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Head of Office/Project Manager - Bangassou, CAR

Bangassou (Central African Republic)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Bangassou (Central African Republic)
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-14

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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 partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval or economic collapse offer opportunities to build safer, more productive and more just communities. By providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we are acting quickly to help communities recover, build resilience to future shocks and promote sustainable change by supporting community and market-led initiatives. Aware of the great potential and complex challenges facing CAR and the Africa region, Mercy Corps implements a series of humanitarian and development assistance programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and the communities in which we work/operate.

Program / Department Summary

Building on lessons learned - Mercy Corps’ proposed FENRIC 2 intervention will support vulnerable households from internally displaced, returnee and host communities in the Ouaka and Mbomou prefecture through the implementation of a flexible, multi-sector response designed to meet the most urgent needs of targeted communities. The response will build on the successes and lessons learned by Mercy Corps in CAR in terms of food and livelihood assistance, establishment of mobile protection teams, prevention and response to GBV, distribution of non-food items to IDP communities, as well as community capacity building and training for WASH infrastructure management. The proposed program also builds on the lessons learned within the framework of the OFDA-funded FENRIC program, including:

Mercy Corps is proposing a flexible 15-month multi-sectoral response project, building on the recently concluded OFDA FENRIC rapid response program, to address the ongoing critical humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), now compounded by the COVID-19 threat, which only exacerbates existing vulnerabilities. This program will assist 84,500 vulnerable households, notably IDPs and returnees, through a flexible multi-sector response designed to meet the target population’s most urgent needs in WASH, economic recovery, non-food items and protection. It will build on successes and lessons learned from Mercy Corps’ previous interventions in livelihoods restoration, roving protection teams, GBV care and response, as well as community capacity building and training for the management of WASH infrastructure. In line with the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview for CAR and Mercy Corps’country strategy, the program will be implemented in Ouaka and Mbomou prefectures, where over 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and host community members are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. With OFDA’s support, Mercy Corps will respond – as a priority – to the needs of the newly displaced populations but will also support host communities to enable them to absorb the needs of those displaced.

General Position Summary

The Head of Office / Project Manager will have a dual role managing Mercy Corps’ part of the implementation of the programme and will also be managing the operations and administration of the Bangassou Office where they will be located. They will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its objectives and deliverables on time and on budget, and reports results to recipients. The Project Manager will oversee program staff and ensure that Mercy Corps policies, donor rules and regulations are followed. Should be the program’s main representative to recipients, implementing partners.

As the Head of Office (HoO) the candidate will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of Bangassou office, ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps’ and donors’ policies and procedures, ensuring internal and external coordination, and representation in Bangassou. This includes training staff as needed and supervising administrative, logistics, and finance staff members. The HoO role is responsible for maintaining very strong relationships with the CAR Bangui-based Sr. leaders, especially with the Country Director, Director of Operations and Director of Programs.

Due to the specific nature of the position, the Head of Base / Project Manager’s list of responsibilities, below is not exhaustive. As such, the employee may be required to perform other duties not listed in their terms of reference, provided that they do not detract from the job description.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Ensure program implementation is tailored to communities and partners, guided by a resilient approach and strong adaptive management, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
  • Describe and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of the program activities, including finalization of target areas/activities, operating methods and evaluation tools in collaboration with M&E manager and consortium coordinator.

Operations Management

  • Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) of the Bangassou office and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Maintain regular contact with Operations Manager and Finance Manager.
  • Ensure that procurement is completed, documented, and delivered to end-user in a timely manner, ensuring that items procured meet the specifications of the end-user while adhering to donor and Mercy Corps procurement guidelines.
  • Ensure all aspects of asset management, including maintenance of the asset register and investigation of any missing assets.
  • Supervise the management and maintenance of vehicle fleet, office facilities, and equipment, including power supply.
  • Oversee database and paper file management for program, finance, administration, HR, and logistics documents; ensure files are complete and in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ Bangui and HQ offices on travel and logistics support, as required.

