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Director of Programs - Niger and Burkina Faso

Niamey (Niger)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Niamey (Niger)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-30

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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 has been present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, gender, social cohesion, governance and emergency response outcomes. Mercy Corps has also been working in Burkina Faso since 2016 with activities in conflict research and livestock programming. Our work in these areas contributes to local communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps is currently implementing several development and humanitarian programs worth more than $27 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri, as well as Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso. In 2019, we were able to benefit more than 89,000 vulnerable Nigeriens.

General Position Summary

The Director of Programs (DOP) will have full management responsibility and budget oversight over more than $10 million in programming. He/she will work closely with the Country Director (CD) and the programs team to lead new business development and to ensure effective program coordination and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and accountability in close collaboration with the operations team. He/she will help implement the county strategy and vision and ensure technical quality at program level. The position is based in Niamey, with regular travel to the field sites and to neighboring Burkina Faso. S/he will help represent the Mercy Corps programs to donors, other NGOs, stakeholders, thematic clusters, relevant government authorities, and other program partners

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Assist the Country Director with driving the strategic vision for Mercy Corps in Niger and Burkina Faso and implementing the three-year country strategy. This includes ensuring that crosscutting themes are integrated in all aspects of program implementation, development and management.
  • Help outline and maintain strategic plans for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation.


  • Provide leadership in all aspects of program oversight and coordination to ensure consistent quality, including the incorporation of crosscutting themes, quality data analysis, lessons learned and best practices.
  • Work with the Deputy Programs Director and Program Managers to monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations.
  • Support the Deputy Programs Director and Program Managers to oversee performance of partners, sub-grantees, and technical contractors.
  • Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching.
  • Build up programs’ staff capacity and ensure effective and qualitative program implementation
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify that all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support all program activities.
  • Ensure Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC) based on the organization-wide guide.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning

  • Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, accountability, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool.
  • Work with the Country Director to roll out and monitor DIG (Design for Impact) across all programs and develop a global MEL system with existing MEL staff.
  • Provide ongoing training and guidance to team members on MEL best practices.


  • Work closely with Mercy Corps’ New Initiatives Team to identify new initiatives and opportunities that respond to identified needs and the country strategy, in coordination with the Country Director and Program Managers, as well as the Regional Program Team, headquarters-based Senior Program Officers, Technical Advisors and other relevant staff.
  • Plan and lead the country team to assess the needs for program design, evaluate, analyze and further develop multi-year country specific strategic plan for Niger, in line with the regional value propositions and Mercy Corps’ global strategy.
  • Put in place a business team focusing on the development of new businesses, new programs, etc.
  • Work closely with the Country Director and program team for the development of solid solicited and unsolicited concept notes and proposals.

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.
  • Establish close and productive relationships with donors, NGOs, national government authorities, and strategic partners in Niamey, in close coordination with the Country Director.
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that all 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.

Accountability to PARTICIPANTS
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: Deputy Programs Director, Program Development & Reporting Officer, Technical Advisors, Country MEL Manager, CARM Coordinator, and Communications Officer.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Program team, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent in international development, political/social science or other relevant field.
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in progressively more senior management roles in international NGOs of great scope and complexity.
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategic thinking/planning, and management and presentation skills.
  • Proven record of accomplishment in program design, proposal writing and development, and donor reporting.
  • Experience managing programs in relevant technical area(s), including ideally food security in complex food/nutritional insecurity environment, agriculture, economic recovery, energy & environment, gender, livelihoods, and financial services.
  • Experience with resilience programming, humanitarian response, and/or market systems strongly preferred.

• Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.

• Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain relationships with implementing partners, host governments, donors, local organizations and partners.

  • Considerable experience with capacity building of team members around key technical areas.
  • Strong familiarity with CLA, MEL systems and accountability mechanisms.

• Fluent written and oral communication in English and French.

• Relevant experience in the Sahel or West Africa required.

Success Factors

The successful Director of Programs will have senior level experience in coordinating and managing programs in complex areas affected by chronic food and nutritional insecurity and climate change patterns. S/he will have exceptional program development and proposal writing skills, and an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will have proven experience with building capacity in cross-cultural teams, with strong leadership, communication and mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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. Patience, tenacity, diplomacy and a sense of humor will contribute to success.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Director of Programs is based in Niamey. This is an accompanied position and housing is available in individual accommodation with freedom of movement. There are international schools (French and American) in Niamey and the city provides good access to most consumer goods. There are a number of health clinics, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. During the hot season, Niamey is affected by very high temperatures and frequent power cuts plague Niamey. This position requires up to 20% travel by plane and/or vehicle to field offices in relatively secure but climatically challenging environments. This position is eligible for R&R but not hardship pay.

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 Mercy Corps’ 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.

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.

Join our team by applying with CV at Apply Here

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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