Chief of Party – Bridge Youth Connect (BYC)

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 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 $62 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri, as well as Ouagadougou, Fada N’gourma, Ouahigouya, Po, and Gaoua in Burkina Faso. In 2020, we were able to benefit more than 139,000 vulnerable Nigeriens and Burkinabè.

Mercy Corps is implementing the five-year, USAID-funded Bridge Youth Connect (BYC) program in Niger and Burkina Faso with a budget of $35.5 million (of which $12 million are crisis modifier funds). The goal of BYC is to equip vulnerable young women and men with technical and life skills, networks, and resources needed for increased livelihoods and economic opportunities and to increase their engagement in their communities. To achieve this goal, BYC has three main objectives and programmatic planks – 1) youth skills development, 2) improved access to livelihoods and support services, including access to finance, and 3) youth governance and advocacy. This supports USAID’s overall Bridge and Sahel Development Partnership (SDP) frameworks, which address critical unmet needs that are the main drivers of violent extremist recruitment in the Sahel: poor governance, lack of economic opportunity, and perceived exclusion from the benefits and services provided and facilitated by governments in the region. The program is implemented in a consortium with other partners, with Swisscontact as the primary sub

General Position Summary 

The Chief of Party provides overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the five-year, multi-million-dollar USAID-funded program. S/he manages resources, partnerships and external stakeholders relations to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget and is accountable to beneficiaries. The COP supervises program staff and ensures accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he is the primary program representative to beneficiaries, donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders. 

Essential Job Responsibilities 

Strategy & Vision
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure technical coherence of the program model and that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, guided by a resilience approach and strong adaptive management, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.  
  • Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation and means of evaluation. 
Program Management
  • Ensure field-based activities and ongoing management and administration of teams across various field locations. 
  • In collaboration with the DCOPs, support the DCOPs in the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
  • Document processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.
  • Ensure integration of resilience thinking, community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
Team Management 
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence. 
  • Lead technical inductions and training of all team members to ensure coherence and common understanding of the program goal and approaches.
  • Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities. Determine any revisions to the program’s organizational chart.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews. 

 

Partner Management & Consortium Coordination
  • Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Niger, headquarters, USAID, Government authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies. 
  • Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination and actively coordinate with other stakeholders to enhance strategic and activity integration with other projects. 
  • Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s). 

 

Finance & Compliance 
  • 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 Niger and the Government of Burkina Faso. 
Influence & Representation 
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director.  
  • Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local governments.
Security 
  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point, and the regional focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.  
  • Ensure that programs are implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
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

  • Reports Directly To: Country Director 
  • Works Directly With: DCOPs for Niger and Burkina Faso, Program staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and consortium partners.

 

Knowledge and Experience 

    • Master or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, non-profit management, agriculture, national resource management, economic development, or other relevant field. 
  • At least 10 years of relevant development experience – ideally in youth livelihoods & employment, economic development, and/or conflict/PVE programming with positions of progressively greater responsibilities. 
  • At least eight years in senior management with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope. USAID- funded activities strongly preferred.
  • Experience managing a consortium or operating within a consortium, ideally USAID-funded.
    • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners, especially across two countries. 
    • Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements. 
    • Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is preferred. 
    • Proven experience of successful remote management of teams and partnerships.
    • Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture. 
  • Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, preferably the Sahel. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and fluency in French
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications. 

 

Success Factors 

The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships with having a vision and passion for this program. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative activities in youth employment, livelihoods and economic development and to spot opportunities for collaboration with other partners or stakeholders. S/he will be a curious systems-thinker, with proven experience with cross-cultural teams, team mobilization, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The COP is based in Niamey, Niger. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Niger. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position may require up to 20% of travel by road to field offices in insecure environments and climatically harsh conditions. This position is eligible for R&R. 

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.

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.

Salaire

Open ended contract. Accompanied role

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