This position is pending funding
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 present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 300 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal 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 and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to:
- Improve water service delivery and ensure equal access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas;
- Improve food security and nutrition;
- Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development.
Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crises in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including ECHO, OFDA and UN donors, the humanitarian portfolio continues to expand in order to provide multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH to displaced and host populations.
An Ebola virus outbreak is currently ongoing in and around Butembo in North Kivu Province, and cases have been increasing regularly in a context of worsening security and low levels of understanding of the disease among health care workers and the broader population alike. To address misconceptions about Ebola and increase the capacity of inhabitants of the region to protect against and seek treatment for the disease, Mercy Corps is actively planning a scale-up in its response to the outbreak in the areas of Community Engagement (RCCE). This scale-up is undertaken in alignment with the Revised Strategic National Plan 3 that was recently released, and in coordination with the Ministry of Health of DRC as well as other actors. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.
General Position Summary
The Community Engagement Manager (CEM) for Ebola Response is responsible for the design and direct execution of all activities related to community engagement part of Mercy Corps’ interventions in Nord Kivu and Ituri in the response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak. The CEM will work with all Mercy Corps Emergency (Ebola or not) Managers especially with the Emergency Program Manager and the Emergency WASH Expert to effectively engage with all layers of the community about the Ebola virus disease (EVD) as well as other emergency needs especially those related to IPC/Wash. The CE Manager will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of CE programming, including the daily management of program activities and program staff, and ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results. The CE Manager is a strong team leader, able to develop and mentor team members and is an effective communicator, able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objectives. He/She is responsible for managing relationships with local partners, beneficiaries and donor representatives, contributing to the achievement of country goals through innovation and program development and displaying expertise in the health sector as well as regional experience to the team on the ground.
Essential Job Responsibilities
In accordance with national coordination of the EVD and its Strategic Response Plans, responsibilities include: development of community-based communication strategies; community outreach and sensitization activities; and coordination with MoH local Representatives and other partners in the areas of intervention. The CE Manager will inform him/her self about the content of messaging that has already been developed by the Response and sanctioned by WHO and the Congolese government, to determine any adaptations to be made. S/he will oversee the design and development of effective approaches and materials to mobilize communities and prompt the adoption of key behaviors. The CE Manager will develop systems to monitor and document social and behavior change in connection with the messaging promoted and advise on program modifications as needed.
- Represent Mercy Corps at the Community Engagement sub-commission meetings as well as with local authorities, partners and other NGOs as part of the community engagement activities.
- Represent Mercy Corps in Ebola Task Force meetings and other sub-commission meetings, if required by the Ebola Program Director.
- He/she will be in charge of implementing a community network and manage a trusting dialogue with the communities affected by Ebola, emphasizing methods that encourage listening to and fully understanding their concerns. Areas to be addressed include, among others: application of protective measures against the disease; increased use of health care facilities with the capacity to treat the disease; compliance with authorities to carry out Safe and Dignified Burials; decreased misconceptions about Ebola and the Ebola response; decreased stigma against survivors, etc.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY AND MATERIAL DEVELOPMENT
- The CEM programming will support the adoption of behaviors and attitudes and increased knowledge about Ebola in the communities targeted by Mercy Corps.
- Develop and implement a tailored social and community engagement strategy for Mercy Corps DRC’s Ebola response, in alignment with the Revised National Plan for the Ebola response and in coordination with internal Mercy Corps actors and external partners.
- The CE Manager will be responsible for conducting formative research to inform a CE strategy for our scaled-up programming, which s/he will develop in collaboration with Mercy Corps staff and validate with relevant stakeholders including government ministries and institutions, UN Agencies, other international and national partners, including local organizations who are expected to partner with Mercy Corps in CE programming.
- Oversee the adaptation of officially sanctioned Ebola response CE messaging and materials, based on initial contextual analysis to ensure activities respond to the needs of the communities (women, youth, motorbike drivers, traditional practitioners, among others), previous validation of final materials and messaging with concerned actors. Use approved messages in response to tailored community fears and misconceptions.
- Supervise and provide technical support to Community Engagement Assistants in organizing community engagement activities under the standards described above.
- Oversee the development of appropriate radio messaging programs in coordination with local partners, Ebola Response actors and Mercy Corps staff
- Oversee ongoing modifications to the CE strategy as necessary
- Develop tools to monitor how the targeted communities are retaining knowledge.
- As soon as appropriate, identify Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (MHPSS) inputs to promote resilience in communities for recovery phase.
PARTNERSHIP MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT
- Working with Mercy Corps compliance, programs and finance departments, support the selection and contracting of local partners responsible for carrying out CE messaging
- Effectively engage local partners/contractors to ensure delivery of high-quality, context appropriate and sensitive CE messaging, orienting them to the messages developed and desired methodologies, soliciting their feedback into the implementation of CE activities, and communicating with them regularly to keep abreast of necessary changes and adjustments.
- Oversee the work of partners to ensure that activities are carried out as agreed and terms of their agreements are met
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Develop work and monitoring plans and monitor the development of community engagement assistants’ activities according to the needs of the projects Assist team members with training, information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Ensure effective communication and coordination with Ebola Emergency Program Manager and WASH Advisor to implementing interventions that are coordinated and based on the most severe needs.
- 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.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
- Collaborate with program, finance and administrative staff.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
- Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
- Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with the partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Exhibit an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- 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.
- 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 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.
The Community Engagement Program Manager will work under the supervision of the Ebola Program Coordinator. He/she will supervise Community Engagement Team Leader and Assistants.
Reports Directly To: Ebola Program Director
Works Directly With: Other sector managers on the Ebola response; Deputy Country Director – Programs; Mercy Corps DRC Finance and Operations department staff; HQ Technical Support Unit (TSU); HQ Finance and Regional Program Teams; Local Partners
Knowledge and Experience
- Master’s Degree in public health, communications, behavioral science, international development or affairs or related field.
- Demonstrated experience in identifying barriers to social and behavior change and developing effective strategies and plans for responding to them, including designing and implementing evidence-based social and behavior change approaches
- Knowledge of principles and approaches of community mobilization, including taking into account gender, age, disability and other dynamics
- At least 5 years of experience in social and behavior change or behavior change communication (CE), community outreach, social marketing or similar role, in the health sector.
- Previous experience with and knowledge about Ebola a plus.
- At least 5 years of international program management experience
- Established ability to manage and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles.
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.
- Proven ability to learn quickly, lead a program to achieve stated results and objectives.
- Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of OFDA, USAID, ECHO, UNICEF & private donor- funded programs desired
- Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders and Ebola coordination bodies.
- Experience working with host governments, national and international NGOs.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Excellent oral and written French skills required; proficiency in oral and written English is useful/preferred.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous experience in insecure environments.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
The successful CE Manager will combine technical knowledge in the health and behavior change communication sectors with exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative CE programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The CE Manager is based in Butembo, DRC. This location is unaccompanied and insecure; the position is eligible for R&R and hardship. Housing is (group/individual) accommodation with limited/restricted freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Travel may be required up to 50% of the time to program areas within North Kivu and Ituri.
In and around Butembo, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity. North Kivu and Ituri continue to be an arena of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps’ sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Mobile phones and cellular services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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 policies, procedures and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
- Job City Butembo