Back Operations and Security Director - Niger and Burkina Faso

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 present in Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, gender, social cohesion, governance and emergency response outcomes. Mercy Corps has also been working in Burkina Faso since 2016 with activities in conflict research and livestock programming. Our work in these areas contributes to local communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change. Mercy Corps is currently implementing several development and humanitarian programs worth more than $62 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri in Niger, and Ouagadougou, Fada N’gourma, Ouahigouya, Po, and Gaoua in Burkina Faso. In 2020, we were able to benefit more than 139,000 vulnerable Nigeriens and Burkinabè.

General Position Summary

The Operations & Security Director’s responsibilities cover both Niger and Burkina Faso. S/he is a member of the country’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and is responsible for supervising all operational functions in the two countries, including Field Office management, Procurement, Logistics, Assets, Fleet, Warehousing, IT and Security. S/he ensures effective systems that support a strategy for healthy, robust and integrated functions of local team members. S/he is responsible for strengthening the operational performance and efficiency of the organization by developing the capacity of staff and establishing the right systems. S/he also ensures that managerial processes, resources and the necessary infrastructure are all in place. The Operations & Security Director provides support and leadership through capacity-building and the development of systems, policies, and processes. Overseeing several support functions and the field offices, the Operations & Security Director coordinate the support and inter-actions between departments through the distribution of tasks to his team and by coordinating the support needed from HQ. This position required traveling to all field offices.

Essential Job Responsibilities


● Provide sound leadership and strategic vision for enhancing operational functions in order to support and sustain the implementation of the country strategic vision and mission.

● S/he has an overview of the support needs for the mission and develops the Operations department accordingly.

● Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.

● Work with the Country Director and senior leadership team to support the growth of the program portfolio, formulate strategies and plans.

● Contribute to the country strategic planning process and provide regular updates.

Influence & Representation

● Maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, vendors, suppliers, etc.

● Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.

● Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.

● Communicate with our partners to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.

● Interface with stakeholders responsible for coordinating all supply shipments via the appropriate approval processes.

● Communicate with local partners as well as sub-grantees to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.


● Work closely with the Country Director, Burkina Faso Country Coordinator, Director of Programs, Chiefs of Party, and the Finance Director to ensure that all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient and effective implementation.

● Ensure integration of program support systems and processes in all Mercy Corps offices.

● 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 all offices have capacity (human and technical) to support smooth program operations.

● Ensure internal and donor procedures, policies and guidelines are followed.

● Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.

● Ensure unified and cost effective fleet management, including tracking of maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.

● Oversee set-up and development of Mercy Corps offices including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, and IT.

● Develop and periodically review country or field office specific policies and communicate them to teams.

● Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement and logistics documents.

● Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.

● Ensure that Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with the national law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.

● Proactively put framework agreements for the main supplies, services, and commodities in place and re-compete them periodically.

● Implement a monthly operational pack and a dashboard to ensure follow-up and analysis is updated on a monthly basis in all operational and program areas.

● Ensure archive of operations documentation is well organized with hard and soft format and up to date to facilitate audit and information research.

Team Management

● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.

● Work closely with the HR/Admin Manager on the content and quality of orientation for new staff regarding policies and procedures and on regular training of policies and procedures.

● S/he is responsible for full and proper implementation of Mercy Corps systems of management, compliance and control as described in Mercy Corps field manuals contained in the Office in a Box.

● Lead and develop program support teams in the main office and field offices.

● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.

● Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.

● Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.

● Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.

● Work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems.

● 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.

● Take ultimate responsibility of performance of program support functions.


● Work closely with the Head of Office in each field site to ensure that support systems and structures are in place and compliant with relevant internal and external policies and procedures.

● Standardize procedures across the mission and ensure they are followed in each field office.

● Ensure that field office operations create an enabling environment for smooth program implementation.

● Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for supervision and support, and maintain close collaboration with the Heads of Office in each field site to ensure operational and programmatic cooperation.

SECURITY Management

● Assist the Country Director in the day-to-day security management of the two-country country mission (i.e. Niger & Burkina Faso).

● Regularly review and revise security management plans, contingency plans, constant companions, and other documentation in collaboration with the Security Liaison Officer and Sahel Security Advisor.

● Provide security briefings to visitors and orient new staff on safety and security.

● Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

● Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies. This includes regularly updating the security SOPs and maintaining security-related equipment (Satphones, trackers, etc.)

● Ensure that the field-level Security Focal Points regularly update their respective Security Briefing Bulletins (SBB) and ensure adherence to the SBBs.

Finance & Compliance Management

● Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.

● Draft and review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.

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

The Operations & Security Director will directly supervise the Head of Offices in Niger, and the country-level Operations Managers, Security Advisors, IT Coordinator and others.


Works Directly with: Director of Program, Chief(s) of Party, Program Support & Grants Manager, Finance Director, HR/Admin Director, Burkina Faso Country Coordinator, and Sahel Security Advisor.

Collaborates with: Entire Operations team as required**

Knowledge and Experience

● BA/BS degree in a relevant field; Masters preferred.

● A minimum of 7 years’ experience managing country operations, including procurement, logistics, IT, and security.

● Experience with overseeing/supervising several field offices with humanitarian and/or development NGOs.

● Proven understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in West or Central Africa and in insecure environments.

● Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.

● Knowledge of Mercy Corps’ systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; M&E experience preferred and knowledge of USAID, BPRM, EC, ECHO, etc. regulations helpful.

● Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.

● Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.

● Excellent negotiation and representation skills.

● Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.

● Fluency in French and excellent oral and written English skills required.

● Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

● Knowledge of Niger and or Burkina Faso working’s context.

Success Factors

The successful Operations & Security Director will have prior experience in country operations and security management, ideally in Niger and/or Burkina Faso. S/he will also be a good problem-solver and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. S/he will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. 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 Operations & Security Director will be based in Niamey, Niger with regular field travel and trip to Burkina Faso. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Niger. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position requires up to 30% of travel by road or air to field locations in relatively secure environments but climatically harsh conditions. This position is eligible for R&R.

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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in 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.

This vacancy is archived.

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