Temporary - Director of Partnership Support Program - Beirut, Lebanon
This is a temporary role for 3 months. Candidates with current/former Mercy Corps experience are encouraged to apply.
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 seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world. We recognize that instances of sudden change within a country or region are rare moments to enact significant, lasting change. Mercy Corps, with its global experience working in countries undergoing major transitions, brings knowledge, expertise and strong management skills to position the agency as a partner of choice for progressive change in Syria. Mercy Corps has been operational in Syria since 2012 and is looking to expand our scope and impact by promoting governance through our work with local civil society actors and community based organizations. We empower and engage citizens by informing and mobilizing communities, and promoting civic engagement. By elevating the voices of vulnerable communities and increasing their inclusion in decision-making, we ensure governance processes are more equitable and effective, empowering communities to tackle the underlying causes of the world's toughest challenges, working collaboratively to build secure, productive and just communities.
General Position Summary
As an active and influential member of the Syria Extended Management Team, the Partnership Support Program (PSP) Director is responsible for all aspects of program design, development and implementation of Mercy Corps PSP program in Syria. The PSP Director mobilizes the internal and external technical resources to ensure the quality delivery of programs implemented under his/her supervision; works closely with the Operations, Finance, HR and Security departments across multiple field offices to ensure that all of the programmatic aspects are compliant with MC and donor standards, rules and regulations. S/he ensures that the PSP team are supported and resourced to deliver humanitarian programming in partnership with local and diaspora Syrian organizations at scale, with a focus on quality, risk management, capacity building, and Mercy Corps principles of responsible partnership. The PSP Director leads the development and implementation of humanitarian, multi-sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors. S/he is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully directing, strategizing and planning all programming. The position will support the strategic positioning of Mercy Corps, the development of best practice in partnership, and ensures all Mercy Corps work is planned and executed with quality, accountability and measurable impact.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to the PSP team members and stakeholders, translating into concrete work plans;
- Contribute to countrywide strategy development and prioritize and organize actions and resources within PSP to achieve objectives set through those processes;
- Follow analysis of the Syrian crisis and the impact of policy, political and military changes on the context, ensuring that this analysis is recognized and incorporated in planning for both short-term humanitarian and longer-term programming;
- Ensure that analytical and technical support teams are collaborating with program and other internal stakeholders effectively, adding value to the program and maintaining strategic focus;
- Work collaboratively across departments to ensure that processes and measurements are in place to monitor evidence building and strategic impact.
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and aligned with Mercy Corps' principles and values;
- Work closely with the Syria Country Director and Deputy Country Director and other Senior Members of the Syria Program to ensure that Mercy Corps strategy guides decision-making throughout the response;
- Provide leadership to increase coordination, collaboration, communication and harmonization of Mercy Corps programming and operations inside Syria;
- Build consensus around a common vision of what shared success inside Syria looks like, including development and tracking of appropriate indicators;
- Build consensus around priorities to improve the delivery of assistance inside Syria and to make program strategies and frameworks more consistent across the response;
- Oversight to ensure programs are able to meet donor and internal obligations on scope, time and budget, including efficient coordination on common program, operational and funding issues;
- Facilitate sharing and learning - particularly on best practice in partnership programming - across different Mercy Corps offices and support teams to incorporate learning from the response, and other regions, in project design and management;
- Engage Syria program leadership in ongoing context analysis that enables programs and teams to adapt to significant changes in the geopolitical/conflict environment;
- Act as focal point for relevant office and led weekly meetings with team, hub and SMT.
- Be an advocate and represent the views of the SMT to the Partnerships Support Program and PSP with SMT.
- Create and maintain systems to ensure efficient and transparent capture of program data for decision-making and timely and informative internal and external reporting;
- Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative programming across the program portfolio.
- In coordination with Syria Country Director, Deputy Country Director and other senior leadership, engage in strong regional-level representation with donors, international and local NGOs and networks;
- Participate in shaping policy positions and advocacy messages pertaining to the overall humanitarian situation inside Syria, particularly around localization and the situation for Syrian aid workers inside Syria.
- 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;
- Supervise, hire and orient Program team and new team members as necessary;
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance, reach objectives and work collaboratively across remote locations;
- 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.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Recognize the high level of donor scrutiny imposed on Syrian programming and ensure continuing effective, transparent and responsive compliance mechanisms are in place;
- Maintain oversight of overall PSP program budgets ensuring appropriate allocation of resources to meet program objectives;
- Ensure adequate technical, analytical and administrative support for programs;
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations, including PSP risk mitigation policy and others;
- Ensure compliance with Mercy Corps risk mitigation policies
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps to peer agencies, donors, government bodies, local authorities and a wide variety of stakeholders to influence positive change in line with Mercy Corps values;
- Oversee Partnership Coordination approaches in support of programmatic impact and capacity building;
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media as appropriate;
- Work with formal and informal government structures and representatives, maintain and develop relevant and productive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders;
- Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local NGOs and civil society organizations and academic institutions;
- Anticipate program needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor views on the evolving context and its impact on civilians in Syria;
- Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support program objectives;
- Ensure that Mercy Corps maintain a high degree of risk awareness and impartiality;
- Respect and understand differing cultural and ethnic differences and nuances and have the ability to navigate between them, recognizing the complexities involved;
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, governments and other stakeholders.
- Maintain oversight of access provisions to ensure Mercy Corps' continued ability to access our most vulnerable and hard-to-reach beneficiaries;
- Regularly review the Humanitarian Access Team and other Advisors' analysis of security and its outlook in Syria and ensure that planning is consistent with them;
- Coordinate with the Security Director, Country Director, Deputy Country Director and Director of Subawards and Compliance on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and any security policy changes;
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies and ensure necessary mitigations are followed;
- 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.
Program Manager, Sector / Interagency Coordinators
Reports Directly to: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly with: Syria Country Director, Senior Management Team, Regional Director, Technical Support Unit, Mercy Corps Europe, Global Security Advisor, Mercy Corps Syria, country administration: finance, operations, HR and grants Directors/teams. Program Performance and Quality Director, Technical Advisors, Advocacy, Policy and Communications Advisors, Security Director, Peer Program Directors, Sub-Awards and Compliance Director / Team.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required, MA/S preferred;
- Extensive experience working with civil society organizations, and understanding of cooperating with local Syrian organizations.
- At least 7 years of senior-level leadership and management experience in large and complex programs including humanitarian operations, previous work experience in the Middle East and insecure environments preferred;
- Substantial knowledge of the international humanitarian system, institutions and donors, and of compliance requirements, accountability frameworks and best practices; prior experience with funding from USG, DFID, ECHO and other leading donors;
- Robust experience in developing, operationalizing, and implementing program strategies;
- Demonstrated expertise in representation and negotiation resulting in securing significant new opportunities for the organization;
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments;
- Highly-developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching;
- Solid project management skills related to international, cross-functional teams;
- Experience of solving complex issues collegially, defining a clear way forward, and utilizing best practices in management to ensure shared success;
- Outstanding analytical and strategic thinking skills, with a focus on results and impact;
- Excellent oral and written English skills required, proficiency in Arabic preferred.
The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. S/he has a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. S/he is a confident representative in public settings, able to speak up when needed to defend Mercy Corps' positions and influence key stakeholders internally and externally to further and expand MC Syria's goals in the response. S/he is able to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment and prioritize team-building and capacity-building of national staff. S/he has excellent information management skills, is a strategic thinker. S/he has an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in Syria.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Beirut, Lebanon and it requires up to 40% travel within the region. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have easy access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/STA 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.