Program Performance And Quality Director (Maternity Cover)
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 works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.
In Syria, Mercy Corps has been implementing emergency and life-sustaining activities since 2012. Mercy Corps currently operates with multiple institutional donors and a rigid, reporting regime.
General Position Summary
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Director oversees the PaQ unit in MC Syria, whose role is to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs and teams. This includes: the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes for both direct service delivery and work in partnership; coordination of key functions such as program reporting and proposal development; as well as supporting the creation and/or strengthening of mechanisms and techniques for ensuring program quality and impact. The PaQ unit also manages the community accountability reporting mechanism (CARM), other accountability to beneficiaries’ mechanisms, and provides, where possible, effective referral of protection issues. The PaQ Director thus plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, while at the same time ensuring capacity building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality.
The PaQ Director must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support MC’s complex portfolio of humanitarian and development programming inside Syria with limited daily support and direction; s/he works remotely with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives.
Essential Job Responsibilities
PROGRAM QUALITY AND IMPACT
- Provide support and training to the field teams to ensure that Program Management at Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards for program management are met for all MC Syria programs.
- Ensure documentation for programs meets Mercy Corps Minimum Standards and donor audit requirements and ensure there is effective guidance and systems in place for electronic and hard copy filing.
- Ensure MC Syria staff meet PM@MC certification requirements (both PMD Pro Level 1 and Higher Level Certification).
- Set up a system of regular program quality audits.
- Support MIS Manager to develop tools, indicators, and systems to better understand scope and impact of MC’s collective programming across Syria – accessible and useable by all team members, without adding additional layers of work.
- Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PaQ unit strategies and functioning, as well as global program quality initiatives such as PM@MC, gender minimum standards, adaptive management, TOLA etc.
- Provide support to program teams at key programmatic moments, such as program start-up, kick-off meetings, 90-day inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, collecting lessons learned, 90-day end of program transition meetings, and other support as requested by program teams or the Director of Programs.
- Organize and/or lead regular training and other capacity building events for MC Syria staff to improve program quality, and support other departments to take the lead in developing and implementing capacity building activities to improve program management processes.
MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING
- Ensure PaQ unit provides strong Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) support to program teams.
- Support M&E teams to work in harmony with program teams to better capture the impact of MC Syria activities and overall program footprint.
- Ensure the development and/or consolidation of MEL systems and tools across the Syria program to leverage existing resources and provide comparable data (including information management systems, efficient staffing, and workflow).
- Support field teams with program deliverables – such as baseline studies or mid-term and final evaluations.
- Proactively support learning and information sharing across the field offices.
- Contribute to the MC Syria research and learning agenda, by ensuring that the PaQ unit supports the development of appropriate partnerships and strategy for research and learning, including through targeted assessments.
- Support the creation of an evidence-based learning culture through consistent analysis of lessons learned and best practices to encourage adaptive management.
PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT, REPORTING, AND COMMUNICATION
- Lead (as appropriate) and support the design of cost-effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring relevance to stakeholders and agency strategy
- Ensure the PaQ team effectively coordinates proposal development processes, following agency best practices and donor compliance, in coordination with MC Syria technical, finance and operational staff, as well as HQ and regional teams.
- Support proposal development processes – including development of MEL plans.
- Along with MIS Manager, consolidate program data for reporting for all MC Syria programs.
- Support Grants Manager in taking responsibility for compilation and timely submission of all donor and internal reports.
- Oversee the development and maintenance of appropriate trackers, such as reporting tracker, and grant tracker (that details current and future/pipeline programming) etc. and explore the use of online tools such as google calendars, Trello, and google drive to increase coordination and visibility of activities in MC Syria.
- Ensure the PaQ unit carries out effective reviews of program reports, makes sure these are consistent with data from MC Syria information management systems, and include well documented success stories and infographics to highlight program impact, and include information on lessons learned to inform on required adaptation of activities and future program design.
- Ensure the PaQ unit provides adequate support to program teams on communications and visibility and assist in the development of program communication plans.
