SAFER Consortium Director - DR Congo


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

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being 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 DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

Mercy Corps is the lead agency for the SAFER Consortium (Strategic Assistance for Emergency Response). The Consortium, funded by FCDO, ECHO and SDC, is composed by ACTED, Concern Worldwide, Mercy Corps, NRC and Solidarités International. SAFER has the overall goal of allowing population affected by conflict and shocks to cover their basic needs. The program supports the specific outcome of delivering a coordinated humanitarian response that enables vulnerable households affected by conflict and shocks to have safe and equitable access to multi-sectoral emergency assistance and basic WASH services to reduce reliance on negative coping mechanisms. This is achieved through the provision of multi-sectoral market based (CVA) or in-kind assistance and complementary to specific Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) to meet basic needs of shock affected populations. With an annual budget of over 30 million anticipated in 2022, SAFER has assisted more than 2 million people through both CVA and WASH interventions, in 7 provinces of DRC over the last three years.

The Position

The SAFER Consortium Director is a key leadership role for the consortium. The position is hosted by Mercy Corps but the Director is accountable to the Steering Committee (composed of the 5 Country Directors). The Director serves as a strong team leader for the consortium as a whole, represents the interests of all five partners, and ensures SAFER is working effectively and efficiently across member agencies. The Director supervises the Deputy who is in charge of partners’ coordination on the operational side, the program harmonization process and quality improvement through the internal working groups. The Consortium Director represents the consortium at the highest levels in DRC with external stakeholders and donors, leading on communication and advocacy in coordination with partners Country Directors, and lead on the programmatic discussion including coordination with UN bodies and other Rapid Response implementing actors

Essential Responsibilities


  • Lead the implementation of the SAFER Consortium multi-year strategy and vision (2023 – 2024) and ensure successful role out of this strategy including program development.

  • Ensure the unity and shared vision of the SC on the Consortium mandate, external communication, and donor engagement, including coherence in the interaction with external stakeholders.

  • Maintain strategic vision shared across the members and ensure in coordination with the Consortium Coordination Unit (CCU), timely harmonization and roll out of harmonized tools.

  • Lead the development and roll out of Communication and Advocacy strategy with the aim of mainstreaming RR needs and achievement and to raise SAFER’s visibility


  • Organize and Chair monthly Steering Committee (SC) meeting and ad hoc SC meeting when required by any partners or by the initiative of the Consortium Director. Communicate minutes and Action point follow the meetings in a timely manner.

  • Ensure in coordination with the Deputy Consortium Director an efficient coordination amongst partners in terms of implementation and involvement in the DRC coordination structures.

  • Co-chair OCU and Working Group meetings

  • Maintain strong and transparent communication with all consortium partners and facilitate relation between partners and the Grant Holder.

  • Provide to the SC consolidated talking point and narrative on the program, its achievement and future programmatic development.

  • Take an active role in the Mercy Corps Complex Board program raising any outstanding issues and support requests, flagging any new risks to the program. If other partners set up similar Board meetings, ensure same involvement


  • Ensure SAFER’s representation with external stakeholders and donors and lead on the programmatic discussion including coordination with UN bodies and other Rapid Response implementing actors.

  • Lead the monthly and quarterly meetings with donor in accordance with donor schedules and in collaboration with the SC and OCU members and provide clear talking point to the SC members prior the meeting.

  • Represent consortium progress to donors as well as within the Cash Working Group.

  • Share learning from the consortium with the greater humanitarian community within DRC as well as regionally and globally as relevant


  • Working with the Deputy Director and CCU team, ensure harmonization of technical standards/approaches/tools, mainstreaming best practices and including such practices in the revision of the Safer Ways of Working.

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and explore implementation possibilities with SAFER

  • Support the Deputy Director to ensure the CCU team has a clear workplan and roadmap, implements activities timely, and has a strong, up to date and clear system for tracking and reporting against deliverables

  • Ensure monitoring systems are in place within the Consortium, including gathering data for case studies and lessons learned

  • Oversee, in collaboration with the Deputy Consortium Director, the operational planning for ongoing program activities across the consortium

  • Ensure that program implementation is meeting donor expectations and agreed standards and timeframe by having regular check-in with the Grant Holder. In case of discrepancy between agreed standards and implementation approach, support the Grant Holder to get the program/partner back on track.

  • Support the Grant Holder to ensure timely submission of high-quality donor reports and proposals on behalf of the consortium


  • In close collaboration with the Steering Committee ensure at proposal stage that the budget share is aiming at equal share to all partners and in line with Steering Committee decisions and ensure sustainability of the CCU team.

  • In close collaboration with the grant holder and partners, follow up with budget spending’s at least on a quarterly basis and inform the Steering Committee in case of significant over/underspend.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

Supervisory Responsibility: Deputy Consortium Director

Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: All partners: Country Directors, Program Directors.

Grant Holder: Grant Manager, Finance Director.

MC HQ: Complex Program Board, Technical Support Unit.

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 or equivalent in international studies, economics or other relevant field; MA/S preferred

  • 5-7 years of international relief and development large scale program management experience, in emergency and recovery program management

  • Experience with managing grants with FCDO, BHA and ECHO.

  • Previous experience in managing consortiums or managing/facilitating/influencing in network or partnership settings preferred

  • Combination of direct and remote management experience preferred

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with colleague agencies

  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving

  • Experience working with local authorities, national and international NGOs

  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills

  • Excellent oral and written English and French skills required

  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success factors

The successful SAFER Consortium Director will combine exceptional relationship and team building, coordination and strategic vision and strong communication and interpersonal skills. S/he will possess high level of adaptability and be able to adjust to a constantly changing working environment. S/he will use tact, diplomacy and persistence to advocate for and lobby on behalf of the consortium with donors and the humanitarian community in DRC. S/he will have previous experience in implementing programs in insecure and conflict context. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, and attention to detail 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 SAFER Consortium Director is based in Goma in the main MC DRC field office, however the accompanied position allows the SAFER Consortium Director to live in Gisenyi, Rwanda with family members. Gisenyi, Rwanda is an accompanied and secure location. Housing is in individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house in Rwanda. There are schools in Rwanda. Staff have full access to medical facilities, electricity, water, internet and standard amenities in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

Goma is a provincial capital of over 800,000 inhabitants. Travel may be required up to 25% of the time to program areas within North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Living in Goma/Gisenyi is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity. While security is quite stable in Goma, Ituri, North and South Kivu 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. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service 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 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.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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.

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