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Program Support & Quality Officer-Niamey, Niger July 2020

Program Support & Quality Officer-Niamey, Niger July 2020

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 $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 Program Support & Quality Officer will fill a number of program development, reporting and PAQ support roles throughout Mercy Corps’ Niger and Burkina Faso programming portfolio. This role will support the Director of Programs with the development of concept notes and proposals, working closely with field team and program members for technical input and the Country Director and other Senior Management Team (SMT) members for strategic direction when needed. They will support the Communications Officer, Program Managers and MEL Manager in ensuring quality and timely donor reporting, success stories and monthly updates. The Program Support & Quality Officer will coordinate with partners, donors and other NGOs as required by the Director of Programs. They will support the Deputy Director of Programs and Program Managers in adherence to quality programing standards and support the SMT in the furtherance of Mercy Corps’ Gender Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Assist Management with the implementation of the Country Strategy, including monitoring its progress and making the necessary reminders.
  • Be creative in looking for better efficiency given the various constraints and challenges related to the context.
  • Provide program support, coordination and monitoring designed to meet program objectives.
  • Contribute to the country strategic planning process and provide regular updates.
Program Development
  • Support the Director of Programs and Country Director in the development of quality proposals and concepts notes.
  • Establish internal timelines, draft and review concept notes and project proposals with inputs by program and MEL team members.
  • Support the contextualization of HQ/TSU technical input during the proposal writing process and support the incorporation of local priorities and knowledge into proposals and concept notes.
  • Work closely and in coordination with Mercy Corps’ global offices, establishing strong working relationships with HQ program desk officers.
  • Ensure proposals and program reports comply with donors’ and Mercy Corps’ requirements and best practices.
Program Quality Support
  • Establish timelines and support the coordination, review, approval and timely submission of quality program, donor and MEL reports in French and English in adherence grant agreements and internal standards.
  • Provide ongoing capacity-building to programs team and local partners in grant reporting, as needed.
  • Collect and organize key project management tools and documents and manage grant, administration, including overseeing electronic filing system for key program documents (donor agreements, proposals, approved budget, workplans, etc.) ensuring it meets PM@MC standards and sending reminders when needed.
  • With the DOP, work with the Deputy Programs Director, Program Managers and Country MEL Manager to track adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ PM@MC policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including the development of a tracker, as well as cheat sheets, checklists and other support tools that will support and facilitate compliance.
  • Travel to the field to ensure solid understanding of context and when needed to conduct trainings and carry-out spot checks in coordination with the Deputy Director of Programs/Technical Specialist
  • Support program teams at key moments of program cycle, such as kick-off meetings, 90-day inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, collecting lessons learned, 90-day end of program transition meetings and monthly program review meetings, including noting action points and sending reminders.
  • Support the MEL Manager in the continued rollout of TolaData.
  • Assist management with the development of a partnership strategy and coherent approach to partnership and decision-making.
  • Help ensure that partners (local implementing partners and government partners) have the capacity to implement the PM@MC, PAQ and Gender Minimum Standards processes (in coordination with the MEL unit, Gender & Protection Advisor and program managers).
Finance & Compliance
  • Assist the budget process in concept notes and proposals.
  • Support the review of BVAs, grant spending, and flag areas of concern.
Influence & Representation
  • Act as day-to-day representative of Mercy Corps to organizations as requested by the Director of Programs, including attending key internal and external meetings, as needed.
  • Build and support the management of collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, donors, UN agencies and other NGOs.
  • Liaise with local partners as well as sub-grantees to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.
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



Reports Directly To: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Deputy Director of Programs, Social Cohesion Technical Specialist, Chief(s) of Party, Program Managers, Communications Officer, and MEL Managers.
Collaborates With: Other SMT members and program team members as required

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field.
  • Ability to manage and deliver complex grants involving multiple partners to deadline.
  • Minimum 2 years of field experience in conflict and development environments. Exposure to gender, protection, and social cohesion programs.
  • Experience with European and US institutional donors, including grant management, and proposal development.
  • Ability to deliver high quality reports within short deadlines, as well as support, coordinate and lead proposal writing.
  • Ability to juggle several competing priorities from different projects at the same time.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps’ systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; M&E experience preferred and knowledge of USAID, BPRM, EC, ECHO, etc. regulations helpful.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and reporting skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Fluency in French and excellent oral and written English skills required
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have an ability to work independently, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. They will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. They will demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments are essential for success. They will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Program Support & Quality Officer will be based in Niamey, Niger with occasional trips to Burkina Faso. The position is unaccompanied and individual or group housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position requires up to 30% of travel by road or air to field locations in relatively secure environments but climatically harsh conditions. 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 MC’s 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.

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