- Contribute to the dissemination of written products.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
- As a Mercy Corps team member, support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to MC Syria 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 MC Syria field projects.
- Ensure that an appropriate, context-sensitive Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) is rolled out and in place for all MC Syria programs.
- Lead the PaQ unit in supporting the development of an appropriate referral mechanism for protection cases.
- Oversee the management of the investigation of specific cases of concern in coordination with other MC Syria or HQ team members.
PARTERNSHIPS AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT
- Support the development of a partnership strategy for MC Syria.
- Contribute to improving MC Syria practices for managing partnerships, and contribute to partner capacity building.
- Take the lead on development of scope of work, recruitment, and managing technical consultants.
- Lead the roll-out of gender integration as a priority area for MC Syria programs.
- Ensure all MC Syria programs comply with MC’s Gender Minimum Standards.
- Provide training and other resources to raise awareness of gender across MC Syria country office.
- Create a culture of gender-sensitive, and where appropriate, gender-transformative programming.
TEAM MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Provide supervision to the PaQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the PaQ unit strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members
- Work with program teams to ensure the adoption of efficient and effective program management processes and workflows, identify strategies and build or strengthen systems to facilitate greater efficiency in program management processes
Strategy AND Vision
- Support to overall strategic and annual planning for MC Syria with evidence-based contributions.
- Develop and effectively lead a strong, effective and coordinated Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit with a written strategy and clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the unit.
- Support country level strategy development and adaptation to the various geographic contexts within Syria.
REPRESENTATION AND COORDINATION
- Participate and/or organize internal meetings to inform the development of improvements in MC Syria working practices.
- Lead efforts in sharing best practices with other NGOs working in Syria.
- Identify, build, and manage collaborative partnerships with donors and other stakeholders, as required.
- Represent MC in external coordination and donor meetings, as required.
- Participate in the complex program board calls, as required.
- Contribution to media and advocacy needs, as required.
- Ensure supervisees’ 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.
- As part of MC’s commitment to organizational learning and in support of MC understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, MC expects 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.
Supervise a team of international and national staff.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly With: MC Syria Sectoral Technical Advisors, Program Directors, Operations Director, Finance Director, Sub-Awards and Compliance Director, Humanitarian Access Team (HAT), the Regional Programs Team (RPT), as well as Regional Technical Support Unit (TSU) members and the global PaQ team.
- At least 7+ years’ experience designing and rolling accountable MEL systems in complex humanitarian environments, with limited access
- Experience in all phases of project management.
- Ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied experiences and work styles, follow procedures, and meet deadlines.
- Personal dedication to quality and learning.
- Strong remote management skills.
- Comfort with working under pressure, independently and with limited supervision.
- Demonstrated creative problem-solving skills.
- Instinctive spirit of curiosity.
- Multi-tasker with the proven ability to organize and prioritize competing priorities.
- Proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results.
- Demonstrate a strong understanding for cultural, political and religious environments and be able to live and work successfully in those environments.
- Deep commitment to humanitarian principles and values.
- Ability to maintain a sense of humor in stressful situations.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
- 7+ years of experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation
- Experience working in the Middle East region and Syrian context preferred.
- Mercy Corps experience strongly preferred.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.
- Extensive experience with monitoring and evaluation, information management, and other learning efforts.
- Excellent writing and communications skills required.
- Experience in grant management.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
- Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Arabic or Kurdish is a plus.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Amman, Jordan. Jordan is middle-income country with excellent education, medical, and other facilities in the capital Amman. Jordan is a very safe country with excellent communications, transportation, and housing infrastructure. Although neighboring countries continue to experience political unrest, Jordan has been a stable monarchy for over 30 years and the destination preference for many people from the Middle East to relax or gain access to available services. In recent years, events unfolding in Syria and Iraq have increased local concerns over the continued stability of Jordan but to date there have been no incidents. It requires up to 30% travel to countries in the region.
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.