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Project Manager At Mercy Corps

Date Posted: 18/Jan/2014
Deadline: 30/Jan/2014

Project Manager (adolescent girl entrepreneurship program) - Kano, Nigeria - NATIONAL POSITION



Position Title: Project Manager Girls Opportunities for Advancing Literacy (GOAL) Primary Location: Kano, Nigeria Position Status: Field-based, full-time, regular, exempt

PROGRAM/DEPARTMENT SUMMARY: Globally, Mercy Corps’ mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. This occurs when public, private and civil society actors interact with accountability, inclusive participation and mechanisms for peaceful change. Our global strategy 1) takes an integrated, systems approach, 2) works in partnership with diverse actors, 3) is grounded in evidence and learning, and 4) uses a gender lens. Last year, we improved the lives of 19 million people globally. Mercy Corps manages programs in 43 countries. Working in Nigeria since 2012, Mercy Corps works across 11 states with a focus on the Middle Belt and Northern states through partnerships with USAID, DfID, GHR Foundation, Nike Foundation, MasterCard, and the Foundation for Partnerships in the Niger Delta (PIND). Mercy Corps links peace-building with economic development, focusing on vulnerable populations such as adolescent girls.

The Girls Opportunities for Advancing Literacy (GOAL) program is transformative. It addresses several challenges faced by girls in Nigeria by ensuring secondary education for marginalized girls is equitable and scalable by increasing girls’ learning outcomes and directly supporting girls’ increased control of economic assets. GOAL will increase financial literacy and labor-market relevant skills for 1,800 marginalized female junior and senior school students (ages 15 to 19) in Ministry of Education (MoE) and Islamiyya schools in Kano State. To ensure scale and sustainability, GOAL will support the Government of Nigeria (GoN) to operationalize the girl-centered financial curriculum in 30 schools. Mercy Corps has strong relationships with the MoE and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who are increasing financial literacy in secondary schools under the GoN’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy for 2020.

GOAL will accelerate innovation in Nigeria through the operationalization of a girl-centered curriculum at the secondary school level that will enhance employment-relevant skills for marginalized girls in Kano State, Nigeria with a focus on strengthened financial literacy skills and financial inclusion. GOAL will: 1) develop proof of concept of a tailored financial literacy curriculum for female students in junior and senior secondary schools and 2) enhance transferable and entrepreneurism skills relevant to the labor market. GOAL will be supported at multiple-levels by the GoN, specifically the MoE and CBN, to build an evidence base of strategies and tactics for teaching female secondary school students employment-relevant skills to inform a government-led scale-up of financial literacy curriculum while providing girls a supportive environment through a Safe Space model linked to their schools. Each aspect of the GOAL program is designed to be innovative and test new models for adolescent girls in Nigeria. GOAL will: • Integrate financial education at the school level. The Safe Space and GOAL financial literacy curriculum will be girl-centered targeting the lowest common denominator in the social and academic hierarchies - older adolescent girls. • Reinforce classroom learning with new technologies including SMS messaging groups. • Positively influence the GoN operationalization of the financial education curriculum. • Increase girls’ financial capabilities through direct savings and links with formal financial institutions.

GOAL will link with Mercy Corps’ existing ENGINE (Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises) program to provide girls with intensive business and entrepreneurship, leadership and life skills training. Under GOAL, Mercy Corps will allow girls who have graduated secondary school to enter into the 6-month business and entrepreneurship training program. The program will be weighted to the girls’ literacy and numeracy levels and will include business and entrepreneurial skills training and financial education comprising 75% of the time followed by leadership and life skills (25%). Once girls complete the 6 month business and entrepreneurship training course (4-6 hours per week), they will be eligible to opt-in to participate in the next stage of GOAL, starting their own microfranchise with either Coca-Cola or d.light solar lights. Girls who opt into one of the value chains will be provided additional product-specific training along with assets to start their microfranchise.

GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY: The Project Manager will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the GOAL program, managing staff, national partners and resources to ensure that the program meets performance-based targets on-time and within budget. The Project Manager will coordinate with other donor funded programming to link adolescent girls with GOAL activities. The Project Manager will supervise and build the capacity of program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the representative to donors, relevant government entities, and public and private sector partners.

