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. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, agriculture, market development, financial services, youth engagement, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. We take a systems-based approach in our programming, with the aim of improving the lives and potential of vulnerable individuals and communities across Nepal.
The Operations Department is committed to implementing and maintaining the highest standards of efficiency and integrity in daily Procurement, Administration, Logistics, Asset Management and Information Technology for all offices in MC-Nepal. The overriding objective for all Mercy Corps operations activities are the prompt and effective provision of on-time solutions Mercy Corps’ beneficiary populations in compliance with Mercy Corps’ and donor policies, procedures, regulations and specifications.
The Head of Operations is a member of the country’s senior management team with supervisory and managerial responsibility. Reporting to the Country Director, the Head of Operations will be primarily responsible for enabling excellence in all operations functions of all offices in Nepal including procurement, logistics, assets, fleet, warehousing, administration, information technology, safety & security and government liaison. They ensure effective systems that support strategy for healthy, robust and integrated functions of national team members.
They will be required to strengthen the operational performance and efficiency of the organization. They will also ensure that managerial processes, resources and the necessary infrastructure are all in place. The successful candidate will be organized, professional, deeply knowledgeable of these processes and best practices, a strong manager able to multi-task, a kind, supportive and yet firm manager, and someone who brings a lot of energy and a high work ethic to the role. This role is one of the top advisors to the Country Director, and collaborates closely with other colleagues at the regional and global level as well.
The specific duties and responsibilities of the Head of Operations includes, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategy & Vision
- Provide overall operational support to programs and facilitate coordination, supervision and monitoring of support activities designed to assist in fulfilling program objectives.
- Set direction of program support department by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
- Plan and suggest activities for programs in compliance with the regulations and requirements of Government of Nepal for effective and efficient delivery of programs
- Ensure integration of program support systems and processes in all Mercy Corps Nepal offices.
- Ensure all offices have capacity (human and technical) to support smooth program operations.
- Ensure internal and donor procedures, policies and guidelines are followed.
- Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.
- Develop and periodically review country or field office specific policies and communicate them to teams.
- Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement, logistics and Information and Technology 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 Nepalese law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
- Keep abreast of the latest data/ developments/ structures, necessary for Government Liaison Implementation in context of changing Government structure in Nepal affecting MCN.
- Represent Mercy Corps, as advised by Country Director, to government and authorities and assist in coordinating meetings with government bodies as required.
- Be responsible for visa, registration and other legal documentation for Mercy Corps expatriate staff.
- Be responsible to ensure all project agreement in MCN are designed in line with Social Welfare Council’s and Government of Nepal’s requirement.
- Be responsible to ensure MC personnel develop and interact with Ward, Rural/Municipal and Provincial level government network for smooth functioning of MC Programs and timely organizing of Municipal/Palikas Level Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings
- Ensure regular meetings with various government officials at central, provincial and district level are held during project planning and implementation, including DPAC and CPAC meetings.
- Obtain customs and duty exemption certificates from the relevant authorities as and when required.
- Train and oversee the MC Operations Manager role to support government liaison work and serve as a back-up liaison when needed.
- Oversee MC Nepal’s interaction and participation in the UN Cluster System, when operative. Monitor and communicate the information produced and presented by the various cluster groups, and assigns appropriate staff to represent MC Nepal. Strengthen coordination with colleague agencies as and when applicable.
- Attend coordination meetings as discussed and agreed upon by Country Director.
- Conduct themselves both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to the program and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission
- Mercy Corps as a humanitarian agency is expected to response as and when crisis and humanitarian situation engulfs. As an MC employee, all staff are expected to be part of humanitarian and emergency response in addition to their regular roles and responsibilities in such situations.
- Oversee and ensure GESI aspects are addressed across institutional strategic and programmatic levels.
- Other Operations duties as assigned by the Country Director
- Work closely with program management to facilitate program planning and upcoming procurement resources needs. Ensure Procurement plan is prepared for all programs and implemented accurately.
- Work closely with program and finance teams to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with MC and donor regulations.
- Responsible for the management of all project procurement functions compliance and control as described in Mercy Corps Field Procurement Policies and procedures- FP3
- Work closely with finance and compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest, and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps procurement activities.
Finance and Compliance Management
- Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance.
- Work closely with finance/compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.
- Support and orient on MC Code of Ethics and uphold Mercy Corps’ Zero tolerance of corruption policy.
