Gender and Protection Manager – DRC

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 325 people working in North, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma. Current Mercy Corps activities focus on the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in camps of internally displaced people, but also large-scale WASH infrastructure and service delivery development in urban centers. Mercy Corps also has Food Security, Economic Recovery/Development and Governance programs, with an increasing shift towards transitional and integrated development programming. The DRC team has a strong commitment to providing entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to development challenges, and is actively seeking and facilitating market-based solutions.

General Position Summary

The Gender and Protection Manager will work under the supervision of the Country Director and plays a key role in the strategy development and implementation of Mercy Corps DRC’s country-level gender integration and protection-mainstreaming initiatives. S/he will ensure high quality gender integration and protection mainstreaming through the elaboration of mission-level and program-specific tools and frameworks to contribute to excellency throughout the assessment, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation phases of programs. S/he will collaborate with human resources in developing and implementing gender-sensitive hiring policies, while building the capacity of national and international staff on gender integration and protection mainstreaming, and providing ongoing mentoring and coaching to team members. S/he will support program design, monitoring, evaluation and quality assurance teams to ensure maximum impact on female and male participants across age ranges, capitalizing on evidence and lessons learnt. S/he will lead gender research in line with the objectives of the mission-level gender strategy. S/he represents Mercy Corps in coordination meetings, with donors and partners.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
  • Ensure gender integration and protection mainstreaming are incorporated into mission-level strategic and annual planning efforts.
  • Lead the roll-out of the country-level Gender Integration policy and action plan.
  • Lead the roll-out of the country-level gender and protection strategy and action plan
  • Contribute to the strategic direction/vision of the mission as established by the Country Leadership Management Team

Program and proposal development

  • Contribute to or lead proposal development efforts to ensure gender and protection is incorporated into the design of new programs.
  • Gather/analyze data and complete assessments to determine community needs and priorities, identify partnership opportunities and Mercy Corps competitive advantage for funding.
  • Provide support for prepositioning and new program strategy design efforts.
  • Cultivate and nurture donor relationships and strategic partnerships that may result in stronger or more impactful program development efforts.

Team Management and capacity building

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Supervise and directly manage senior-level program-specific gender staff.
  • Provide regular and ongoing capacity building, coaching, mentoring, and technical support to program gender and protection staff, enabling them to meet expectations.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, training program and department staff on gender integration and protection mainstreaming.

Program quality

  • Support program teams to roll-out gender integration minimum standards across all programs.
  • Participate as an active, integrated member of the program support team, providing technical support across the mission and programs
  • Provide technical guidance to teams to ensure programs/departments develop and implement gender integration and protection strategies and work plans.
  • Conduct periodic mission-level gender audits to ensure effective gender integration.
  • Provide technical leadership and guidance to programs and departments on protection mainstreaming and Do No Harm principles.
  • Ensure that protection mainstreaming principles and approaches are integrated into accountability, quality assurance and HR systems.
  • Support the development of S/GBV referral mechanisms.
  • Conduct program quality field or support visits as required.
  • Work with the Finance Department to ensure budgets are gender-sensitive and reflective of gender commitments taken at agency and country-level.

Learning and impact

  • Work closely with the MEL Department to establish assessment, monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure and improve upon program quality and impact, specific to gender integration and DNH.
  • In collaboration with the MEL department, contribute to the set-up and implementation of a lessons learnt system capture learnings on gender integration across the mission and programs.
  • Ensure gender is integrated across MEL tools, theory of change, indicators and log frames.
  • Contribute to country-level initiatives such as research agendas and internal learning exercises.

Influence & Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps at relevant coordination mechanisms and meetings.
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations, donors, institutions and local actors.
  • Present concepts and ideas to donors, partners, and peer organizations that influence their decisions.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • 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

Senior program-specific gender or protection staff (7-8 Gender and /or Protection Officers/Advisors)


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director of Programs, Program Managers and program teams, MEL department, Grants Officer, Department Heads, HR Manager, TSU Senior Gender Advisor and Protection Advisor (HQ)

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA in international development, women’s studies, gender or a comparable area of study or equivalent professional experience.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience in international development work, with a minimum of three years in field postings.
  • Substantial background in gender or protection in development or humanitarian work including experience conducting gender training, gender mainstreaming and engaging in gender advocacy.
  • Experience conducting gender or protection training, gender or protection mainstreaming and engaging in gender advocacy.
  • Knowledge and experience with protection mainstreaming and Do No Harm principles and approaches.
  • Experience developing and maintaining community complaints and gender-based violence referral mechanisms.
  • Experience working on and/or managing projects with protection components.
  • Strong written and public speaking skills required.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English required.
  • Proficiency in French required.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally as required, roughly 20% of time

Success Factors

The Gender and Protection Manager will demonstrate experience managing programs in the field, further enhancing their ability to adjust technical theories to meet real world complexities. The individual should have the proven ability to influence donors, partners, and peer organizations. The Gender and Protection Manager role requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared accommodation will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants, with travel to Bunia, Bukavu, and Kinshasa. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

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.

Briefly list security information, housing options, access to medical care, specific medical risks (such as epidemics), transportation options, and access to telecommunication as well as accompanied status and whether the position is eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits. Also, be sure to include exceptional work schedules (e.g., evenings and weekends required; 6-day workweek; etc.).

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.


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