The Project Manager will ensure the delivery of Safe Space activities for girls in junior and senior secondary school, focusing on girls age 15 to 19 attending MoE junior or senior secondary schools or Islamiyya schools. S/he will leverage innovative technology including mobile phone technology, to strengthen girls’ learning outcomes and improve girls’ financial literacy. The Project Manager will influence the Government of Nigeria to use the GOAL financial education curriculum and to fully integrate financial education into their future curriculum planning, including an M&E system, teacher training and delivery, content and budget for the appropriate resources. The Project Manager will also increase girls’ productive economic assets by strengthening and expanding savings habits and increasing access to formal savings opportunities.


Program Implementation • Ensure effective implementation of the GOAL program, including meeting deliverables on time, within budget, and according to Mercy Corps and client standards. • Ensure GOAL is responsive to Nigerian girls and private sector actor needs. This includes implementation partners and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan.
• Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps and client policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations. • Oversee performance of any consortium partners and sub-grantees and conduct frequent field visits to all project sites. Problem-solve with partners when needed. • Ensure implementation of activities is on time, target and budget, using effective systems to reach desired impacts in order to assess program effectiveness and impact and propose recommendations for improvements. • Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices. • Advocate for the inclusion of marginalized girls and for girls to be active in non-traditional sectors at the household and community level. • In collaboration with the M&E partner, design and implement relevant surveys, need assessments, data and information collection for on-going monitoring.
• Maintains links and keep current on up-to-date best practices around innovative strategies of Savings Groups and promoting girls school to work transition; disseminate technical information and assistance where necessary.

Personal Leadership • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure. • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity. • Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Reporting • Facilitate the achievement of performance-based targets and outcomes and lead efforts to design effective, proactive, and iterative M&E systems. • Oversee the production of high-quality program reports 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.

Representation • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Mercy Corps’ Nigeria Country Representative.
• Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government, private sector actors and as well as with other Mercy Corps programs in Nigeria. • Proactively form relationships with private sector actors to complement client funding.

Team Management • Implement performance planning and management systems, establish performance expectations with team members, and regularly provide constructive feedback on team members’ performance. • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews and ensure that supervisory staff does the same.
• Contribute to country team-building efforts and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Program Support Operations • Coordinate with program, finance, operations, and administration staff to ensure effective systems are in place to support field activities including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources. • Help design operational policies and practices as needed and in accordance with Mercy Corps regulations.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Project Officer and coordinating with implementing partners

ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Mercy Corps’ Nigeria Country Representative WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Mercy Corps Adolescent Girl Advisor, Finance department and Mercy Corps’ complimentary adolescent girl programming, and HQ technical support units.

KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE: • Excellent oral, written, presentation and communications skills in English are required • MA/S or equivalent in education, management, social sciences, international development or other relevant field. • A minimum of 7 years of experience including 3 years in a senior management or technical advisory role on large, education, gender- focused, skills building program. • Experience in Northern Nigeria strongly essential. • Experience managing interventions in gender-related programming, in particular girls. Experience of training and building capacity on girl-centered programming. Prefer expertise in at least one of the following areas: increasing economic assets through savings clubs and links to financial institutions or transitions girls from school to work programming. Experience using SMS for training or messaging preferred. • Deep understanding of the challenges facing girls in Nigeria. • High attention to detail and ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines. • Experience with private-sector led initiatives. • Strong written and oral communication skills in English required, including report development, writing and editing. Hausa language skills essential. • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

SUCCESS FACTORS: The successful applicant will combine exceptional management skills and technical skills with a focus on innovative interventions to engage adolescent girls in increasing their savings and engaging 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.

LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: This position will be based in Kano, where security may be particularly difficult at times. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

How to apply:

APPLICATION PROCESS Please note this is a National Position only available to citizens of Nigeria. Please submit CV and cover letter addressing the key criteria above, to [email protected] with mail subject GOAL PROJECT MANAGER by 30th January, 2014. Recruitment will be ongoing and may conclude prior to this date.


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