Temporary - Livelihoods Program Manager - Dohuk, Iraq
This is a temporary role for 2-3 months. Candidates with immediate availability and prior 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
The war in Syria continues; more than 11 million people have been displaced from their homes and the number relying on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, Mercy Corps has established itself as an analytical, strategic, and flexible responder, adapting to continually shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively, efficiently, and in line with humanitarian best practice through multiple modalities, with a team inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries. Mercy Corps has a large and diverse portfolio of work and a substantial team that works in multiple languages across multiple locations.
Mercy Corps has been working inside Syria focusing its interventions on humanitarian and recovery programming. With funding from a variety of institutional donors, Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Syria to respond in Emergency, Protection, WASH, Livelihoods and Social Cohesion, bringing benefit to households and communities inside Syria. Mercy Corps is a partner in the Syria Resilience Consortium (SRC) and implements various activities supporting livelihoods of vulnerable households. The programmatic scope of the Livelihoods portfolio includes, but is not limited to: meeting emergency livelihood needs, supporting agricultural inputs, supporting small and medium businesses, and addressing knowledge gaps through farmer field schools and vocational trainings, or through apprenticeships schemes. Programs are implemented through a combination of in-kind and cash-based modalities, directly and through local partners.
General Position Summary
The Livelihoods Program Manager provides day-to-day oversight and strategic leadership on the development and implementation of Mercy Corps' livelihoods programming. This entails management of all aspects of the program, including recruitment and performance management, assessments, designing, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of local partners and Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and technical support to various project stakeholders, including Mercy Corps staff. The position will require a representational role with peer organizations, local communities, local authorities, and donors. The Livelihoods Program Manager will oversee the implementation of activities across the four governorates of NES: Al Hasakeh, Deir ez Zor, Raqqa, and Eastern Aleppo (Menbij).
The position is normally based in Al Hasakeh City with extensive travel between field sites. Given the fluidity of the current security situation in NES, Mercy Corps' expat staff have been relocated to Dohuk, Iraq with periodic travel into NES. Mercy Corps continues to closely monitor the situation and adapt its operational structures according to the context.
Essential Job Responsibilities:
Strategy and Vision
- Contribute to the development of viable livelihoods strategies based on a strong contextual understanding of Syria and in line with Mercy Corps values.
- Contribute to the technical and operational advocacy strategies of the mission, region, and HQ.
- Help to transition Mercy Corps programming from Emergency response to Early Recovery and long term Resilience/Development activities, while ensuring emergency livelihood assistance is provided in a timely manner.
- Contribute to the branding of Mercy Corps' Market Systems Development and Financial Inclusion approaches.
- Coordinate the implementation of integrated programs in the NES portfolio.
Design and Planning
- Oversee the design, planning and implementation of livelihoods programming to help beneficiaries strengthen capacities to mitigate vulnerabilities and build resilience to shocks and stressors in their communities.
- Contribute to the design of new proposals and budgets for livelihoods-related activities.
- Work with monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and program team members to ensure participatory approaches are inclusive of all demographics and are integrated into program design, monitoring, vulnerability identification, and program evaluation.
- Ensure programs are actively engaging community stakeholders and partners to identify priority needs.
- Stay abreast of and analyze livelihoods trends and develop/adjust program strategies to meet needs. Identify opportunities for the design and development of concept notes and proposals for further programming.
- Responsible for budget management, resource allocation and planning across the whole Livelihoods portfolio.
- Ensure compliance with donor contractual commitments, extracting and implementing key learnings from project implementation
- Provides technical support to sub-grants to maintain strong partnerships in North East Syria.
Implementation and Programs Coordination
- In collaboration with appropriate departments within Mercy Corps and with external actors where relevant, actively contribute to the development of assessments, monitoring tools and analysis to better understand the household livelihood trends, knowledge gaps, and needs.
- Manage multi-million dollar grants while adhering to spending plans and donor rules. These include the Syria Resilience Consortium, DFID, French MOFA, SIDA, DANIDA, OFDA/FFP and any upcoming funding in the pipeline.
- Provide technical oversight to the field teams and mentor staff in the design and implementation of livelihood activities.
- Ensure the planning, monitoring and quality reporting of all livelihood activities in accordance with Mercy Corps' minimum standards for program management.
- Work with the Area Director of Programs to identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with sector counterparts including local partners, donors, and other stakeholders.
- Work closely with the food security and livelihoods sector, agriculture working group, early recovery working group, and the cash working group in NES.
- Contributes to designing the Consortium learning agenda and to enforcing accountability and learning in the Consortium.
- Contributes to MC's efforts to improve adaptive management and management innovation practices and communicates best-practices to the wider humanitarian community, globally and through NES coordination fora.
- Hire, supervise, and build the capacity of team members in relevant technical and management competencies.
- 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.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify solutions, and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Lead collaborative partner relationships focused on mutual learning and capacity building as well as technical guidance in areas of Mercy Corps expertise.
- Develop and implement remote management capacity building approaches where relevant.
Influence & Representation
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with all stakeholders - including NGOs, clusters, UN agencies, community-based organizations and Mercy Corps technical Advisors to enhance cooperation and coordination.
- Attend relevant coordination meetings and/or represent Mercy Corps in other relevant fora.
- Ensure that information from coordination meetings is shared internally and with other sectors, as appropriate.
- Coordinate the development of a quality framework for resilience approaches within the SRC Consortium.
- Represent and advocate for Mercy Corps approaches in the NES sectoral working groups.
- Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
Strategy & Vision
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment of empowerment.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps' Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps' Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
- 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.
- 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.
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Area Director of Programs, NES
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILTY: Direct reports include Livelihoods Coordinators, Economic Development Specialist, and Agriculture Specialist. Indirect reports include Livelihoods Officers, Program Assistants and field staff.
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: FSL Advisor, Cash Specialist, other Program Managers, Grants Management team, Syria Performance & Quality (PaQ) team, and operational departments (Procurement, Finance, HR)
Knowledge & Experience
- A Bachelor degree or equivalent in Agriculture or other relevant field is required. Master's degree preferred.
- 5-7 years of professional experience in emergency and recovery/transitional livelihoods programming or equivalent combination of education and experience
- Minimum 3 years' experience working on general livelihoods programming in early recovery context, with understanding Syria and Middle East context preferred
- Proven experience in implementation of various modalities: in-kind and cash-based, as well as working through partners
- Experience in direct implementation is necessary; additional experience in remote management preferred
- Experience in staff management and remote management in a cross-cultural environment
- Experience designing curriculum for livelihoods-related trainings and capacity building activities demonstrated training and facilitation experience
- Experience managing multiple project budgets over one million USD
- Ability to work under pressure; strong interpersonal, intercultural, and communication skills
- Excellent oral and written skills and computer skills
- Fluency in English required; Arabic and/or Kurdish language skills are advantageous
The successful candidate will have the ability to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly fluid work and security environment with a capacity to spark innovative approaches to programming and inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs. They will work effectively and respectfully with host country government and other authorities as well as NGO and CBO representatives. They will have an attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, and successfully meet programmatic deadlines, as well as anticipate program needs. They will demonstrate sensitivity to multicultural international development work and a commitment to working with community members to create safe, nurturing places for women and youth that foster greater inclusion in the community and productive livelihoods is critical. They will possess the ability to solve problems creatively, juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and diplomatically manage unexpected and sudden events affecting program operations is essential.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is temporarily based in Dohuk, Iraq until relocation back to NES is feasible, and requires travel throughout NES. This position is unaccompanied. Living conditions are in group housing; water, electricity, and internet are available with occasional interruptions.
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.