Subawards and Organizational Capacity Building Advisor 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: Subawards and Organizational Capacity Building Advisor

Location: Abuja
Employment Type: Full-time, Regular
Reports Directly to:The Chief of Party-PARTNER

Program / Department Summary

  • Waves of resource-based, ethnic, and sectarian conflict, rising criminality and banditry, and expanding violent extremism are rendering North Central and Northwest Nigeria increasingly insecure.
  • While multiple initiatives seek to address the complex causes of violence, community and security responses to drivers and triggers are often piecemeal at best, and ineffectual at worst.
  • Existing Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) systems suffer from slow responses, poor coordination, top-down mandates that limit community ownership, weak dispute resolution skills among responders, little political and financial investment, leadership structures that exclude women and youth, and scant rigorous evidence. The result of ineffective EWER systems is that unchecked, violence proliferates.
  • To examine and mitigate these barriers, Peace Action for Rapid and Transformative Nigerian Early Response (PARTNER) will pursue a bold approach to collaboration across local, international, government, non-government, community, state, and security stakeholders.
  • Our consortium of Government Agencies and CSOs will be led by Mercy Corps in a mentorship capacity in Years 1 and 2, after which local partners will assume leadership, working hand-in-hand with other consortium members.
  • Local ownership, fueled by iterative organizational performance assessment and capacity strengthening, will inform each component of the proposed sustainable, flexible, and evidence-based national EWER system that builds on existing locally-led and gender-sensitive conflict management mechanisms for vertical integration; incentivizes quick responses through horizontal coordination; and fosters increased trust in security and government actors to promote inclusive and collective action.
  • By embedding EWER innovations within formal structures from the beginning, PARTNER will increase Nigeria’s self-reliance in leading a holistic, coordinated, and effective effort to promote sustainable peace.

General Position Summary

  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor will support the development, implementation and review of capacity-building activities for PARTNER subaward partner, West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) under the PARTNER project.
  • The position is based in Abuja with frequent travel to Lagos and the North Central and Northwest states. The position requires a strong background in institutional capacity development of CSOs, experience with conflict and civil society development programs, and a sound understanding of general program implementation in challenging environments.
  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor will assess the strengths and gaps related to technical, MEL, financial, operations, compliance, advocacy, human resources, and other areas, focusing on standard organizational practices and systems, which should set the organization on a healthy, sustainable track. The outcome of this assessment will be a succinct report that includes both qualitative reflections as well as self-assigned scores for each category.
  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor will develop a detailed capacity strengthening plan that outlines capacity goals for WANEP and specific strategies to meet those goals. In consultation with USAID, the SCB will set specific milestones each year that will indicate the degree to which WANEP is prepared to take over the leadership role of the program, and when.
  • These milestones will cover technical skills and knowledge capacities related to EWER and peacebuilding, financial systems, skills, and compliance procedures, including sub-grant management, as well as harder-to-quantify ‘soft skills’ in convening, advocacy, influence, and other traits determined to be essential for the success of the PARTNER project.
  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor is responsible for the development and/or context-appropriate refinement and adaptation of training elements, modules and tools to ensure high-quality organizational development and growth for WANEP and other consortium partners. This includes leading facilitative processes to assess partners’ capacity strengths and gaps and using results to design targeted skills-building programs. S/he will work with national staff to develop and implement trainings, support peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and strengthen organizational systems and structures for PARTNER’s partners.
  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor works in coordination with a Technical Advisor within the offices of WANEP, who will work closely within the team to provide guidance on technical approaches related to EWER, social cohesion strengthening, and MEL and CLA. This placement will ensure continuous support as well as seamless coordination between WANEP and Mercy Corps.
  • In addition to the Technical Advisor, financial and compliance support will be continuous throughout the program. Mercy Corps’ finance, sub-award, HR, and operations/procurement officers and WANEP will establish regular touchpoints, by facilitating a monthly ‘accompaniment’ day in which Mercy Corps’ Mercy Corps’ finance, sub-award, HR, and operations/procurement team sits within the WANEP office to help strengthen financial and operational systems.
  • The Subaward & Organizational Capacity Building Advisor is responsible for managing the programmatic and operational aspects of sub-awards issued under the program in Mercy Corps Nigeria.
  • Working with the sub-award team, identifying new sub-grantees & participating in the due diligence process and drafting sub-award agreements.
  • S/he will also lead efforts to build the capacity of local sub-recipients to meet the finance and compliance requirements of the relevant program’s prime donor and other donors so that these local organizations develop professional personnel and systems. Work closely with consortium-level sub-recipient organizations to ensure they are issuing, managing and monitoring subawards in accordance with the sub-award agreement.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Partner Capacity Building:

