*This role is pending funding*
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.
Country Program Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 450 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu and South Kivu and Ituri. 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 to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations.
Mercy Corps expects to start shortly the new five-year USAID-funded Partnership for Development in Eastern Congo (P-DEC) program, with a budget of approximately $39.5 million which will be implemented in Beni (North Kivu) and Mambasa territories (Ituri), in consortium with International Alert, the Wildlife Conservation Society and 9 other international and national partners. By engaging local communities and institutions in both the diagnoses of and solutions to conflict drivers, P-DEC will take a resilience and systems strengthening approach, supporting communities to engage in inclusive multi-stakeholder mobilization and dialogue processes to design local conflict early warning systems, mitigation processes and alternatives to violence (Outcome 1), decision-making processes in governance structures and social accountability mechanisms (Outcome 2) and viable economic activities with a private sector that promotes stability, inter-ethnic cooperation and social cohesion (Outcome 3).
General Position Summary
P-DEC encompasses a Local Partnerships Fund (LPF) totaling $2-3 million with the aim of supporting local civil society- and private sector-led solutions to development challenges in line with the program’s overall objectives. Organized around geographic areas, following a subgrants process and manual established at start-up, grants will include customized mentoring and capacity building for recipients. This provides an opportunity to support a wider array of local organizations to leverage their own expertise and mission in alignment with USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative and the Journey to Self-Reliance. This graduated approach of a grant fund coupled with intentional capacity building responds to local needs and leverages local assets.
The P-DEC Partnerships Manager will lead the operationalization of the LPF, managing the financial and operational aspects of grants and loan instruments, ensuring compliance with donor regulations, and working collaboratively with other technical program team members to deliver tailored support to fund recipients. This will include helping to design grant disbursement mechanisms, reviewing and selecting recipient organizations, administering initial holistic capacity assessments, tailoring improvement plans, facilitating targeted capacity building and monitoring performance improvements. S/he will also lead efforts to build the capacity of subrecipients to meet finance and compliance requirements of USAID and other donors, so that these local organizations develop professional personnel and systems. S/he works under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Party and works closely with staff dedicated to the program, including the Senior Peacebuilding and Conflict Sensitivity Advisor, the Governance Manager, the Market Systems and Private Sector Partnership Manager, and the Director of Learning and Analytics, as well as the DRC Finance Director and the Operations department, while consulting regularly with Mercy Corps’ MCG HQ compliance and legal departments.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Local Partnership Fund Management
● Participate in the development of the overall programmatic strategy and the strategy for the LPF.
● Design the LPF subawards manual in close coordination with program technical leads.
● Ensure that P-DEC is complying with USAID procedures in the approved subawards manual, and that the annexes are being used as applicable.
● With P-DEC Technical Leads, participate in the design of RFAs (or other calls for funds), publication of RFAs, issuing of RFA packages to prospective applicants, manage the administrative process of receiving and reviewing fund applicants.
● Administer competitive fund processes in accordance with the P-DEC subawards manual, with, for each RFA, clearly defined and communicated steps for selecting, negotiating and awarding subawards.
● Responsible for the review of fund applicants’ budgets and budget narratives for completeness, cost realism and compliance with budget requirements.
● Responsible for pre-award financial review and other due diligence of apparently successful applicants.
● Coordinate selection of subaward agreement type, draft subaward and negotiate subaward agreements with selected subrecipients.
● Draft modifications to subawards, as needed.
● Develop and conduct subrecipient financial and compliance training workshops;
● Review subrecipient financial reports for correctness and completeness and ensure that reports are submitted on time.
● Develop subrecipient monitoring plans, conduct financial monitoring of subrecipients and prepare financial monitoring visit reports.
● Follow up on all subaward compliance issues and audits and document resolutions.
● Create and update/maintain subaward cards and enter subaward expenditure reports in Navigator.
● Maintain subaward files in accordance with the Field Finance Manual.
● Process subrecipient payments and reconcile subaward financial tracking to general ledger reports.
● Responsible for subaward financial close-outs, including ensuring that all requirements of the subaward agreement have been met and that subaward funds have been properly settled.
● Provide compliance guidance and consultations to subrecipients on a demand-driven basis.
● Assist the program team with assessing subrecipient organizational needs, so that the subaward process strengthens the ability of local NGOs/CSOs to meet world class standards.
● Ensure that P-DEC is executed in alignment with the prime award agreement and the applicable USAID regulations, staying abreast of changes in regulatory environment related to donor/grant compliance; update P-DEC LPF procedures as necessary.
● Identify and communicate compliance risks associated with program implementation. Work with program teams to ensure that program activities are designed to be compliant, while facilitating the achievement of the program objectives.
● Prepare prior approval, waiver and other compliance requests to the donor. Assist subrecipients, as needed with subrecipient compliance requests to Mercy Corps.
Influence & Representation
● Interface with the (donor) representatives to convey information about programs as appropriate.
● Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies.
● Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
● Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
● Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
● 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.
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.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party
Works Directly With: P-DEC Technical Leads (Senior Peacebuilding and Conflict Sensitivity Advisor, Governance Manager, Market Systems and Private Sector Partnership Manager), Director of Learning and Analytics, DRC Finance Director, relevant Operations departments, Mercy Corps’ MCG HQ compliance and legal departments, and others
Knowledge and Experience
● A BA/S or equivalent in relevant studies; advanced degree preferred.
● At least 5 years of relevant field or management experience of complex, multi-dimensional programming including administering small subawards in an international environment..
● At least 3 years’ experience in grants management as well as an understanding of USAID regulations required.
● At least 3 years’ international experience required; international NGO/PVO field office experience is preferred.
● Demonstrated experience and skill with administrating solicitations for subawards, assessing potential subrecipients and the proven ability to oversee a team that is responsible for monitoring subrecipients.
● Strong skills and experience working with donors to obtain approvals and waivers as necessary for compliance with donor regulations.
● Prior management experience and strong organizational skills.
● Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel.
● Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
● Excellent oral and written French skills required; proficiency in English is preferred.
● Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
● Previous experience in insecure environments.
The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively across international and national program teams successfully, both in a managerial as well as training capacity. S/he will be able to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful financial information, have a demonstrated ability to multitask, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. An impeccable professional standard of finance and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The Partnerships Manager must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The P-DEC Partnerships Manager will be based in Beni and travel may be required up to 50% of the time to program areas within North Kivu and Ituri, including program bases in Mambasa and Bunia. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity. This is an unaccompanied role. The position is entitled to R&R and is eligible for hardship.
North Kivu and Ituri continue to be an arena of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps’ sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. Beni is a city with 230,000 inhabitants; water and electricity can be unstable. There is reasonable access to main consumer goods, although they can be expensive. Security is volatile.
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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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.