Program Performance Manager – USAID’s Partnership for Development in Eastern Congo, Tujenge
Location Goma/Mambasa/Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
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.
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being 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 North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s 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; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Program Performance Manager for the five-year USAID-funded Program for Development in the Eastern Congo, Tujenge. The program began in August 2021 and will contribute to stabilization through integrated activities that work with local institutions to promote peace and facilitate a transition from humanitarian to development assistance in key areas of eastern Congo. With a budget of approximately $39.5 million, the program is implemented in Beni (North Kivu) and Mambasa territories (Ituri), in consortium with International Alert, the Wildlife Conservation Society and 9 other international and national partners. By engaging local communities and institutions in both the diagnoses of and solutions to conflict drivers, Tujenge will take a resilience and systems strengthening approach, supporting communities to engage in inclusive multi-stakeholder mobilization and dialogue processes to design local conflict early warning systems, mitigation processes and alternatives to violence (Outcome 1), decision-making processes in governance structures and social accountability mechanisms (Outcome 2) and viable economic activities with a private sector that promotes stability, inter-ethnic cooperation and social cohesion (Outcome 3).
General Position Summary
The Program Performance Manager will be a critical member of the Tujenge leadership team in reinforcing the program team in terms of internal performance management. The role will have a specific focus on reporting and grants management given the complex consortium requirements, while the position will also identify capacity gaps and training needs for staff and partners, develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for operational processes, and ensure sound internal communications within the team. The Program Performance Manager will act as a hub for knowledge management within the program, promoting and ensuring adherence to the agency’s Program Management @ Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards throughout the program lifecycle, in close coordination with the program leadership.
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Help to facilitate a culture of curiosity, learning and adaptive work planning and implementation with program teams.
- Contribute to knowledge-sharing, lessons learned and best practices documentation in Tujenge to build an understanding of our results, impact, and work contribution to outcomes.
- Troubleshoot problems that arise and contribute to adaptation of strategy to be reflective of current context.
- Maintain regular communication with country-level and HQ focal points to identify opportunities for innovative collaboration with other internal departments and advise senior leadership on ways to drive forward quality programming and leverage cross program learning.
- Support in representing Mercy Corps and Tujenge in key internal and high-level donor external meetings where requested by the Chief of Party or Deputy Chief of Party.
REPORTING, GRANTS MANAGEMENT & COMPLIANCE
- Ensure quality and timely reporting of the Tujenge Consortium to USAID. Manage reporting timelines and lead compilation and editing of all partner narrative report inputs; revise report drafts for program, country-level and HQ review; prepare reports for submission to the donor, including any revisions based on donor questions.
- Maintain minutes and ensure follow-up on actions from regular and ad hoc donor calls.
- Oversee programmatic monitoring of sub-recipients – both current and future – ensuring that monitoring and quality assurance is conducted across performance, quality and organizational aspects of implementation.
- Support compliance monitoring of all sub-recipients, both current and future, in collaboration with Mercy Corps and HQ finance and compliance teams.
- Ensure that grants management is transparent and compliant with donor and Mercy Corps regulations and procedures.
- Ensure that program information shared with stakeholders is presented in languages, formats and media that are appropriate for, accessible to, and can be understood by the target population.
- Support tracking of program delivery and donor compliance including through program workplan monitoring, flagging issues to the CoP and to the program board.
- Maintain the program risk register and issues log.
- Keeping the Tujenge compliance tracker updated, flagging issues to program leadership and the program board as needed.
- Prepare accurate monthly cash flow projections, through effective coordination and expectation management with the component leads.
- Set up and maintain Tujenge performance management dashboard in line with Mercy Corps PM@MC minimum standards to track and improve the quality and scope of interventions.
- Ensure that program team members are trained in required program management curricula (PM@MC, Project D Pro certification) as applicable
- Maintenance of online Tujenge quality assurance charter (QAC) system, ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps’ deliverable quality assurance check process.
- Work with teams to develop program management tools and guidelines including standard operating processes, workflow process design, complex Gantt program tools, risk tools etc.
- Oversee the implementation of team coordination mechanisms such as shared calendars, internal communications and meeting schedules, ensuring effective communication between all bases (North Kivu and Ituri) and between program and support departments (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).
- Provide support / lead (as required) internal comms and meetings such as partner check-in meetings, regular meetings, 90-day end of program transition meetings.
- Ensure compliance with Mercy Corps document retention and archiving practices (Record Retention & Archiving policy) through maintenance of the program file and of the Annex E Record Retention Schedule & Inventory.
- Support the Chief of Party in maintaining strong and transparent communication with all partners.
N/A at this time
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Deputy Chief of Party, Program Delivery Managers (M&E, Market Service Delivery, Governance, Infrastructure), Heads of Offices, Operations Director, HR/Admin Director, Finance Director, PaQ Director and associated support department Managers.
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.
- Equivalent practical experience or BA/S in management, social science, political science, international development, or another relevant field.
- Certified in program management.
- At least 5 years of experience in international development programming, preferably in Africa or in a protracted crisis environment.
- Patient and committed to capacity building, training and coaching of a team with diverse skillsets.
- Experience in implementing and managing programs including work-planning, risk management, governance and resource management.
- Demonstrated practitioner level capability in time-based planning tools – such as Microsoft Project or similar – or an in-depth understanding in how to approach their use.
- At least 3 years’ experience with managing US and/or European institutional donors, including strengths in grant management, coordination and donor reporting
- Demonstrable ability to produce high quality deliverables at speed and with minimal direction
- Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, and the capacity to work at a strategic level with senior leaders (both internal and external) is essential
- Ability to multi-task and juggle several tasks and relationships at one time, with little to no direction
- Proven ability to work effectively in multi-cultural teams and with technical and administrative staff and consultants
- Fluent English required and fluent French desirable
- Ability to work in a sometimes solitary environment with moderate to high levels of insecurity and significant restrictions on personal movement
- Prior work experience in the DRC and demonstrable understanding of the context a significant advantage
The successful Program Performance Manager will combine exceptional strategic thinking skills with an ability to focus on minute details. S/he will approach the position with a systems-thinking lens, possessing a high level of adaptability to creatively find solutions when things don’t go to plan, and continuously pushing for systematic improvements and growth. The ability to demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments is essential for success.
The Program Performance Manager will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will provide the space and support for the team members to realize their full potential in a high pressured environment. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy.
Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants. Living in Goma is mostly comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, 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 Goma, 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 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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.
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.
How to apply