Sub Award and Partners Capacity Building Manager – HIGHLAND RESILIENCE ACTIVITY: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

  • Mercy Corps Ethiopia
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Apr 12, 2024
Full Time NGO Jobs in Ethiopia

Job Description

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 present in Ethiopia since 2004 working to drive bold and transformative ideas, working closely with government, the private sector and civil society actors to build a more resilient country, ensuring that programs are responsive to and influenced by participants and stakeholders. Our vision is to enhance the resilience of climate and conflict-affected communities through market systems development for improved livelihoods, access to food, and safe and clean water to thrive in the face of crises. Our strategy focuses on the four outcome areas of: 1) Economically marginalized populations have improved and diversified livelihoods, income, and assets; 2) Pastoralists, farmers, and households have access to sustainably produced, safe, nutritious food; 3) Social cohesion and inclusive governance processes are built in crisis-affected communities; and 4) People have equitable, sustained access to clean water and sanitation for domestic and productive use. Currently we operate in the regional states of Afar, Amhara, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia, Tigray and Addis Ababa city administration working with a diverse base of donors that includes United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union, GAC, Hilton Foundation, United Nations (UN), JOA, Sweden, EKN, and other foundations.

The USAID-funded Highland Resilience Activity (HRA) will contribute to the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) 5’s “Big Push” initiative and has the overarching goal of strengthening resilience among vulnerable households in Ethiopia’s Highlands, resulting in 120,000 PSNP households reaching the graduation threshold. HRA will support these households in moving above the graduation threshold and to where they no longer require social safety net programming for household food security and have the capabilities and assets to withstand regular and predictable shocks. The Activity will achieve this goal by directly supporting households in increasing their on-farm, off-farm, and employment incomes while facilitating improvements in the market systems required to increase demand for goods and services in PSNP communities. HRA is a five-year program that started during October 2023. The HRA encompasses thirty-six woredas across ten zones located in six regions: Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Sidaama, Southern, and Central Ethiopia. HRA's subaward partners include Mums for Mums, Mahibere Hiwot for Social Development, Hundee - Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative, Action for Development, and the Sidama Development Association.

General Position Summary

Sub Award & Partners Capacity Building Manager is responsible for managing the programmatic, financial, and operational aspects of sub-awards issued under the HRA programs across Mercy Corps Ethiopia. S/he will facilitate the development, execution, and evaluation of capacity-building initiatives for HRA subaward partners with craft a comprehensive capacity strengthening plan, setting clear capacity goals and strategies. This role involves assessing and addressing gaps in technical, MEL, financial, operational, compliance, advocacy, human resources, and other areas, with a focus on standardizing organizational practices and systems for sustainable growth. Compliance with the donor regulations and Mercy Corps internal policies and procedures is a critical part of the capacity building process and essential to enable sub-grantees to develop strong systems that will help in the delivery of programmatic interventions. Under the direction of Deputy chief of Party (DCOP), the Sub Award & Partners Capacity Building Manager will establish annual milestones to gauge the readiness of HRA subaward partners to assume program leadership roles, encompassing technical skills, financial systems, compliance procedures, and essential soft skills convening, advocacy, and influence. The manager will work closely with the HRA-Senior Finance Manager and HRA technical director, the Operations Team, Finance Team, Program Teams and MEL/CLA Director. In addition, the S/her will establish strong links to our Global Headquarters through regular consultation with Mercy Corps’ compliance and legal departments in Portland (PDX).


Essential Job Responsibilities

Sub Awards Management:

  • Participate in the development of the overall programmatic strategy and the strategy for the subawards program.

  • Work closely with consortium-level subrecipient organizations to ensure they are issuing, managing, and monitoring subawards in accordance with the HRA subaward manual.

  • Ensure that Partners are complying with the procedures in approved HRA subawards manual, and that the annexes are being used as applicable.

  • Update the HRA subawards manual as needed with input from MC HQ, assist COP/DCOP with requesting USAID approval of any updates.

  • Participate in the design of Request for Applications (RFA) or Application for Solicitation (APS), publication of RFAs/APS, issuing of RFA/APS packages to prospective applicants, manage the administrative process of receiving RFA/APS applicant and providing the applicants to the RFA/APS Review Committee.

  • Administer competitive RFA/APS processes in accordance with the HRA subawards manual, for each RFA/APS, clearly defined and communicated steps for selecting, negotiating, and awarding subawards.

  • Responsible for the review of RFA/APS applicants’ budgets and budget narratives for completeness, cost realism and compliance with RFA/APS budget requirements.

  • Responsible for pre-award financial review and other due diligence of apparently successful applicants.

