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Country Director

Closing: Apr 7, 2024

This position has expired

Published: Mar 29, 2024 (27 days ago)

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Job Summary

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The Position

The Mercy Corps Kenya Country Director (CD) is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully developing and managing all programming and operations in Kenya 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 2.9 million Kenyans, the Country Director will continue to oversee the delivery of high-impact, multi-sector programming that is accountable to both program participants and donors, while prioritizing strategies for thoughtful growth, external influence and partnership building. Placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships, the Country Director will position Mercy Corps to drive forward strategic programming, both within Kenya and sub-regionally (with a focus on the Horn of Africa), strategically connecting programs into a cohesive country portfolio, guided by a long-term Country strategy that aligns to the regional and Agency’s global vision. With a total annual budget of approximately $199 million, the Country Director has full supervisory responsibility for the portfolio and is responsible for building a cohesive team that works together to deliver high-impact programming across the country. 

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S or equivalent in the relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
  • 10+ years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing large, complex, transitional development programs.
  • 7 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.
  • Successful and proven representation, negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated success in securing funding from a broad spectrum of donors.
  • 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, including experience managing grants from USAID, FCDO, Foundation partners and other strategic donors.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Previous work experience in countries where travel to insecure areas is required, and management of programs in insecure locations.
  • Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster situations as appropriate.


Responsibilities

The Position

The Mercy Corps Kenya Country Director (CD) is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully developing and managing all programming and operations in Kenya 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 2.9 million Kenyans, the Country Director will continue to oversee the delivery of high-impact, multi-sector programming that is accountable to both program participants and donors, while prioritizing strategies for thoughtful growth, external influence and partnership building. Placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships, the Country Director will position Mercy Corps to drive forward strategic programming, both within Kenya and sub-regionally (with a focus on the Horn of Africa), strategically connecting programs into a cohesive country portfolio, guided by a long-term Country strategy that aligns to the regional and Agency’s global vision. With a total annual budget of approximately $199 million, the Country Director has full supervisory responsibility for the portfolio and is responsible for building a cohesive team that works together to deliver high-impact programming across the country. 

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S or equivalent in the relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
  • 10+ years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing large, complex, transitional development programs.
  • 7 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.
  • Successful and proven representation, negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated success in securing funding from a broad spectrum of donors.
  • 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, including experience managing grants from USAID, FCDO, Foundation partners and other strategic donors.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Previous work experience in countries where travel to insecure areas is required, and management of programs in insecure locations.
  • Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster situations as appropriate.


STRATEGY & VISION

  • Refine and articulate a clear and compelling vision of Mercy Corps’ strategy in Kenya, and contribute to the regional strategic vision, drawing on Mercy Corps’ key agency distinctives and experience in Kenya and the region to inspire team members, donors, government stakeholders and partners to support the country objectives and develop impactful and relevant programming within our partner communities.
  • Build strategic partnerships and relationships to achieve the vision outlined in the country and regional strategy.
  • Set direction for the country team by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve the objectives outlined in the country strategy.
  • Lead country strategy development and annual country planning using a collaborative process.
  • Leverage headquarters and regional technical support teams to support program design and delivery in line with Mercy Corps’ best practices.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome. Remain current with development thinking, including resilience approaches, systems thinking, nexus approaches, social impact, value for money, etc.
  • Lead engagement with donors, partners, and communities to design and secure resources for high-impact programs that are aligned to community priorities.
  • Partner with the regional team and other country programs in East Africa to elevate Mercy Corps’ expertise and profile within the broader subregion, leading to strategic regional programming that works across borders and delivers impact across the subregion.
  • Support program and operations team members to pivot and adapt programming to be responsive to contextual changes, such as environmental and climate change impacts, conflict, or emerging opportunities to deepen impact.   

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.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • Identify and drive opportunities for deep dive research on Mercy Corps' Kenya and cross-border programs to deepen program learning and thought leadership in resilience, climate change, peace and governance, and market systems development.
  • 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 compliance with PM@MC Policies).
  • 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 

  • Lead Mercy Corps’ outreach and engagement with key donors, partners, think tanks, government, UN bodies and private sector representing Kenya and the wider sub-region/Horn of Africa in order to influence development and funding priorities, drawing on Mercy Corps’ key distinctives, research and policy & advocacy initiatives to shape the agenda and align with community needs and opportunities.
  • Build partnerships with leading organizations, private sector, government, foundations, community representatives, and other critical partners to enhance collective impact, voice, and shape relevant policy agendas.
  • In partnership with the regional team, represent Mercy Corps' Kenya and cross-border programs in regional coordination mechanisms, such as USAID's learning platforms (i.e. PREG, RLA) and IGAD events, among others. 
  • Set up systems to stay abreast of contextual changes, anticipate needs, and contribute to shaping donors’ views on humanitarian and development priorities in ways that are responsive to changes in the context.
  • Ensure that Mercy Corps programs proactively engage with national and international media and other advocacy platforms in order to shape messaging and priorities and ensure that priority issues are highlighted.

PROGRAM OPERATIONS & 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 enable the timely, compliant and effective delivery of 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.

SECURITY

  • Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps’ assets according to best practices, Mercy Corps operating standards and field realities.
  • Ensure the safety and security of staff members through regular review and adaptation of security protocols and procedures including the country security plan. Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Liaise with the Regional Director and Africa Regional Security Advisor on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.

Supervisory Responsibility

Director of Programs, Finance Director, Operations Director, Ethics and Compliance Manager, Director of People and Culture, Chiefs of Party (COPs).

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Regional Director, East and Southern Africa

Works Directly With: HQ-based Program, Operations, Finance, Regional Program Team, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Unit

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.


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