Deputy Emergency Programs Director at Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps Nigeria

Position: Deputy Emergency Programs Director

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 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.

The Program

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a team of over 400 people working in North and South Kivu and Ituri Provinces with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ country office is in Goma with field offices in North Kivu (Beni), South Kivu (Bukavu, Kavumu, Uvira), and Ituri (Bunia, Mambasa). 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.

The Position (General Position Summary)

The Deputy Emergency Programs Director will work closely with the Emergency Programs Director to provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the $60 million humanitarian portfolio composed of the SAFER, PACE, and other humanitarian projects, supported by BHA, ECHO, FCDO,and others. S/he supports the management of all humanitarian program managers, providing strong leadership and ensuring proper coordination in order to operate effectively and deliver on the projects’ intended impact.

The Deputy Director serves as a strong team leader for Mercy Corps’ Emergency programs, represents the interests of the agency and partners, and ensures all parties are working effectively and efficiently. S/he is detail oriented and has excellent planning and strategic thinking skills. S/he will also be experienced in networking and donor representation. S/he will be an effective communicator with exceptional team building and coordination skills. The Deputy Director will participate in providing strategic leadership to its direct reports, coordinate the delivery of inclusive high-quality programming and reporting, and overview the relationship with current and future primary donors. S/he will be the second program representative to donors, coordination system, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. S/he will also support the Country Director, Director of Programs,and Emergency Grants Manager in the identification of new humanitarian funding opportunities, as well as proposal design and development.

Essential Responsibilities (Example Section Below – Adapt to Specific Role)

Strategy & Vision

  • Support in maintaining and reinforcing Mercy Corps’ primary position in the emergency response, by ensuring alignment with the Humanitarian Response Plan and priorities and seeking opportunities for expansion of Mercy Corps emergency programming.
  • Support the Emergency Programs Director in implementing the recently updated DR C Emergency Department strategy.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve Mercy Corps emergency programming objectives.
  • Provide structure to the existing portfolio and response mechanisms to reinforce program quality and maintain response speed.

Program Management

  • Oversee project start-up and ongoing project operations management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
  • Oversee the development of detailed implementation plans, maintaining rapid response capacity.
  • Ensure that Mercy Corps emergency projects target participants effectively and according to established vulnerability criteria.
  • Integrate community engagement and participation, Do No Harm, protection, gender sensitivity and capacity building approaches into all activities as appropriate.
  • Document processes and achievements to ensure 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.
  • Oversee the production of written reports on program activities, capturing the impact of activities.
  • Support efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems. Support Emergency MEL Manager in rollout of new initiatives in emergency programs (automated CARM system, use of Power BI for analysis, etc).

Representation and Coordination

  • Create, implement and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps DRC, partner organizations, humanitarian coordination, Mercy Corps headquarters, Mercy Corps’ donors, and local and national authorities.
  • Participate in external representation of Mercy Corps emergency portfolio with various groups including donors, government, and the humanitarian coordination system.
  • Maintain strong and transparent communication with Mercy Corps’ donors and partners.
  • Share learnings from Mercy Corps emergency portfolio with the greater humanitarian community within DRC.
  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with donors and participate in community activities as appropriate.

Team Management

  • Provide leadership, programmatic and managerial oversight of all direct reports.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Monitor the team’s wellbeing in the high-stress, high-workload emergency context and take corrective actions to reduce turnover
  • Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Supervise and manage Emergency Program Managers and technical leads to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated way according to schedule, budget, and quality.
  • Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of Mercy Corps Emergency staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • 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 DRC.

Reporting & Grants

  • Supervise all activity reports produced by the team, including financial reports related to the different distributions. Ensure filing of all documents according to PM@MC standards and donor requirements.
  • Support the grants team on all reports due to the donor (on time and high quality).


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership. Monitor and foster a high level of compliance with Emergency occupational safety standards and procedures.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Emergency Program Managers (4), WASH Technical Advisor, Field Coordinators


Reports Directly To: Emergency Programs Director

Works Directly With: Emergency MEL Manager, Emergency Finance Manager, Emergency Grants Team, Operations Staff, HQ Regional Program Team, Technical Support Unit, and Managers/representatives from partner organizations.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program 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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, humanitarian response or other relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • At least 5 years of international relief and development program management experience, in emergency and recovery program management, with progressively greater responsibility.
  • At least 3 years in a senior management role is required with experience in managing humanitarian assistance projects in developing countries; experience managing multi-sectoral projects including cash, health, WASH, non-food items (NFI), Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), community engagement or protection, preferably in insecure settings.
  • Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor- funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements. Experience with BHA, FCDO, and ECHO rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
  • Experience working in West or sub-Saharan Africa is preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French required.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment. .

Success Factors

The successful Deputy Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will possess a high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to the constantly changing programmatic and working environment. S/he will take a portfolio of diverse programs across geographies and bring it together under one unifying strategy. S/he will streamline our emergency operations and provide structure to it to increase efficiency, effectiveness and reduce turnover. S/he will have previous experience in implementing large-scale emergency programs in insecure and conflict contexts. S/he will have an ability to approach complex humanitarian challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about humanitarian response across sectors.

The Deputy Director will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will provide the space and support for the team members to realize their full potential in a highly stressful environment. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as 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. The successful Director must be comfortable operating and traveling in a volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an accompanied position. The position is based in Goma and eligible for R&R. Travel may be required up to 60% of the time to program areas within North and South Kivu and Ituri. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

Eastern DRC continues 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.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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. 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.

Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity.

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 and have signed on to theInteragency 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 toMercy 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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.

How to apply


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