Senior Program, Performance & Quality (PAQ) Manager

Beirut, Beirut Governorate, Lebanon | Full-time

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About Mercy Corps

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. Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps is committed to generating positive opportunities for women, men, boys and girls from Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian communities, with a strong focus on engaging youth.

  • Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping build secure, productive and just communities. We do this through:
  • Addressing the humanitarian and protection needs resulting from crisis situations for the most vulnerable communities
  • Enabling local communities, civil society and government to better prevent and respond to conflict, address needs and deliver sustainable development solutions
  • Promoting economic growth and catalysing economic opportunities for vulnerable, under-employed groups in Lebanon

The Mercy Corps Lebanon team consists of over 150 staff working across five offices throughout Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley.

General Position Summary

The Senior Program Performance and Quality Manager (Sr. PaQ Manager) plays a critical role in Mercy Corps Lebanon (MC-L)’s program team by providing support and leadership in program quality and performance, and contributes to strategy and business development, and thought leadership with the Director of Programs. By demonstrating visible leadership and adherence to Mercy Corps’ core values, principles and strategy, they provide support and leadership in increased program quality, innovation and influence, as well as in program development and management.

The Sr. PaQ Manager oversees the Program Performance and Quality (PAQ) unit in MC Lebanon, whose role is to provide strong, consolidated support across the Program Department to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes. They work closely with the Country Director, the Director of Programs and program teams, to support the coordination, adaptation and development of quality programs from identification to design to development, management, evaluation, and learning, supporting in the development of/adherence to best practice tools and approaches throughout. They crucially provide ongoing support and mentoring to program MEL focal points directly or through the overall PaQ team, supporting MEL program staff on program quality and impact, working with MEL focal points for capacity building and ongoing support throughout the program cycle.

The Sr. PaQ Manager provides essential support to the Director of Programs, the Country Director and Sector Lead(s) in growing the MC-L portfolio in a responsible manner, guided by the MC-L Country Strategy. They are a key member of strategic leadership, contributing to setting direction based on current complex realities, as well as pre-positioning for the future. They play a key role in ensuring decisions are realistic, innovative, effective and forward-looking by pre-positioning data, evidence, analysis, trends and technical components, as well as contributing to the development of and overseeing/supporting research, assessments, studies, and ongoing research questions, learning agendas and data collection, ensuring their integration into better informed decisions toward both reactive and proactive program development. They assist in prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to define, articulate and communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals of Mercy Corps in response to the evolution of the Lebanese context. They play an essential role in MC-L program development with the CD, DoP and Sector Lead(s) and/or technical experts in preparing for and identifying new funding opportunities, and translating these opportunities into winning proposals for new programs to strategically connect into a cohesive country portfolio.

The Sr. PaQ Manager is a leader in establishing and providing ongoing support to a learning culture within the organization and promoting evidence-based thought leadership and research to help the organization generate lessons learnt and incorporate them into the development of future programs.

The Sr. PaQ Manager plays a key role in ensuring capacity building for program staff on program management techniques, and providing support to other departments in MC Lebanon to ensure a culture of providing training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality.

The Sr. PaQ Manager will have an important role in contributing to global and regional conversations and initiatives around program performance and quality.

Essential Job Responsibilities

PROGRAM QUALITY

  • Update and provide oversight of the MC Lebanon Performance and Quality (PAQ) unit strategy in coordination with global and regional PAQ teams
  • Provide supervision to the PAQ team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively to the Lebanon PAQ unit strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members
  • Work with program teams to ensure the adoption of efficient, effective and compliant program management processes and workflows, identify strategies and build or strengthen systems to facilitate greater efficiency in program management processes
  • Lead on program quality and impact measurement by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required guidelines and policies
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives. Lead learning sessions with program teams
  • Support the development and piloting of innovative tools and methodologies to capture program outcomes and test theories of change
  • Ensure PAQ unit provides strong Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) support to program teams which includes the use of TolaData, builds a community of practice for MEL staff to provide them with technical advice and a support network, develops efficient MEL systems (including information management systems, efficient staffing, and workflow)
  • Ensure the PAQ unit carries out effective reviews of program reports, make sure these are consistent with data from our information management systems, include well documented success stories and infographics to highlight program impact, and include information on lessons learned to inform on required adaptation of activities and future program design
  • Provide technical support and capacity building to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and program teams on evaluation methodologies and play a supportive role in the evaluation of programs
  • Ensure and contribute to regular training and other capacity building events for MC Lebanon staff on topics related to MEL, knowledge management, documentation, Google Drive and Google Suite usage (and gradually to Microsoft 365 and the transition to it), Tola, etc. to improve program quality, and support other departments to take the lead in developing and implementing capacity building activities to improve program management processes
  • Help ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards
  • Help ensure that all interventions utilize a gender lens in design and analysis
  • Oversee the further strengthening and maintenance of the 3assama3 Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM), to ensure accountability to beneficiaries and to flag any potential fraud or protection issues, and provide, where possible, effective referral of protection issues.
  • Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PAQ unit strategies and functioning, as well as global program quality initiatives such as PM@MC minimum standards, gender and social integration inclusion, and adaptive management, etc.
  • Support the development and maintenance of appropriate trackers, such as reporting tracker, and grant tracker (that details current and future/pipeline programming) etc. and the use of online tools, such as Google Calendars and Google Drive (and their MS365 replacements), to increase coordination and visibility of activities in MC Lebanon
  • Ensure documentation for programs meets Mercy Corps Minimum Standards and donor audit requirements and ensure there are effective guidance and systems in place for electronic and hard copy filing
  • Provide support to program teams at key programmatic moments, such as program start-up, kick-off meetings, 90-day inception meeting check-ins, organization of BVA meetings, quality audits and spot checks, collecting lessons learned, 90-day end of program transition meetings, and other support as requested by program managers or the Director of Programs
  • Ensure MC Lebanon staff meet PM@MC certification requirements (both PMD Pro Level 1 and Higher Level Certification) through PM@MC focal points

