FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM PERFORMANCE & QUALITY (PAQ) MANAGER
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 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 is currently implementing a Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in Kabare and Kalehe territories, South Kivu province, funded by the USAID Office of Food for Peace. The USAID- South Kivu Food Security Project (FSP-Enyanya) covers a 7-year period (October 2016- September 2023. FSP is implemented by a consortium of five NGOs for which Mercy Corps is the prime. The program aims to ensure that households and communities in the targeted areas improve their food and nutrition security and economic well-being.
The program works across the three purposes of agricultural livelihoods and market integration (P1), maternal and child health and nutrition-MCHN (P2), and effective governance (P3), with a primary focus on women and youth. The program will reach more than 200,000 participants. FSP is at a strategically important cross-road with highly complex reporting requirements, MEL capacity building needs across MEL and technical teams and a potential for strategic influence with agency and donor stakeholders.
General Position Summary
The Food Security Program (FSP) Performance and Quality (PAQ) Manager will be responsible for supporting the overall strategic direction of the program. S/he will work closely both with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning MEL) teams and the Chief of Party to :
● Lead the production and coordination of the research agenda by informing the design, implementation and use of learning initiatives to improve FSP-Enyanya’s impact on nutrition, food security and poverty reduction, and will be responsible for increasing FSP’s positive contribution to donors’ and implementing partners’ evidence-based decision-making, under the supervision of the FSP MEL Director and in close collaboration with the FSP MEL Manager.
● Ensure the quality of the donor reports and compliance with donor requirements
● Ensure that knowledge management, research and learning support an adaptive management approach to program implementation.
● Monitor and promote adherence to Mercy Corps’ minimum standards, support the team to successfully implement activities on scope, on time and at a high level of quality.
In addition, S/he will supervise the Senior Grants Officer to ensure FSP complies with Mercy Corps programming standards for complex programs, coordinate the QAC online system, and follow up on subgrantees (funds requests, capacity building, filing), and the CARM officer, to ensure the functioning of FSP’s accountability mechanisms, and promote adherence to MC minimum standards.
Essential Job Responsibilities
LEARNING AND RESEARCH
● Design and lead the production of high-quality learning briefs, whitepapers or reports per quarter that showcase key insights from FSP’s research and learning initiatives, as well as recommendations for the program, mission, agency and/or donors and other implementing partners.
● Support the COP and MEL director in coordinating the support FSP will receive from TSUs until the end of the program for learning and research purposes.
● Refine and update the FSP Resilience Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (RMEL) agenda based on the usefulness of learning initiatives for improving impact and influence.
● In close collaboration with FSP program teams and the MEL Director, develop a strategy for integrating learning within FSP and strengthening FSP’s and Mercy Corps’ voice and influence in relevant sector forums.
● Document lessons learned from implementing key program interventions with the MEL team.
● Participate in business development initiatives
DONOR REPORTING / GRANTS MANAGEMENT
● Ensure the quality of donor reports (planning, coordination with the teams, refining and translation)
● Work closely and in coordination with Mercy Corps offices in the USA, establishing a strong working relationship with HQ program officers to support program implementation and ensure timely reporting to the program donor.
● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations relating to risk and compliance.
PROGRAM QUALITY AND EVIDENCE-DRIVEN ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT
● Support the development of knowledge management systems to capture, classify and act upon informal and anecdotal evidence of unintended outcomes emerging from program team feedback or MEL data.
● Ensure the maintenance of quality, performance and context dashboarding initiatives to improve the quality and scope of interventions
● Support the MEL Director, Chief of Party (COP), Deputy Chiefs of Party (DCOPs) and program managers (PMs) to interpret survey findings and to adapt the program operational strategies, the theory of change (TOC), outyear targets for Annual Monitoring (AM) indicators, and detailed implementation plans (DIPs).
● Concisely communicate key program insights from ad-hoc qualitative and quantitative inquiries and PaBS with program audiences in a concise and appropriate manner.
● As requested by the MEL Director, design and co-facilitate collaboration, learning and adaptation with the FSP team and relevant program stakeholders in accordance with USAID’s CLA toolkit.
