Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA)- Kasai, Congo

Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA)
Programs Kasai, Congo (the Democratic Republic of)

Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA) – About Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.

Program / Department Summary:Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 350 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri and Kasai. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance.

Mercy Corps is seeking a to lead the implementation of GAINS (Graduating to sustainable Agriculture, Income, Nutrition and food Security), a five-year Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) implemented by Mercy Corps in partnership with Action Paysanne (AP), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), AVSI Foundation, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Potato Center (CIP), Inter-Actions (IA), Soins de Santé Primaires en Milieu Rural (SANRU), Social Development Center (SDC), Viamo, World Vision International (WVI). This BHA-funded program started in October 2023 and is focused on strengthening livelihoods and increasing incomes, as well as on improving the utilization of quality food among vulnerable people. GAINS is working in in 40 health areas of four health zones: Kalonda West, Kitangwa, and Nyanga in the Kamonia Territory, and Ndjoko-Mpunda in the Luebo Territory, Kasai Province in DRC to sustainably improve Food, nutrition and economic security (FNES) among vulnerable households.

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General Position Summary:The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision and guidance to the implementation of a multi-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity valued at up to $105 million. S/he will effectively manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the Activity meets its objectives and interventions on-time, on scope and within budget, while meeting the highest program quality and technical standards and delivering impact. The COP will supervise Activity staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders for this Activity. S/he will actively promote an inclusive culture of learning and adaptive management. S/he will ensure strong program systems and processes drive program performance.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

Provide leadership and strategic vision in all aspects of Activity implementation, development and management. Ensure that Activity implementation is responsive to communities, and aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles, values and strategic plan.

Outline and maintain a strategic plan for the implementation of program activities, clear targeting strategy and process, strong systems for quality implementation and program delivery, methods of operation and means of evaluation.

Program Management

Oversee ongoing program management and administration of teams across various country locations.

Oversee the quality 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-grantees; ensure partners are effectively included in program structures, are mentored appropriately and capacity strengthening plans are in place.

Oversee the documentation of processes and achievements to ensure impact and best practices are captured and disseminated. This will include the continual re-evaluation of program activities and information, with resulting Activity adjustments in keeping with new insights.

Create and follow effective stakeholder engagement plans, ensuring sound and proactive communications with Mercy Corps DRC, headquarters, USAID, Government of DRCi authorities, partner organizations and colleague agencies.

Enact and effectively manage clear program governance structures, ensuring clarity of roles and responsibilities across the program team and corresponding program performance systems that dictate decision-making, collaboration and communication flows are in place and operational.

Ensure integration of community approaches, gender and social inclusion sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.

Effectively drive and integrate learning and adaptive management in all program activities


Provide effective management for the program management team and consortium team members, ensuring that all staff and consortium members are clear on roles and responsibilities, expectations, communications flows and workplans.

Strengthen the capacity of the team as needed, both as individuals and as a cohesive unit. Facilitate mechanisms for effective collaboration.

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.

Actively hire, orient and lead team members as necessary, ensuring effective onboarding mechanisms are in place across the team. Actively support succession planning.

Human Resources, Safeguarding and Diversity

Support Mercy Corps’ global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.

Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Manage and help with the recruitment, orientation, professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.

Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.

Finance, Compliance & Risk Management

In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics needs of the Activity are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the RFSA.

Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the Government of DRC.

Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events.

Influence & Representation

Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director and Director of Programs.

Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.

Establish and maintain relationships with communities, partners and local government.


Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.

Ensure that the Activity is implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

Supervisory Responsibility

Deputy CoP, M&E Lead, Commodities Manager, and Program Performance and Learning Director.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Country Director, PaQ Director and other DRC program Directors, Activity team members, finance, administration and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and partner organizations

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 projects.

Qualification and Transferable Skills

MA/S or equivalent experience in development studies, international relations, agriculture, nutrition, public health, business administration or other relevant field.

At least 7 years of relevant international development experience (10 years+ with a Bachelor’s degree) with positions of progressively greater responsibilities, at least five years of which must be based in country programs.

At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience managing integrated, multi-sectoral programs of a similar size and scope in developing countries facing complex, volatile, and uncertain contexts.

Prior experience managing USAID development or resilience Activity(ies), involving Title II commodities and implementation by multiple sub-awardees.

Proven success serving in a leadership role for a project addressing issues related to food security, nutrition, resilience, agriculture, natural resource management, livelihoods, or similar, preferably in the DRC.

Must demonstrate expertise in food, nutrition and economic security (FNES).

Understand and demonstrate commitment to the importance of gender and youth dynamics in FNES programming.

Demonstrated experience in adaptive management and learning techniques is highly encouraged.

Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations and partners.

Experience managing program implementation financial reporting, reporting procedures and systems, and staff.

Demonstrated experience in recruiting and developing program staff.

Experience with USAID and U.S. Government regulations preferred.

Prior humanitarian and/or development experience working in DRC. Familiarity with DRC’s social, political, economic and cultural landscape.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French.

Professional proficiency in Tshiluba preferred.

Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

Success Factors

The successful Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA) will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he 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. Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA) will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring and interpersonal skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 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

For Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA) Mercy Corps offers a competitive benefits package for positions based in Tshikapa in the Kasai province (unaccompanied duty station), including individual accommodation, regular RR and hardship. Tshikapa is the capital of the Kasai Province, a lively rural city of 971,000 inhabitants where humanitarian actors are present. In the city center water and power are quite stable thanks to the cash power system and hotels, small restaurants, shops and banks are reasonably accessible. There are 3 main hospitals which provide adequate health care services, with evacuation options to Kinshasa or surrounding areas as required. Telephone landlines, internet and mobile network capacity exist but are frequently at a less than optimal level. The temperatures is often between 30-35 degrees.

Chief of Party – GAINS (RFSA) Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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 MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.

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 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, color, 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 prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. 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 to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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