Mercy Corps: INGO Forum Director - Nigeria

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary
The INGO Forum in Nigeria was formed in late 2014 owing to a need for a collaborative platform for effective and principled INGO interaction, engagement and coordination of humanitarian, recovery and development interventions in Nigeria. In 2017 the INGO Forum is a critical platform for ensuring effective information sharing and analysis; leadership on advocacy and policy engagement; and liaison with government/donor/UN engagement and engagement ensuring the perspectives of INGOs and affected populations are ultimately included in decision-making processes. The INGO Forum is governed a core membership of 35 members (and 5 observers), an elected Executive Committee of three Country Directors and a Chair that works alongside a full term Secretariat to fulfil the function of the Forum. As of March 2017, the INGO Forum is administratively hosted by Mercy Corps in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.

General Position Summary
The INGO Forum Director is overall responsible for facilitating, leading and quality managing  the work of the INGO Forum ensuring it remains relevant to the needs of its members and is appropriate to the context. Key duties include: proactive agenda setting; facilitating a space for NGO-NGO collaboration; enabling sharing of information and analysis for effective decision-making; high level representation of INGO interests in external meetings and planning efforts; and strategically guide and encourage common advocacy and policy engagement. The Director also manages the Secretariat of three full term staff. Plans are underway in 2017 for an expansion to at least five positions including to the operational humanitarian coordination platform based in Maiduguri. The position requires an individual with a strong understanding and ability to navigate complex humanitarian and development issues and landscape, build effective coalitions and relationships, and drive principled engagement of INGOs in the country particularly ensuring that the voices of affected populations and their protection is central to the various responses.

Essential Job Responsibilities
The INGO Forum Director will have purview of INGO engagement across Nigeria and engage predominantly at the Federal level elevating operational concerns in strategic decision-making mechanisms and processes and also engaging in regional and global platforms to raise the profile of the Nigeria context.


Strategic Coordination and Representation

Ensure transparent coordination mechanisms and regular information sharing between NGOs and other stakeholders.
Enable NGOs to coordinate at strategic and operational level in Nigeria by facilitating high quality, regular meetings of Country Directors, Senior Field Managers, thematic working groups, representatives of the INGO Forum and other mechanisms that maximizes the impact of INGO action in Nigeria. Ensuring information flows, feedback, drafting of relevant agenda and timely follow up on action points.
Encourage active and open dialogue between the INGO Secretariat, NGO Executive Committee and Plenary and Humanitarian Managers.
Participate in important policy and planning processes underway at the UN and government level that requires field level operational inputs from INGOs e.g. Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), multi-donor and UN longer-term recovery and development planning.
Provide a regular and reliable conduit for the UN, Government, donor representatives and other stakeholders to communicate and coordinate with NGOs
Help maintain high quality countrywide coordination within humanitarian actors and between humanitarian and conflict mitigation/peace-building, recovery and development/governance actors.
Coordinate visits of high level evaluation missions, UN and NGO missions, researchers, donors, diplomats as required
Increase and enhance INGO engagement with national NGOs and civil society groups to create potential coalitions around key thematic areas.
Identify opportunities and strategies for coordination with peace-building and development actors and humanitarians in Nigeria

Senior Level Representation

Actively represent INGO Forum member in senior humanitarian and development platforms e.g. HCT, ISWG, Donor Group, and ensure engagement with and high profile external discussions and ensure the dissemination of high quality written feedback.
Along with the NGO Steering Committee Chair and members, represent the NGO community at high-level fora including UN forums, multi-Donor meetings and other representative bodies as required including outside of Nigeria at capital level.
Work effectively with delegated representatives of the INGO Forum and ensure accountability to members.

Advocacy and Policy Leadership

Lead in implementation of Advocacy Strategy while mobilizing and leveraging support from member organizations.
Work with INGO Advocacy Working Group to regularly draft policy and positioning papers and briefs in line with collective views of INGO Forum members on topics of concern.
Actively engage high profile targets and allies within UN, GoN, donor and diplomatic communities in Nigeria and externally to further advocacy objectives.
Stay informed on global, regional and national opportunities to further advocacy objectives by anticipating key dates and ensuring adequate time to contribute productively. Liaise with relevant consortia to this end.

