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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Monrovia
  • Grade: Junior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Labour Market Policy
    • Youth
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Sustainable trade and development
    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • Managerial positions
    • Sustainable Business Development
  • Closing Date: 2019-06-21

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Team Leader: Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship - Liberia

Monrovia (Liberia)

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 started operations in Liberia in 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought on by the two Liberian civil wars which took place from 1989-1997and 1999-2003. Since then, Mercy Corps' interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of Liberian people. Based on the changing needs, Mercy Corps Liberia has implemented programs in renewable energy, food security, agricultural livelihoods, financial inclusion, nutrition, water and sanitation, infrastructure, and in youth economic empowerment.

General Position Summary

Reporting to the Director of Programs (DOP) the Team Leader will oversee all aspects related to ongoing Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (YEE) programs in Liberia including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling program activities. Additionally, the Team Leader will ensure accountability of youth employement programs towards the development needs in Liberia and the donors supporting the response. The Team Leader is expected to contribute to quality assurance of program implementation across all YEE grants. The post-holder will work closely with the Liberia SMT and the field team (currently three field offices) for the strategic development and management of Mercy Corps' programs. The YEE Team Leader will directly lead the implementation of the AFD-funded Liberia Employment and Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) (2019-2023) and supervise the implementation and closeout of the SIDA-funded PROSPECTS program (2017-2020).

Program Management

  • Provide effective leadership in the management of Mercy Corps' portfolio of Youth employment and entrepreneurship projects in Liberia (LEEP and Prospects)
  • Facilitate team members to conduct detailed market research, intelligence, assessments and feasibility studies; liaise with and labor market actors to find strategic leverage points for co-investment; design systemic interventions in response to root causes of market ineffectiveness and exclusion of young people. Follow intervention and investment plans, and implement interventions effectively.
  • Prepare monthly, and quarterly project reports in collaboration with the program teams
  • Oversee data collection and data management for PROSPECTS and LEEP
  • Manage a proportion of projects directly, oversee the delivery of effective development results, planning and monitoring, financial management, and donor reporting of all projects in the youth Sector
  • Develop work plans and budget forecasting for projects
  • Support all donor reporting and communications and track major grant milestones deliverables, cost share requirements, project burn rates and major procurements
  • Ensure monitoring of project activities is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts in order to assess effectiveness and impact and propose recommendations for improvements.

Team Management

  • 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 discussions.
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
  • Train and mentor staff in market systems approaches to ensure successful program implementation.
  • Work closely and oversee partners, including private sector actors, government agencies, universities, and research entities.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.

Partnerships and Engagements

  • Lead on targeting core and secondary partnerships in Liberia and take the lead in building and managing key relationships among partners, donors, ecosystem players and other support agencies in a collaborative manner, building and leveraging overall youth sector activities and Mercy Corps programming.
  • Work with program partners to structure technical engagements, including tech ecosystem development, creation of business incubators, business startup support services, which build and expand LEEP's influence and reach in Liberia
  • Lead the process of BDS training product development including technology requirements, pricing, and a value proposition for program partners, drawing on technical support from Mercy Corps' TSU and consultants, as needed.

Budget Management

  • Support in the development of financial management tools and the monitoring of budgets
  • Cross-check detailed transactions and review budget versus actual (BVA) spending reports to determine status of program burn rates
  • Liaise with program team to ensure both parties are aware of spending rates
  • Work with the Country Finance Manager to ensure spend-down plans and cash projections are developed and monitored
  • Support the development of procurement plans and operational analyses

Program Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool, encouraging consistency across programs.
  • Ensure the application of a practical field based M&E system/plan for each project/program in coordination with the Country MEL Manager
  • Conduct frequent field visits to project sites to assess activities and ensure efficient use of resources
  • Adapt projects according to monitoring and evaluation findings
  • Advise on and assist with project reviews conducted by the M&E Unit.
  • Together with the M&E team, ensure capitalization of best practices and lessons learnt for projects in the area of operations
  • Ensure authentic data is provided by field teams for project progress updates

Program Reporting

  • Work closely with the relevant HQ desk support, Program teams to ensure that donor reports effectively demonstrate the impact of Mercy Corps' program interventions.
  • Put in place tools for the easy tracking of upcoming donor reports for both PROSPECTS and LEEP
  • Lead the writing of all donor reports and ensure that they meet high-quality standards.

Other

  • Conduct him/herself professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.

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 towards 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.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: PROSPECTS Program team (26 National staff, 1 expatriate), LEEP Team (32 National staff)

ACCOUNTABILITY:

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Director of Programs

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Department Heads, Program teams, finance and operational staff; HQ Regional Program Team; Technical Support Unit; Resource Development Department

KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:

  • MA/MS equivalent in Economics, Management, Business Administration or other relevant field (required)
  • 3-5 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in a senior management position.
  • 3 years experience managing entrepreneurship projects, incubators and accelerators, or SME development required
  • Experience leading and managing teams of at least 10 people over the past three years.
  • Private sector experience in a business development environment or management consulting will be an added advantage.
  • Strong understanding of the information technology ecosystem will be an added advantage
  • Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues. (AFD and SIDA preferred)
  • Strong management skills with a good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Skilled in partnering with the private sector and civil society organizations, public/government entities, local NGOs, etc.
  • Fluency in written and oral English is required.

SUCCESS FACTORS:

The Team Leader is expected to be a high performer in project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance; and program development. A strong understanding of Market systems development and Youth livelihoods programming will ensure success in this role. Because the Team Leader will be involved in resource mobilization for future youth programs (including the development of detailed activity plans and work plans), conducting assessments and evaluations, reporting, and proposal writing, the ideal candidate would need to have excellent writing skills in order to succeed.

LIVING /ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:

The position will be based in Monrovia and may require travel to other Mercy Corps offices in Margibi, and Buchanan. The security situation is stable; general unrest is not anticipated. Monrovia and towns in outlying areas are generally safe, though come with the same safety considerations as any other city. Life in Monrovia is basic but comfortable, with good accommodation, and a busy expatriate scene.

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.

  • MA/MS equivalent in Economics, Management, Business Administration or other relevant field (required)
  • 3-5 years of overseas experience including at least 3 years in a senior management position.
  • 3 years experience managing entrepreneurship projects, incubators and accelerators, or SME development required
  • Experience leading and managing teams of at least 10 people over the past three years.
  • Private sector experience in a business development environment or management consulting will be an added advantage.
  • Strong understanding of the information technology ecosystem will be an added advantage
  • Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues. (AFD and SIDA preferred)
  • Strong management skills with a good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Skilled in partnering with the private sector and civil society organizations, public/government entities, local NGOs, etc.
  • Fluency in written and oral English is required.

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