Deputy Country Director

Addis Abba | Addis Ababa


Mercy Corps Ethiopia has grown quickly in recent years. The program now consists of two complex programs, several bilateral development programs, and a growing number of short term emergency response programs. Following a period of rapid growth, management and leadership systems are now becoming stretched. The major leadership challenge that faces MC Ethiopia is the strengthening of senior management team capacity and country office operating systems in ways that assure fully accountable, decentralised decision making. We seek a capable “safe pair of hands” to cover critical operational and programmatic oversight. The growth trajectory for the immediate future lies in building a programmatic capability that supports economic, ecological and social resilience. This requires a broadening of resilience program capability and the fostering of smart and adaptive management systems to underpin this. We are serious in pursuing impact, in being innovative on our quest for better resilience, and are bold in our intentions to influence policy and practice.


In a bid to keep the senior management team as the apex decision making body of the country office, the Deputy Country Director (DCD) will work alongside the Country Director to manage overall country function. The DCD will work specifically on management issues, including ensuring that program standards are maintained, that budgets are being carefully used and monitored, that evidence is being gathered and used, that new programs are being designed, and that donors and key stakeholders are kept apprised of progress. The DCD will work to establish an ongoing sense as to what is going on in ways that enable the senior management team to regularly review progress and take appropriate action. The DCD will be a deputy, within a space where power and authority are deliberately delegated downwards to departments, programs and areas. The DCD will also be responsible for guiding the overall M&E and learning function. The DCD will support the development and nurturing a culture of learning, open and accountable team dynamics, and maintain useful external relationships. The DCD will assume a leading role in developing proposals and budgets for submission to donors.


Strategy and Vision

  • Maintain a central role in developing program strategy in coordination with program staff, including ensuring that existing programs meet MC’s strategic goals, objectives and targets, as well as identifying and developing new initiatives that strengthen and deepen the program.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

Program Management

  • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations and sectors.
  • Oversee grant and contract mechanisms, ensuring all application processes are undertaken in an open, transparent and efficient manner, that responsible SMT members monitor grants (program implementation, spending and reporting) and remain within agreement-set parameters. Develop and maintain a grants tracking database. Liaise with the Finance Manager for payments, financial monitoring/compliance and closeout procedures.
  • Develop program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, beneficiary targeting, MEL processes, and key sector policies.
  • Establish and maintain effective program reporting, monitoring and evaluation systems for both internal and external use in coordination with the program staff, including end-user monitoring to ensure that designated households are receiving quantity of intended hygiene items.
  • Lead/assist the preparation of proposals and review/edit donor reports prepared by program staff.
  • Monitor and foster compliance with donor and Mercy Corps policies.

Team Management

  • Along with the Country Director, recruit and manage an innovative, informed, motivated and efficient national team
  • Co-Lead monthly SMT meetings to ensure learning and pro-active project management
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.


  • In the absence of the Director, act on behalf of Mercy Corps as the senior representative for Mercy Corps Jordan.
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: MEL and Program quality management, and possibly some project managers.



WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Senior Management Team


  • BA and MA preferredns in International Development or relevant field or at least
  • 5- 7 years management experience with specific experience and skills managing humanitarian response and community based programs
  • 5-7 years’ experience including listening to, learning from, training, and mentoring key staff regarding relief and development and other relevant issues. With 2 years at senior level.
  • Proven success managing the administration and compliance of donor funding and the ability to develop proposals for new projects and programs from conception to submission is required.
  • Solid analysis and strategic planning skills as well as a proven practical and theoretical understanding of the project cycle, issues of community development and relief are necessary.
  • Proven ability to develop a program and to conceptualize and successfully lead and manage a team throughout the entire program cycle is vital.
  • Demonstrated experience and ability to professionally and appropriately represent the organization and negotiate and defend organizational interests with a diverse range of government officials, local organizations and other groups.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills are necessary.
  • Strong budget management skills.
  • Fluency in oral and written English is mandatory. Amharic, Oromian or Somali language skills welcomed


The successful Deputy Country Director will apply a strong combination of team leadership, program development and relationship building abilities to manage Mercy Corps relief and relief to development programs. This position requires a strong multi-tasker who can prioritize multiple urgent tasks, while effectively leading a diverse team of Ethiopian and expatriate staff. This position requires strong attention to detail and frequent trips to field to assess and support Mercy Corps programs in communities. Strong problem solving skills, an ability to communicate effectively, and ability to meet strict deadlines is essential. As this position requires new program development to complement existing programs, the successful Deputy Country Director will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future structure of Mercy Corps Jordan operations and have excellent writing skills.


This role is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is an accompanied position. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are US and European International schools in Addis. Staff will have limited access to good medical and other services.

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 Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Apply here:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Addis Abba | Addis Ababa
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2016-07-10

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