Director Of Programs – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


About Mercy Corps Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004 and works to catalyze change makers within the Ethiopian private sector, civil society and government to create economically dynamic, healthy and secure communities. Our work focuses on building resilience and enabling economic growth, improving opportunities to attain better health and nutrition. We implement programs in six regional states of Somali, Oromia, Afar, Amhara, Gambela, and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples– and the capital city of Addis Ababa with funding from USAID, SIDA, DFID and others.

The Position The Director of Programs (DoP) is a key leadership and management position for Mercy Corps Ethiopia and works closely with the Country Director and Senior Management Team to set the overall strategic direction of the program portfolio. The DoP is responsible for new business development and management oversight of Mercy Corps Ethiopia programs, building and sustaining motivated and creative teams, ensuring technical quality and cross-program synergies and fundraising strategically. S/he builds and maintains strong relationships with all agency stakeholders, and a productive and thoughtful work environment between the Programs and Support teams. The DoP works closely with the Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director and PaQ team to ensure programs are of high quality, demonstrate evidence as well as strong communications, influence, accountability, and overall quality assurance. S/he will work in partnership with the Humanitarian and Durable Solutions Director to ensure that Mercy Corps Ethiopia’s portfolio has a relief to resilience framework, prioritizing innovative and impactful durable solutions for the communities in which we work, while ensuring humanitarian needs are being met. S/he provides leadership and mentorship to the program team, is responsible for staff development, and acts as the Country Director during his/her absence.

The successful candidate will be a team player that is an adaptive thought-partner and leader with a focus on delivery of quality and impactful programming. S/he will be committed to gender and social diversity, and will serve as a role model for Mercy Corps’ project managers, but also support staff, partners, and other stakeholders.

Essential Responsibilities STRATEGY, VISION & LEADERSHIP ● In partnership with the Country Director and Senior Management Team (SMT) ensure the development of the country wide strategic plan that reflects the portfolio of programs, including development of annual Fiscal Year Plans and sector strategies.

● Ensure program portfolio champions Mercy Corps relief to resilience approach and leverages the agency expertise around markets in crisis.

● In partnership with the PaQ director ensure cross portfolio and program communication and learning.

● In partnership with SMT organize and facilitate country-level platforms for exchange including senior management meetings and other methods of engagement.

● Ensure integration and linkages across portfolios of work, programs and field offices.

● In partnership with the Country Director and assistance from SMT lead new business development initiatives including managing and coordinating proposal development efforts, donor engagement and communications.

● Ensure new business opportunities are in line with Mercy Corps Ethiopia’s strategic vision and deliver impact, match donor requirements and address the local needs of communities.

● Continue to look for new and innovative opportunities and ensure ongoing development of an idea/innovation pipeline to push forward innovations.


● Ensure programs are implemented in ways that are responsive to the communities, in line with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic planning, and follow Mercy Corps compliance procedures.

● In partnership with the PaQ Director ensure that programs are managed and meet the minimum standards for program management at Mercy Corps (PM@MC).

● Ensure teams have access to essential technical expertise and support with an emphasis on market systems, economic and micro enterprise development technical support.

● Ensure all program leads are using program management tools to ensure programming it on-time, on-scope and on-budget and using effective operational systems, including finance, logistics, security, and administration.

● Ensure programs are coordinated and create opportunities for strategic discussion from the field teams to management and vice versa on implementation issues.

● Oversight of the development of high quality donor reports for all programs under supervision prior to submission to the donor.

● Ensure transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.


● Directly supervise relevant program managers, Directors, Deputy Director both national and expatriate.

● Work with Senior Mercy Corps Ethiopia Staff to recruit, manage and motivate an informed, skilled and efficient national and expatriate team; incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management systems into team building processes.

● Ensure program team members have Individual Operating Plans (IOPs) and are reviewed and provided with feedback on a formal and regular basis.

● Mentor and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development for program staff in accordance with Mercy Corps’ commitment to excellence and achievement; encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation.

REPRESENTATION & DIPLOMACY ● With guidance from the Country Director, develop and maintain both internal and external relationships to ensure optimum program success including Mercy Corps headquarters and regional offices and teams, international and local NGOs, government officials, donor community officials, diplomatic corps and embassies, private sector partners, vendors, media and the general public.

● In partnership with the PaQ Director and Country Director develop an influence plan and strategy.

Supervisory Responsibility Program Directors and Senior/Program Managers, based in or working on the various programs and other new areas as they come online.

Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Senior Management team including PaQ Director, Finance Director, COP, Senior Operations Manager, Human Resource Manager, Program Managers, Project Coordinators, Program Staff.

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills ● MA/S or equivalent in management, international development or other relevant field; some economic development studies required.

● 5-7 years’ experience administering donor grants for a variety of sectoral areas; specific experience in market systems and economic development and micro enterprise development.

● 5-7 years’ demonstrated ability to build staff capacity in cross-cultural settings as well as excellent team-building and interpersonal skills.

● 5-7 years of field experience, in positions of increasing responsibility.

● Verifiable record of developing successful proposals for new projects and programs from conception to submission.

● 5-7 years’ experience with donor requirements of USAID/USG, SIDA, DFID, corporations, private donors and/or foundations.

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

Success Factors The successful DoP will apply a strong combination of team leadership, program development and relationship building abilities along with a sense of curiosity, urgency, and joy for the work. S/he will be strategic and adaptable to the shifting context and needs of the team. S/he will have excellent negotiation and communication skills which will enhance donor and partner relationships. The successful DoP will have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability and the principles of participatory community-led and market driven development. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members make effective communication a priority in all situations and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions Addis Ababa provides a secure living environment that is suitable for families. It offers a number of individual housing options with good utilities. This is an accompanied family post. The DoP is expected to conduct regular field trips, spending up to 50% of his/her time in the field.

Ongoing Learning In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and

values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.


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