Chief of Party (Water and Sanitation)

Mercy Corps
Goma, Congo (Kinshasa)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and French


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


This position is pending donor approval

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.

About Mercy Corps in the DRC

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps is also currently responding the unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. The current annual budget includes resources from DFID, USAID, ECHO, UN-donors, Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others.

Program Summary

In 2008, Mercy Corps and USAID launched a project to rehabilitate and extend the municipal water system of Goma and it was extended through other various donors.  In 2013, Mercy Corps signed a new $60M (USD) grant agreement with DFID-DRC to replicate and scale-up the Goma water project in two cities in Eastern Congo. The program involves designing, rehabilitating, extending and constructing city water and sanitation infrastructure as well as working to reform management structures to ensure that the systems are managed profitably and sustainably. In 2019, Mercy Corps is pursuing expanded peri-urban water and sanitation programming with an anticipated USAID funded project valued at up to $50M.

General Position Summary

The Chief of Party (COP) provides overall leadership, technical oversight, management and strategic vision for this multi-million dollar USAID-funded program, while managing staff, partners and resources to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time, on scope, and within budget.  The COP will supervise key program staff and ensure high program quality. The COP will be responsible for ensuring strict adherence to internal Mercy Corps policies and procedures as well as donor rules and regulations. The COP will also have representation duties to donors, relevant government entities, public and private sector actors in the water and sanitation sector, partners, other implementers and external stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Recognize and act on opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.
  • Oversee the development of annual, integrated strategic work-plans for the program


  • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations, ensuring mechanisms for effective adaptive management are in place and utilized regularly.
  • Lead the development of detailed implementation plans, flowing from annual strategic work-plans, and ensure the delivery of the same.
  • Structure his/her team to ensure that all program aspects are implemented to the highest standard (adhering to industry norms/regulations).
  • Ensure program objectives and deadlines are tracked and met.
  • Ensure grant agreements are monitored and comply with Mercy Corps policies and procedures and donor/government/external rules and regulations.
  • Oversee the performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees.
  • Oversee all aspects of design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and ensure that all program aspects are documented and archived according to internal/donor requirements.
  • Ensure the program is aligned with Mercy Corps’ principles, values and strategic plan.
  • Ensure all program management minimum standards are met (including risk management, issues management and change management)


  • Recruit a program team and ensure that program staff receive necessary inductions / training (including program management certification where required).
  • Create and sustain a work environment conducive to professional growth and of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Set a team culture valuing learning and adaptive management in support of an ongoing resilience approach in programming
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews with direct supervisees, and ensuring that supervisory staff do the same.
  • Implement, and ensure all staff members are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback.
  • 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.
  • Supervise and manage all program staff to ensure day-to-day activities are implemented in a coordinated fashion according to schedule, budget and quality.
  • Manage and help with professional development and ongoing training of staff to ensure they are of the quality and technical capacity necessary to ensure the successful implementation of activities.
  • Supervise and manage all program partnerships to ensure sound coordination in the context of an overall program strategic and resilience-building framework.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.
  • Ensure all internal control procedures are adhered to and that necessary measures are put in place to ensure high standards of accountability and compliance.
  • Ensure all internal/ donor /external reports are produced as required.


  • Coordinate with program, finance and administration staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities (including logistics, procurement, security, administration and human resources).
  • Work closely with country-level security focal points to develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security management priorities.


  • In collaboration with the country program’s operations and finance departments, ensure proper financial management, procurement, administration, human resources and logistics (including transport, warehousing and asset management) needs of the program are conducted within Mercy Corps’ policy and with the maximum benefit to the program.
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreement, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.


  • Liaise with and represent program to USAID and other cooperating sponsors and stakeholders, including private sector entities, public utilities, etc.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events in the field, in close coordination with the Country Director.
  • Ensure close coordination and information sharing with consortium partners, sub-grantees, local government, private and public utilities, contractors and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with communities and local government.


  • 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.


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.


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.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: DRC senior directors (e.g. finance, operations, and the country leadership team), program specific staff, headquarters operations and technic service unit team members partner organizations, other implementers

Supervisory Responsibility: DCOP, LIFT Program Managers, consultants, engineering and program staff 

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/MSc in environmental or infrastructure engineering, business administration, governance or equivalent.
  • 10 years+ of management experience in progressively responsible positions – preferably as project director for a comparable water and sanitation project or a lower level position on a larger project.
  • 5 years+ of experience in the management and oversight of USAID-funded cooperative agreement and/or contracts of similar size and scope.
  • Experience working with water or electricity utilities, either public or private
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, private sector entities, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with USAID policies, procedures and approaches with regards to design, implementation, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Strong preference will be given to applicants with private sector experience, business acumen and interest in public-private partnerships and contractual agreements (involving interlinked infrastructure and service delivery).
  • PRINCE 2 or other program management certification is required.
  • Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues.
  • Fluency in oral/written English and French is required.
  • Previous experience in the DRC or other developing context is strongly desired.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

Success Factors

The successful COP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor, private sector and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural team and capacity building, individual staff development and strong mentoring skills. The COP must have demonstrated experience managing large infrastructure construction programs and working with a water or electricity utility (public or private). S/he will have demonstrated skills in managing programs in challenging, insecure environments. 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 is an accompanied post based in Goma (DRC) / Gisenyi (Rwanda). The position is entitled to individual housing and is suitable for an accompanied spouse and children (up to the age of 10 years due to limited education institutions). While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other.  Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available.  Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.