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Program Advisor Performance and Quality

  • 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; community accountability; monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL); 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.

GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:

  • Embedded within the Africa 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 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.

ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
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 Africa programs.
  • Lead adoption and refinement ofagency program management policies in Africa, 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.

Accountability

  • 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.

Team Management

  • Recruit and lead an efficient, capable and high-performing team, with a particular emphasis on developing and promoting African talent.
  • 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.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: None
ACCOUNTABILITY:
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 English and French strongly preferred.

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