Collect, analyze and share information relevant to members and external stakeholders, often with the goal of influencing policies and improving operational or protection space.

Information Sharing, Analysis and Best Practice

Acting as focal point for information/experience sharing with and among NGOs on relevant issues including managing NGO Forum and NGO SC membership, contact lists and mailing lists
Offer regular analysis on key thematic and operational issues impacting humanitarian, recovery and development responses and affected populations.
Ensure timely response to requests for help and information from member organizations, non-member organizations and other stakeholders, such as donors, governments and UN agencies. Often this requires a high degree of coordination and the collection of sensitive information.
Create feedback mechanisms, open learning channels, support pilot efforts for knowledge management, and ensure information flow between NGOs.
Conduct active and continued research into prevailing humanitarian, socio-economic, geo-political, security situation in Nigeria, providing the Forum with regular updates.
Identify gaps in research and analysis that could be used by large numbers of the membership and hire and manage consultants as needed to assist with and complement this task.

Project Management and Human Resources 

Ensure high quality INGO Forum donor reporting and proposal development, as well as donor liaison on key areas of progress in collaboration with the Chair and Host Agency.
Report back to Executive Committee and Plenary on project activity progress, expenditure and plans.
Build and maintain a productive relationship with the Host Agency.
Manage consultants, researchers and other external support.
Provide leadership and direction, promote professional working relationships, and encourage staff.
Conduct regular performance appraisals identifying capacity building needs and further career objectives; follow-up, and maintain updated job descriptions
Update the INGO Forum Strategy on an annual basis
Ensure smooth running of the governance model of the INGO Forum and where required make recommendations for changes.

Accountability To Beneficiaries
Team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work.

Supervisory Responsibility
Directly: INGO Forum Support Manager, INGO Forum Field Coordinator, Senior Liaison Adviser, Policy Adviser,  Program Support Assistant.

Supervisory Accountability:
The position reports to the Chair of INGO Forum Executive Committee.

Only for budgetary and administrative issues, the position reports to Mercy Corps Country Director.

External :
INGO Forum Executive Committee: reporting, information, collaboration, cooperation

INGO Country Directors: coordination, collaboration, information

INGO Technical departments/Sectors: information, collaboration, coordination

Government Ministries/Agencies/Departments: Liaison, lobbying, representation, advocacy, information, collaboration, cooperation

UN agencies: lobbying, representation, information, collaboration

Donors: Lobbying, information, collaboration


Works Directly With: other INGO Forum staff, INGO Directors and managers, Mercy Corps finance, operations and security team members.



Knowledge and Experience
7+ years of experience in a conflict or post-conflict setting with an INGO in a coordination or senior management role ( ex Country Director or similar levels). Experience of working in complex humanitarian situations is preferred.
Tertiary undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications in international relations, political science, development or other relevant field
Proven high profile management, coordination and advocacy experience in humanitarian context.
Familiarity with humanitarian principles and response architecture (such as UN or INGO-led coordination mechanisms) and key humanitarian policy issues.
Strong understanding of conflict sensitivity and protection
Knowledge of the Nigeria context or previous experience working in Nigeria or West Africa
Experience in administration and coordination of coalition or secretariat functions a plus.
Documented results related to the position’s responsibilities.
Strong communication, inter-personal, facilitation and diplomatic skills.
Fluency in English, both written and verbal, with strong writing and editing skills. Knowledge of Hausa is a plus.
Excellent computer skills.
Success Factors
Commitment to achieve results in a timely manner
Trustworthiness and integrity
Committed to humanitarian values and principles
People management skills
Influencing and negotiation skills
Cultural sensitivity
Gender equity and protection sensitive
Creative solutions to problems