Job Title: Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director – UNGO Jobs

Country: Mali
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 31 May 2022

Pending funding

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and when every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact. Mercy Corps is committed to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion as fundamental principles of our work.

Mercy Corps Mali

Mercy Corps has been working in Mali since 2013 supporting Malian women and men – including young women and men – to cope with food insecurity and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, restore peace and stability, and address humanitarian and development structural challenges. Throughout our work, Mercy Corps seeks to support strong, inclusive, and resilient communities by i.) providing conflict-sensitive humanitarian assistance, ii.) addressing the root causes of conflict through improved and holistic conflict prevention and management mechanisms and iii.) promoting sustainable economic development through market systems strengthening and employment opportunities for women and young women and men. Mercy Corps’ work addresses issues related to natural resource management and climate change adaptation within Mali and across the borders with neighbouring Central Sahel countries, Niger and Burkina Faso. With a current portfolio of approximately 30 M USD funded by FCDO, USAID/BHA, Sweden, the European Union, and private foundations, over the past 18 months Mercy Corps reached over 100,000 persons in Mopti, Segou, Koulikouro, Kayes, Sikasso, Koutiala.

Program Summary

Mercy Corps is anticipating the potential approval of a four-year, $16 M USD gender transformative program. The program aims to enhance the socio-economic resilience of women and adolescent girls (15-19) and their families in fragile, conflicted-affected communities in over 200 villages across Mopti, Timbuktu, and Gao. The program will i.) work closely with communities including key opinion shapers or guardians (both male and female) to support the increased agency of women and girls in households and communities, ii.) provide intensive and tailored support for the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture techniques and inputs by women producers, iii.) facilitate access to gender-responsive and inclusive financing for women-led small and medium-sized agribusinesses through a market systems approach. Throughout these actions, the program seeks to create a positive enabling environment where women and girls will lead in building the resilience of themselves, their households, and their communities. The program is implemented through a consortium of two Malian partners and one international partner, with Mercy Corps as consortium lead.

General Position Summary

The Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director will provide overall program leadership and management through structured oversight and coordination with Mercy Corps team members, consortium partners, government, and private and public sector stakeholders. They will be responsible for constant analysis and adaptation to an ever-changing political, economic, and social context to ensure that the program both meets its targets to the quality, scope, budget and timeframe required, while creating lasting, positive, gender-transformative change for the women and girls it serves, their households, and their communities. The Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director will set the strategic direction and thought leadership for the program with regards to its vision to develop and deliver rights-based, holistic, gender-transformative and gender-equality focused programming in line with best practices and feminist principles. The Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director will coordinate with Mercy Corps and consortium partner headquarters Technical Support Units and sector-specific technical staff at the program level to ensure high quality technical guidance is provided to ensure strong delivery across all components and the implementation of impactful programming based on intersectional gender and power analysis. They will be a key representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, private sector actors, local and international partners and stakeholders and most importantly, program participants.

Essential Responsibilities

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

  • Build and ensure unwavering commitment to a feminist and gender transformative program strategy and reflective team culture that promotes gender equality, diversity, and inclusion not only in implementation but also within the project’s staffing, operational approaches, and governance structures.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Establish and coordinate the project’s oversight bodies (program steering committee, etc.).
  • Organize regular consortium technical management unit meetings to follow program progress and recommend corrective measures to address problem areas as needed.
  • Ensure the development and implementation of a program advocacy strategy to advance key issues with government, donors, and others that reflect the project’s priorities and learnings.
  • Ensure the development and implementation of a program research and learning agenda to build evidence and support the production of robust thought leadership and advocacy efforts.
  • Lead the public engagement activities of the project, including managing program launch, press releases, documentation of success stories and dissemination of results.
  • Support the program to implement Mercy Corps’ global Gender Equality, Diversity, and Social Inclusion Strategy.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

  • Lead the planning and implementation of the program to achieve key outcomes, outputs, and targets, overseeing all aspects (programmatic, financial, administrative, personnel management) to ensure that these are on time, on scope, and on budget. Work closely with consortium partners to ensure integrated planning and implementation that is complementary and collaborative.
  • Ensure that all program interventions are of a high quality and lead to measurable impact. This includes, but is not limited to, overseeing the program implementation plan and annual work plan preparation, identifying external technical support needs, ensuring that appropriate management practices are being used in program implementation and the monitoring and evaluation systems are being used to provide timely management information.
  • Ensure that program resources are used efficiently, effectively, and transparently towards meeting desired results.
  • Regularly review program workplans, analyzing outcomes and desired impact against the ever-changing country context, making crucial recommendations for quick adaptations as needed, based on real gender-disaggregated data and analysis.
  • Ensure the program fulfills Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards and donor requirements; guide the team to ensure high quality implementation approaches that are consistent with national and global strategies and acknowledged good practices.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Oversee and guide the project’s MEAL team in carrying out gender and power analysis; to develop innovative program quality and monitoring tools; and to conduct quality monitoring through participatory methodologies that promote gender equality, diversity, and social inclusion.
  • Manage the program budget and complete financial forecasting to inform cost-efficient, on-budget programming. Develop and oversee systems to monitor monthly spending.
  • In collaboration with finance staff, prepare annual budgets based on donor approved program contracts and ensure compliance with donor requirements. Coordinate the development of program standard operating procedures, manuals and policies, and other compliance guidance.
  • Put in place tools for the promotion of environmental sustainability within the project’s delivery mechanisms and programming.
  • Lead risk management and mitigation measures, regularly updating tools and facilitating risk awareness within the team.
  • Oversee program security to ensure the safety and security of all team members and participants.