  • Coordinate selection of subaward agreement type, draft subaward and negotiate subaward agreements with selected subrecipients.

  • Draft modifications to subawards, as needed.

  • Develop and conduct subrecipient financial and compliance training workshops.

  • Review subrecipient financial reports for correctness and completeness and ensure that reports are submitted on time.

  • Develop subrecipient monitoring plans, conduct financial monitoring of subrecipients and prepare financial monitoring visit reports.

  • Follow up on all subaward compliance issues and audits and document resolutions.

  • Create and update/maintain subaward cards and enter subaward expenditure reports in Navigator.

  • Maintain subaward files in accordance with the Field Finance Manual.

  • Process subrecipient payments and reconcile subaward financial tracking to general ledger reports.

  • Responsible for subaward financial close-outs, including ensuring that all requirements of the subaward agreement have been met and that subaward funds have been properly settled.

  • Provide compliance guidance and consultations to subrecipients on a demand-driven basis.

Partner Capacity Building

  • Coordinate participatory organizational capacity assessment for sub awards/Activity local implementing partners using Mercy Corps’ Organizational Capacity Index (OCI) tool and using OCI findings, support partner organizations to create capacity development plans.

  • In collaboration with other thematic technical leads, support subawards with implementation of improvement action plans.

  • Refine organizational development tools and recommend best approaches for partner capacity development based on existing Mercy Corps knowledge and experience.

  • Develop and/or refine existing CSO capacity-building curricula to fit local context and capacity.

  • Deliver and/or oversee the delivery of training to build partner capacity and technical competencies.

  • Support peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and peer mentorship opportunities, including field site visits and learning events.

  • Provide technical guidance to develop/strengthen partner organization’s administrative and financial management systems and structures.

  •  Support the incorporation of conflict-sensitive and gender approaches into partners and their activities.

  •  Compliance:

  • Ensure that HRA is executed in alignment with the prime award agreement and the applicable USAID regulations, staying abreast of changes in regulatory environment related to donor/grant compliance; update HRA procedures, as necessary.

  • Identify and communicate compliance risks associated with program implementation. Work with program teams ensure that program activities are designed to be compliant, while facilitating the achievement of the program objectives.

  •  Review HRA procurement and program transactions, contracts and other documents for compliance requirements and ensure these requirements are met.

  •  Prepare prior approval, waiver, and other compliance requests to the donor. Assist subrecipients, as needed with subrecipient compliance requests to Mercy Corps.

  • Prepare and maintain internal and donor compliance-related reports.

  •  Influence & Representation

  • Identify, build, and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments, and other stakeholders.

  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

  • Interface with the (donor) representatives to convey information about programs as appropriate.

  • Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies.

  • Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience, and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.

  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of Their own strengths and development.


  • 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.

Organizational Learning 

  • 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.

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: None 


Reports: Deputy Chief of Party

Works Directly With: HRA Senior Finance manager, HRA Subaward specialist, HRA Technical Director Operations Department, Program manager of Partners, HRA regional program coordinators, HQ Compliance, and others


Knowledge and Experience

  • BA degree or equivalent in accounting, finance or social science, international development or other relevant fields. Master’s degree is preferable.

  • At least 7 years of relevant field or management experience of complex, multi-dimensional programming including administering small subawards in an international environment.

  • At least 4 years’ experience in grants management as well as an understanding of USAID and regulations required.

  • An understanding of the status of CSOs in Ethiopia and the challenges to strengthening the capacities of civil society is an advantage.

  • Demonstrated experience and skill with administrating solicitations for subawards, assessing potential subrecipients and the proven ability to oversee a team that is responsible for monitoring subrecipients.

  • Strong skills and experience working with donors to obtain approvals and waivers as necessary for compliance with donor regulations.

  • Prior management experience and strong organizational skills.

  • Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel.

  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

  • Excellent oral and written English skills required.

  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

  • Previous experience in insecure environments


Success Factors

A successful candidate should have experience and expertise leading gender equality, diversity and social inclusion efforts and translating GEDSI learning into adaptive programming. They should also have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. They should have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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 /Environmental Conditions:

The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with regular travels to the field. This position requires up to 50% of travel by air and road to field offices in relatively secure environments. 

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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 available 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. 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 to Mercy 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.
All qualified individuals are invited to apply for the advertised position. All applications, including a CV, three references, and all applicable official papers, must be sent electronically. 
Only candidates that are short-listed will be acknowledged and called for interviews.
“Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer promoting gender, equity, and diversity. Qualified female and young candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to empowering women and youth.”
    Applicants Must fill out their Information through the link.