Operations Director

Mercy Corps, South Sudan

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
28th June, 2018

Job Description

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people’s immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan’s priority areas are food security and livelihoods (focusing on cash assistance, market-based solutions in agriculture and economic development), WASH, Education, youth development and conflict resolution. Mercy Corps has been implementing project which combine agricultural, economic development, WASH, Education and other humanitarian interventions to tackle the convulsive crises affecting vulnerable communities. Mercy Corps has worked to build relationships with local government and other actors, which has enhanced our understanding of local contexts and the multiple stakeholders involved. With the Peace Agreement and formation of a Transitional Government, Mercy Corps is expanding and intensifying multi-sector programming to rural areas in Rubkona and Panyijiar Counties, especially areas inaccessible in 2014 and 2015. From 2017 Mercy Corps also operate in Equatoria States

General Position Summary

The Operations Director is a member of the country’s senior management team (SMT). The Country Operations Director is responsible for all operations functions in South Sudan including Logistics, Procurement, Assets, Fleet, Warehousing, Admin and HR. S/he ensures compliance with donor regulations as well as Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures and updates local manuals and policies and builds the capacity of local operations team members. S/he provides support and advises the Country Director and other team members on operational issues.

Essential Job Responsibilities


Provide program support, coordination, supervision and monitoring activities designed to meet program objectives


  • Assist Global Supply Chain department with 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;
  • Work closely with program management to facilitate operations aspects of program planning, and upcoming operations resources needs, especially procurements;
  • Advocate for operations systems: work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems;
  • 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;
  • Assist the program team and departments to understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of interaction with operations departments. These include trainings, regular coordination meetings, problem solving and procurement planning and other such planning activities to ensure effective and timely program implementation;
  • Responsible for the management of all operations functions and staff; responsible for the full and proper implementation of Mercy Corps systems of management, compliance and control as described in Mercy Corps field manuals contained in the Office in a Box;
  • Oversee our 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 Mercy Corps; and
  • Spend extensive time in the field to provide support to field based teams.


  • Ensure timely and accurate processing and documentation of procurements: the process, ensure accurate paperwork and a supply chain as described in the Field Procurement Manual;
  • Ensure procurement records systems are well managed and maintained;
  • Oversee use of the Electronic Procurement System found in the Office in a Box;
  • Ensure the warehouse procedures (where applicable) are followed as described in the Warehouse Policy and Procedures Guidelines;
  • Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies to South Sudan overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation;
  • Supervise the fleet management team and ensure that systems are in place to track maintenance schedules, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling as described in the Field Fleet Management Guidelines;
  • Oversight of NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed;
  • Maintain service contracts;
  • Liaise with finance to ensure compliance and payment schedules;
  • Oversee tracking of all assets to ensure accurate record keeping of Mercy Corps and donor assets, including exceptional items that require registration and movement tracking, in accordance with the Mercy Corps Asset Management Manual;
  • Coordinate logistics (non-program) aspects of material aid projects and associated;
  • Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies to South Sudan overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation;
  • Supervise the fleet management team and ensure that systems are in place to track maintenance schedules, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling as described in the Field Fleet Management Guidelines;
  • Oversight of NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed;
  • Maintain inventory records of materials and materials flow in all warehouses;
  • Oversee customs clearing, equipment registration, licensing and insurance, etc; and
  • Chair tender openings as required.


  • Ensure the Admin systems are implemented as described in the Field Administration Manual;
  • Oversee the set-up and development of Mercy Corps office(s) to meet needs of team members including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, IT;
  • Continue to the development or review of country or field office specific policies (phone policy, IT policy, per diem) and with the administration team communicate new policies to all staff as described in the Field Administration Manual;
  • Oversee database & paper file management for administration, procurement, logistics resources documents;
  • Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases for both (city) based warehouse/office
  • Responsible for expatriate visa and work permits, if necessary;
  • Supervise IT System Administrator to ensure IT systems functions as needed; and
  • Ensure that all Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with South Sudan law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.


  • Continue to the development or review of country or field office specific HR policies (National Staff Policy Handbook, phone policy, salary increase) and with the HR team communicate new policies to all staff as described in the Field Administration Manual;
  • Assist other managers to properly implement the performance review process to ensure proper talent management the Field Administration Manual; and
  • Implement a fair and competitive compensation system.


  • Develop the capacity of subordinate staff;
  • 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.
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.


  • Develop and maintain effective coordination with community stakeholders, government bodies/officials, civil society bodies and humanitarian partners with an eye towards long-term, cooperative and collaborative relationship-building.
  • Effectively represent Mercy Corps in coordinating bodies and other forums, especially the South Sudan Log-Clusters at field and national levels.
  • Participate in local coordination mechanisms

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.
  • 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.
  • Supervisory Responsibility
  • Juba - All country Operations (Logistics, Administration, HR) staff..
  • Reports Directly to: South Sudan Country Director  
  • Works Directly with: Director of Programs, Program Managers, Finance Director, Security Manager and all MC logistics and operations team as required.

Knowledge and Experience

  • A BS/BA in International Development or related field. MS/MA preferred.
  • At least 3 years of overseas experience managing Emergency programs is required; with particular focus on managing projects with time sensitive deliverables in complex settings.
  • Experience with IDP/returnee as well as WASH programming is desired.
  • Experience managing USAID/OFDA, IOM and UN funded projects is essential.
  • Experience in highly volatile security situations and a commitment to team safety.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement a complex program, manage a range of staff and with strong emphasis on developing their capacities.
  • Well organized and strong in operations and logistics.
  • Demonstrated ability to work respectfully and constructively with local partners, including community committees and host governments.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational skills.
  • Prior experience working internationally and ability to work comfortably in the complex cultural environment is required.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English required. Local language skills highly desired.

Success Factors

  • A BA/S or equivalent in a relevant field.
  • 5 - 7 years field experience in administrative or operational support functions with a humanitarian non-governmental organization with supervisor responsibilities.
  • Experience in setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource management.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies.
  • Excellent writing and communications skills.
  • Excellent negotiation, representation, skills and the ability to work comfortably with an ethnically diverse staff in a very sensitive environment.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Proven ability to solve problems independently without direct supervision.
  • Experience living and working in South Sudan preferred.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures (particularly Mercy Corps procurement systems) highly desirable.
  • M&E and PM@MC experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of ECHO, OFDA, DFID, UNICEF regulations helpful


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