- Responsible for the management of all operational support functions and operations team;
- 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.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Ensure continued development of a career path for operations staff in the country program by designing/using training regimens for operations staff. Identifying and building capacity of star performers with potential to develop the ability to adopt higher responsibilities and Temporary Duty Assignments, Expatriate-level roles, and/or emergency deployments.
- Organize operations training for all staff including operations, finance, program etc periodically.
- Work closely with program management team, to facilitate operations aspects of program planning, and upcoming operations resources needs.
- Assist the program team and departments to understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of interaction with operations departments.
- Act as Country Security Focal Point(SFP) for Mercy Corps Nepal and ensure safety and security of all Mercy Corps Nepal Staffs.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- Conduct threat and security assessment for all MC Nepal Offices. Conduct regular visits to all field offices for security assessment, orientation and training. Monitor Minimum Operating Standards for Security (MOSS) for Mercy Corps premises and operations.
- Provide security briefings and updates to new hires, visitors as and when as needed. Train Regional SFPs to conduct orientation and trainings to respective field office staffs.
- Assist Country Director, as required, in developing and implementing strategies to continue Mercy Corps operations continuity in times of heightened security. Participate in regional security dialogue and information sharing. Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Review and update all security systems and protocols on a yearly basis in coordination with HQ and external security consultants
- Lead the process of updating, implementing and lead of orientation of the Country Security Management Plan (SMP).
- Develop Annual security training plan with a focus on operational continuity during an emergency, critical incident (kidnapping) planning, hibernation, relocation and evacuation.
- Chair the Security Management Team and conduct quarterly meetings when country security situation is green, monthly or weekly meetings as needed if safety and security situation changes.
- Record security incidents to the central tracking system and ensures critical incidents are reported to the Director of Field Security and Regional Program Director through Flash Reports.
- Ensure all property including vehicles has adequate first aid kits, fire extinguishers etc. and provide training on same to all staff.
- Ensure safety and security of all Mercy Corps Nepal staff and participate in security forums.
Influence and Representation
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate with our partners to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.
- Establish high level of credibility and manage strong working relationship with external stakeholders.
- Coordinate and collaborate with the humanitarian organizations and Logistics Coordination Group aiming to provide humanitarian assistance
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.
- 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.
Directly supervises Operations Manager and dotted line to the Head of Sub-Offices.
Reports Directly to: Country Director
Works Directly with: HQ Regional Finance Officers, HQ Procurement, Regional Procurement and Logistics Manager, Internal Auditors, Finance and Compliance Director, Programs Managers/Directors, and Chief/Deputy Chief of Party, Finance and HR team.
- BA /S or equivalent in Management, Social Sciences, International Development or other relevant field. Masters preferred.
- A minimum of 7-10 years of relevant experience with at least 3 years of management experience in both program management and administrative or operational support functions with a humanitarian non-governmental organization with supervisor responsibilities.
- Experience in setting up and managing administration and finance management systems.
- Experience in procurement, logistics, and human resource management.
- Minimum of two years’ experience in humanitarian assistance field emergency/relief settings.
- Demonstrated understanding of supporting complex operations in challenging environments, complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in insecure environments.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
- Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
- Excellent negotiation, representation, skills and the ability to work comfortably with an ethnically diverse staff in a very sensitive environment.
- Security Management training and Crisis Management trainings.
- Proven ability to solve problems independently without direct supervision.
- Knowledge of USAID, ECHO, OFDA, EU regulations helpful.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment
The successful Head of Operations will have excellent problem-solving skills. They have the ability to act as intermediary between program and operations staff to ensure smooth process flow while maintaining a balance between program implementation and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies. An impeccable professional standard and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance is essential. S/he will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. They will ensure security management plan will be up to date and annual security audits are conducted and a resulting work plan is developed and implemented. They shall have the experience of government liaison experience and understanding of processes and requirements and have demonstrated ability to facilitate interaction and processes with Government and local authorities of Mercy Corps Nepal to pursuit comprehensively on-going projects and to be able to launch new projects in Nepal and will also advise the field and central team on local/ central government coordination issue raised and facilitate required plan of action. They would build healthy professional relationship with key influencers in the Government across primary and secondary stakeholders.
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.
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.
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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct policies and are required to complete mandatory corresponding learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
Accountability to Participants
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.