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Senior Program Development Advisor - Africa Region

Mercy Corps

Management & Business Development

KES Confidential
New
1 week ago

Job Summary

 

Job Description/Requirements

Description

Location: Dakar, Senegal or Nairobi, Kenya or Any Mercy Corps office location in Africa


About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, 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’ Africa Region has grown significantly over the past decade. With Mercy Corps’ continued focus on strategic positioning and growth, aligned directly with our global agency strategy ‘Pathway to Possibility’ – the team has identified the need to effectively respond to New Business opportunities. Currently, Mercy Corps’ New Initiatives team in Africa focuses on:

Highly strategic submissions, particularly (though not exclusively) to institutional donors and

Initiatives that enhance overall agency proposal processes and competitiveness. Team members are tasked to provide additional “person power” on specific, high priority efforts by assisting with all or some of the following: assembling a proposal team; executing team planning; undertaking on-site participatory assessment and design work; extensive writing; providing high-quality reviews and edits; and more

Team members lead and support strategic, high-priority proposals by: assisting country teams with pre-proposal positioning activities; assembling proposal teams; leading the proposal planning process; conducting on-site participatory assessment and design work; writing and editing technical proposals; reviewing proposals to assess clarity and competitiveness; and more. The team enhances agency competitiveness through the development of tools and processes to improve proposal quality across the agency. With all of its activities, New Initiatives works in a highly collaborative manner with the agency as a whole. The Africa NI team members have a link to the global NI team as well.

General Position Summary
The Senior Program Development Advisor will be a full-time member of the New Initiatives team, supporting the Africa portfolio and will work closely with the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Directors. He/she will support strategic program development efforts by: 1) supporting prepositioning efforts, including tracking the pipeline of potential new business opportunities for the region; 2) leading and/or supporting proposal development processes; 3) writing, editing and reviewing proposal documents; 4)helping to enhance the overall state of practice vis-a-vis proposal development process within the region. He/she will help enhance agency competitiveness by working with NI team members and other stakeholders to develop/improve tools and guidance on the proposal process; and 4) Providing mentorship and guidance to country proposal development teams.

Essential Job Responsibilitie s

Program & Proposal Development (approximately 85% time)

Program/Proposal Design and Development: Responsible for leading and supporting the development of strategic proposals, applying the agency’s best practices in proposal development for institutional donors. Special emphasis is on medium and mid level proposal opportunities; 2) the many emergency and humanitarian proposal opportunities that are generally smaller value but frequent; and 3) support work on larger strategic proposals, multi country opportunities and or European contracts in partnership with the NI team. 

Strategic Pre-Positioning : Assist country teams in efforts to pro-actively prepare for strategic opportunities and influence donor strategies. This may include activities such as 1) support for targeted assessments that will help create funding opportunities or increase competitiveness of the agency in solicitations; 2) facilitating strategic planning sessions with country programs and 3) track donor trends for potential opportunities in the emergency space that busy country teams might not be able to monitor or respond to. Helps promote good pre-positioning practices amongst field and desk teams. 

Donor and Partner Engagement: Regularly attend meetings with potential partners or donors to represent Mercy Corps in particular as part of ongoing proposal development opportunities. Additionally, provide support to RDs, DRDs or country teams to cultivate relationships with potential partner organizations for future opportunities

Provide “Real Time” Technical Support and Capacity Building: Time permitting, provide guidance, support, and reviews to field teams on small-medium size proposal efforts. Through team-work during actual proposal efforts, mentoring or tailored training activities, the Advisor will help build capacity of Mercy Corps’ staff within the region to work on proposals and run strong proposal and program development processes.

Contribute to Activities That Raise Overall Agency State of Practice (Approximately 10%)

As a member of the NI team, the Senior Program Development Manager will spend a small portion of his/her time supporting agency-wide initiatives that enable Mercy Corps to more efficiently produce competitive submissions. (e.g. developing improved reference materials for proposal writers, contributing to efforts that capture learnings and results from our programs, and/or assisting with networking activities).

Keep up to date on relevant donor strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. Work with Mercy Corps to determine how the agency can best work with and/or influence such materials.

Deliver proposal development trainings to staff in field offices when appropriate.

Supervisory Responsibility None

Accountability
Reports Directly To : Deputy Regional Director with a dotted line to Sr. Director, New Initiatives
Works Directly With: Country Directors, Director of programs, Africa Senior Program Development Advisors, Regional Program team, TSU and New Initiatives

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  

Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in International Development, International Relations or related field is preferred.

5-7 years of experience in International Development highly preferred, including experience living and/or working overseas

At least 2-3 years experience in field-based roles, with knowledge of Africa region

Successful track record in program design and proposal development in a variety of sectors and geographic locations.

Experience/knowledge of emergency and development programming preferred.

Exceptional writing skills - writing samples will be requested of finalist candidates.

Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run both participatory process and also meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.

Strong negotiation skills and experience developing and negotiating multiple-partnership arrangements for proposal development

Strong understanding of personnel and staffing requirements for USAID, European and other institutional donor proposals. Experience with corporate donors a plus.

Experience developing budget and cost proposal submissions for USAID, European and/or other institutional donors.

Experience with professional representation (e.g. donors, partner agencies, host governments, etc.).

Native-level spoken and written English required.

High level of spoken and written French preferred.

Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.

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