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Program Director Food Security - Sana''a, Yemen

Sanaa (Yemen)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Sanaa (Yemen)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Security and Safety
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2019-10-29

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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 collaborate 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 and has worked in the Middle East since the 1980s. In response to acute and increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen, Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010. More than 22 million people are need and reliance on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be primarily focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country while building resilience and social cohesion elements in its programming strategy. Strategies to enhance the resilience of communities to the harsh environmental and social conditions in the country cut across the portfolio. Yemen is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country. Mercy Corps Yemen country program is moving to a structure where teams report into a single managerial architecture to allow transversal consistency among programs and unity of purpose at the strategic level.

General Position Summary

The Program Director (PD) will provide overall leadership, technical oversight, management and strategic vision of the Yemen Food Assistance program 3 (YEFA 3) while managing staff and resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, on-scope and within budget. The PD will ensure high program quality while ensuring strict adherence to internal Mercy Corps policies and procedures as well as donor rules and regulations. The PD will also have representation duties to donors, relevant government entities, consortium partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. The PD will coordinate closely with the consortium members and hold regular consortium meetings to support program implementations and learning across the partners. The PD will work closely with the Area Director s of Taiz, Sana'a and Aden, the program team and support departments to ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability.

Essential Job Functions

Strategy And Vision

  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy and strategy development.
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for the program and elicit support from stakeholders.

Program Management

  • Ensure program is on-time, on-scope and within budget.
  • Structure his/her team to ensure that all program aspects meet the highest programmatic standards and adhere to industry norms/regulations.
  • Track program objectives and deadlines.
  • Ensure the monitoring of all grant agreements for compliance with Mercy Corps policies and procedures as well as donor/government/external rules and regulations.
  • Oversee the consortium management and program implementations
  • Oversee the performance of consultants and contractors.
  • Oversee all aspects of design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and ensure that all program aspects are documented and archived according to internal/donor requirements.
  • 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).
  • Ensure optimal integration of all program components for maximum impact.
  • 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.

Team Management

  • Recruit a program team and ensure that program staff receive necessary inductions and training (including program management certification where required).
  • Create a work atmosphere of mutual respect conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
  • Implement, and ensure all staff members are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback.
  • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees and ensuring that supervisory staff personnel do the same.
  • 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.
  • Draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance.
  • Ensure all internal and external reports are produced to donor and Mercy Corps standards.

Programme Support

  • Coordinate with Area Directors, program, finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps to government, donors, NGOs and other relevant events in the field.
  • Coordinate activities with partners, sub-grantees, government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps global staff.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

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.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Work closely with Mercy Corps Yemen High risk program advisor, security focal points and Area Directors to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its implementation process.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Program managers and other program staff.


Reports Directly to: Deputy Country Director

Works Directly with: MEL Team, Program Managers, Coordinates with HQ Regional Program Team, Area Directors, Consortium Program Teams

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelors degree or equivalent in international development, management, economics or other relevant field. Strong management skills, with good knowledge of relevant cross-cultural issues. Masters preferred
  • At least 7 years of management experience in progressively responsible positions.
  • Experience leading the implementation of multi-sector integrated projects.
  • 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.
  • Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local stakeholders, private sector actors, Government and partners.

Success Factors

A successful Program Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will be able to develop, implement and manage a large, multi-sector program. The ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel and experience in building the capacity of individual staff and teams. The PD will have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is necessary. 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 The position is based in Sana'a, Yemen and requires up to 50% travel to other locations in the region. The role is unaccompanied, and housing is in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship.

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.

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.


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We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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