Program Performance & Quality (PaQ) Director - Tenders Global

Program Performance & Quality (PaQ) Director

  • Contract
  • Sudan
  • Posted 6 months ago

Mercy Corps

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operational in Sudan since 2004 and currently leads humanitarian assistance and longer-term development efforts in conflict-affected South Darfur, Central Darfur, South Kordofan, North Kordofan, Kassala, Gedaref, and Khartoum States, supporting host communities, IDPs, returnees and refugees. Mercy Corps’ current areas of programming include food security and livelihoods, WASH, health, nutrition, peace building and protection, resilience, and Market Systems Development.

General Position Summary

The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) unit’s role is to support effective, efficient, and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management, to achieve results for those that matter most – our program participants. Mercy Corps is seeking a bold and proactive individual to be the Country Office’s PAQ Director. The role work very closely with the Senior Management team, including the Director of Programs, PAQ Manager, MEL Manager, Technical & Implementation Leads and Team Leaders. The PAQ Director will be a critical member of Mercy Corps Sudan team, tasked with supporting the quality of its programming; and our ability to innovate, learn and adjust to continually changing realities in the country. This includes PM@MC standards and training, ensuring gender integration, development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes, oversight of capacity development strategy and process, providing support to programs during key project development and implementation moments, checking in on program quality and impact.

The role is accountable for the development of efficient and effective monitoring, evaluation and learning and program management processes, policy and integrated program standards, as well as the Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM), and Research to strengthen and expand further the Evidence-Driven framework. This is a challenging, complex and responsive role that requires flexibility, strong management and leadership skills and expertise in critical thinking and partnership. The PaQ Director plays a key role in helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels, providing support to create a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques to improve program quality and capacity building.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Lead a strong and coordinated PaQ unit, overseeing results, objectives and work-planning across all PaQ domains.
  • Contribute to an adaptive management and learning culture, including facilitating after-action reviews, regular learning meetings, or strategy workshops.
  • Support country systems and process improvements, integrating cross-program learning and new insights in strategy design and implementation.
  • Play a leadership role in the design of new complex programs, leveraging evidence and learning from the existing portfolio to inform technical and management design.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Programs identiffy programmatic synergies and support the development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective learning, collaboration and integration across key program areas and functions, and within and across program portfolios. In collaboration with the MEL team, identify and develop research and learning priorities that are connected to country, regional and global strategic objectives.


  • Oversee programs’ alignment and adherence to Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards (PM@MC): ensure regular updates of assessments and provide targeted support to improvements against specific standards.
  • Serve as a resource for program staff, advising them on activity design (including theories of change), gathering of baseline data, evidence-based programming, developing and implementing M&E plans, and impact assessments.
  • Participate in new business development processes from the kickoff to submission stages – providing input not only on MEL but also on program design, feasibility, logic, etc.
  • Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception review and program performance meetings.
  • Support robust accountability mechanisms at the country and program level, maintaining country Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), coordinating with the Ethics department and programs to ensure functioning community accountability reporting mechanisms (CARM) feedback channels, maintain high response and closure rates.
  • Support adaptive management based on learning from CARM data, promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ CARM Minimum Standards.
  • Oversee the mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and protection across all country programs from design to closeout, supporting GESI analyses and the use of sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD).
  • Promote the PM@MC Gender minimum standards in program practices, including data collection tools, SOPs, guidance and procedures for protection/gender engagement.


  • Improve the quality and harmonization of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to feed into a centralized MEL unit, designing MEL and information management systems, including high quality monitoring approaches, data quality assessments (DQAs), ensuring use of Mercy Corps’ TolaData platform for indicator tracking and reporting, strengthening data protection and privacy systems and promoting compliance with Mercy Corps’ MEL Minimum Standards.
  • Lead, promote and adapt as needed the Country level Evidence and Learning Agenda and ensure that country and program-level learning and research priorities feed into each other while aligning with MC Regional and Global priorities in this domain.
  • Ensure the MEL Staff/Unit supports program teams in program evaluations and research, including drafting SoW, reviewing questions, designing data collection tools, and incorporating relevant learning, including ensuring protection risks and gender sensitivity is incorporated.
  • Cultivate an environment for learning and adaptive management within programs through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
  • Lead the development of processes to support programs team in integrating cross-programmatic learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design.
  • Support program teams to develop learning plans, implement research and learning agenda, including needs assessments, thematic research, and internal use of data and information in programs.


  • Ensure that members of the PaQ team have a deep understanding of their roles, coordinate closely in their work, actively engage with and support country teams, and are connected to relevant stakeholders across the agency to inform and promote agency strategies and best practices related to performance and program quality.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect and team spirit where team members feel supported, engaged and strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Ensure the functions and responsibilities of the team are aligned and contribute to the Country Strategy; clearly set up effective workflows and coordination between unit members. Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on one meetings and performance reviews to direct reports.
  • Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.


  • Contribute to global and regional conversations around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, and global program quality initiatives: PM@MC, minimum standards, GESI, localization, adaptive management, CARM,TOLA etc.
  • Attend coordination meetings and/or represent Mercy Corps in relevant forums to ensure that information is shared internally and with other sectors, as appropriate.
  • Working with Regional Leadership and Regional PaQ Unit, on optimal performance and quality position definitions and staffing structures, ensuring consistency to help advance a shared understanding of these roles and their purposes.
  • Develop and nurture strong external relationships and networks to support program success and identify new solutions, including the use of technologies whenever relevant and in line with Mercy Corps MEL Tech strategy.
  • Identify and seize opportunities to position Mercy Corps Sudan as a lead agency in M&E, CARM and Gender Integration/Transformative practices through strategic research, assessment initiatives and other evidence-based processes.
  • Represent Mercy Corps in external fora as appropriate, including with donors and partners.


  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

CARM Coordinator, PAQ Manager, MEL Manager


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly With: Country Director, Technical & Implementation Leads, Team Leaders, Operations, Finance and HR departments.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree required. A Master’s or equivalent in a field related to Humanitarian or International Development or relevant fields is preferred.
  • At least 8 -10 years’ of increasingly senior experience providing coordination or management support to program implementation.
  • Experience working in the Africa / Middle East region and high-risk contexts preferred.
  • 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.
  • Extensive experience with program quality, monitoring and evaluation and learning, information management, and other learning efforts
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations in Sudan, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Excellent listening, interpersonal, communication and networking skills; and the ability to work with diversified populations.
  • Skilled at delivering and facilitating training and capacity building interventions, e.g. coaching, mentorship.
  • Analytical, problem solver, with strong experience and understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
  • High level of self-awareness and self-development with the maturity to deal with constructive feedback.
  • The willingness and ability to adapt leadership and management style as appropriate.
  • Experience of conducting research, drafting, and presenting reports to varied audiences.
  • Fluency in English is required, and Arabic is desirable.

Success Factors

The successful candidate is an experienced critical thinker and leader with a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging quality, innovation and accountability. S/he should have good listening and diplomatic skills. S/he should be able to navigate complex team dynamics and stressful situations to deliver results. S/he should have excellent analytical and creative problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively. S/he should take initiative to contribute to innovative programs that respond to the achievement of the mission of Mercy Corps in Sudan.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Port Sudan and it requires up to 40% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Housing for this role is in shared housing and staff will have limited access to good medical services. This is a hardship post.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

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 availab 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 and have signed on to theInteragency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 toMercy 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.

How to apply

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