corps’ humanitarian mission;
• Other duties as assigned by your supervisor.
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 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.

3 Program Officers and a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Finance, HR and Operations departments in Lodwar and Nairobi

• Master’s Degree in business, economic development or other relevant field is preferred;
• At least 5 years of relevant experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities;
• Management and demonstrated success building, managing and leading a team of professionals;
• Strong writing, communication, organization, prioritization and negotiating skills;
• Excellent (English) verbal and written communication skills with proven financial management skills;
• Local language skills a plus;
• Excellent quantitative skills required. Financial accounting experience preferred;
• Experience in building and maintaining strong/productive relations with implementing and strategic partner agencies is preferred. This includes coordinating with government authorities and counterparts;
• Experience working in conflict environments is preferred;
• Security management experience in remote and insecure environments;
• Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

The successful candidate will possess strong leadership skills, with the ability to maintain a broad perspective. He/she will undertake innovative approaches, be agile in the conceptualization of new program ideas, and will be well versed in strategic thinking and planning. The ability and desire to grow individually and professionally in a difficult environment is important. The successful candidate will have the ability to live and work successfully in remote, insecure, and challenging setting with limited resources. An even temperament and good sense of humor is a must. Furthermore, appreciations of a consultative, team approach to decision making and the ability to lead a team; including an ability to work with limited supervision. This position requires significant travel in remote and possibly insecure environment. The successful candidate will be energized by solving problems and working with adolescent girls.

Interested candidates who meet the above required qualifications and experience should submit a Cover Letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to on or before 9th October, 2017.
The email subject line must clearly show the job title and location they are applying for.
Applications without an appropriate subject heading will be automatically disqualified.
Please do not attach any certificates.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
NB: We do not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process

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