Chief of Party: Resilience in Pastoral Areas Activity (RiPA), North - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 31 May 2021

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. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus in promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.

Mercy Corps is seeking a dynamic and passionate Chief of Party (CoP) to lead the implementation of a USAID-funded multi-year Resilience in Pastoral Areas Activity (RiPA), North. RiPA North takes a systems approach to improve the resilience capacities of households, markets and governance institutions across 22 woredas in the Somali, Afar and Oromia regions. The activity integrates four technical components and a ‘crisis modifier’ intervention which is aimed at protecting development gains against shocks and stresses. The components include: 1) Improved Disaster Risk Management (DRM) systems and capacity; 2) Diversified and sustainable economic opportunities for people Transitioning out of Pastoralism (ToPs) particularly youth and women; 3) Intensified and sustained pastoral and agro-pastoral production and marketing; 4) Improved and sustained nutrition and hygiene practices; and 5) Crisis modifier. The RiPA North CoP will be responsible for overall management of the activity including consortium partnerships and relationships with a wide range of stakeholders at different levels including close collaboration and coordination with RiPA South.

General Position Summary

The Chief of Party (CoP) will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of RiPA North Program. S/he will manage staff, resources and partnerships to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps’ policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders. In addition, the CoP will play a central leadership role in developing and driving Mercy Corps’ resilience strategy and program portfolio in Ethiopia. S/he will be responsible in building productive working relationship with national and regional government key partners.

Essential Job Responsibilities


Strategy and vision

● Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

● Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.

● Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program.

● Lead the development and execution of a program-wide resilience-building strategy to guide coordination and integrated design and implementation of resilience programming.


● Oversee ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management and M&E systems are in place and utilized regularly.

● Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.

● Lead the socialization of the program with Government of Ethiopia stakeholders, ensuring necessary approvals and collaboration as required.

● Confirm that participants are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.

● Ensure that Gender Diversity and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) and Conflict Sensitivity are integrated in to all activities as appropriate. Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and participant accountability standards.

● Provide managerial and programmatic oversight to partners and sub-grantee(s).

● Document processes and achievements to ensure 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.

● Produce written reports on program activities, capturing the impacts of activities.

● Oversee efforts to design effective M&E systems for the program, and linkages with internal M&E systems.

● Lead and oversee that program teams design and implement advanced and innovative technological solutions to key problems in project management, activity outreach and results measurement systems

● Oversee efforts to produce strategic resilience-related research for the program.

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

● Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites – spend up to 30% of time in the field

● Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.

● Coordinate with procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.


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

● Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming

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

● Build and sustain a culture that fosters improved feedback loop, safe space for constructive debates and innovations

● 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.

● Supervise and manage all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.

● Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.

● 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.


● In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.

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

● Ensure compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps’ regulations.


● Liaise with and represent program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders.

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

● 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 and local government.


● 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 program participants 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

National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Other Mercy Corps Ethiopia Program Leads including Director of Program, CoP, PaQ Manager, finance, HR and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit and Partner Organizations

Knowledge and Experience

● MA/S or equivalent experience in international development, management, economic development or other relevant field.

● At least 10 years of relevant international experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities.

● At least five years in a senior management role is required with experience in project management related to multi-sectoral, USAID funded activities strongly preferred.

● Demonstrated ability to build and foster an adaptive team culture and a record of accomplishment in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.

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

● Effective verbal and written communication skills in English, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

● Experience managing complex programmatic and financial reporting requirements, preferable with USAID.

● Experience with USAID rules, regulations and requirements is strongly preferred.

Success Factors

The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in building and maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an ability to approach complex development challenges through a systems-thinking lens and have an ability to think creatively about improving food security, community development and resilience. The CoP will have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. S/he will be passionate about learning and adaptive management techniques as fundamental strategies to improve program impact. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail as well as strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff 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. The successful Chief of Party must be comfortable operating and traveling in a sometimes volatile security environment and therefore, changing plans and program tactics accordingly.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The COP is based in the capital city – Addis Ababa. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is family accommodation with good freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several international schools in Addis Ababa, British systems exist for children up to 11 years old. The US school takes students to pre-university levels. Staff have access to basic services (electricity, water, sporadic internet etc). Medical facilities are basic with international clinics able to provide emergency services. This position requires 35% travel by road and air to field offices in often insecure environments. Addis Ababa is host to many international organizations including the OAU, the Economic Commission for Africa and other multi-national bodies, many of which have their headquarters based in the capital city.

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 MC's 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 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.

How to apply:


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