TEAM LEADER/CHIEF OF PARTY- Food Security / Integrated Water Resources Management, Eastern DRC.

Mercy Corps , Democratic Republic Of The Congo
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Job Summary

Job Description

This program is pending funding - start date likely to be spring 2021

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 been operating in the Democratic Republic of the CoNGO (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 500 people and programs focused in Eastern CoNGO 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’ 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. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Team Leader to lead the implementation of the expected four-year Netherlands Embassy -funded Food Security / Integrated Water Resources Management, eastern DRC. The proposed program will contribute to the mitigation of insecurity and instability by fostering economic development and access to markets and land in eastern CoNGO. The program will aim at increasing economic activity by improving the profitability and resilience of the farming system in the rural hinterlands of Goma and Bukavu. In this way it will address the needs of rural households and contribute to job creation as well as to a more stable and affordable food supply in the cities. The program will consist of the following interrelated components: value chain development, improving agricultural productivity and its capacity for resilience, and integrated water resources management. Finally, the program will target Rutshuru and Masisi Territories both in North Kivu Province and the Rusizi Plain and the foothills of the adjoining mountains in South Kivu Province.

**This program is pending funding**

General Position Summary

The Team Leader will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision for the implementation of a multi-million dollar Dutch Embassy funded program over 4 years. S/he will represent the consortium to the donor, organizations implementing complementary programs, the Gov of DRC and other stakeholders; s/he will communicate regularly with them about notable programming events, results and findings. The Team Leader will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be responsible for program integration and holding Mercy Corps and partner teams accountable for meeting the program’s strategic objectives in a financially responsible manner.

Essential job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with the program team and key stakeholders.

  • Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.

  • Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program and the country office.

Program Management and Implementation

  • Oversee program start-up and oNGOing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.

  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.

  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.

  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.

  • Outline a strategic plan for the implementation of the program including finalizing target areas/projects, methods of operation for effective programming and maximum results.

  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.

  • Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice for rural development in conflict-affected environments.

  • Oversee performance of consortium partners, sub-grantees and consultants.

  • Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites.

  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.

  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.

  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.

Team Management

  • Supervise and manage all project staff in Goma/Bukavu and in the field sites to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented according to schedule, budget and quality.

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with Career development.

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & 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.

  • Contribute to country team-building efforts and ensure integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.

  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director and Director of Programs.

  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.

  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

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

Program Team


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Country Director, Other DRC Directors and Deputy Directors, DRC finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S required, MA preferred or equivalent in development studies, international relations, agriculture, conflict management, economic development or other relevant fields pertaining to rural development in conflict-affected settings.

  • A minimum of 10 years’ relevant development experience in a senior managerial position. Experience managing food security, integrated water resource management or market development program required.

  • Experience managing integrated programs of a similar size and scope ($30 million). Dutch - funded activities strongly preferred.

  • Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.

  • Experience managing a consortium or operating within a consortium in a complex operating environment;

  • Strong management and organizational skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues;

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

  • Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements, preferably with Dutch funded grants.

  • Experience working in Africa required, preferably DRC.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French required.

  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;

  • Patience, perseverance, initiative and a sense of humor required.

Success Factors

The successful Team Leader will be familiar with the opportunities and challenges of rural, peri-urban food security, integrated water resource management, and market development programming. Knowledge of the context specific challenges to conflict mediation and market development in Eastern CoNGO is a strong advantage. A strong combination of team leadership, coordination, experience in conflict mitigation and stabilization programming, reporting and donor and government communication skills is preferred. S/he will have familiarity with the procedures of consortium management. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving market opportunities, including access to land, integrated watershed management and value chain development to promote sustainable institutions and practices for long-term household and community food security, contributing to increased stability. A successful Team Leader will complete activities in a timely manner in accordance with Mercy Corps and donor procedures and guidelines.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Team Leader will be based in Goma or Bukavu and will spend at least 25 percent of her/his time visiting project sites. This is an unaccompanied role, but arrangements can be made in Gisenyi, Rwanda for accompanied candidates, depending on the security level. The position is entitled to individual housing and R&R but is not eligible for hardship. While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma and Bukavu, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity and petty crime is on the increase. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. There are virtually no telephone landlines in the DRC, though mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required (up to 50%) where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with several 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 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.**