About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps partners with communities as they move from a place of fragility to resilience, meeting urgent needs while addressing root causes – always 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 / Department / Team
Mercy Corps has been operating in Zimbabwe since 2002 focusing its interventions on a multi-sectoral market systems development portfolio mobilizing communities to promote small-scale agriculture and revive local economies. MC Zimbabwe seeks to support at-risk communities in Zimbabwe – with a specific focus on young people, women and other marginalized groups – to move towards sustainable development through building resilience and strong inclusive systems in the face of climatic and economic shocks and stresses. Market driven approaches are at the heart of Mercy Corps’ programming. Mercy Corps facilitates the development of systems that increase incomes and improve access to goods, with services, and employment opportunities, while reducing the risks and effects of shocks and stresses.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps Zimbabwe will implement a 4-year Market Systems Development (MSD) program focused on urban/peri-urban work. The program seeks to improve incomes, working conditions and resilience to shocks and stresses for women through sustainable livelihoods, with a particular emphasis on the potential embedded in microenterprises and informal markets. This position represents an exciting opportunity to lead a programme that pushes the boundaries of conventional MSD practice through its application of the MSD approach to employment outcomes for women in informal markets, and through its emphasis on rules, norms and networks.The Team Leader will be based in Harare supporting Bulawayo and Mutare (2022-2026). Reporting to the Country Director (CD), the Team Leader will oversee all aspects of the program in Zimbabwe including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and overseeing and driving forward program activities. The Team Leader will ensure accountability of the programs to our program participants, our donors, and key stakeholders, including government authorities. The Team Leader is responsible for ensuring that programming is on-time, on-scope, and on-budget.
The position holder will also provide MSD technical leadership on the strategic development and management of MSD programs from new business development to technical support for implementation and close out. Zimbabwe is well positioned to grow its MSD portfolio, presenting exciting potential for the position holder’s leadership role to grow in influence and impact.
- Provide effective overall leadership in the management of the MSD program
- Ensure timely and effective design and implementation of interventions, and achievement of targets, on time, on scope and on budget.
- Support the programme team to adaptively manage a portfolio of interventions that is appropriately balanced in terms of risk and benefits.
- Ensures the program meets Program Management @ Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards.
- Build, manage and maintain relationship with the donor, including leading periodic donor communications on status of program activities and collaborating with the donor to facilitate adaptive management.
- Prepare high-quality monthly, quarterly, annual and final project reports in collaboration with the program teams and the MEL team.
- Ensure backstopping for all team members, in particular for sector selection and system framing; market systems research and analysis; , designing systemic interventions to address the root causes of market dysfunctions which disadvantage and exclude women and young people; finding strategic leverage points for co-investment and building public and private sector partnerships, monitoring interventions, and adapting strategy in response to results.
- As the MSD technical Lead, ensure design and implementation of MSD programming meets the standards of a MSD for Employment (MSD4E) approach for women and youth, drawing on appropriate and diverse technical resources to support programme needs as required.
- Ensure operational systems enable a diversely-skilled program team to implement an MSD program effectively – including standard operating procedures on engaging and contracting with the private sector, enabling intervention or concept design, and guidance for adaptive management.
- Follow analysis of the Zimbabwe socio-political and economic context, ensuring that this analysis is recognized and incorporated in programming, particularly with respect to gender and age, as well as to climate and conflict risk.
- Contribute to the development of the country strategy, particularly on MSD components.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance discussions and strong performance management protocols.
- Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
- Train and mentor staff in MSD approaches to ensure successful program implementation, and support them to access additional professional development and technical capacity building as required
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
- Ensures the program meets targets on budget. This responsibility includes collaborative work planning that keeps all team members accountable, ensuring accurate budget forecasting and analysis of monthly budget vs. actual reports, and proper procurement planning in collaboration with the Operations team.
- Support in the development of financial management tools and the monitoring of budgets.
- Cross-check detailed transactions and review budget versus actual (BVA) spending reports to determine status of program burn rates.
- Work with the Country Finance Manager to ensure spend-down plans and cash projections are developed and monitored.
- Lead program input on any budget revisions or programmatic input for financial reports.
PROGRAM MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING
- Work with the MEL team to ensure the finalization of the program-specific MEL plan and any relevant procedures with clear designation of roles and responsibilities between the Program and MEL teams.
- Ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation, quality data collection and analysis systems are in place, adhered to and used as a decision-making tool, in coordination with the MEL team.
- Ensure appropriate attention to program learning and integration of lessons learned.
MSD Program Team
Accountability Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Director of Resilience,Department Heads, Program teams, HR, Finance, and Operations staff; HQ Regional Program Team; Technical Support Unit; Resource Development Department
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.
Qualification & Skills
- Masters’ degree or equivalent in Agricultural Economics, International Development, International Relations, Business Management or another relevant field highly preferred.
- 5-7 years of field experience in MSD programming with a focus on markets required. At least 3 years of experience in a management role.
- Experience directly building partnerships with the private sector to increase women and youth employment opportunities.
- Experience in multi-stakeholder engagement, building value propositions in both peri-urban and rural programming.
- Strong strategic thinker with demonstrated capacity to translate concepts into action, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
- Strong project and people management skills.
- Experience in financial inclusion, tech-based employment, women & youth employment, and gender transformative MSD programming is preferred.
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation, and other techniques.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
The ideal candidate is expected to be a high performer in fast-paced project cycle management, MEL, quality assurance and team and budget management. The Team Leader will have a strong technical understanding of MSD in markets in Africa. They will take energy from solving program implementation challenges. They will have a strong ethical centre and a commitment to safeguarding. They will be an influencer, able to connect with diverse audiences from a young petty trader to a private sector employer to a high-ranking government official.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Team Leader position is based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Team Leader position will have frequent local travels to support MSD teams in Mutare and Bulawayo. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and as such staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values always and in all in-country venues.
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, colour, 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 CorpsCode 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.
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity organization and encourages both female and male candidates to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis and shortlisting will proceed as applications are received.
- Job City Harare