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Emergency Programs Director - DR Congo

Goma (Congo Democratic)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Goma (Congo Democratic)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-30

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Position to start early November

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.

The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 200 people working in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Mweso (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu). Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically at assisting populations affected by conflicts and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from OFDA and UNICEF, Mercy Corps currently delivers emergency WASH assistance to displaced populations and host communities in North Kivu, and leads a consortium of 3 organizations in the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance, emergency WASH, health and education services to displaced populations and host communities in North and South Kivu. With anticipated funding from a larger variety of donors, Mercy Corps is expecting to expand its humanitarian response to reach more beneficiaries in a larger geographic area. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict, protection and gender sensitive manner.

The Emergency Programs Director

The Emergency Programs Director will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of a multi-million dollar humanitarian portfolio, supported by donors such as OFDA, ECHO, UNICEF and SDC. In partnership with the Deputy Emergency Program Director s/he will provide strong leadership and ensure proper coordination to operate effectively and deliver on the projects’ intended impact.

The Emergency Programs Director is a strong team leader for Mercy Corps Emergency portfolio of programming, and represents the interests of the agency and partners, and ensures all parties are working effectively and efficiently. The Director will provide strategic leadership to implementation and technical teams , coordinate the delivery of inclusive high quality programming and reporting, in line with donors’ regulations, and overview the relationship with current and future primary donors. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, cluster system, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. S/he will support the Country Director, Director of Programs (DoP) and Emergency Grants Manager in the identification of new humanitarian funding opportunities, as well as proposal design and development.

Essential Job Responsibilities


● Maintain and reinforce Mercy Corps’ primary position in humanitarian response in DRC, by ensuring alignment with DRC’s Humanitarian Response Plan and priorities and seeking opportunities for expansion of Mercy Corps humanitarian programming.

● With support from DoP and Deputy Emergency Programs Director, develop a strategy for Mercy Corps Humanitarian Response in DRC.

● With support from DoP and PaQ Director, seek out and secure research funding opportunities on regional humanitarian trends and position Mercy Corps’ humanitarian work based on findings from research conducted.

● Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve Mercy Corps humanitarian programming objectives.

● Maintain strategic vision and provide operational leadership to the implementation of Mercy Corps humanitarian portfolio.

● Recognize opportunities for innovative action and explore implementation possibilities with Mercy Corps emergency Managers, teams and partners.

● Maintain implementation momentum by consolidating implementation strategies and plans.

● Develop and manage a clear system for tracking and reporting against deliverables across Mercy Corps humanitarian portfolio.

● Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.


● Oversee projects start-up and ongoing projects ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.

● Provide guidance to the Deputy Emergency Programs Director the development of detailed implementation plans, maintaining rapid response capacity, and ensure the delivery of the same.

● Ensure that Mercy Corps Emergency projects target beneficiaries effectively and according to established vulnerability criteria.

● Support technical teams to Integrate community participation, Do No Harm, protection, gender sensitivity and capacity building approaches into all activities as appropriate.

● Ensure technical teams and grants team document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured.

● Ensure products disseminated both publicly and internally are of high quality.

● Ensure adaptive management processes are followed and approaches are continually re-evaluating program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.

● Ensure production of written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities are of high quality.

● Guide the Emergency M&E Manager in overseeing efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems.


● Create, implement and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps DRC, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, Mercy Corps’ donors, and Government of DRC authorities.

● Participate in external representation of Mercy Corps Humanitarian portfolio with various groups including donors, government and the Cluster system.

● Oversee all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.

● Maintain strong and transparent communication with Mercy Corps’ donors and partners.

● Share learnings from Mercy Corps Humanitarian portfolio with the greater humanitarian community within DRC.


● Support and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

● Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.

● 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.

● Supervise and manage Deputy Emergency Program Director and support project managers and technical leads to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated way according to schedule, budget and quality.

● Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of Mercy Corps Emergency staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.


● In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.

● Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.


● 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.


● 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

Emergency Grants Manager, Congo Humanitarian Analysis Manager, Deputy Emergency Programs Director, SAFER Consortium Director, CWG Co-Lead.


Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director – Programs

Works Directly With: Grants Manager and emergencies interns, M&E Director and Emergency M&E Manager, Finance Director and Emergency Finance Manager, Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit and Managers/representatives from partner organizations.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

● Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

● MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, humanitarian response or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.

● At least 7 to 10 years of international relief and development program management experience, in emergency and recovery program management, with progressively greater responsibility.

● At least 5 years in a senior management role is required with experience in managing humanitarian assistance projects of a similar size and scope in developing countries; experience managing multi-sectoral projects including cash, health, WASH, non-food items (NFI), education, or protection, preferably in insecure settings.

● Previous experience in managing consortiums or international sub-grantees preferred.

● Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred.

● Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.

● Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements. Experience with UNICEF rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.

● Experience working in West or sub-Saharan Africa is preferred.

● Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French required; other languages a plus.

● Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.

● Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

● Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

● Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors

The successful Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will possess a high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to the constantly changing working environment. S/he will have previous experience in implementing large scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict context. S/he will have an ability to approach complex humanitarian challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about humanitarian response across the Health, WASH, Cash, NFI, Education, Protection and Youth sectors. The Director will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential. 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. The successful Director must be comfortable operating and traveling in a sometimes volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an accompanied position. Housing will be provided in Goma/Gisenyi according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants. Travel may be required up to 25% of the time to program areas within North Kivu. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity

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.

Please send CV to the following link:

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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