PROGRAM MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REPORTING

  • Oversee the design and implementation of monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL) policies and procedures that prioritize gender-disaggregation and participatory and inclusive approaches.
  • Oversee the development and updating of the program monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that the program meets its expected results, as well as its implementation to collect baseline and routine monitoring quantitative and qualitative data to track program performance and support decision making.
  • Plan and conduct quarterly and annual program and review meetings to assess progress, adjust plans, and draw/disseminate lessons learned.
  • Plan and conduct program mid-term and final evaluations.
  • Coordinate donor reporting and ensure submission of comprehensive and high-quality program reports, and the timely submission and approval of financial and narrative reports.
  • Support the development of knowledge management products to increase the project’s understanding of successful implementation strategies; distill learnings and evidence generated into program guidance and thought leadership for internal and external consumption.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where accountability is promoted, alternative viewpoints welcomed, gender equality is prioritized, where the team strives to achieve excellence, and is conducive to professional growth. Foster a strong team spirit.
  • Promote and instill a focus on capacity development, deepen understanding and ownership of individual’s roles and strengthen performance management systems through the implementation of a comprehensive staff training plan.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Structure, recruit and provide inductions for team members, striving to ensure that the team structure and staffing reflects the project’s vision for gender equality and ensuring that staff are set up for success and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.
  • Provide ongoing supervision, leadership, support, guidance, and mentorship directly to program staff reporting to the Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director.
  • Support national staff development in line with the program objectives so that national staff are increasingly taking decisions and in management roles.
  • Complete all required performance management activities including performance planning, monitoring, and annual performance appraisals in coordination with Mercy Corps’ processes and systems.
  • Ensure high standards of prevention and response measures for sexual exploitation and abuse are in place consistent with the Mercy Corps’ Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.

COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION

  • Represent Mercy Corps and the program at relevant external meetings and events, leading to greater coordination and information sharing.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships to promote support for and acceptance of Mercy Corps and the inclusion of local and women and girls’ perspectives in the project’s approach, highlighting the importance of advancing gender equality.
  • Support the programmatic and strategic relationship with the donor.
  • Lead in documenting and coordinating information dissemination activities that share program achievements and results with the aim of influencing decision and policymakers.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to stakeholders about program progress, challenges, learning and adjustments.

Supervisory Responsibility

Directly supervises 3-5 senior team members; leads an overall team of approximately 30 staff.

Accountability

Reports Directly to: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Program Team, Technical Advisors, MEL Manager, PAQ Team, Finance, HR, Operations, and Senior Management; Senior Representative (Canada)

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically toward partners, 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 and Transferable Skills

  • Demonstrated experience in participatory, inclusive community-based programs of a similar size and complexity, with 7-10 years of relevant program management experience with at least three in a management position.
  • Firm belief in and demonstrated commitment to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Expertise in one or more of the following programming areas: gender, agriculture, financial inclusion, resilience, conflict management.
  • Practical experience in in feminist implementation approaches highly desired; experience in applying rights-based and gender transformative approaches to programming required.
  • Experience using a conflict sensitive and Do No Harm approach
  • Proven track record in delivering and prioritizing capacity building, performance development, training, and mentoring.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, network building and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with both internal and external stakeholders; ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
  • Excellent problem solving and analytical skills with ability to identify problems and opportunities within a rapidly changing context, and propose and implement sound, forward looking solutions in a flexible and creative style; experience using adaptive management strategies.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a multicultural and diverse team of women and men in a sensitive environment.
  • Adept at leading procurement, administrative and finance systems.
  • Fluency in English and French. Knowledge of a local language (Bambara, Tamasheq, Fulani, Songhai, etc) is an advantage.
  • Solid knowledge and application of established inter-agency standards and guidelines relevant to protection and the prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
  • Knowledge and understanding of and/or prior work experience in Mali, or the Sahel a significant advantage.

Success Factors

The successful Gender and Economic Resilience Program Director will have the ability to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly fluid work and security environment with a capacity to spark innovative and gender transformative approaches and inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programming. They must be sensitive to multicultural international development work and have a commitment to working with women, men, girls, and boys to create safe, inclusive, empowering platforms and opportunities for women and girls that foster their greater acceptance, voice and agency in the community. They must be committed not only to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the project’s implementation, but also to feminist principles in its implementation approaches, structures, and governance processes. The ability to solve problems creatively, juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and diplomatically manage unexpected and sudden events affecting program operations is essential. They will foster a positive, open culture of growth, innovation and collective problem solving.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is accompanied and based in Bamako with at least 25% travel to program areas, security permitting. The position is eligible for individual housing, R&R and education benefits. While the city has been mostly secure, attacks against foreigners in 2016 in some public places underscore the fluidity of the situation and may require expatriate staff to adhere to security policies, such as restrictions on movement. Bamako is served by an international airport with daily flights to European and African destinations. Restaurants and shopping options are available all over the town, with reasonable access to most consumer goods. Health care services exist and are developing rapidly. However, for more serious conditions, medevac to Dakar, Senegal or Europe may be required. Bamako hosts several international schools – American, French, Turkish, etc. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/STA 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.

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 and 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 and 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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

How to apply:

https://app.jobvite.com/j?cj=of7fifwD&s=email