Senior Program Manager at Mercy Corps Nigeria

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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Program Manager

Requisition Number: SENIO003601
Location: Bama, Borno
Employment Type: Full-time

Program / Department Summary

  • Mercy Corps Nigeria is one of the sub-partners in a consortium led by FHI360 in the 24-month for Strengthening Humanitarian Response and Building Community Resilience in Northeast Nigeria (NE-CORE) Activity in Borno State.
  • NE-CORE will Provide immediate basic needs for Internally displaced persons in Camps and Host communities, ensure vulnerable families access food needs, shelter, clean water, and sanitation while receiving health, nutrition and protection services needed to survive and be protected.
  • Across the 24-month assistance and early recovery period under NE-CORE, Mercy Corps will be a key partner in the delivery of outcomes under Food Assistance, Multi-purpose Cash Assistance, Shelter & Settlement, Nutrition, WASH, Protection & Agriculture in Ngala and Bama Local Government Area communities.

General Position Summary

  • This position offers overall coordination of deliverables and team leadership functions on the Mercy Corps tasks under NE-CORE Consortium. The Senior Program Manager is a cross-functional manager and leader who takes full responsibility for the successful delivery of Mercy Corps’ responsibilities within the NE-CORE consortium.
  • This role will coordinate heavily within Mercy Corps teams, the NE-CORE consortium members, the Borno State Government and Ngala and Bama LGA Desks. Succeeding in this role will require an agile personality, great emotional intelligence, and a solutions thinker with a desire to define your success aroundimprovement in the quality of human lives.
  • The Senior Program Manager has a clear understanding of at least five of the eight sectors above and how they work well together.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Throughout the life of the award, the success of the Senior Program Manager-NE-CORE will be evaluated based on the following scope:

Defining Strategy For Success:

  • You will be a self-starter with the acumen to appreciate the dynamics of setting up a new project. You will develop your strategy for success based on your diagnosis, highlighting what the NE-CORE consortium should expect to celebrate from your team. You will prioritize your “low-hanging fruits” and speak to various stakeholders about your vision for success.
  • You will also define at the beginning of NE-CORE and refine during implementation what sustainability and exit look like, adhering to all start-up requirements (kick-off meeting, recruitments, establishment of systems) in accordance with project management best practice and Mercy Corps internal Project Management @ Mercy Corps 2.0 (PM@MC 2.0) minimum standards.

Manage Cross-Sectoral Delivery:

  • You will lead a team delivering interventions across ten sectors. You are expected to appraise yourself of this technical and people diversity.
  • You will deploy effective skills in managing and coordinating a successful delivery of an integrated package of multi-sectoral interventions to participants, ensuring the various components and teams do not operate in siloes but are rather working together to great effect.

Strengthen Position In Consortium:

  • Mercy Corps is a key partner in the NE-CORE consortium with a myriad of celebrations and successes in the humanitarian assistance context in Northeast Nigeria, across all eight sectors.
  • You will secure our key partnership position in NE-CORE and build long-term and productive relationships with all NE-CORE consortium members. You will be Mercy Corps’ primary point of representation in NE-CORE and associated consortia members.

Learning And Adaptation:

  • You will work with the NE-CORE Consortium management structure, Mercy Corps Program Performance and Quality, Crisis Analytics, Strategic Learning Manager and MEL Teams to identify and deliver your learning agenda.
  • You will ensure documentation of learning throughout the implementation period, including how that is influencing your execution decisions and style, in accordance with PM@MC 2.0 and Mercy Corps Nigeria’s learning agenda.
  • You will work with the NE-CORE team to encourage a culture of learning and adaptation, and with the broader Mercy Corps Nigeria country team to put in place strong knowledge management systems to ensure such learning is not lost in the future.

Planning, Program And Team Management:

  • In your Strategy for Success, you will be expected to define how you will manage all the integrated sectors within the NE-CORE consortium sector deliverables assigned to Mercy Corps.
  • You will work with your team to draw your sectoral workplans and an integrated work plan, with robust work breakdown structures for each sector flagship intervention. You will lead meticulous planning processes within the consortium. Planning and Adaptive Management will be an inherent and core success factor.
  • You will also appreciate the different strengths and areas of support for your team members, deploying a management style that allows for freethoughts, innovation and practical pathways for continuous improvements in individual and team performances.
  • You will be expected to plough in positive energy to the team and optimize their individual and collective potential. Mercy Corps expects you to build a culture of trust within your team members.

