COUNTRY OPERATIONS MANAGER
Location: Kampala, Uganda (with extensive travel – up to 60% – to field locations in Uganda)
Position Status: Full-time, Regular
Salary Level: 10
Deadline: 24th May 2023
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.
The Program / Department / Team (Program / Department Summary)
Mercy Corps has been present in Uganda since 2006, focusing its interventions on economic and agricultural development, maternal child health and nutrition, governance, conflict management and humanitarian response. With funding from USAID, DFID, ECHO, Sweden Government, Swiss Development Cooperation and private foundations including MasterCard Mercy Corps has been
able to work together with communities in Uganda to respond to the needs of our target population, which is focused on youth and more specifically adolescent girls. In 2017, Mercy Corps had an impact on almost 1 million beneficiaries in Uganda through our work focusing on building resilience and enabling economic growth, improving opportunities to attain better health and nutrition, and improving
governance and conflict management. Common themes include community engagement, inclusive development, gender, and working in partnership with local government, the private sector and civil society actors.
Operations Department provides key support to the entire country program in procurement, asset management, warehouse management, fleet management and facilities & office management for successful program implementation.
The Operations Manager is a key person within the country’s senior management team, who ensures the resources are planned and utilized towards effective program support. The Operations Manager plays a key role in the overall leadership of the country program under the guidance of the Director- Strategic Support Services.
- Manage reliable and cost-effective operations and effective implementation of the strategies of Mercy Corps towards the right direction, including supervision of facilities & office management, information technology, procurement, asset management, fleet management and warehouse management.
- Supports the program team on timely provision of operations support at a higher level of standards.
- Ensures compliance requirements of Mercy Corps and rules and regulations specified by the donors and sometimes host governments.
- Provides management information for decision making as required.
- Support developing budgets for operations activities of country programs as an integral part of program proposal development and country level budgeting.
- Represents Mercy Corps as required in coordination with country management. As a senior management team member, the operations manager will have certain representation at the discretion of the director – strategic support services and country director. The level of representation may vary depend of the country context (i.e. Local Logistics Cluster, NGO Working Groups, etc.)
Responsibilities of Operations Manager:
As a member of senior management, the operations manager is responsible for but not limited to key responsibilities of strategic oversight, development and implementation of policies and procedures and resource management;
Strategic oversight, direction and advice on all aspects of Mercy Corps operations management, aiming at the achievement of the following results:
- Successful contribution for implementation of country operations strategies and establishment of management guidelines.
- Advice on operations strategies, policies and plans affecting operations, program deliverables and staffing.
- Analyzing Mercy Corps’ operating environment in the country and adjusting operations and providing advice on contextual changes.
- Guide Mercy Corps operational strategies and activities.
- Successful implementation of operational strategies and direct establishment of management achievements with operations.
- Maintain regular control on operations budget and identify any exceptions or possible implications of under / over spending in a timely manner.
- Promote continuous organizational learning culture with the empowerment of individuals and teams with the identification of learning needs. Create learning opportunities and ensure access to available learning resources.
IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Implementation of appropriate operations policies and procedures that comply with Mercy Corps policies and procedures and with donor rules and regulations focusing on the achievement of the following results:
- Full compliance of operations with Mercy Corps Global Procurement and Logistics policies, procedures and processes.
- Provide strategic, technical and managerial leadership in implementation of Global Procurement and Logistics in the country program.
- Ensure ongoing full compliance of Mercy Corps finance policies and procedure and others (i.e. Program Management Manual, National Staff Handbook and etc.)
- Act as focal point from operations for all internal and external audit matters in coordination with country management.
- Provide expert advice on Mercy Corps policies regarding resource management, tools, etc.
- Development of local policies and procedures with the support of country management and implementation of them.
- Effective and efficient resources management in administration, procurement, logistics and IT on the achievement of the following results:
Ensure effective management of administrative / logistics resources and reporting in a systematic, transparent and efficient manner to country management.
- Responsible for provision of high quality and timely procurement and other program support.
- Exercising oversight over procurement processes and logistics ensuring compliance with Mercy Corps procurement policies and procedures as well donor rules and regulations.
- Oversee provision of transport and travel support (international and domestic).
- Oversight on maintenance of proper custody of Mercy Corps assets, warehouse inventory and general inventory.
- Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.
- Ensure unified and cost effective fleet management, including tracking of maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.
- Oversee set-up and development of Mercy Corps offices including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, IT.
- Develop and periodically review country or field office specific policies and communicate them to teams.
- Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement, logistics resources documents.
- Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.
- Ensure that Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Ugandan law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- 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.
- Work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems.
- 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.
All (Country) Operations (Procurement, Logistics and Facilities & Office Management) staff.
Reports Directly To: Director- Strategic Support Services.
Works Directly With: Program Managers, Chiefs of Party, P&C Manager, Finance Manager, Security Staff, HQ and Regional RPLM team, HQ Regional finance team
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
- BA/BS degree in a relevant field.
- A minimum of 7 years’ experience setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource systems with NGOs or a business with supervisory responsibilities.
- Sound knowledge of administrative and logistics procedures is highly desired.
- Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; knowledge of USAID and other donor regulations helpful.
- Proven supervisory ability and/or technical skills combined with leadership.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues in a diversified multi-cultural and multi-ethnic working environment.
- Skills in managing, organizing, planning and implementing assigned tasks under pressure of frequent and tight schedules.
- Strong ability to apply good judgment, negotiation, representation and decision making skills in difficult and complex working environments.
- Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills in handling management and coordination issues at country program level.
- Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required;
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful Operations Manager will be good at problem solving and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. They will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. They will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. 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 position is based in (Kampala, Uganda), and it requires up to 60% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.