Operations Manager - Merlin, Juba

Closing date:  05 Dec 2011

Job Description

Position: Operations Manager Responsible To: Country Director Working With: Country Management Team; Project Coordinators; Regional Programmes Manager - London Location: South Sudan, Juba with extensive travel to the field sites Start Date: January 15, 2012 Duration: 12 - 24 months Salary: £35,930 - £36,680 per annum (dependant on relevant experience), inclusive of annual Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) Benefits: Insurance cover, accommodation, R&R, additional return flights, and 24 days annual leave
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of recruitment for this position, applications will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date. Please note this is an unaccompanied position
Merlin International Profile Merlin specialises in health, saving lives in times of crisis and helping to rebuild shattered health services. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.

Context and Background Merlin has been working in the Republic of South Sudan since 1998 and has had a continuous presence in the country since 2004. While Merlin is currently working in 4 counties in the Eastern Equatoria State and in Boma Payam, Pibor County (Jonglei State); the programme is poised for expansion both in terms of its donor base and geographically. Merlin works with the Ministry of Health in the delivery of a Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) at the National, State, County and local government levels. The principal objective for Merlin in Republic of South Sudan is to substantially improve the quality, accessibility and sustainability of the basic preventive and curative health services, while at the same time enhancing the capacity of local staff to efficiently plan and manage the operations by the end of their contractual period. With a personnel profile of more than 30 international staff and over 300 national staff, Merlin currently assists the MOH with two hospitals and numerous health facilities in Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei States.

Main purpose of the role The Operations Coordinator position is a key and senior position within the Merlin South Sudan Structure. As a member of both the Senior Mgt Team (SMT) and the Country Management Team (CMT), the overall objective of the post holder is to assist and support the Country Director in implementing South Sudan country strategy and programme activities, while ensuring that all Merlin’s standard policies and best practice are adhered to. The role also provides leadership, guidance and technical support and capacity building to the Project Coordinators in all areas of their roles.

Overall Objectives (scope) • Under the lead of the Country Director, Play a key role in the development and implementation of the country programme direction and strategy • Ensure compliance with Merlin policies and local laws including NGO law, tax, employment, Health & Safety, Insurance and any other applicable laws, providing a framework for effective policy implementation • Developing and implementing annual departmental plans in line with the country annual plan and measuring performance against key indicators
• Comply and support the implementation of all SOPs and guidelines and actively engage in problem solving through informed and innovative solutions • Represent Merlin South Sudan in technical forums and to donors and other external stakeholders (including the media) as requested by the Country Director • Understand and uphold Merlin core values and behaviours (focus on outcomes, initiative; integrity, accountability, and realizing potential) and ensure their adoption and implementation by all staff

As a member of the SMT • Under the lead of the Country Director, to play a key role in setting /developing as well as implementing policy and strategic direction of the country programme • To actively engage in problem solving through informed and innovative solutions • To comply and support the implementation of all SOPs and guidelines • To support Merlin teams in delivery of quality health programmes through coordination, advice, information sharing & analysis • To co-ordinate activities between all field sites in South Sudan and the country office in Juba

Operational Management • Represent Merlin South Sudan in technical forums and to donors and other external stakeholders (including the media), when requested by the Country Director • Overall responsibility for effective and efficient management of the field projects consistent with the project management cycle and Merlin’s systems, policies and procedures • Ensure compliance by providing a framework for effective policy implementation • Ensure the developing and implementation of annual departmental plans in line with the country annual plan

• Work closely with the CHD, CFD, HRM and the Logistics Manager to ensure quality programme implementation • Regularly assess the donor environment and opportunities for funding, and lead on the development of concept notes and ensure they are submitted when funding opportunities are identified and agreed with the Country Director • Maintain grant management database and oversee grant management including timely reporting in line with the relevant donor contracts and compliance requirements • Ensure adherence to timelines for all relevant proposals and review as necessary • Line-manage the Merlin South Sudan Project Coordinators to ensure that appropriate management, administration, personnel, logistic, finance, and communication systems are in place and followed • Coordinate activities and maintain continuous communication flow between the field sites and the country office in Juba • Monitor the evolving humanitarian situation in the project region and consider strategic and immediate responses • Ensure monitoring systems are in place and that project reviews/audits are carried out periodically in conjunction with the team, SMT and CD, local stakeholders and project partners • Through regular field visits and good communication with field sites provide sound technical advice on the operational aspects of project management i.e. logistics, HR, finance and administration • As a key member of the CMT and SMT, participate in and contribute to Country strategic plan and programme management decisions
Programme Development • Ensure all relevant authorities are included in the planning and implementation of projects as appropriate • Draw up plans, proposals and budgets for new projects/extensions of projects in conjunction with the relevant team, medical and financial staff • Proactively contribute to programme development and strategy

