Senior Programme Officer at Mercy Corps

Job Title: Senior Programme Officer | Reference: ABV/PRO/2020/0035
Location: Yola, Adamawa | Mercy Corps
Employment Type: Full-time
Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular
Duration: 17 months with possibility of extension
Supervisory Responsibility: Program Assistant


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 Summary

  • Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic and market development and conflict mitigation. With the insurgency spilling over from the Northeast of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in the areas of food security, shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods.
  • With the recognition of the protracted crisis in Northeast Nigeria, Mercy Corps’ strategy and expansion plans aim to address the root causes of the crisis and seek to build long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, and youth empowerment with emphasis on adolescent girls and boys. With multiple funding streams from large institutional donors and foundations, Mercy Corps’ programs in Northeast Nigeria continue to scale up and serve communities by transitioning them from humanitarian aid to early recovery programs.

General Position Summary

  • This role will support and monitor the EU funded pilot project COMITAS – or Contributing to the Mitigation of Conflict over Natural Resources between Farmer and Herder Communities in Adamawa State. The project will be implemented through a Consortium led by IOM in partnership with Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground.
  • While clashes are often understood in ethno-religious terms due to the spread of unreliable information, competing claims to land, water and other natural resources are at the root of growing tensions between farmer and herder communities in Nigeria. The project aims to contribute to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources with Mercy Corps capitalizing on its trusted relationships with local stakeholders across Nigeria’s Middle Belt to continue to empower communities to prevent and respond to violence by strengthening collaboration on natural resources management. To achieve its goal COMITAS is structured around four pillars built on each of Consortium partners’ expertise and strengths:
  • Strengthen traditional conflict resolution in the targeted locations in Adamawa state;
  • Improve trust in authorities’ commitment to provide security and adequate resource management;
  • Enhanced collaboration in managing use of natural resources;
  • Improve intra and inter-communal perceptions.
  • The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will provide overall leadership, technical oversight, management and strategic vision of the project while managing staff and resources to ensure that the program is on-time, on-scope and within budget.
  • The SPO is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of program activities in her/his respective area. S/he will ensure that COMITAS’s community-level engagement approach is systematic, replicable, and adheres to participatory process to involve, empower, and engage citizens and key stakeholders in conflict prevention and response across the target areas in a cost-effective and sustainable way that seamlessly builds on previous programs and consortium partner strengths.

Essential Job Functions
Programme Support:

  • Participate in the planning, implementation and review of the project, including assessment and adaptation of improvements and innovations.
  • Ensure quality and integrity of implementation, including compliance with Mercy Corps policies and Minimum Standards and adherence to technical guidelines, administrative systems, and established deadlines.
  • Ensure implementation of activities is on time, target and budget, using effective systems to ensure the achievement of the overall goal and objectives of the project within the target communities.
  • Oversee and consolidate regular weekly reporting functions, and ensure data is fed into COMITAS database accurately and rapidly.
  • Work with Consortium partners to plan, organize and conduct quality community trainings, sessions and document the process
  • Act as a liaison and facilitator between MC target communities and relevant authorities, building community representatives’ capacity to engage in effective dialogue.
  • Strengthen local level networking and coordination with relevant local structures, CSOs, INGOs, media and Government Departments involved in peacebuilding interventions, including relationship building with religious leaders of diverse faiths.
  • Strengthen community-based peace structures, support locally-led peace initiatives, and reinforce communication and collaboration with community-level stakeholders,
  • Provide field-level oversight role for referral of project ideas/programming strands to other MC Nigeria sectors (currently, Humanitarian, Resilience, protection and market development and Livelihoods), and ensure appropriate cross-communication throughout project process.
  • Conduct quarterly review meetings with field-based program team to assess contextual changes and adapt strategies to evolving dynamics.
  • Maintain regular communications with key stakeholders to gauge perceptions, tensions, and potential triggers.
  • Expand local partner networks, foster linkages to local government, civil society coalitions, and businesses and build wider public support for peacebuilding.
  • Ensure internal regulations regarding Program Management at Mercy Corp Corps ([email protected]), including, program verification through to financial and signatory approval are followed, making suggestions for improvements to DCOP.
  • In collaboration with the Monitoring Evaluation and Learning team, ensure on-going monitoring and timely reporting on the project progress.
  • Oversee the performance of sub-grantees, consultants and contractors.
  • Ensure the program is in alignment with Mercy Corps’ principles, values and the program’s strategic plan.
  • Ensure all program management minimum standards are met (including risk management, issues management).
  • Productively participate in planning sessions and reviews called by Consortium lead/partners and sector advisors.
  • Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices.

Team Management:

  • Sustain a work environment of mutual respect you and other team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Provide other team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.

Finance and Compliance:

  • Ensure compliance with Donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to field programming.

Influence and Representation:

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with Consortium partners, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure project implementation targets are met.
  • Participate in coordination meetings and workshops to the project at both Local and State level as delegated.

Security:

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that you and other field team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies

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

Accountability:

  • Reports Directly to: Program Manager – COMITAS
  • Works directly with: Program teams, Finance Department, MEL, Operations, Security, Program Quality Team (PaQ)

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/Sc. in relevant field or other similar fields; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent preferred in international relations, development, management, economics or another relevant field.
  • At least 3 years of management experience in progressively responsible positions, preferably in conflict management, peacebuilding and/or natural resources management.
  • Experience leading the implementation of multi-sector integrated programs, preferably in the area of peacebuilding and conflict mitigation, or ì working in social outreach, governance and policy development activities
  • Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local stakeholders, host government officials, and local and international partners.
  • Experience in managing staff, providing leadership, clear tasks and oversight.
  • Ability to work independently in the field and show initiative. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work cooperatively with team members.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; ability to develop good relationships with a wide range of actors required.
  • Good organizational skills, ability to make recommendations for improvement and contribute to overall program strategy.
  • Ability to write clear and concise reports in English, knowledge of Hausa is a plus
  • Willingness to travel throughout the different project areas.
  • Experience in conducting trainings and workshops is desirable.
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation is an advantage.

Success Factors

  • The successful Sr. Program Officer will skillfully lead the implementation of COMITAS activities within time, scope and budget and provide effective leadership to the Program Assistant.
  • S/he will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with peacebuilding conflict Transformation and will be committed to the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level.
  • Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions:

  • The position will be based in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria and requires frequent travel to other field locations as well as Abuja.
  • Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics.
  • Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available.
  • Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously.
  • Access to good medical services in the field is limited.
  • Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic.
  • The location is not eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

Application Closing Date
4th November, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV and Cover letter in one document to: [email protected] using the Job Title, Location and Reference” as the subject of the email.

Note

  • All applications must include the position title and reference number in the subject line
  • Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview
  • We are an equal employment opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.