Program Management

  • Ensure program implementation is tailored to communities and partners, guided by a resilient approach and strong adaptive management, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
  • Describe and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of the program activities, including finalization of target areas/activities, operating methods and evaluation tools in collaboration with M&E manager and consortium coordinator.
  • Oversee program start-up, ongoing management and administration of teams at the Bangassou and Bangui level.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, derived from annual strategic work plans.
  • Ensure integration of resilience thinking, community-based approaches, gender mainstreaming and capacity building in all activities, as appropriate.
  • Animate all internal project interfaces evaluating the actions implemented and ensuring a value for money.
  • Write narrative reports and contribute to periodic and contractual reporting with partners.
  • Monitor compliance with internal procurement procedures for goods and services
  • In general, systematically inform the consortium lead on the progress of the implementation of the program and on future perspectives

Team Management

  • Ensure that technical requirements are taken into account in the implementation of the programme
  • Collect technical data and analyse opportunities and risks
  • Identify technical partners and propose contractual and/or partnership arrangements
  • Ensure the monitoring of entrepreneurship, vocational training and the formal and informal financial field, in the Central African Republic and more particularly in Bangui.
  • Report and communicate on all initiatives that could represent an opportunity for economic growth, job creation and added value for the Banguissoise and Central African economy.
  • Create and maintain a mutually respectful work environment where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Lead the technical interventions and training of all team members to ensure consistency and common understanding of the program objective and approaches.
  • Manage and assists in the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they have the necessary quality and technical capacity to ensure successful implementation of activities.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provides constructive feedback through regular performance reviews.
  • Oversee and manage all program partnerships to ensure good coordination and active coordination with other stakeholders to improve strategic integration and activities with other projects.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • In collaboration with Country Program Operations and Finance departments, ensure sound financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transportation, storage and asset management), that the needs of the program are conducted in accordance with the rules defined by Mercy Corps for a better benefit to the program.

  • Monitor compliance with the grant agreement, Mercy Corps policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the CAR Government.

Influence & Representation

  • In collaboration with Country Program Operations and Finance departments, ensure sound financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transportation, storage and asset management), that the needs of the program are conducted in accordance with the rules defined by Mercy Corps for a better benefit to the program.
  • Monitor compliance with the grant agreement, Mercy Corps policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the CAR Government

Security

  • Work closely with the Country Team Security Focal Point and the Regional Focal Point to develop and maintain systems that support the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure programs are implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security and conflict.
  • Up-date and maintain the security plan for the area of operation.
  • Follow up any development, trends, changes with regards to the security situation in the project’s zone of influence.
  • Ensure adequate security coordination with other humanitarian actors in the area.
  • Liaise with Country Director and/or Operations Manager on any degradation in security situation.

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 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

  • The Program Manager will have supervisory responsibility over of the Mercy Corps’ national staff program team based in Bangassou and Bambari.

Accountability

  • Reports directly to the Director of Programs
  • Doted line reporting to the Country Director for the Head of Office responsibilities
  • Works directly with Program Team staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, management at not-for-profit, agriculture, national resource management, economic development, or any other relevant area.
  • At least 5 years of relevant development experience - ideally in the areas of in WASH, Cash programming, economic recovery, non-food items distribution, protection, GBV, and/or multi-purpose responses.
  • Experience in managing integrated multisectoral programs of similar size and scope. Activities financed by USAID are highly preferred.
  • Experience or knowledge of market systems principles w
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations and partners.
  • Experience in managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
  • Experience with AFD’s rules, regulations and requirements is desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and promote an adaptive team culture.
  • Experience working in CAR is desirable.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in French.
  • Strong computer skills and in-depth knowledge of office applications.

Success Factors

  • Ability and experience in working in cross-cultural contexts
  • Experience in team capacity building as well as strong coaching skills
  • Ability to work manage situations under pressure. Multitasking, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.
  • Multitasking, prioritization, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential
  • Mercy Corps’ top performers are deeply committed to teamwork and accountability, thrive in ever-changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations
  • They will demonstrate a good proven experience in managing cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in Bangassou, CAR. The position is not accompanied and eligible for R&R benefits. Accommodations are in group housing with all necessary services. Staff have access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position may require up to 30% of road travel to external offices in unsafe environments and in extreme weather conditions as well as travel to Bangui.

Members of the Mercy Corps team represent the agency both during and outside working hours when deployed on a field mission or during a visit to a field publication. Team members must conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect the laws, customs, policies, procedures and values of MC at all times and in all places of residence. to a field publication. Team members must conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect MC’s laws, customs, policies, procedures and values at all times and in all places of residence.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
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