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Programme Director – Engine II Job at Mercy Corps Nigeria

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.  In Nigeria, Mercy Corps has worked since 2012 by focusing its programming on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development, conflict mitigation, and humanitarian response.

With the insurgency spilling over from the Northeast of Nigeria and causing displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. With funding from institutional donors, foundations and private corporations, Mercy Corps continues to provide assistance to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in the areas of food security, shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Programme Director – Engine II

Location: Abuja
Position Status : Full -time

Programme / Department Summary

  • Since 2013, Mercy Corps Nigeria has been implementing the ENGINE (Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises) programme. It is an initiative funded by DFID under the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Fund. The first phase of the programme started in October 2013 and ended in March 2017. Under ENGINE I, Mercy Corps Nigeria was successful in reaching out to over 21,000 marginalised girls across the four Nigerian states of Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory. Mercy Corps Nigeria was awarded with the second phase of the programme under the GEC-T (Girls’ Education Challenge Transition) from DFID in early 2017. ENGINE II started in April 2017 and will end in March 2020.
  • The programme will work with the same ENGINE I beneficiaries. It is implemented through a consortium of partners including for CSOs, the Ministry of Education (MoE), the National Mass Education Commission (NMEC), NIMC, Access Bank, Airtel, Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Proctor and Gamble and Twinings.
  • The primary beneficiaries on ENGINE are selected on marginalisation criteria set forth by the programme. The criteria are: orphans, adolescents suffering from disabilities, widow, married before 18, had a child before 18 and coming from extremely poor households.
  • The programme targets both in-school and out-of-school girls aged 15 to 19. Through the safe spaces, the in-school girls (ISGs) received classes on Science, Maths, English, Life Skills and Financial Literacy, whilst the out-of-school girls (OSGs) received classes on Life Skills, Business Education and Financial Literacy. Beneficiaries are also linked to different vocational training opportunities, access to financial services and were provided start-up business assets by Coca-Cola.

ENGINE II has three high level outcomes which:

Improved Learning Outcomes:

  • By end of the programme, the ENGINE girls will demonstrate significant improvement in their literacy and numeracy skills. ENGINE II leverages on the existing government structures to improve the learning outcomes.
  • It works with the in-school teachers for its in-school learning centres and the out-of-school learning centres are established at the AME (Agency for Mass Education).
  • Through the AME learning centre facilitators, the OSGs receive classes on literacy, numeracy, financial literacy and life skills. ENGINE II has established 699 learning centres across the four states.


  • Transition for the programme signifies successfully passing onto higher grades and for the girls who have completed their secondary education transiting either to tertiary education and/or entry into the workforce or apprenticeship opportunities.
  • The OSGs will also be linked to various level 2 vocational training opportunities, that are market viable and accepted by the community members.


  • Since the beginning of the programme, ENGINE II has worked with the government agencies primarily the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, National Mass Education Commission at the central level and with its line agencies at the State level. At the community level, it works with the community leaders and/or religious leaders, CAC (Community Action Committees), SBMCs (School Based Management Committees), and PTAs (Parent Teachers Association).

General Position Summary

  • The Programme Director will be responsible for providing overall leadership, technical and strategic management to the second phase of the ENGINE II programme.
  • Reporting to the Deputy Country Director – the Program Director will manage staff, national partners and resources to ensure that the program meets performance-based targets on time and within budget, as per DfID requirements.
  • S/he will be responsible for providing strategic direction for the programme’s teaching and learning component. Since ENGINE II is an education programme, the Programme Director will be responsible for providing technical direction in improving the learning outcomes of the ENGINE II girls.
  • S/he will ensure project funds are spent efficiently and maximize Value for Money. S/he will supervise and build the capacity of key project staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations.
  • The Programme Director will also be responsible for strategic direction and implementation of two other projects implemented alongside ENGINE II.
  • They are Always Keeping Girls in School project implemented in FCT and ECOSAT implemented in Lagos, FCT, Kano and Kaduna.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision:

  • Develop overall vision and strategic plan for ENGINE II, in collaboration with its partners.
  • Provide technical lead for the education component of the programme, especially in relation to improving learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
  • Design and support evaluation assessment and analysis to determine scope of the project based on needs and opportunities.
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for project and convince stakeholders to provide support.

Technical Functions:

  • Lead the technical aspects of functional literacy, numeracy and school to improve the learning outcomes of the ENGINE II in-school and out-of-school girls.
  • Provide strategic leadership in improving teachers’ teaching quality.
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps and DfID policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations.
  • Oversee performance of project partners and sub-grantees and conduct frequent field visits to all project sites in the North West and South West. Problem-solve with partners when needed.
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Identify and manage links with existing and planned donor interventions that target adolescent girls to identify girls on an on-going basis to participate in ENGINE II activities.
  • Maintains links and keep current on up-to-date best practices around innovative strategies of promoting girls school to work transition; disseminate technical information and assistance where necessary.
  • Oversee the production of high-quality reports on all aspects of the ENGINE II in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Ensure that M&E team members focus on assisting programs to generate practical information that can be used for ongoing program decision-making while also capturing results at the impact level.

Team Management:

  • Lead and develop program support teams across ENGINE II implementation offices.
  • 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.
  • Implement performance planning and management systems, establish performance expectations with team members, and regularly provide constructive feedback on team members’ performance.
  • 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.
  • Promote a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Ensure 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.
  • 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.

Finance & Compliance Management:

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Lead on budget amendment/realignment by closely working with the finance department.
  • Oversee the monthly budget BVAs and monitor if the budgets are in line with the approved budget per output and make necessary changes when needed.

Organisational Learning:

  • As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations 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:

  • Direct: Deputy Programme Manager, Policy and Governance Manager and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor.


  • Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director
  • Works Directly With: ENGINE II Teams: Programme Implementation, Communications, Public-Private Partnerships and Policy and Governance Teams. Operations department, Finance and Compliance department and other relevant MC staff, members of MC’s global Technical Support Unit (TSU) and MEL staff.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or its equivalent in Education, Management, Social Sciences, International Development or other relevant field.
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressive work experience including at least 3 years in a senior management or technical advisory role on large, education, gender- focused, skills building program.
  • Experience managing large-scale education or school to work projects, especially targeting marginalized girls or young women. Prefer expertise in at least two of the following areas: accelerated learning programs, literacy, numeracy, Islamic and/or community-based education targeting community acceptance of girl’s education, increasing economic assets through savings clubs and links to financial institutions.
  • Strong understanding of DfID compliance and finance requirements.
  • Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues in high security environment. Experience managing a multi-organizational team (international and national partners) is a plus.
  • Proven experience working/managing M&E heavy education programmes.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English required, including report development, writing and editing.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Demonstrated experience working with country-level ministries and government officials, Ministry of Education experience preferred.

Success Factors:

  • The successful candidate will combine exceptional leadership, management and technical skills with a focus on innovative interventions to engage adolescent girls in informal education and skills building linked with private sector entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in a culturally and religiously conservative environment.
  • S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative and complex programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision 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.

Application Closing Date
28th January, 2019.

Method of Application 
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their CV and Cover Letter in one document, addressing the position requirements to: All applications must include the position title in the subject line.

Note: Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview and we are an equal opportunity organization so women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.