Program Performance & Development Manager - Iraq
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 has worked across Iraq's 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq's goal is to work with civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate needs and reduce longer-term vulnerabilities of communities within Iraq. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) providing humanitarian assistance to conflict affected populations to meet basic needs, maintain human dignity and facilitate self-empowerment; (2) supporting income-generating opportunities that transition individuals and households from financial dependency towards financial independence while facilitating market-system approaches; (3) working with young females and young males to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society, as well as access to education, psychosocial support, and economic opportunities; and (4) promoting reconciliation and foster trust across community divisions by strengthening conflict management and prevention mechanisms and enhancing social cohesion.
General Position Summary
The Program Performance and Development Manager (PPD Manager) will be the main support role of the Deputy Country Director, overseeing management of the overall performance and quality of the current portfolio of programs, as well as the development of new programming, in close coordination with the Programs Leadership Team (PLT), which includes the direct reports to the DCD and Senior Program Managers. The PPD Manager will assist in securing new programs by coordinating or leading proposal development processes, including the generation of new programming to fully operationalize the humanitarian-development nexus. The PPD Manager will ensure that Program teams (Program Managers, Senior Program Managers and Heads of Sectors) have the capacity, skills and support to ensure programs are on-time, on-scope and on-budget, as well as ensure that we provide high-quality programming to our program participants. This will include managing our achievement of Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC) and instituting the Quality Framework. The PPD Manager will be expected to advise program teams on donor rules and regulation to ensure all programs are compliant with our internal and donor regulations. The PPD Manager will also be responsible for timely submission of quality donor reports as well as communication pieces.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Performance and Record Retention
- Develop and maintain a system to track how all programs are meeting basic Program Performance (on-time, on-scope, on-budget), in close coordination with relevant support departments.
- Maintain an online grant filing system, ensuring compliance with PM@MC minimum standards.
- Play a leading role in Grant Kick-Off and Close-Out meetings to ensure that all grant information, including deadlines, donor priorities and requirements, are communicated and understood by the team, and grants are closed in compliance with donor regulations.
- Maintain effective communications with headquarters staff, providing timely updates on grants and flagging potential issues promptly.
- Ensure that PLT holds Senior Program Managers and Program Managers fully accountable/responsible for all aspects of Program Performance.
- In partnership with the DCD, define quality for each program, using Regional Quality Framework as a main guiding tool, in close coordination with the PLT and the PAQ team.
- Ensure that all programs/sectors have a tailored Quality Framework that monitors program quality, in close coordination with the PLT.
- Ensure the quality management systems include feedback from program participants.
- Coordinate with PAQ to develop an evidence base and learning pieces to improve program quality.
- Monitor progress of all programs and proactively raise issues to ensure program quality.
Program Management Capacity Building
- As part of Mercy Corps' goal of nationalizing key positions, develop a system that allows all managers and supervisors to build capacity (and track it) in key technical, leadership and other skills for next level of leadership.
- Where relevant, provide capacity building support for Program Managers and Senior Programs.
- In partnership with the DCD, build strategic relationships with key stakeholders, peer agencies and donors that lead towards funding opportunities.
- Develop a system for tracking potential and current donors, and upcoming strategic funding opportunities.
- Interface with Mercy Corps headquarters and the regional office to keep abreast of donor strategic priorities, specific requirements and deadlines.
- Lead the strategic evaluation process for new funding opportunities.
- Lead proposal development processes, including drafting and producing high quality concept notes and proposals that support Mercy Corps Iraq's strategic programming goals. This involves developing, managing and sharing the proposal development calendar in-country and with headquarters, ensuring funding proposals are submitted in a timely manner.
- Build relationships with potential partners, including international and national NGOs to pre-position for future funding opportunities.
- Coordinate funding opportunities with relevant staff.
Reporting and Communications
- Oversee reporting workflows and processes between Program Teams, senior leadership, and HQ to ensure the timely and quality development, review and submission of reports and other communication products.
- Maintain a reporting tracker and share regularly with Program and MEL Teams.
- Collaborate with the DCD and PAQ Director on the development of strategies, position papers, thought leadership pieces, and other related initiatives leveraging evidence from programs.
- Provide timely, thorough responses to information requests from internal and external sources.
- Oversee the implementation of a communications strategy in conjunction with program staff. Ensure compliance with all donor regulations and Mercy Corps Iraq, regional and global communication initiatives.
- Develop strategic communication materials, such as sector profiles, impact reports, program briefings, leadership and positioning pieces, key messages, talking points, and other relevant pieces.
- Ensure high-quality information sharing among internal and external audiences.
- Represent Mercy Corps in external coordination forums, as requested.
- Develop the capacity of the PPD team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
Coordination with Support Functions
- Act as Lead Focal Point for strategic interactions with program support functions on Program Performance, Quality and Development.
- In collaboration with Finance and Compliance Teams, ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations, including PM@MC minimum standards.
- Liaise with the Programs, Finance and Operations Teams in the development of budgets of funding proposals.
- 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.
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.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly With: PLT, Program Support Function counterparts, Program Managers, HQ desk, operations and TSU team members
Supervisory Responsibility: Reporting and Communications Officer
Knowledge and Experience
- BA degree in relevant field and MA preferred.
- 3 to 5 years of progressive work experience, with demonstrated strengths in program or portfolio management, grants management, proposal development, and donor re
- Familiarity with US, EU and other donor regulations related to reporting requirements and ability to understand and adjust to the donor contractual requirements preferre
- Excellent planning, management and coordination skills, with the ability to organize a workload comprised of varying and changing tasks and responsibilities.
- Experience in staff management, supervision and capacity build
- Demonstrated experience in working in a multi-cultural and high-stress environ
- Excellent writing and editing skills in English requi
- Arabic and/or Kurdish language skills highly preferred.
- Excellent representation skills required.
- Previous work experience in conflict and/or post-conflict environments, particularly in the Middle East, preferred.
The successful candidate will be eager to learn through doing and will not shy away from tough challenges. This position has a critical function in ensuring grant management systems and processes are successfully implemented across the life of a grant and key controls are in place to support effective management of the funding portfolio and compliance with the donor requirements. As such this person will be very closely working with the different departments.
The successful candidate is passionate about humanitarian and development work and is committed to the delivery of high quality products while respecting deadlines. S/he will be patient and flexible, and is able to improvise and remain responsive and communicate clearly and effectively under pressure. S/he will master the art of prioritizing and organizing processes and is detail-oriented. S/he will have a passion for writing.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Erbil, Iraq and requires up to 30% travel within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Federal Iraq to support Mercy Corps Iraq's offices and programs. This position is unaccompanied and the location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R benefits. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.