● Work in collaboration with the communication team to ensure high quality communication about the program, as defined in the MEL-COMMS plan
● Help to facilitate a culture of curiosity, learning and adaptive work planning and implementation with program teams.
● Support the design and implementation of robust CLA approaches and processes, ensure use of existing evidence to promote performance improvement, collaboration, learning and adaptation, and identify solutions to promote data-based decision-making among program and technical staff.
● Contribute to knowledge-sharing, lessons learned and best practices documentation in FSP to build an understanding of our results, impact, and work contribution to outcomes.
● Contribute to the interpretation, presentation, analysis and design of quantitative and qualitative surveys that are based on advanced sampling techniques using statistical software.
● Oversee the functioning of community accountability and response mechanisms (CARM), including the quality of systems on the ground, timeliness of reception, treatment and response, and trend analysis and lessons learned from feedback.
● Ensure compliance with Mercy Corps document retention and archiving practices through maintenance of the program file.
● Ensure that program team members are trained in required program management curricula (PM@MC, Project D Pro certification) as applicable.
● Oversee compliance with Mercy Corps Quality Assurance Charter process
● Ensure program adherence to PM@MC minimum standards
● Provide support to Managers regarding follow up with sub awardees on the deliverables, funds requests in close collaboration with the finance team.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
● As requested by the MEL Director or Chief of Party, represent FSP in front of USAID, support partners such as IDEAL, SCALE and PRO-WASH, agency-internal partners from the Technical Support Unit and the MEL unit, and other project stakeholders or professional bodies.
● Work with senior and mid-management teams in FSP to demonstrate FSP’s performance improvement through evidence-based adaptation in front of external audiences.
● 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 Program Participants
● Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international
● relief and development work, while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field programs and projects.
● Oversee the functioning of community accountability and response mechanisms (CARM), including the quality of systems on the ground, timeliness of reception, treatment and response, and trend analysis and lessons learned from feedback
The Program Performance and quality (PAQ) Manager will supervise the Grant Management Senior Officer, and the CARM officer
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: FSP MEL Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: FSP MEL Team (including Consortium members), COP, DCOPs, Gender and Youth Advisor, HQ Senior Resilience MEL Advisor, FSP Program Managers
Knowledge and Experience
● Master’s degree in one of the following: International relations, Political Sciences, Governance, International Development, or other related field with at least 3-5 years’ relevant experience.
● Excellent spoken and written communication and reporting skills required, both in French and English.
● Experience in development programming (food security, agriculture, health and nutrition or governance) ideally on USAID grants
● Experience research design and production (tools development, mixed methods, knowledge of a qualitative coding software is a plus).
● Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
● Field experience in conflict and development environments. Exposure to gender, protection, and conflict mitigation
● Ability to work in a challenging environment with moderate levels of insecurity and restrictions on personal movement
● Ability to deliver high quality reports and other documents within short deadlines
● Ability to multi-task and juggle several relationships at one time
● Excellent communication skills, experience in representing an organization
● Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required
● Proven ability to work effectively in multicultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate how s/he communicates effectively with internal and external stakeholders to translate MEL and applied research findings into practice by fostering a culture of curiosity and learning, and by partnering with program teams to adapt work plans and practices. S/he will communicate effectively with team members and colleagues of varied work styles and cultures.
The successful candidate will have a good general understanding of Mercy Corps’ and USAID/FFP approaches to resilience programming, market systems development, and M&E (specifically theories of change, objective target setting and Collaboration, Learning and Adaptation methodologies).
The successful candidate will have an aptitude to learning, multi-task, prioritize, meet deadlines, take initiative, and be accountable for results. S/he will understand the larger picture while simultaneously focusing on the details. They will apply a complex problem-solving approach to identifying opportunities for program improvement.
All successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork, security procedures and humanitarian accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. In DRC, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination, and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Bukavu, South-Kivu (DRC) and requires up to 25% travel to field locations in Kabare and Kalehe territories. The position is unaccompanied. Shared accommodation will be provided in Bukavu. The position is eligible to R&R.
Bukavu is a provincial capital of approximately 1,200,000 inhabitants. Living in Bukavu is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Bukavu, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are several health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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 Diversity Statement
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 Core Code of Conduct Polices and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
- Job City Bukavu