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 operational in Sudan since 2004, and currently has a country office in Khartoum and field offices in South Darfur, South Kordofan, White Nile and Gedaref states. We work with Sudanese communities to build resilient scalable solutions that interrupt the cycle of fragility and crisis due to conflict and climate change by improving food and water security, peace and governance and enabling economic opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Our programs in Sudan cover the triple nexus approach with a range of projects interlinking the humanitarian, development and peace sectors. Our humanitarian response focuses on integrated FSL, Cash, WASH, Protection and Nutrition activities with cross-cutting focuses on youth and gender. These programs have a strong emphasis on increasing self-reliance through the provision of improved livelihood opportunities. Under our peace program, we aim to promote an active role for women in preventing and mitigating violence and conflict especially in South Darfur and South Kordofan in collaboration with civil society. Our development program is pioneering a Market System Development (MSD) approach to support the food security and strengthening of agricultural markets systems for small holder farmers in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The project has a focus on the empowerment of women and promotion of climate resilient agriculture.
Working with a diverse base of donors that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Switzerland Development Cooperation (SDC), Swedish International Development Agency, GIZ, Sudan Humanitarian Fund and others, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. We work closely with the private sector, civil society and governance structures at local, regional and national levels to facilitate change and ensure that opportunities are inclusive of all Sudanese.
Innovation is an important part of our programs, and we are levering new technologies and modalities to alleviate suffering and poverty thereby helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps’ work emphasizes community-led, market-driven interventions through public, private and civic sector partnerships. Examples of innovation in Sudan include the use of solar energy to provide sustainable potable water supplies for displaced communities and the introduction of hermetic bags to reduce post-harvest losses for small holder farmers.
General Position Summary
The Mercy Corps Sudan Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming in Sudan to deliver impact, harness innovative solutions and influence lasting and systemic change. Building on a strong foundation of programming that has improved the lives of more than 175,000 Sudanese in 2021 alone, the Country Director will continue to oversee the delivery of high-impact, multi-sector programming that is accountable to both beneficiaries and donors. Placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships, s/he will position Mercy Corps to access funding opportunities that strategically connect programs into a cohesive country portfolio, guided by a long-term strategy. With a total budget of approximately $25 million, the Country Director has full supervisory responsibility for the country team and is responsible for building a cohesive team that works together to deliver high-impact programming across the country.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
● Formulate and plan, in consultation with key stakeholders, a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies which can be clearly communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, international partners, governmental counterparts, and donors.
● Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome, heard and acted upon.
● Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve goals and objectives.
● Explore, evaluate and present new project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities, support and direct related fundraising activities with both institutional and private donors.
● Evaluate country specific program priorities and contribute to regional and global strategy development and prioritization.
Leadership & Culture
● Commit to preserving an organizational culture of trust, transparency, diversity, equity, and inclusion across the team and global organization.
● Uphold a culture of integrity through ethical decision-making, safeguarding and compliance with the Code of Conduct.
● Lead by role modeling self awareness to foster an environment of mutual respect, diversity and inclusion so that all team members are included, supported and can thrive.
● Create a culture of accountability for highly effective communication systems and relationships to ensure every voice matters.
● Recruit, manage, motivate, and onboard an informed, skilled and efficient team with an emphasis on high quality impact, inclusion and achievement.
● Encourage a team culture of growth, learning, creativity and innovation by incorporating a culture of continuous feedback, development and performance management.
● Establish credibility within the team by demonstrating personal accountability, flexibility, resilience and dedication to quality programming by creating positive relationships and having composure in complex situations.
● Ensure people focused human resource systems are in place and consistent with Mercy Corps global policies, including position descriptions, team member onboarding, performance management, professional development plans and reporting mechanisms.
Program impact, monitoring and evaluation and learning
● Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
● Gather evidence of program impact through robust agency standard procedures for data gathering, reporting, and evaluating program outputs and outcomes
● Lead country team to strive for impact at country and regional level leading to sustained change based on solid systems and incorporation of learnings into programs.
● Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards.
● Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards, including an effective Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism and safeguarding mechanisms across all programs.
Influence & Representation
● Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, national government, foundations, the private sector, etc.
● Maintain productive relationships with the international community inclusive of the United Nations, International NGOs, Think Tanks, Research Institutes and Foreign Governments.
● Anticipate needs, understand the donor pool and contribute to shaping donors’ views on humanitarian and development strategies.
● Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media.
program operations and compliance
● Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for program activities.
● Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
● Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among program, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for program activities.
● Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
● Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations, policies and procedures, and the implementation of appropriate risk mitigation measures to reduce Mercy Corps exposure to potential risk.
● Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps assets according to best practices, MC operating standards and field realities.
● Liaise with the Regional Director and Africa Regional Security Advisor on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
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 projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: Director of Programs, HR Director, Finance Director, Operations Director.
Reports Directly To: Regional Director
Works Directly With:, HQ-based Program, Operations, Finance, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Unit; Regional leadership, technical support, operations and MEL teams.
Knowledge and Experience
● BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
● 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including
demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs.
● 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
● Demonstrated success managing and bringing together a multi-cultural team with team members
in multiple offices.
● Demonstrated success representing complex programmatic objectives to diverse stakeholders in order to position Mercy Corps as a strong implementer and thought-leader with donors, development partners, government and other stakeholders.
● Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
● Demonstrated experience multi-tasking and success in securing funding for country programs.
● Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government,
private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
● Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with USAID, European donors, UN agencies, and other key donors preferred.
● Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to
obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
● Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is a plus.
● Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.