OPERATIONS DIRECTOR - Goma, DR Congo
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 400 people working in Eastern DRC. The overall country goal is 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 DRC’s portfolio is one of the largest (implementing 50M USD annually in programming) and most complex across the agency. Mercy Corps DRC is recognized as a leader in humanitarian and development programming in Eastern Congo, with large-scale impact in communities. We champion and lead innovative solutions in a complex operating environment and are well positioned to influence stakeholders (donors, peer organizations, private sector and government) to implement solutions that will have a lasting impact and bring about real change at the community level.The Operations Department provides key support to the entire country program in procurement, asset management, warehouse management, fleet management, logistics and IT & sub-office management for successful program implementation.
The Operations Director is a key person within the country's senior management team, who ensures the resources are planned and utilized towards effective program support. The Operations Director plays a key role in the overall leadership of the country program under the guidance of the Country Director. As a member of the senior management team at the country level, the Operations Director shares the overall responsibility for the direction and coordination of the Mercy Corps country operation activities under the direct supervision of the Country Director.
● Manage reliable and cost-effective operations and effective implementation of the strategies of Mercy Corps towards the right direction, including supervision of sub-office management, information technology, procurement, asset management, fleet management and warehouse management.● Supports the program team on timely provision of operations support at a higher level of standards.● Ensures compliance requirements of Mercy Corps and rules and regulations specified by the donors and sometimes host governments.● Provides management information for decision making as required.● Support developing budgets for operations activities of country programs as an integral part of program proposal development and country level budgeting.● Represents Mercy Corps as required in coordination with country management. As a senior management team member, the operations director will have certain representation at the discretion of the country director. The level of representation may vary depend of the country context (i.e. Local Logistics Cluster, NGO Working Groups, etc.)● Ensure strong logistics and procurement archiving system is in place and staff well trained and all key documents are archived in MC DRC cloud folders
Responsibilities of the Operations Director:
As a member of senior management, the operations director is responsible for but not limited to key responsibilities of strategic oversight, development and implementation of policies and procedures and resource management;
Strategic oversight, direction and advice on all aspects of Mercy Corps operations management, aiming at the achievement of the following results:
● Successful contribution for implementation of country operations strategies and establishment of management guidelines.● Advice on operations strategies, policies and plans affecting operations, program deliverables and staffing.● Analyzing Mercy Corps' operating environment in the country and adjusting operations and providing advice on contextual changes.● Guide Mercy Corps operational strategies and activities.● Successful implementation of operational strategies and direct establishment of management achievements with operations.● Work with the Finance Director to maintain regular control on operations budget and identify any exceptions or possible implications of under / over spending in a timely manner.● Promote cross-department collaboration and communication between operations, programs, HR/Admin and other teams.● Foster a service-oriented, collaborative team culture.● Promote continuous organizational learning culture with the empowerment of individuals and teams with the identification of learning needs. Create learning opportunities and ensure access to available learning resources.● Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.● Contribute in the country strategic planning and or review process
IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Implementation of appropriate operations policies and procedures that comply with Mercy Corps policies and procedures and with donor rules and regulations focusing on the achievement of the following results: ● Full compliance of operations with Mercy Corps Global Procurement and Logistics policies, procedures and processes.● Provide strategic, technical and managerial leadership in implementation of Global Procurement and Logistics in the country program.● Ensure ongoing full compliance of Mercy Corps finance policies and procedure and others (i.e. Program Management Manual, National Staff Handbook and etc.)● Act as focal point from operations for all internal and external audit matters in coordination with country management.● Provide expert advice on Mercy Corps policies regarding resource management, tools, etc.● Development of local policies and procedures with the support of country management and implementation of them.● Ensure the roll over of new global operational policies, SOP and guidelines
Effective and efficient resources management in sub-office management, procurement, logistics and IT on the achievement of the following results:
● Together with the Senior Leadership Core Team, assess opportunities for cost effectiveness and cost saving (operations-related). Implement any recommended actions.● Ensure effective management of logistics resources and reporting in a systematic, transparent and efficient manner to country management.● Responsible for provision of high quality and timely procurement and other program support.● Exercising oversight over procurement processes and logistics ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps procurement policies and procedures as well donor rules and regulations.● Oversee provision of transport and importations/exportations.● Oversight on maintenance of proper custody of Mercy Corps assets, warehouse inventory and general inventory.
● Work with the Senior Leadership Core Team to assess the current team structures, roles, responsibilities and segregation of tasks and duties, in order to rethink and adapt the teams’ structures where necessary. Implement any recommended actions.● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.● Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.● Create and sustain a service-oriented, collaborative and proactive team culture.● Review team structures and adapt appropriately as required based on programming/country needs, budgets, etc. This includes semi-frequent reviews of roles/responsibilities of operations team members.● Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.● Work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems.
● Ensure 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
PROGRAM SUPPORT● Work closely with the Country Director, and other head of departments to ensure smooth, efficient and effective implementation of programs● Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources● Lead or co-lead coordination meetings between programs and operations and ensure all the agreed points of action are well followed● Ensure all offices have capacities (human and technical) for smooth program operations.● Ensure internal and donor procedures, policies and guidelines are followed● Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.● Ensure unified and cost effective fleet management, including tracking of maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.● Support the set-up on new field offices including ICT and logistics● Provide support to programs in developing and periodically reviewing procurement plans● Oversee database and file management for procurement, ICT and logistics documents.● Standardize procedures and tools across the mission and ensure they are followed● Ensure archive of operations documentation is well organized with hard and soft format and up to date to facilitate audit and information research.● Work closely with the HR/Admin team to ensure the quality of orientation for new staff regarding MC policies and proceduresFIELD OFFICES OPERATIONS● Provide support to field offices to ensure support systems and structures are in place and compliant with relevant internal and external policies and procedures.● Ensure that field office operations create an enabling environment for smooth program implementation.● Conduct frequent field visits to projects/programs’ sites for supervision and support, and maintain close collaboration with the Heads of Office in each field site to ensure operational and programmatic cooperation.● Support field offices in assessing operational risks and in developing an operational risk mitigation plan
All Country Operations: Procurement, Logistics, Sub-Office Management Direct reports: Procurement Manager, Deputy Operations Director, North Kivu and Ituri Area Director, Head of Office South Kivu Works closely with: Finance Director, HR/Admin Director, Director of Programs, Director of Ethics, Safety & Security Director + Teams
Reports Directly To: Country Director
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
● BA/BS degree in a relevant field.● Minimum of 5-7 years senior management experience in a corporate or an INGO sector, including experience in operational support including developing strategies.● Sound knowledge of administrative and logistics procedures is highly desired.● Proven supervisory ability and/or technical skills combined with leadership.● Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues in a diversified multi-cultural and multi-ethnic working environment.● Skills in managing, organizing, planning and implementing assigned tasks under pressure of frequent and tight schedules.● Strong ability to apply good judgment and decision making skills in difficult and complex working environments.● Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills in handling management and coordination issues at country program level.● Ability to simultaneously manage day-to-day tasks while maintaining strategic vision and direction essential.● Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.● Proficient in oral and written French skills required; proficiency in English is also required.● Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful Operations Manager will be good at problem solving and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. They will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. They will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. 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
The position is based in Goma, DRC and option of being accompanied (if so, only in Gisenyi, Rwanda). It requires up to 40% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in individual housing. The position is based in Goma, DRC and it requires travels to various locations within North and South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps' offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. 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 limited, but 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 several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.
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.