Chief of Party - Building Resilience in Civil Society - Kenya

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Company:Mercy Corps International
Category:Social Development
Job Type:Permanent

Job details

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 began working in Kenya in 2008 to address the societal wounds following the 2007 post-election violence. Since that time, Mercy Corps has built a robust and diverse portfolio in Kenya that is working to address structural causes of poverty and injustice and to strengthen systems that enable men, women and children to access opportunities, participate in and contribute to peaceful democratic processes, and thrive in the face of ecological and social change. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen market and governance systems, address the root causes of conflict, and equip vulnerable populations- in particular youth, women, adolescents and marginalized social groups- with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to be healthy, productive and to drive the development of their communities. We work closely with the private sector, civil society and governance structures at local and national levels to facilitate change and ensure that opportunities are inclusive of all Kenyans.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Leadership

  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight for Mercy Corps’ BRICS II activities in cooperation with key project stakeholders, including local and international partner organizations, local civil society organizations, local and national government officials, research institutions and universities, other international agencies on the ground, and key donors.
  • Oversee relevant program, finance and administrative staff to ensure systems are in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts, and develop mechanisms for targeted research to inform program design and implementation.
  • 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.
  • Increase staff capacity by ensuring high quality technical training on CVE programming for Mercy Corps staff and local partners, and providing ongoing coaching and mentoring.
  • Promote learning and knowledge management through documentation and knowledge sharing around best practices and lessons learned.

Strategy and Vision

  • Set the overall vision and strategy for the program by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve program objectives and impact.
  • Drive a cutting-edge research agenda to inform program strategy and promote internal and external learning about best practices in CVE programming
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.


  • Lead the BRICS II Policy Influencing agenda and engage with local and national governance institutions to drive CVE policy development and implementation.
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Identify, engage, capacity-build and coordinate partner organizations into a cohesive program implementation unit.
  • Maintain good working relationships with the donor, the host country government and local leaders, partner agencies, and other key stakeholders.
  • Document and disseminate lessons learned and best practices from BRICS II to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships and coordinate with relevant international and local agencies active in the CVE and peacebuilding sectors, including donors, other peace-building and research organizations, local authorities and local partners.

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 performance reviews.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Supervise and regularly coordinate with project staff and support departments to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of program activities. Develop a framework for adaptive management and program iteration driven by research and learning.
  • Provide overall leadership to a broad team of program staff ensuring synergy, sharing of best practices and resources.

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

Policy and Advocacy Manager, Partner Support Manager, Finance Manager, Research Director, M&E Manager and other relevant staff


Reports Directly To:   Kenya Country Director

Works Directly With: Technical Service Unit, Operations and Finance Teams, Mercy Corps Desk team

Knowledge and Experience

  • Master’s degree in conflict mitigation, social sciences, international relations or other relevant field preferred.
  • Minimum 8 years’ relevant professional experience implementing conflict management and peacebuilding programs, preferably with experience on working on CVE programming.
  • Previous experience managing a portfolio of programs in insecure environments.
  • Experience in at least one of the following program areas: conflict management, governance and/or youth.
  • Demonstrated experience with consortium management, including innovative ways to ensure participatory and dynamic engagement of partner organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience with adaptive management, integration of research into program design and strategy, and innovative approaches to program monitoring and evaluation. 
  • Knowledge of systems approaches and resilience principles a plus.
  • Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills.
  • Experience managing national and international staff.
  • Familiarity and experience with FCO regulations preferred.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing and editing.
  • Must be able to work independently while being a strong team player.

Success Factors

The successful Chief of Party candidate will demonstrate the capacity to lead a multi-dimensional effort in a complex and fluid security environment.  She will employ excellent judgment, strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps.  She will take initiative, calculate risks and benefits of various courses of action, lead others to achieve to the highest level possible, and demonstrate solid decision-making while working in concert with diverse partners.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position will be located in Nairobi or Mombasa and is an accompanied position for spouses and children. Nairobi and Mombasa are developed cities, with good access to goods and services, health care, and high-quality education. While Kenya is a stable and middle-income country, criminality persists and team members are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to minimize the risk of falling victim to criminal activity.  

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/temporary assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws and customs, and adhere to MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

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Social Development Mercy Corps International 1 year ago