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NGO Chief of Party Job in Nairobi Kenya

Position Title: Chief of Party – Market Development, Livelihoods, Value Chain, Nutrition - Kenya
Primary Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Position Status: Full time
Current Employee: N/A

Please note that this position is contingent on receipt of new program funding.

Program / Department Summary:
The Chief of Party (COP) will lead the implementation of a proposed five-year $49 million program to support increased resiliency and economic growth in Kenya’s Northern and Arid Lands.

Mercy Corps has been operational in Kenya since 2008, initially in response to the Post Election Violence in Rift Valley, and then expanding to a national program under USAID’s Yes Youth Can! initiative.

 In July 2011, Mercy Corps began operations in Northeastern Province through integrated humanitarian response in Wajir County. 

The program in Wajir currently focuses on supporting increased resilience through strengthening the livestock value chain, supporting diversified livelihood options, and improving access to pasture and water resources.

The REGAL-IR program will support USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative through improving resilience to drought and other shocks. 

The objectives of the program include: strengthened and diversified livelihood options, increased inclusiveness of value chains, improved nutrition, improved capacity to peacefully manage conflicts, community-based natural resource management, and disaster risk reduction.

General Position Summary: 
The Chief of Party (COP) will manage all aspects of program including meeting the objectives of the project while providing overall technical, administrative, operational, and logistical management of the project, with a focus on achieving the results defined in the co-operative agreement. 

The COP is responsible for developing a strong, coherent vision within REGAL-IR and initiating innovative strategies across the program. The position requires significant long-term experience in pastoral and livestock issues in the region, and strong leadership and coordination skills.

The COP will act as the key liaison between USAID/Kenya and all other counterparts, and Government of Kenya officials.

 The COP is expected to lead and/or participate in strategic and high level policy forums and meetings with various actors and advocate for broader pastoralist issues.

 The COP is expected to contribute to improving pastoralist’s policy environment using REGAL-AG evidence base and learning generated through the project.

Essential Job Functions:

Strategy and Vision
  • Provide strategic vision, leadership and overall responsibility for all aspects of the program’s development, implementation, and management.
  • Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, including finalizing target areas/activities, methods of operation, and means of evaluation.
Program Management
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of program implementation, development and management. Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan. 
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations. Oversee performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees.
  • Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites.
  • Coordinate with program and finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities including logistics (transport, warehousing and asset management), procurement, security, administration and human resources.
  • Propose design of new local policies as needed and in accordance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.
Coordination and Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director. 
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
Team Management
  • Create a work atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
  • Implement, and ensure all staff are effectively using the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback. 
  • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees, and ensuring that supervisory staff do the same.  
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work. 
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.
Organizational Learning
As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.

Accountability to Beneficiaries
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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:
Direct supervision of: Deputy Chief of Party, Finance and Grants Manager, and other positions TBD.

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.

Reports Directly To:  Kenya Country Director

Works Directly With: Other Program Managers in-country, HQ Program Operations Team members, Technical Support Unit team members

Knowledge and Experience:
  • MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development or other relevant field.
  • 10-15 years of overseas experience including 5 years in a senior management position.
  • Strong understanding of U.S. government compliance issues
  • Prior experience as a Chief of Party or Deputy Chief of Party
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing and editing.
  • Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Proven experience in systems-based approaches to enhancing resilience
  • Sectoral experience in pastoralist livelihoods, livestock development, conflict mitigation or natural resource management.
  • Previous experience in Kenya or the Horn of Africa is preferable.
Success Factors:
The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships and will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. 

S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. 

The CoP will have demonstrated skills in managing programs in challenging insecure environments and will be an expert at multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and have simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision. 

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 will be based in Nairobi, which is an accompanied post.

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.

Please apply immediately.

For detail and application, go to

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