Head of Office - Abyei (Livelihood Program)
Mercy Corps - South Dakota

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This position is contingent upon funding.

Mercy Corps leads humanitarian assistance and recovery efforts in South Sudan mainly in areas affected by Sudan’s 21-year civil war - the same areas where today’s peace is most fragile. Mercy Corps’ goal in South Sudan is to support the transition to a fair and lasting peace. Our team is working hand in hand with communities to facilitate the transition from relief assistance to development . Our recovery projects improve the capacity of communities to accommodate returnees and pave the way for their peaceful reintegration.

Mercy Corps operation in South Sudan includes humanitarian assistance to the close to 110 thousand people displaced from Abyei. Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to the vulnerable population in Abyei both north and south of river Kiir and to addressing the humanitarian needs of the vulnerable population through both short and long term interventions. In the short term, Mercy Corps would undertake a number of quick- impact projects to address households' urgent needs. The quick-impact projects would include distribution of seeds and tools for rainy season (groundnuts, early maturing sorghum) and dry season (horticulture seeds) cultivation, off-farm interventions, specifically cash for work projects, to facilitate the light rehabilitation of community and market infrastructures, the revitalization of livestock assets through restocking, particularly of small ruminants. In the mid-term, Mercy Corps will promote livelihoods and economic opportunities for youth and women. This includes apprenticeship program involving on-the-job placements for youth and women and the provision of seed capital and rapid cash injection into the local market through assistance to Abyei traders as start-up business grants among others.

The Head of Office -Agok/Abyei will manage community based cash projects for work/cash transfer as well as community based restocking projects in Abyei Administration Area. The Head of Office will provide supervise and undertake capacity building of a team of up to 25 staff members from both programs as well as the support function. S/he will provide technical oversight of the projects activities in addition to ensuring compliance and transparent financial management. In addition to the program management role, the position also serves as Head of Mercy Corps sub-office in Agok/Abyei and act as the agencies’ representative in Abyei Administration Area.

Head of Office (HoO)

Supervise program and support staff in Agok/Abyei sub-office on day-to-day running of the program activities and operational functions; ensuring efficient coordination to accomplish Mercy Corps’ goals.

Lead management meetings with Agok/Abyei based staff to ensure pro-active participation in team decision making process.

Liaise with finance and compliance manager for cash flow, financial monitoring/compliance and closeout procedures in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.

Recruit and manage an innovative, informed, motivated and efficient team with a particular focus on individual and team capacity development.

Represent Mercy Corps to the community, the local government, INGO/UN agencies in Abyei Administration Area and organize field visits as required. Ensure pro-active and partnership approach in relationship management.

Act on behalf of Mercy Corps South Sudan in Agok/Abyei and conduct him/her both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and in no way jeopardize our humanitarian efforts.

Be security focal point for the Agok/Abyei office and liaise with all required stakeholders on safety and security matters.

Program Management

In coordination with the country office, ensure Mercy Corps’ program fosters ongoing positive cooperation with all stakeholders.

Design strategy and modules for staff training to enhance their efficiency in result oriented program delivery mainly cash transfer, cash for work and restocking projects. Responsible for innovative and impact oriented program delivery and reporting.

Oversee emergency food security and livelihoods activities in Agok/Abyei area are implemented according to the work plan and donor regulations as well as within the specified timeframe.

Design and maintain an M&E system for the program to demonstrate outputs, outcome, impact and capture key lessons points. Coordinate the project M&E with country M&E systems; ensure organizational learning to improve program quality and sustainability.

The Head of Office will oversee the lead a team of up to 10 program staff. Program Manager will build capacity of the national staff to ensure coordination and team vision. The Head of Office will chair Mercy Corps field office weekly coordination meetings.

Ensure effective and donor complaint budget management; provide oversight to ensure project deliverables are achieved within approved spending levels and in accordance with donor rules and regulations. S/he will exercise sound judgment to ensure project expenses are reasonable and prudent.

Other duties as assigned

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in line with 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 towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to acceptable 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.

Effective Communication

Efficient and timely communication/information exchange is vital for making effective operational decisions. The team member is expected to maintain regular contact with the country office. S/he is expected to submit Field Office Weekly Update (FOWU) for Agok/Abyei sub office using a standard reporting format. This includes analysis of the local context (security, markets conditions, weather etc.), 3Ws and program/operational updates.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Agok/Abyei field office team.

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Country Director.

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: M&E Manager, Finance Manager, Operations Manager & ICT administrator.

MA/S or equivalent in agriculture, development management or related fields preferred,

2-3 years’ experience in international relief and development in Africa, preferably South Sudan,

Experience managing cash for work and food for asset projects,

2-3 years’ experience of staff team-building

Financial management experience

Experience with requirements of ECHO and UN donors.

History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, INGO and NGO partners

Experience managing program in politically volatile and post-conflict environments

Demonstrated ability as a manager of complex programming and team leadership

Ability to effectively carry out duties as outlined in the position description

Willingness to learn and work in accordance with Mercy Corps policy.

Demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities if necessary.

A high professional standard of activity implementation, strong interpersonal and intellectual skills.

The position is unaccompanied and will be based in Agok/Abyei, Abyei Administration Area (AAA). Living conditions are basic.

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.

Required Skills

Required Experience

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