Director of Programs at Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps

Since 1979, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive – and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: We help communities turn crisis into opportunity. Throughout our history, Mercy Corps has demonstrated innovation, timeliness and the ability to adapt quickly to changing realities.

  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Qualification: MBA/MSc/MA
  • Experience: 5 – 7 years
  • Location: Abuja
  • Job Field: NGO/Non-Profit  , Project Management 

The Position

The Director of Programs (DOP) (Family Leave Cover) will support the implementation of the DOP role during the maternity leave (5 mths) of the current DOP. The DOP role is an exciting opportunity to shape and lead our programs in-country. The DOP is a proven leader that is directly responsible for overseeing the programs portfolio in Nigeria. The role will ensure that adequate leadership is applied to the implementation of relevant, innovative and adaptive programs. S/he will work closely with the Country Director (CD) to ensure effective program coordination and technical support, as well as program quality and accountability in close collaboration with the operations, finance and internal control teams. The position will be based in Abuja with frequent travel to locations throughout Nigeria. The DOP should be able to lead complex program implementation in a country program that operationally spans many field offices, and works in complex, insecure and unpredictable environments.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Demonstrate visible leadership and adherence to Mercy Corps’ core values, principles and strategy.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country strategy.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome.
  • Provide leadership for the development of a countrywide three-year strategic plan, annual Fiscal Year Plans, and development of sector strategies working in close cooperation with the Country Director and COPs.
  • Ensure integration and linkages between field offices and programs/sectors.
  • Ensure cross program communication and learning; organize and facilitate country-level senior management meetings to create a platform for nationwide strategy, learning and facilitate integration of programs


  • Ensure program implementation is on time, on target and on budget, using effective M&E systems to demonstrate the desired impact.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities, authorities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and vision.
  • Provide leadership and direction to Nigeria program staff and support the Country Director to strengthen program strategies, program quality, partnerships, and accountability in accordance with Mercy Corps and donor policies.
  • Manage and maintain ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, focusing on the integration of programs.
  • Ensure that regular monitoring of project activities and project impact is undertaken, in accordance with existing Mercy Corps’ Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation guidelines.
  • Oversee program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting, distribution processes and capacity building of partners as needed.
  • Maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources and timely, accurate and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures
  • Support onboarding structures that include Adaptive Management, PM@MC, Community Mobilization and gender and protection sensitive programming.
  • Promote adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators, M&E, and adaptive management approaches, and country-level learning and strategic objectives. Contribute to a culture of curiosity, high-quality program performance, and learning.


  • Build a cohesive team spirit and culture among staff and delegate functions and responsibilities to them while ensuring achievement of program objectives.
  • Supervise, provide leadership, mentor and build the capacity of senior program staff in program/project design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management that creates a working atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellence at all levels.
  • Maintain effective and positive internal communication with Mercy Corps staff in all field offices, this includes ensuring open and harmonious communication all of the different departments, offices, and programs.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • 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


  • Develop and maintain both internal and external relationships to ensure optimum program success including Mercy Corps headquarters and regional offices and teams, international and local NGOs, government officials, donor community officials, diplomatic corps and embassies, private sector partners, vendors, media and the general public.
  • Maintain strong in-person, written and oral communications with funding partners, including institutional donors, foundations, etc., leverage opportunities for new funding that is responsive to funding partner, Mercy Corps’ strategy, and contextual needs.
  • Guide teams in leveraging opportunities for influence with key partners in order to scale change and strengthen Mercy Corps’ reputation in the relevant sectors.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with local and international peer organizations, mapping new partnerships for added value and driving the localization agenda


  • Ensure compliance and transparent use of resources in compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of Nigeria.
  • Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations; compile and update applicable local policies; and train Mercy Corps program and partner staff in these policies.
  • As part of the senior management team, work within operations systems for program impact including finance, logistics, security, and administration.
  • Work with Program Heads on proper budget management, including forecasting and procurement planning.



  • 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


  • 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

Program Managers/ Directors, Program and Quality Unit, Partnerships and New Initiatives.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: HQ and Regional based Program, Operations, Finance, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Units; Nigeria Operations, Finance, HR and Ethics Units

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • MA/S and/or equivalent in management, international development or other relevant field.
  • 5-7 years of overseas experience including at least five years in a senior management position.
  • Proven track record in successful proposal writing and program development.
  • Prior experience with portfolio management
  • Knowledge of major donor requirements and compliance issues.
  • Management experience in a range of sectors preferred, food security, water security, economic development, gender, peace and good governance, and financial inclusion.
  • Prior experience working in insecure environments preferred, with a strong understanding of conflict sensitive program mainstreaming, gender or protection mainstreaming an advantage;
  • Proven capacity to build a culture of learning in a large team, with a focus on evidence for adaptive decision making
  • Strong management skills with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Solid knowledge of security protocols and ability to work effectively in an insecure environment.

Method of Application