STRATEGY AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

  • Support the Country Director, Director of Programs and Sector Lead(s) to communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals of Mercy Corps Lebanon to team members and stakeholders that translate into concrete programs and work plans. Support the design of cost-effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring relevance to stakeholders and agency strategy
  • Actively contribute to the overall country level strategic development, planning and monitoring, as well as the annual strategic review in coordination with the Country Director and SMT
  • Actively contribute to the development of a MC-L program development strategy based on an evaluation of program priorities within the country
  • Actively contribute to pro-active program development in close collaboration with the Country Director (CD), the Director of Programs (DoP) and the program team – scoping, research and leading the development of concepts and proposals. Support the Country Director, DoP and Sector Lead(s) in exploration, evaluation and presentation of new program funding opportunities and establishment of new partnerships
  • Ensure the PAQ team effectively coordinates proposal design and development processes, ensuring sound MEL thinking and use of logic models are integrated from the outset, following agency best practices and donor compliance, in coordination with MC Lebanon technical, finance and operational staff, as well as HQ and regional teams
  • Contribute to key program development functions by actively supporting DoP in program identification and design, proposal writing, pre-bid assessments, consultant writers recruitment and management
  • Identify, build and maintain productive and collaborative partnerships with peer agencies, consortium partners, sub-grantees, donor counterparts ,and other stakeholders as a community of practice around PaQ, MEL, research, learning, and quality programming
  • Serve as a member of the MC-L Senior Management Team (SMT).

RESEARCH, LEARNING AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

  • Contribute to the MC Lebanon’s research and learning agenda, and ensure the PAQ unit supports the development of appropriate partnerships and strategy for research and learning.
  • Lead the identification of research opportunities and create a coherent research pipeline. Monitor the progress of MC-L research agenda’s implementation. Support the DoP in fundraising for and promotion of the research agenda of MC-L
  • Support the management research projects, as required, including the management and identification of external researchers/consultants. Liaise with HQ research teams and relevant Technical Support Unit (TSU) teams
  • Contribute to the production of knowledge products (impact briefs, success stories) to reflect lessons learnt and ensure that these knowledge products are practical, applicable, actionable and effectively utilized
  • Ensure that comprehensive dissemination plans are developed and executed to promote MC-L as a program and thought leader
  • Represent Mercy Corps at relevant fora in Lebanon and elsewhere as required.

Organizational Learning

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

PAQ team

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Sector Lead(s), Program and Project Managers, Support Departments, Headquarters and Regional PAQ teams

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree required. Masters or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred
  • 7+ years of experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation
  • Experience working in the Middle East region and Lebanon context preferred
  • Extensive experience with monitoring and evaluation, information management, and other learning efforts required
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, and to play a leadership role in convening groups. Astute skills in relationship building and coordination.
  • Excellent experience in the design and production of knowledge products (impact briefs, success stories).
  • Excellent English writing and communication skills required
  • Experience in proposal and donor report writing preferred
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Proficiency in Arabic is a definite plus
  • Mercy Corps experience preferred.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will be self-motivated; innovative in finding solutions to daily and more systemic challenges; able to build, motivate, lead and build capacities of a high functioning team; able to navigate and work effectively with a multi-cultural, multi-lingual team; and be able to see function at and see both the details required for quality and the bigger picture of how all the pieces come together. The team member will have an ability to understand the connections between research, project implementation and strategy.

They will take a deep personal interest in humanitarian and development assistance. They will be attentive to detail and able to carry out assigned tasks in a timely manner and according to a very high standard of quality. They will be creative and flexible, able to work under tight deadlines and often high levels of stress, contributing to developing and encouraging new and innovative solutions, but at the same time will be a leader in ensuring adherence to compliant systems and procedures.

They will be curious, outgoing and entrepreneurial and possess a passion for creating new opportunities. The individual should be driven by interest in promoting change and developing a learning culture through local capacity building. The person should bring practical experience of wanting to pilot innovative methodologies and be motivated by showing high impact or influence.

The individual will have excellent writing and communications skills, as well as analytical abilities.

While able to work independently, the person will be a team player capable of integrating into a diverse, predominantly Lebanese national team, with an understanding of cross-cultural communications and sensitivity. The team member will be comfortable with a dynamic workplace and capable of rapidly shifting priorities as external circumstances dictate.

They will strictly follow all protocols related to safety and security, and hold self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Mercy Corps’ values.

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. 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.