DRC: Agriculture Program Manager

23 April 2017 | Mercy Corps

 

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Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 150 people working in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Mweso (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu). Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to:  1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development.  

 

As part of a multi-agency Consortium working on a stabilization program the builds resilience and stability in the Ituri Province, Mercy Corps will lead the socio-economic development pillar of the program.  The main objective of this pillar is to build resilience and reduce tensions between farmers and pastoralists through the development of agricultural and market value chains. The larger program will emphasize addressing land access issues and building dialogue platforms for the benefit of the target population. Mercy Corps will identify market opportunities to support these traditionally conflicting groups, promote and strengthen pastoralist and farmers groups, and strengthen market linkages with value chain actors.

General Position Summary

 

The Agriculture Program Manager (PM) will be responsible for providing leadership, technical oversight and ensuring direct management for all activities related Mercy Corps Strategic Pillar activities on the development of agriculture and market value chains.  He/she will define implementation strategies in coordination with other Consortium partners, training staff, providing them with technical assistance; and ensuring that common strategies and approaches are applied consistently in all communities. The PM will also be responsible for opening and managing Mercy Corps’ new field base in Bunia (Ituri Province).

 

 

 

Essential Job Responsibilities

Program Management

  • Provide leadership and management of all aspects of program design, planning, implementation, quality and accountability, ensuring program activities and deliverables are completed as planned.
  • Using an M4P approach, ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and agricultural market development needs, consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, value and quality standards.
  • Ensure technical oversight and management of program team and local partner on agricultural and market development, and pastoralism in a gender, age, conflict and ethnically sensitive manner.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to community needs and consistent with Mercy Corps’ and technical guidelines
  • In coordination with the country DMEL department, monitor the implementation of activities through regular field visits and assessments to ensure program quality and impact.
  • Ensure close linkages with other consortium partner activities related to democratic dialogue, mediation, land access, gender, and other partners working on socioeconomic development activities.
  • 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.

 

Team Management

  • 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.
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
  • 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.

 

Finance, Compliance and quality Management

  • 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.
  • Provide technical and management support for the reporting requirements to the program.
  • Ensure that the program has sufficient systems in place to meet minimum program management standards and comply with donor regulations and good practice.
  • Support development and implementation of program policies, protocols and systems.
  • Work with program staff to integrate quality monitoring processes based on protocols into program implementation, including internal and external reviews of program quality.

 

Head of Office

  • Recruit and manage an innovative, informed, motivated and efficient team with a particular focus on individual and team capacity development.
  • Supervise day-to-day running of the program activities and operational functions; ensuring efficient coordination to accomplish Mercy Corps’ goals.
  • Liaise with Goma-based finance team and field finance/admin assistant for cash flow, financial monitoring and closeout procedures in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.

 

Coordination & Representation

  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

 

Security

  • Act as security focal point for the Bunia office and liaise with all required stakeholders on safety and security matters
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

 

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

 

Direct Supervisor 4-5 program staff, 1 Finance/Admin Assistant, 1 Logistics Assistant/Driver Accountability

 

Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director of Programs

 

Works Directly With: MEL Manager, Gender Manager, Communications Advisor, finance, operations and program support staff.

 

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in agriculture, natural resources management, animal production, or other relevant field;
  • 3-5 years relevant professional experience implementing agricultural or pastoralist development programs (market or value chain development experience required), preferably in insecure or transitional environments;
  • At least 2 years of management experience required, preferably in insecure environments; 
  • Experience with land access or conflict preferred,
  • Experience managing sub-grantees preferred;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;
  • Experience in Africa, preferred;
  • Strong written and oral English preferred.
  • Fluency in written and spoken French required.

 

Success Factors

 

The successful Agricultural Program Manager will be familiar with the challenges of agricultural/market development in contexts similar to Eastern Congo. He/she will have a strong combination technical expertise, team leadership, coordination, experience in conflict sensitive development and implementing programs in contexts of insecurity. S/he will have familiarity with the M4P approach, and the capacity to manage relationships with different levels of government actors. The position requires an ability to think creatively about improving opportunities for inclusive market development to promote sustainable practices to achieve food security, contributing to increased stability. A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with Consortium partners implementing in the areas of intervention.

 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

 

This is un-accompanied post based in Bunia, DRC and is eligible for R&R, and will require up to 40% travel to program field sites. Bunia is a provincial capital of around 350,000 inhabitants. Living in Bunia is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Bunia, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

 

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Bunia, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other.  Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available.  Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

 

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.

 

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