About Mercy Corps
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.
Mercy Corps has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since September 2007. With offices in Bangui, Bouar, Bambari and Bangassou, Mercy Corps works to integrate short-term humanitarian assistance with programs to strengthen community resilience and support market-led economic development, with a cross-cutting accent on governance and gender. Mercy Corps takes a sustainable approach to its programming, seeking to change behaviours and create institutions to foster long-term development in the sectors of protection and gender-based violence, civil society capacity building, water/sanitation, social cohesion and socioeconomic activities. Funding has come from a range of donors including BHA, the European Commission, UNICEF, OCHA, AFD and private foundations. By addressing several overlapping and associated needs within a wide range of sectors, Mercy Corps CAR takes an integrated approach to ensure the greatest possible impact.
The Proposal Development & Grants Manager, under the supervision of the Director of Programs, will work closely with the PAQ Director and Program Managers in the implementation of programs in accordance with the country strategy of Mercy Corps in CAR. Supporting this portfolio is a growing team of support and quality team personnel, working closely alongside the Programs and MEL teams and between departments to continually improve the quality of implementation. By building the capacity of the program team members and supporting them to improve lessons learned capitalization, reflection and adaptation, quality reporting and adherence to donor and Mercy Corps project management minimum standards; these support roles bring immense benefit across the broader team.
General Position Summary
The Proposal Development & Grants Manager will lead several critical functions for Mercy Corps’ program portfolio in CAR, specifically:
- Overseeing the development of fundraising documents (Expression of Interests, concept notes, proposals) in line with Mercy Corps’ country strategy
- Grants management and reporting
- Supporting program quality
S/he will support the Director of Programs with developing concept notes and proposals, working closely with field team and program members for technical input and the Country Director and other Senior Management Team (SMT) members for strategic direction. S/he will also ensure high quality and timely reporting to Mercy Corps and its donors including, but not limited to, bi-weekly program updates, monthly sector reviews, and quarterly, annual, and final program reports. The Proposal Development & Grants Manager will also be responsible for collating and updating the program tools that will align with Mercy Corps’ program management minimum standards (including program file documentation, program documentation, program performance and financials).
The Proposal Development & Grants Manager will coordinate with partners, donors and other NGOs as required by the Director of Programs and will take part in external and internal representation on behalf of the organization.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
Assist the Director of Programs in identifying strategic opportunities for expanding Mercy Corps’ work in the country.
Analyze the country’s socio-economic situation, (donor) trends, needs and gaps, and regularly conduct stakeholder analysis, in particular who does what and where (3W).
Contribute to the development of a country program strategy in alignment with Mercy Corps’ global/regional and country strategy.
Support the periodic update of the Country Strategy, including organization of design and feedback sessions across field bases to feed into the national-level discussions. Support also localized strategy initiatives, such as the refinement of a country Emergency Preparedness Plan alongside the Director of Programs
Support the strategic refinement and institutionalization of the Program department as a whole, working with Program Managers, Director of Programs, Global Support members and the broader senior management team in CAR to troubleshoot coordination issues and create a strong, efficient and durable departmental structure
Fundraising and Proposal Development
- Alert the Country Director and Director of Programs of gaps and emerging needs in order to trigger assessments in a timely manner.
- Identify funding opportunities; new donors for diversifying Mercy Corps donors’ portfolio including private companies and private foundations
- Contribute to the identification of potential relevant international and/or local partners (private sector partners, national and international NGOs, think tanks, academia, etc.) to be included in proposals
- Update monthly the New Business Forecasting tool which documents latest negotiations and proposal possibilities with donor
- Work closely with the Director of Program to coordinate proposal development in line with the country strategy and recognize opportunities for innovative actions, with support from technical Units, HQ and field staff.
- Establish internal timelines, draft and review concept notes and project proposals with inputs by program, HQ and MEL team members.
- Support the contextualization of HQ/TSU technical input during the proposal writing process and support the incorporation of local priorities and knowledge into proposals and concept notes.
- Work closely and in coordination with Mercy Corps offices in USA, UK and the Netherlands establishing strong working relationships with HQ program desk officers.
- Ensure proposals and project reports comply with donors’ and Mercy Corps’ requirements and best practices.
- Ensure the involvement of support departments in the development of fundraising documents; particularly finance for the budget and operations in case of specific donor procurement rules.