Security • Ensure that field site security plans are developed and updated on a regular basis, in collaboration with the Country Director and Logistics Coordinator (South Sudan security focal point) as well as the Project Coordinators • Ensure that security incidents are reported timely from the relevant field site and immediately shared with the SMT in Juba, with Merlin HO, as well as other field offices as necessary • Monitor the political, military and security situation in the project areas and respond accordingly • Facilitate, in conjunction with relevant persons and after approval of the Country Director, the evacuation/relocation of field-based teams as and when appropriate • When necessary, attend security meetings organized at the local level and maintain regular contact with other NGO/UN security focal points
Logistics/Finance/Administration • Ensure all projects adhere to Merlin’s systems and procedures (administrative, financial and logistical) so that effective and efficient support functions contribute to improvement of programme quality • Ensure that project implementation meets donor compliance requirements • Together with the CFD, LogsMan and HRM, provide the PCs the necessary support to ensure appropriate Merlin administrative, financial and logistics systems/procedures are in place, maintained and adhered to so that all support functions are carried out effectively and efficiently • Ensure Merlin complies with all legal and bureaucratic requirements in country • Support field sites in the timely preparation of projected expenditures each month (cash book management) and discuss/analyse monthly BVAs (Merlin financial reports with relevant PCs and or grant managers) • Exercise accurate budget control and ensure financial management at project sites are in line with relevant project proposals • Oversee budgets revision/realignments for submission to donors and provide advice and assistance where necessary • Ensure that an overview of project spending and financial reporting is maintained and provide advice and assistance whenever required

Human Resource Management • Responsible for the management of all Project Coordinators • Optimize, in conjunction with other team members, the use of human, logistical and financial potential • Plan national and international staff requirements and liaise with the CMT • Work with CD to maintain up-to-date job descriptions for international staff

• Together with the HR Manager and Project Coordinators prepare and maintain job descriptions for national staff • Maintain good inter-team communications, engender healthy team dynamics, and resolve problems when they occur • Ensure that Merlin’s staff policies and procedures are understood and correctly followed • Support Project Coordinators professionally and monitor and support stress management, including regular documented team meetings for planning and reporting purposes • Carry out appraisals as per Merlin standard requirements and procedures • In liaison with the HRM and/ or the HR/Admin Officer, ensure that new members are adequately briefed on arrival in the Country and Field offices and debriefed when departing • Together with HR Manager and Project Coordinators ensure capacity development and training of all national personnel • Together with HR Manager and Project Coordinators ensure a robust recruitment and selection process and a legally compliant disciplinary and dismissal procedure is established for national staff
Representation • With the CD’s approval, represent Merlin to donors, MoH and authorities, NGOs and other parties as necessary • Ensure all relevant parties are kept informed of Merlin activities as appropriate (e.g. donors, health authorities etc.) • Be the project’s contact with press and media, in discussion and prior approval from CD, and be capable of giving media interviews • Ensure all relevant parties are kept informed on Merlin activities as appropriate.

Person Specification

Essential: • Proven experience at Senior Level, providing leadership and strategic input to the country programme • Proven ability of developing strategies into practical plans and managing them effectively • An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values • Ability to travel regularly, both within country and internationally, sometimes for weeks at a time • Extensive experience of the financial management of numerous budgets simultaneously, including general financial management and reporting • Extensive field level INGO experience in post conflict contexts • Extensive project management experience overseeing multiple concurrent donors grants in multiple locations • Proven experience of implementing all aspects of project management: - Assessments, Proposal development, Contract negotiation, Project implementation, Monitoring and evaluation, Project closure, Donor compliance and Contract management • Strong human resource management experience of multi cultural and sectoral teams • Experience of budget management for annual project turnover of greater than USD 2 million with extensive understanding of managing multiple budgets to maximum utilization • In-depth understanding of logistics policies and procedures • Proven security management experience including development of policies and procedures, situational analysis and effective information management and sharing • Clear and effective communicator in English at all levels able to liaise with all stakeholders including representation at a national and State level • Previous involvement in strategic development including stakeholder involvement and delivery of activities in-line with strategy • Supportive management style able to build a strong team to deliver desired outcomes • Extensive experience of preparing high quality written documents in English including proposals, reports, policies and procedures • Willingness to live and work as part of a small multi cultural team in potentially remote and insecure contexts • Able to manage and prioritize and high workload in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines including coordination and support of colleagues to achieve team deadlines • Solution focused in approaching challenges and ensuring delivery of country program activities to maximum effect • An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values and behaviours
Desirable: • Previous experience working in South Sudan • Previous experience of health care programming • Knowledge of Arabic

Data Protection Please note, on submitting your application, you are agreeing to Merlin holding and using the information that you have given for the purposes of recruitment and employment – should an offer be made. In order to process your job application, it may be necessary for your application to be sent to the Country Director (in the country you are applying for) for consideration. If you do not agree with this, please state so when applying.
How to apply: 
How to ApplyTo apply for this job, apply using our online recruitment system. In order to apply for a job with Merlin online you will need to complete a short registration process and create an account – the online recruitment system explains how to do this. Once your account has been created, you will be able to save the information that you have entered in your application and re-visit it at any time before you submit it.

If you are unable to apply online please download and complete an application form and email it to: applications@merlin.org.uk.

Please note that we do not accept CVs and any application must therefore be made online or by completing our application form. Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.