Peer-To-Peer Collaboration:

  • NE-CORE is a consortium led by FHI360, which has overall responsibility over the activity. However, as a key partner, Mercy Corps will only be effective and succeed by working harmoniously with all NE-CORE partners.
  • Further, Mercy Corps will be implementing two separate sisters USAID/BHA assistance activities (BEGE Borno and THRIVE) within similar contexts in Borno State. At Maiduguri level, all three activities will significantly share technical and support personnel.
  • You will therefore have two peers within Mercy Corps with whom you will have to develop an effective collaboration mechanism.
  • You will also negotiate your collaboration plan internally with Finance, Operations, Security, MEL, Program Reporting and Security Managers and externally with the FHI360. The consortium lead from FHI360 and your peers from other partners will need to see you as a reliable team player.

Budget Tracking And Management:

  • You are looking to work with USD 8.2M million budget across 24 months. You will work with the finance team to track your budget expenses versus actuals (BVAs) and make decisions out of BVA reports each month.
  • You will plan and manage your monthly and quarterly cash flows, and oversee the timely and compliant expenditure by sector leads. Your agile planning will ensure timely procurements and delivery of activities.
  • You will plan meticulously to ensure you avoid a No-Cost Extension and safeguard the timely and impactful delivery of all project components.

Diversity, Equity And Inclusion:

  • Mercy Corps holds in high esteem a culture of a respectful workplace.
  • You will demonstrate tolerance, and promote increasing spaces for women, youth and individuals abled differently to equally contribute to NE-CORE goals and the process of getting there, both at the office and in participant communities.

Safety And Security:

  • You will ensure strict adherence to all health, safety and security protocols put in place by the Government of Nigeria, Borno State Government and Mercy Corps.
  • You will have a duty of care to all Mercy Corps NE-CORE Borno Staff. You will also be expected to regularly familiarize yourself with the Consortium Risk Assessment and Management Plan (RAMP) as well as the Security Plan.

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 international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in designing, monitoring and evaluating our field project.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • 7 Sector Leads, One Field Program Manager


  • Reports Directly To: Director-Humanitarian Response and Sustainable Solutions-Maiduguri.
  • Works Directly With: BEGE Borno Program Director, THRIVE Associate Director, PAQ Team, Finance Manager, Operations Manager, Security Advisor, Senior Field Manager.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Advanced Degree in a program that places you in the position of interacting frequently with rural and peri-urban communities. It could be Project Management, Basket Weaving, Economics, M&E, Rural Development, etc. Just Illustrate how you’re gainfully utilizing the education and how it would be an asset for you in this role.
  • At least two years of qualified experience and competencies in a position of managing an integrated multisector portfolio or program. We are looking for years consistently spent in mid to senior management of assistance or development programs.
  • A compelling reputation for effective people management and admirable interpersonal relations skills. You are that supervisor whose direct reports feel sad to see you leave.
  • Familiarity with USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) Assistance Guidelines. Previous experience with management of activity under what was formerly USAID OFDA and FFP is welcome.
  • Familiarity with and understanding of the humanitarian context in Borno State (primary), or similar contexts around the globe (secondary).
  • Mid to Senior level management experience within a consortium of actors
  • Illustratable analytical and presentation skills. You can do an effective pitch before a board, senior government officials, humanitarian coordination platforms and other equivalents.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to manage multi-year consortium budgets of at least US$8M.
  • Illustrated deep interactions with at least five of the eight assistance sectors mentioned above. These sectors define the core of BEGE Borno intervention outcomes.
  • At this level, we expect you to be convincingly articulate in your writing, communication, presentation, and personal organization.

Success Factors:

  • The successful candidate will have the enthusiasm and proactive personality to regularly interact with participants of the NE-CORE Activity. You will need to have patienceand skills for succeeding within a team, and tolerance for opinions that irk you, including from your junior team members. You will prioritize effective and timely communication of your thoughts and doubts to your team members. You can plan so well to allow you to anticipate your results.
  • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours.
  • 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.

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 a 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, colour, 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 the 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 adhere to the Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Application Closing Date
28th April, 2023.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Applicants should have their CVs and Cover Letters in one document addressing the position requirements.
  • Female candidates who are qualified are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • The position is contingent upon funding approval.
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