|Location||Mali , Mali|
|Date Posted||April 20, 2012|
|Category||Head of Mission|
|Job Type||Full Time|
|Closing date for applications||27th May 2012|
Responsible to: Head of Region (London)
Responsible for: All Merlin Mali staff (2 - 3 locations)
Duration: 6 months (will consider 3 months)
Salary: £36,480- £37,230 per annum pro-rata (dependent on relevant experience) inclusive of supplementary cost of living allowance.
Benefits: Insurance cover, accommodation, travel, R&R (if determined hardship location), annual leave entitlement of 24 days per annum rising to 30 days at the completion of 12 months of continuous employment with Merlin
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date. Please note that this is an unaccompanied position.
Merlin International Profile
Merlin is the only specialist UK charity which responds worldwide with vital health care and medical relief for vulnerable people caught up in natural disasters, conflict, disease and health system collapse. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.
Context and Background
Mali is one of the world’s poorest nations and is greatly affected by poverty, malnutrition, and inadequate hygiene and sanitation.
Rated 175/187 by UNDP Health Development Index in 2011, Mali's health and development indicators rank among the worst in the world.
The total population in Mali according to the 2009 census was 14,528,662, with three quarters of the population (77%) living in rural areas. Slightly less than half of the population (46%) is below 15 years of age. The growth rate is 3.6 and the synthetic fertility index (average number of children per woman of childbearing age) is 6.4.
There are expected to be 3.5 million people affected by the food crisis in Mali during 2012. Although the country is familiar with food scarcity, this crisis presents unprecedented levels of food insecurity due to a mixture of poor rains in 2011, region-wide high food prices, and chronic vulnerability and poverty. The population is also still recovering from the 2010 food crisis.
On the 29 November 2011 the Mali Government announced an Emergency Action Plan, due to the estimated 3.5 million people who will be affected by the food crisis in 2012, including 1.2 million people who are expected to be food insecure.
Mali is currently in the middle of a double crisis, with the Sahel food crisis affecting a large majority of the country located in the Sahelian belt and the increasing insecurity in the far north of the country which has recently been termed as a re-activation of the Tuareg rebellion. Mali is one of the least developed countries in the world, and as a result has a highly vulnerable population that has limited capacity to cope with one, let alone two simultaneous crises.
There has been considerable investment in the country over the last several years, and there are a number of development NGOs working in the country. Although there are frequent droughts and food insecure periods, as well as cholera outbreaks, these are generally small in scale and scope. However the current circumstances, compounded with the chronic levels of malnutrition and malaria, present unprecedented needs amongst the most vulnerable groups.
Following a desk review of the current information across the region, Merlin despatched an assessment team to Mali in February 2012. The team met with various key stakeholders working in the country (including government, UN agencies and NGOs), and identified priority needs and gaps in the existing humanitarian response.
A project has since been designed and funding is in the process of being secured to allow Merlin to immediately implement a nutrition response using a CMAM approach with a basic health care package. The project will involve a range of activities which target the most vulnerable groups (children, PLW, elderly, disabled etc) to give them access to essential live-saving health services.
Merlin’s current strategy for Mali is based on a six months emergency response, followed by a longer term development programme, centred on a close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, aiming to progressively provide them with sustainable support.
Main purpose of the role
As the Country Director, you will be responsible for overseeing a field assessment followed by a subsequent re-alignment of Merlin’s programme plans for Mali. This post includes responsibility for identifying and securing donor funding and an expectation to establish Merlin’s profile through representation to external actors such as government ministries, local leaders and beneficiaries, UN agencies, INGOs and NNGOs and donors.
The Country Director will provide the overall leadership and strategic direction for Merlin’s operations in Mali, and will be responsible for the overall programme development and implementation. They are responsible for the management of all Merlin personnel, programmes and support functions and will ensure that relevant Merlin procedures, policies and best practices are followed in relation to logistics, security, finance and human resource and administration management.
Leadership of the Country Programme
• To establish, maintain and develop Merlin’s presence in Mali.
• To establish, coordinate and manage the overall planning and direction of Merlin's operations
• To develop and maintain a coherent strategy that contributes to Merlin's global objectives
• To ensure good communication, collaboration and team spirit within the teams managed
• To monitor the health and humanitarian situation in the region and advise HO on the appropriate course of action.
• To assess and respond as necessary to changes in the external environment ensuring these changes are reflected in the country strategy and project plans.
• To oversee the field assessment and develop the country strategy for Mali
• To address the feasibility of Merlin’s current proposal and realign it in light of the field assessment findings.
• To continue the ongoing reorientation and expansion of the programme, in line with the developing situation.
• To create and advance appropriate partnerships with MoH, INGOs, UN agencies, INGOs, NNGOs and other local partners.
• To assess the donor environment and opportunities for funding, and ensure concept notes and proposals are submitted in coordination with HO
• To ensure effective and timely coordination of technical inputs (e.g. health, logistics, etc.) in proposal development within country programme and HO
• To develop and maintain Merlin's emergency preparedness capacity and conduct needs assessment if and when appropriate
• To oversee the scale up of the emergency response, and subsequent transition from emergency response to rehabilitation and development.
• To continue the development of Merlin’s medium and longer-term strategy for Mali.
