Back Chief of Party, Livestock Development Activity, Nigeria

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Now, and for the future.

Program Summary

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermine Nigeria's development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 400 staff, Mercy Corps is currently reaching over 2,600,000 participants across 13 field offices, with a focus on the Northeast, Middle Belt, and Northwest. Mercy Corps addresses the root causes of conflict and seeks to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, accountable governance, and youth empowerment. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps operates along the humanitarian-development-peace nexus across Nigeria with the ambition of further deepening linkages across the country portfolio and expand both in depth and length its interventions to support a vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure.

In 2022, Mercy Corps intends to pursue the five-year, $50 million USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Livestock Development Activity. The Activity will explore practical, cost effective, and multi-stakeholder adaptation solutions to improve livelihoods of poor and vulnerable communities in target states. The Activity will achieve this through the following four components:

  • i) Improved agricultural productivity, livelihoods, and agroecosystem resilience through climate smart practices
  • ii) Improved ecological and environmental services and functions, including enhanced climate resilient water and other resource management and supply systems in vulnerable agro-pastoral communities
  • iii) Strengthened institutional capacity to reduce risks associated with climate-induced socio-economic losses and livelihood failures in the target states
  • iv) Improved and productive livestock systems to improve food security and nutrition by (potentially) improving consumption of animal source/protein foods, providing income generation opportunities, and fostering mutual relationships among targeted households and communities

    General Position Summary

    The CoP will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the Feed the Future Nigeria Livestock Development Activity to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.

    Essential Job Responsibilities

    STRATEGY & VISION

    • Cultivate an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome as a way to infuse innovation and adaptation into programming.
    • Establish the program’s overall strategy and direction including the allocation of resources and paving the way for successful implementation.
    • Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.
    • Lead the development of a program-wide resilience-building framework to guide coordination and integrated implementation.

      INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION

      • Cultivate and maintain a strong relationship with USAID, ensuring alignment of vision, inclusion in the programming cycle, and effective communications, including visibility, throughout the award
      • Liaise with and represent the program to all external actors, including other development partners, Government of Nigeria stakeholders, private sector partners, and media, among others
      • Establish and deliver on a program level influence and advocacy strategy, including both direct engagement as well as integrated efforts in collaboration with Mercy Corps Nigeria senior leadership.
      • 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 government.

        PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

        • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
        • Reach and exceed Mercy Corps minimum standards for program management, known as [email protected], in program implementation.
        • Collaborate and review the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.
        • Ensure deep and meaningful partnership with Government of Nigeria ministries, departments, and agencies, establishing shared alignment of vision, pathways for influence, and ownership of public sector engagements.
        • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
        • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
        • Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
        • 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.
        • Support the team in written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.
        • Oversee efforts to design effective Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) systems for the program, and linkages with internal MEL systems.
        • Create and follow effective stakeholder management plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps Nigeria, partner organizations, Mercy Corps headquarters, USAID, Government of Nigeria authorities, and colleague agencies.
        • Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 30-40% of time in the field.

          TEAM MANAGEMENT

          • Create and sustain a team culture that drives evidence driven innovation, adheres to all relevant USAID and Mercy Corps policies, and ensures adaptive management from all units.
          • Develop and maintain systems of accountability and adherence to technical excellence.
          • 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 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 all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.
          • Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.
          • 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.

            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 Nigeria.

              SECURITY

              • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
              • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

                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

                    • National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.

                      Accountability

                      Reports Directly To: Country Director

                      Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Finance, HR and Operations teams, Program and Quality Unit, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and Partner Organizations

                      Knowledge and Experience

                      • Master’s degree or higher in agriculture, economics, or business administration or related field;
                      • A minimum of ten (10) years of significant international experience and of being a Chief of Party, or similar, in managing large (preferably $15 million and above) livelihood, agricultural development activities, with knowledge of market systems development and resilience programming and the African context preferred;
                      • At least five years of field-based work in a conflict-prone and/or dynamic conflict environment;
                      • Demonstrated ability to be collaborative across activities while utilizing strong communication and interpersonal skills, with evidence of the ability to productively interact with a wide range and levels of organizations (government, private sector, other activities, NGOs);
                      • Demonstrated capacity to manage complex teams, including problem solving skills, and capacity to meet deadlines and deliver quality deliverables to meet objectives; and
                      • Very strong written and verbal communication skills (proficiency in English).

                        Stakeholder management

                        • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.

                          Success Factors

                          The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, 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 position will be based in Abuja, but will require frequent travel (30-40%) between field locations, including insecure northeast. Security in Abuja is generally good, although there are times when security is an issue. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Abuja is an accompanied location suitable for spouse/partner or dependents. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phone services are widely available.Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices, although it might be inconsistent. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive. There are a good number of schools with different education philosophies and curriculum (British, American, French, and German to name a few).

                          Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in the guesthouse and hotels/guest house as applicable in each location. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously.

                          Given the nature of the dynamic context, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings might be necessary.

                          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.

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