Senior Program Officer, Ethiopia Integrated Health Team – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Vacancy Announcement, May 19 2023
Organization: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Position: Senior Program Officer, Ethiopia Integrated Health Team
Employment: Full time
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date of Announcement: May 17 2023
Deadline: 1 June 2023
We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.
In Ethiopia, the foundation’s health and nutrition program aims to address systems inefficiencies, develop data-driven insights, and pilot new delivery approaches and innovations with the potential for scale. The overarching goal of the program is to contribute to Ethiopia’s achievement of critical primary health care outcomes, including immunization, nutrition, and reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health goals. These goals are articulated in the Government of Ethiopia’s (GOE) Health Sector Transformation Plan II.
The Ethiopia Integrated Health Team (EIHT) support includes service delivery; data systems; supply chain; health financing; innovation, research, and scale; and nutrition. To foster a country-led approach, the Ethiopia Country Office (ECO) shapes investments that are in alignment with government priorities while also considering foundation’s proficiencies, values – including a “One Foundation approach” that emphasizes strong internal coordination across teams, and mandates, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as gender-sensitive programming.
Within innovation, research, and scale, the foundation’s focus in Ethiopia is on the following:
– Explore approaches for relevant health and nutrition innovation introduction – both locally and internationally inspired – to address Ethiopia’s significant burden of disease and potential for impact to drive down mortality for mothers, newborns, and children.
– Support the testing and feasibility (including clinical and implementation research) of potentially impactful innovations, which can be new and/or proven products, commodities, interventions, service delivery approaches, and processes.
– Support the GOE’s strengthening of an innovation, research, and scale pathway – including the development of the GOE’s research prioritization agenda, strengthening of relevant GOE units (e.g. research institutions, the Ministry of Health’s policy and research directorate and innovation unit, Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI)), their linkages, and approaches for institutionalization and scale.
– Strengthen the capacities of Ethiopia’s relevant research and scale institutions to promote evidence generation and translation of evidence to policy to enable scale of key innovations.
The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Ethiopia Integrated Health Team will be a key part of the EIHT and will lead the foundation’s programming in innovation, research and scale of new and proven health products, interventions, and approaches in the sector. In addition, they will contribute to foundation’s programming to strengthen health care service delivery mechanisms in Ethiopia.
Given the focus areas above, the post holder will strategically develop and manage one or more portfolio of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, and monitoring and evaluation. As a key advisor on strategy initiatives, the SPO is expected to identify key issues and priorities emerging from Ethiopia’s health sector context – through coordination, collaboration, and nurturing partnerships with GOE, development partners, NGOs, research institutions, and other partners (including multilateral agencies). In doing so, they will contribute to the continued development of the team’s strategic vision, while partnering closely with team leadership to set the overall strategy and goals for the team. Finally, the SPO is expected to be self-sufficient and able to deliver on required results with minimal direction.
The postholder will be based in Addis Ababa and report to the Ethiopia-based Deputy Director, Health and Nutrition.
What You’ll Do
The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Inclusively lead, shape, and manage support for research (including clinical, implementation research), innovation, and scale of new products, interventions, and approaches in Ethiopia – using a data-driven approach.
- Contribute to the implementation of the health service delivery portfolio.
- Support the execution of foundations’ country health and nutrition integrated plan of support in close partnership with fellow EIHT members – to ensure responsiveness to the Ethiopian context and health sector needs. Analyze and use data to interrogate team hypotheses and support better decision-making.
- Serve as a strategic thought partner to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and other health ecosystem partners around pathways to scale coupled with helping navigate research (Implementation and clinical research) translation to policy and practice to achieve institutionalization of the selected innovations in the health system.
- Cultivate strong working relationships with multiple teams within the foundation, government partners, and other national partners to strengthen the pathway for innovation, research and scale of health interventions. Proactively identify and pursue complementarities, areas of leverage, and opportunities for co-managed and/or co-financed collaborations to achieve foundation and country goals.
- Work with the EIHT Senior Program Officer for Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) and Data, and the Deputy Director to oversee regular progress tracking for those bodies of work and investments managed by the incumbent – to monitor foundation programming in innovation, research, and scale is contributing to national health impact targets. Help operationalize processes, which will feed data and analysis from grants and research back into key strategy and portfolio management decisions.
- Design, negotiate, and manage complex grant portfolio(s) that includes collaborating with grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conduct site visits when appropriate, provide technical guidance, convene meetings and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives. Ensure appropriate documentation, grant budgeting and reporting, as well as operational efficiency and effectiveness.
- Keep abreast of relevant local and global developments and needs in the health sector, as well as grant/program changes and progress to advise and recommend tools and strategies to increase investment performances and results against the agreed upon results framework and in alignment with the broader EIHP MLE plan.
- Work on complex problems; analysis of situations and/or data requiring in-depth evaluation of various factors.
- Exercise sound judgment within broadly defined practices and policies to select methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
- Independently identify issues, formulate and design plans, and implement ideas for major initiatives.
- Consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of projects and ensure grants are meeting strategy goals. This may include – site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key partners.
- Contribute to the design of new strategies, collaborations and implementation plans to ensure long-term sustainability and impact.
- Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position. This may also include engaging in global conferences and forums to share experience of implementation in Ethiopia and learn about relevant health interventions and opportunities that could be applicable in the Ethiopian context.
- Embed diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into the implementation of day-to-day work, interactions with colleagues and investments.
- Advanced degree in public health, epidemiology, health care management, medicine, nursing, or related field.
- Minimum 8 years of experience in international public health with a focus on Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), or specific areas therein – preferably comfort/facility with novel products/innovations.
- Clinical and/implementation science research experience.
- Experience or familiarity with government innovation efforts, including a strong conceptual and practical understanding of innovation tools and the role of human centered design, data and policy in the public sector.
- Work experience in Low and Low Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) contexts. Experience working in Ethiopia is preferred.
- Experience as technical resource on clinical and/or implementation research.
- Demonstrated experience in institutionalizing/scaling health interventions (new and/or proven) is a plus.
- Expertise in health-related program development, project management and implementation.
- Strong management skills.
- An excellent teammate with strong interpersonal skills.
- Proven ability to lead and influence others (e.g. government officials, donors, local NGOs, and academia), in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
- Demonstrated success working with, and as a part of, cross-cultural teams.
- Ability to operate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing, including clearly conveying technical ideas and information, as well as analysis and recommendations to support strategic decision-making. Verbal Amharic skills is a plus.
- Strong quantitative analytic skills and knowledge of relevant methods including impact evaluation, clinical and/or implementation research, and modeling.
- Effective as a collaborator in complex internal and external organizations.
- Demonstrated initiative to solve unstructured problems with little oversight, creativity, high energy, and a positive attitude.
- Handles complexity and ambiguity effectively: proven ability to be flexible, efficient, and tactful in a fast-paced environment.
- Creative problem solver with a rigorous approach. Highly organized and efficient; able to prioritize work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities.
- Strong understanding of shaping and managing sustainable and scalable ventures.
- Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people and a deep commitment to development issues and high standards of personal integrity.
- Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally.
Application deadline: 1 June 2023
How to Apply
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