Reporting & Grant Management
- Oversee the development of quality narrative reports, reflecting the progress and status of projects in a transparent, timely and professional manner, in liaison with program managers, the Director of Programs and finance, which will contribute ultimately to steady cash inflow
- Liaise with the finance and operations teams when preparing reports, esp. with finance to ensure greater coherence between financial and narrative reports by crosschecking the matching of data in the narrative and financial reports;
- Work in close relation with the MEL team to incorporate MEL data (incl. data on outputs, outcomes and impact indicators, lessons learnt and best practices) in reports.
- Work with Program Managers and Director of Programs to maintain effective systems ensuring timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Collect and organize key project management tools and documents and manage grant, administration, including overseeing electronic filing system for key program documents (donor agreements, proposals, approved budget, work plans, etc.) ensuring it meets PM@MC standards and sending reminders when needed.
- Draft and review program updates and respond to information requests for donors and other key stakeholders.
- Provide ongoing capacity-building to program teams, MEL team and local partners in grant reporting, as needed.
Program Performance & Quality
- Provide in-depth support to program teams at key programmatic moments, such as program start-up, kick-off meetings, 90-day inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, collecting lessons learned, 90-day end of program transition meetings.
- Work closely with the PaQ Lead to help Program Managers put in place robust systems for monitoring, skills development for their teams, adaptation and learning
- Support the standardization and harmonization of tools, SOPs and processes used by Program team members, creating a stronger departmental structure and alignment in management
- Participate in the designing of assessments, baselines, midterm & end-line survey tools and analysis for projects and proposals.
- Support PaQ Lead in ensuring adherence to PM@MC, including developing plan for training and capacity building. Work with Program Managers and field teams to identify capacity building needs or structural issues in the department hampering implementation
- Support the PaQ Lead and Manager in the continued roll-out of TolaData.
- Support the SMT in the continuation of Mercy Corps CAR’s GDI strategy, both programmatically and operationally.
- Help ensure that partners (local implementing partners and government partners) have the capacity to implement the PM@MC, PAQ and Gender Minimum Standards processes (in coordination with the MEL unit, Gender & Protection Advisor and program managers).
Finance & Compliance Management
- Assist the budgeting process for concept notes and proposals, including drafting of components and coordinating the activities of MC CAR Finance and Regional Finance to ensure the overall drafting process is on time
- Support the review of BVAs, grant spending, and flag areas of concern. Ensure action points from BvA meetings are followed up on in a timely manner, and raise concerns to the direction
- Work with Program Managers to update BvA forecasts prior to BvA meetings, using accurate and detailed workplans
- Work with the finance department to ensure that partnership documents such as subgrant agreements, MoUs, required supporting documentation for partner related activities are in line with Mercy Corps compliance requirements and are properly archived.
- Ensure compliance with donor regulations
Influence & Representation
- Act as day-to-day representative of Mercy Corps to organizations as requested by the Deputy Country Director including representing Mercy Corps with donors and attending key internal and external meetings
- Build and support the management of collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, donors, UN agencies and other NGOs.
- Liaise with local partners as well as sub-grantees to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures.
- Organize and conduct site-visits to the project sites and host visitors and donors, as needed.
- 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 towards 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: Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Program Managers, PaQ Director, MEL Manager, Finance Manager, Country Director, consortium partner teams, Gender Specialist, HQ & Regional Technical Support Unit, donors, NGO partners, and humanitarian agencies
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/MS in international development and/or relevant field (government, political science, international relations, etc.).
- Fluency in French and excellent oral and written English skills required
- Strong Writing and analytical skills
- Ability to manage and deliver complex grants involving multiple partners to deadline.
- 2-3 years of experience with European and US institutional donors, including grant management, and proposal development.
- Field experience in conflict and development environments. Exposure to gender, protection, and social cohesion programs will be appreciated
- Ability to deliver high quality reports within short deadlines, as well as support, coordinate and lead proposal writing.
- Ability to juggle several competing priorities from different projects at the same time.
- Excellent communication and networking skills, to build and maintain contact networks across a broad range of partners.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
A successful candidate will have an ability to work independently, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. S/he will demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments are essential for success. S/he will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Bangui, Central African Republic and will require up to 25% travel to field offices to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. This position is unaccompanied for spouses and/or children. The security situation in CAR can be very volatile with pockets of violent outburst in various areas of the country. Bangui is generally more stable; however, carjacking and targeted looting do occur on occasion. Hospitals and access to quality health care are very limited. Malaria is prevalent. It is estimated that 7-8% of the population may be HIV positive. Suitable group housing is available. Electricity, clean water and internet can be at times subject to shortages.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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 Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.