• To manage the implementation of all aspects of the Mali programme, and review and suggest amendments where necessary.
• To act as the budget holder of the Merlin Mali programme
• To plan and monitor project activities and outputs against project logframes, timeframes and budgets. This includes grant opening, grant closing and monthly grant monitoring meetings with all departments, as well as activity, procurement and financial planning and reviews.
• Establish systems and standards for assessment and monitoring/evaluation of programmes against their strategic aims
• Internal and external reporting (financial and narrative) for Merlin and donors
• Ensure compliance of operations with local law including NGO law, tax, employment, Health & Safety, Insurance and any other applicable law.
• To regularly analyse the context, risks, operational access issues and availability of resources, in relation to the programme objectives, and define these programme support requirements in order to ensure effective potential service delivery.
• Support field sites in the fulfilment of their duties according to programme design
• Represent Merlin, coordinate and advocate on key health / nutrition issues with local and national authorities, UN agencies, donors, INGOs and NNGOs.
• Undertake discussions with donors in-country and develop funding strategies and donor mapping analyses.
• Develop collaborative and open working relationships with partners and beneficiaries
• To meet with MoH staff in central ministry to understand the system and priorities, in order to better support the MoH.
• To conduct similar meetings at provincial and district level to gain further information about needs at the local level.
• Manage external communications in collaboration with the communications department in London. Act as the contact person with press and media.
• Maintain regular communications with head office using the established procedures, through emails, sitreps and telephone and skype calls.
Staff Management / Human Resources
• Provide leadership and management to the Mali team.
• Develop a staffing structure for Mali and ensure the roles are filled when funding is secured, for programme implementation to start.
• Ensure that the level of both national and international staff is appropriate to the programme goals; and review staff levels as the situation evolves.
• Interpret, develop and apply Merlin’s HR policies and terms and conditions, and national employment law, consistently and effectively, and ensure that all staff are aware of and comply with these.
• Line manage senior staff, including regular performance management and appraisals
• Support national and international staff, ensuring that the individuals work effectively together as a team to achieve the programme objectives
• Organise and supervise capacity building and development of national staff.
• Ensure that personnel are funded within the frame of programme budgets
• Ensure that appropriate logistic structures and procedures are established and / or are maintained in accordance with the Merlin guidelines
• Oversee the timely and efficient planning and implementation of procurement and supply of items in line with project needs.
• Ensure adequate management of warehousing, compounds, transportation, goods in kind, and assets according to Merlin procedures.
Safety and Security Management
• Responsible for the safety and security of all Merlin staff and visitors to Mali.
• Ensure that a safety and security framework for Merlin operations in Mali is developed, communicated, adhered to and regularly reviewed.
• Monitor the security context (including participating in local/national INGO/UN security meetings) and act on any deterioration in this that could affect operations and provide guidance to teams/sites as required
• Facilitate the evacuation of field based teams if necessary
• Ensure timely and accurate security / incident reports are sent to HO
• Maintain regular contact with security key actors
Administration and Finance
• To be responsible for all financial management related to the budget provided.
• Ensure that appropriate administrative and financial guidelines and procedures are established, maintained / updated regularly and adhered to by the team as well as any basic systems required in country
• Ensure that reports and articles are produced for both internal and external distribution as requested by HO and as stated in the operational contracts signed with donors, including monthly and quarterly reports
• Oversee budget preparation, and analysis of actual expenditures vs budget.
• Establish and / or maintain Merlin field accounting systems
• Oversee the completion and return to London of the monthly field accounts within the agreed deadlines
• If necessary report and investigate fraud and misconduct
Qualifications, experience and competences
• Considerable overseas experience in leading assessments and establishing country programmes with an international NGO preferably in the health sector.
• Significant experience of leading emergency response programmes
• Substantial experience of strategic thinking, including identifying, analysing, problem solving and responding to opportunities and challenges and the ability to translate these into practical plans of action.
• Extensive experience of securing substantial external funding. Evidence of understanding the challenges of donor and contract management and the implications for programme management.
• Developed ability of raising the profile of an organisation, strategically networking with government agencies, donors and other international agencies, and using the media as appropriate.
• Extensive knowledge and experience of project planning and budget holding; proposal and report writing.
• Knowledge and understanding of project management tools (Logical Framework analysis, project cycle management, objectives and indicators etc.)
• Strong leadership skills and a supportive management style (experience managing national and expatriate staff)
• Proven problem solving and organisational skills, flexible and calm under pressure
• Flexibility to operate in unpredictable and remote environments.
• Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English and French
• Significant people management skills and proven ability to create an environment which encourages team-working and motivates and leads a team.
• Ability to understand the cultural and political environment and to work well with partners including local authorities.
• Experience of working within an insecure environment with responsibility for security planning, monitoring and management
• Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office, especially Word and Excel.
• Good leadership skills and experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different functions and cultures
• Experience of a flexible approach to managing and prioritising a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
• Experience of proactively identifying and addressing issues
• An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values
Qualifications, experience and competences
• A qualification in public health
• Experience of leading and / or managing organisations involved in implementing health and nutrition programmes in either an emergency or development setting
• Familiarity with Mali and / or West Africa working context
• Knowledge of Merlin systems and procedures
To apply for this position
Please email your CV stating your availability and level of French and English to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state in the email subject line “Mali”.
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