Senior Program Officer, Family Planning/Maternal Newborn and Child Health/Primary Health Care

Senior Program Officer, Family Planning/Maternal Newborn and Child Health/Primary Health Care

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Johannesburg, South Africa

Position Summary

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will craft and lead advocacy efforts across family planning (FP), maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), and Primary Health Care (PHC) priorities to help generate awareness, resources, partnerships and policy changes vital to achieving better health outcomes. The SPO will develop and execute advocacy and communications strategies to help achieve the foundation’s FP/MNCH/PHC programmatic and advocacy goals in Africa, focused on the Africa region broadly, and West Africa and Kenya specifically.

This will be done in close collaboration with the Africa Regional and Seattle offices, the country offices in Ethiopia and Nigeria, as well as the Seattle-based program teams. It will also involve collaboration with a range of external foundation grantees and partners, including government representatives at both federal and subnational levels.

The SPO will develop and lead a portfolio of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, monitoring and evaluation. The SPO will also provide foundation-wide leadership in advocacy localization, partnership development and shifting ownership and capacity to in-country entities.

The SPO will report to the Director, Program Advocacy and Communications, Africa Team, based in Johannesburg, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Deputy Director, Program Advocacy and Communications, FP/MNCH/PHC, based in Seattle.

Core Responsibilities

  • In partnership with country and regional offices, develop advocacy and communications strategies for priority geographies (Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia) and more broadly for the East and West Africa regions in support of program goals, including working closely with Senior Program Officers on country-focused FP/MNCH/PHC and advocacy teams, manage leadership engagement, and develop a portfolio of grantees in these markets to support our goals;
  • Build relationships with government officials, donors, and civil society organizations to inform the foundation’s engagement at both national and subnational levels;
  • Form key partnerships with people and organizations – in both the public and private sector – to improve implementation of advocacy strategies and tactics. Conceptualize and lead high impact and complex partnerships, grants, coalitions, and advocacy campaigns;
  • Provide regular and overall political intelligence and tracking of key policy and political trends in the region and our focus countries as relevant to achieving the foundation’s FP/MNCH/PHC goals;
  • Manage and develop a grant portfolio of FP/MNCH/PHC advocacy and communications investments in Africa, including oversight of a grant budget and all related grant making processes (e.g., investment reviews, strategic alignment, grantee engagement, etc.) in partnership with FP/MNCH/PHC and advocacy leads across the organization;
  • Advise grantees and other partners to improve impact of projects and ensure grants are meeting strategy goals. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key partners;
  • Represent the foundation to external constituencies. This could include formal and informal presentations such as making speeches, attending conferences, committee representation and other meetings;
  • Write and produce insightful briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key FP/MNCH/PHC and other relevant issues for foundation leadership and internal documentation.

Core Knowledge and Skills

  • Outstanding knowledge, experience and expertise in strategic advocacy and communications in Africa - either directly involving global health and development issues, or in areas that have provided strong and proven experience that can be translated to FP/MNCH/PHC issues;
  • Experience and/or shown ability in engaging with government partners in Africa, preferably at both national and sub-national levels. Experience communicating around policy and advocacy efforts, and in working with NGOs, the private sector (in addition to the media and government), preferred. Hands-on experience including personal interaction with senior level policy makers, coalitions, and governments;
  • Ideally, candidate will have experience managing a grants portfolio; either as a grantee - receiving and reporting on a grant or as a grant manager - with direct responsibility for grant making and management;
  • Desirable to have connections and networks within global and local FP, MNCH and PHC communities;
  • Experience in strategic portfolio development including setting of direction for programs aligned with policy goals;
  • A dedication to using facts and sound rationale to convey benefits to goals, as well as a demonstrated dedication to creativity and innovation;
  • Experience working with international organizations (in an advocacy and communications role) and/or in multiple countries in Africa preferred;
  • Experience or high ability to work in a complex, matrixed environment – requiring cultural awareness, and a collaborative nature that knows the benefits of seeking consensus;
  • Ability to work with flexibility, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort. A proven track record to effectively lead and adapt within a changing environment;
  • A deep dedication to FP/MNCH/PHC issues in Africa;
  • Ability to travel up to 25% internationally.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree in public policy, international relations, public health, development or a related field;
  • 7+ years of related experience, or equivalent experience.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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