Chief of Party, Sahel Collaboration and Communication Activity – Niger


Programming  Niamey, Niger


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 has been present in the Sahel since 2005, with current programming in Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali. In these countries, we focus on a host of sectors depending on local priorities and needs: food security, livelihoods, governance, conflict mitigation, and humanitarian response. We aim to boost economic opportunities, catalyze inclusive and accountable governance systems, break the cycle of food and water insecurity and respond to immediate needs while unleashing the potential to build for the future.  Our work contributes to resilience to shocks and stresses and enables individuals, households, and communities to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. Mercy Corps’ vision for change encourages the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the Sahel Collaboration and Communication (SCC) Activity, a five-year, $16 million USAID program to promote collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) for collective impact among USAID, implementing partners, government institutions and research institutions. The SCC Activity will also build local capacity for learning and adaptation. SCC will improve CLA among all stakeholders in order to enhance development results and help USAID better communicate those results.

General Position Summary

The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the USAID SCC Activity. They will manage staff, resources, and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The COP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. The Chief of Party will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers, and external stakeholders.


Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • 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.
  • 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

  • Oversee program start-up, management, and administration.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems and adaptive management principles to reach desired impacts.
  • Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity, and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
  • Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.

Team Management

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen their 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.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.

Finance and Compliance Management

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO, and other relevant events, 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.


  • 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.

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

National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Program team, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and partner organizations


Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent in management, international development or another relevant field.
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in senior management of development programs of similar or greater scope and complexity.
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategic thinking/planning, management, and presentation skills.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Proven ability to proactively establish and maintain relationships with implementing partners, host governments, donors, local organizations and partners.
  • Considerable experience in organizational capacity development, holistic organizational learning and/or organizational development approaches such as CLA.
  • Familiarity with M&E.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication and presentation skills in English and French at an advanced professional proficiency.
  • Significant relevant experience in the West African Sahel preferable.


Success Factors

The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships.  They 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. The COP will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem-solving and simultaneous attention to detail and 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

The COP will be based in Niamey. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement. There are international schools in Niger. Staff have good access to services (medical, electricity, water). Access to electricity during the hot season can be less reliable, with the occasional power cut. This position requires at least 25% travel by plane and vehicle to field offices in relatively secure environments. This position is not eligible for hardship benefits.


Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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 Mercy Corps’ 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.

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