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 is currently operational in 10 countries across West and Central Africa (WCA) Region, working in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency contexts, as well as more stable development settings. Against this backdrop, Mercy Corps’ focus in WCA has been to promote good governance and conflict resolution, enhance resilience, facilitate growth of market systems, support access to finance and economic opportunities, as well as drive youth employment and empowerment. Mercy Corps has built its reputation as a key and credible partner with many donors, government authorities and civil society actors within the region, helping people build secure, productive and just communities across the continent. Mercy Corps looks to actively engage and partner with an ever-growing and innovative African private sector to achieve greater and sustained impact.
The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit partners with program delivery teams to support and enable quality program implementation by establishing and maintaining standards for excellence, championing accountability and an evidence-based practice to strengthen program performance, and supporting strategic program change management. PaQ oversees several business functions and processes including program management standards; quality assurance; program data management; infrastructure quality assurance; strategic change management; and facilitating the complex program process. The Agency has rolled out a Strategic Plan-Pathways to Possibilities (P2P) that will use data, evidence, and analytics to drive impact, scale what works, and influence others.
Embedded within the WCA regional team, the Regional Program Advisor for Performance and Quality will work closely with regional and country teams to enable and support implementation of Mercy Corps standards, policies, and best practices for program quality, supporting our program teams to achieve greater impact by strengthening program management practices, ensuring strong systems for evidence and learning, building adaptive management practices, and ensuring the use of data-driven evidence to demonstrate results. S/he will work with regional Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) Advisors, continue to build a Regional Program Performance Unit that is poised to deliver strategic and targeted support to country teams and programs to enable high quality program delivery. The Regional Program Advisor for Performance and Quality (PaQ)will play a key role in equipping teams to deliver expected program outputs on time, on scope, and on budget, ensuring accountability to our donors and the communities where we work and supporting teams to strive for excellence, producing evidence of durable results. Technology can offer important, scalable solutions to enable programmatic excellence, and this role should partner with teams to identify and implement appropriate technology solutions to meet programmatic needs. The Regional Program Advisor for Performance and Quality (PaQ) is a member of the regional team and works closely with regional and country teams as well as HQ-based PaQ teams. The Regional Program Advisor will provide a critical leadership role, supporting and partnering with country teams to set high standards for program performance and quality by strengthening the organizational culture and building systems and skills within teams to enable evidence-based programming, strong monitoring and evaluation, and accountability systems.
The Regional Program Advisor for Performance and Quality (PaQ) will oversee two inter-related areas 1) program management and standards, 2) regional collaboration and strategic support. The Regional Program Advisor for Performance and Quality (PaQ) will partner closely with regional and country leadership to support teams to achieve high quality program implementation through adherence to Mercy Corps and global best practices, policies and procedures, which include PM@MC and other Minimum Standards at Mercy Corps and other agency level initiatives. Working closely with country and regional leadership, the Advisor will support teams to conduct program implementation quality reviews, enable systems to track compliance with minimum standards and work with the MERL advisor to monitor quality of M&E data collection and analysis.
Program Management and Standards
  • Ensure that program managers and directors are oriented, trained and prepared to implement program management standards.
  • In collaboration with Global PaQ contribute to development and delivery of the agency strategy to design, promote and verify accountability to integrated standards that ensure quality program implementation.
  • Foster a culture that values high quality program management practices.
  • Contribute to global efforts to integrate and mainstream Mercy Corps’ program management standards, tools, resources, and accountability mechanisms, ensuring a strong user perspective from across WCA programs.
  • Lead adoption and refinement ofagency program management policies in WCA, including the Program Management Manual, Gender Integration and Standards, Program Record Retention and Archiving Policy, and other related policies.
  • Support country offices in integrating minimum standards into the newly approved Strategic Plans-Pathways to Possibilities (P2P)
  • Coordinate PM@MC learning, training, and facilitation across Mercy Corps’ programs and teams in Africa. Oversee internal program management training and skill-building, and track key performance indicators.
  • Contribute to a culture of learning and adaptive management.
  • Work closely with Regional CARM Advisors to coordinate regional rollout and adherence to Mercy Corps’ CARM Policies in close collaboration with the Global CARM Team.
  • Work closely with country teams to embed accountability mechanisms within our standard program management tools and practices throughout the program cycle.
Regional Collaboration and Strategic Support
  • Continue to build a Regional Program Performance Unit that is equipped to partner with Regional and Country teams to ensure consistently high program quality and performance standards, including:
    • Support country teams in the review of PAQ structures to ensure optimal functionality.
    • Support strategic hiring for Key PaQ, positions within country teams.
    • Support orientation and onboarding of country-level PaQ and other senior program staff.
    • In coordination with global efforts, engage with and grow relevant Communities of Practice and organize learning/sharing events to promote a dynamic group of PaQ specialists across the region.
    • Contribute to Regional and Country Strategies, as requested. Design indicators and processes to measure performance and impact against the Regional Strategy.
  • Develop and empower team members to deepen understanding of their roles, improve performance and reach objectives and assist with career development.
  • 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.
  • Contribute to regional team-building efforts and ensure the integration of team members into relevant decision-making processes.
Internal & External Collaboration
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships across all headquarters departments, country and regional teams, as well as other key stakeholders within Mercy Corps.
  • Represent Mercy Corps’ program management work externally, and cultivate strong working relationships across key organizations and partners to share learning and keep practices current.
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Technical Director for Africa Region
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Regional and Country leadership, program managers, country-level MEL & CARM team members, Global PaQ Team members, other relevant headquarters-based departments.
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills
  • BA in relevant field required; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent experience preferred
  • 5-7 years of relevant experience in international relief and development, including field-based experience; demonstrated knowledge of grant-based funding models, emergency response and development strategies and operational challenges in the sector
  • 3-5 years of experience managing programs and/or demonstrated ability to establish strong program management systems and practices to promote quality, performance and accountability within individual or country programs
  • Demonstrated experience and skills of leading a team to build a culture of accountability, high performance, and establishment of reflective and adaptive management practices
  • Demonstrated success designing and delivering professional development activities
  • Experience leading or supporting change management preferred
  • Project management certification required
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and Google suite (Google drive, docs, sheets)
  • Strong communication skills and demonstrated ability to build strong and productive working relationships with a geographically dispersed team
  • Fluency in both English and French is required.
Success Factors
The individual needs to be a creative problem solver, able to support country teams to overcome contextual challenges in the design and implementation of their programs. They will also be a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with team members and departments internally, as well as with external bodies, and leverage these relationships to produce programmatic results. They will have a positive and dynamic working style that enables them to adapt to challenges as they arise. They will harness the expertise, experience and ideas of diverse Mercy Corps team members and external partners to strengthen program quality within Mercy Corps. S/he has a deep understanding of how a grants-based international relief and development organization works and has a proven passion for quality program implementation and evidence-based decision-making. The Advisor has an entrepreneurial spirit that is creative, flexible and collaborative while also detail-minded, data-oriented and with strong values for accountability. The successful Advisor will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with coaching and skill building. The Advisor will be a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), ensuring that the principles of DEI are firmly embedded in all aspects of Mercy Corps’ PaQ work. The Advisor will have a proven commitment to teamwork and accountability, a passion for facilitating strategic change management, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written, verbal and visual communication a priority.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position will be based in any of Mercy Corps Operational Offices in WCA, and is expected to travel up to 20% of the time, sometimes to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed to a country office or on a visit/ short-term assignment to a country office. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Every voice matter and diversity is powerful are critical elements of Mercy Corps’ values that allow us to achieve our mission of alleviating suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. We embrace diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have sustained impact. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
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.