  • Provide strategic program guidance and technical support for the CSO capacity-building portion of the program, through the provision of support to field staff and partner organizations as required and in coordination with the relevant program team.
  • Develop strong relationships with partner organizations.
  • Supervise the capacity assessment of identified organizations using Mercy Corps’ Organizational Capacity Index (OCI) tool and using OCI findings, support partner organizations to create capacity development plans.
  • Refine organizational development tools and recommend best approaches for partner capacity development based on existing Mercy Corps knowledge and experience.
  • Develop and/or refine existing CSO capacity-building curricula to fit local context and capacity.
  • Deliver and/or oversee the delivery of training to build partner capacity and technical competencies.
  • Support peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and peer mentorship opportunities, including field site visits and learning events.
  • Provide technical guidance to develop/strengthen partner organization’s administrative and financial management systems and structures.
  • Support the establishment of Small Grants Fund to allow WANEP to utilize the ‘learning by doing’ approach and prepare them for larger funding processes.
  • Provide training for project staff and ensure that their capacity and technical competence is built and improved.
  • Support the incorporation of conflict-sensitive and gender approaches into civil society organizations and their activities.
  • Abide by all security protocols and assist in ensuring their implementation by other staff.
  • Work with SAS+ on goals related to the transition process in order to ensure a responsible transition to WANEP’s leadership in Year 2
  • Continue to articulate SAS+ transition support needed between Mercy Corps and WANEP as the transition process evolves.
  • Take lead in drafting Transition Plan, in close collaboration with sub-awardees, USAID/Nigeria, SAS+ and USAID/DDI/LFT Hub.

Sub Awards Management:

  • Participate in the design of new initiatives that require partnership strategies and manage the relationships with prospective partners.
  • Prepare Request for Application (RFA) or call for proposal for competitive processes that clearly defines and communicates steps for selecting, negotiating and awarding sub-awards.
  • Develop & prepare program-specific subawards procedure manual, when needed.
  • Conduct pre-award Programmatic capacity review and other due diligence of apparently successful applicants.
  • Facilitate with HQ & partners in developing draft sub-award agreement.
  • Review & refine Sub-grantee program description & milestone in sub-grant agreements. Support partners in identifying activities & developing their budget.
  • Develop sub-recipient monitoring plans, conduct programmatic monitoring of sub-recipients. Visit sub-recipients and produce regular programmatic monitoring visit reports.
  • Review sub-recipient programmatic reports for correctness and completeness in line with finance reports and ensure that reports are submitted on time. Follow up in resolution of program & finance performance report issues.
  • Organize coordination meetings & programmatic correspondence with the sub-recipient for creating smooth relationships.
  • Process the request for procurement for grant & sub-grants, assist in developing forecast & activity plan & review Actual versus budget variance analysis together with finance.
  • Maintain & update programmatic report on PM@MC folder file for the program and follow up on Programmatic sub-award files in soft & hard copy.
  • Assist sub-award close-outs & evaluation, including ensuring that all requirements of the sub-award agreement have been met and that sub-award program reports are submitted.

Influence and Representation:

  • Represent Mercy Corps to partner organizations and donors.
  • Liaise as needed with other relevant Mercy Corps staff to ensure programmatic synergies.
  • Make recommendations regarding establishing, maintaining and building partnerships with CBOs and promoting the growth of civil society.
  • Monitor the recipient’s progress in achieving the objectives of the PARTNER Program Description and Transition Plan
  • Communicate progress and challenges to the SAS+ team under the PARTNER activity that may impact the implementation of the Transition Plan
  • Attend workshops, meetings, and other SAS+ events related to the PARTNER activity and review documents (such as the Transition Plan) developed to support the transition between Mercy Corps and WANEP
  • Convene and attend meetings with all parties to discuss aspects of the transition, as needed.
  • Maintain liaison between SAS and PARTNER’s Teams
  • Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.


  • 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.


  • Reports Directly to:The Chief of Party-PARTNER
  • Works Directly with: PARTNER program team, Finance and Subawards Team, partner organizations, Governance and Partnerships TSU, Stopping at Success (SAS+) and other Mercy Corps staff.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Social Science, International Development or other relevant fields.
  • A minimum of 4 years of experience and proven high-level competence in working with NGO/INGO capacity-building programs, ideally in relief and/or post-conflict settings.
  • An understanding of the status of CSOs in Nigeria and the challenges to strengthening the capacities of civil society is an advantage.
  • Strong knowledge of, and experience with organizational development of CSOs in challenging environments and an ability to inform the content and method of organizational development training.
  • Proven track record in staff and stakeholder training and capacity building.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of conflict mitigation, peacebuilding and negotiation is an advantage.
  • Strong knowledge of gender-related activities.
  • Strong leadership, communication and project management skills.
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience with Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Demonstrated ability as a collaborator.
  • Ability and interest to work with a multi-ethnic team in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English required.

Success Factors:

  • A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem-solving.
  • S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols.
  • The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 Abuja with travel to program sites in Lagos, the North Central and North West. Security in Abuja is generally good, although there are times when security is an issue.
  • Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport.
  • Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/short-term assignment to a field posting.
  • Staff 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.

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 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 IASCand 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
18th April, 2023.

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


  • Applicants should have their CV and Cover Letter in one document addressing the position requirements.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
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