Country Health Director
|Date Posted||April 24, 2012|
|Job Type||Full Time|
|Closing date for applications||4th May 2012|
Responsible to: Country Director and technically the Regional Health Advisor
Responsible for: Health and Nutrition Team
Duration: 6 months (will consider 3 months)
Salary: £36,480 - £37,230 per annum pro rata (dependent on relevant experience) inclusive of supplementary cost of living allowance.
Benefits: Insurance cover, accommodation, travel, R&R (if determined hardship location), annual leave entitlement of 24 days per annum rising to 30 days at the completion of 12 months of continuous employment with Merlin
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be short-listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date. Please note that this is an unaccompanied position.
Merlin International Profile
Merlin is the only specialist UK charity which responds worldwide with vital health care and medical relief for vulnerable people caught up in natural disasters, conflict, disease and health system collapse. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.
Context and Background
Mali is one of the world’s poorest nations and is greatly affected by poverty, malnutrition, and inadequate hygiene and sanitation.
Rated 175/187 by UNDP Health Development Index in 2011, Mali's health and development indicators rank among the worst in the world.
The total population in Mali according to the 2009 census was 14,528,662, with three quarters of the population (77%) living in rural areas. Slightly less than half of the population (46%) is below 15 years of age. The growth rate is 3.6 and the synthetic fertility index (average number of children per woman of childbearing age) is 6.4.
There are expected to be 3.5 million people affected by the food crisis in Mali during 2012. Although the country is familiar with food scarcity, this crisis presents unprecedented levels of food insecurity due to a mixture of poor rains in 2011, region-wide high food prices, and chronic vulnerability and poverty. The population is also still recovering from the 2010 food crisis.
On the 29 November 2011 the Mali Government announced an Emergency Action Plan, due to the estimated 3.5 million people who will be affected by the food crisis in 2012, including 1.2 million people who are expected to be food insecure.
Mali is currently in the middle of a double crisis, with the Sahel food crisis affecting a large majority of the country located in the Sahelian belt and the increasing insecurity in the far north of the country which has recently been termed as a re-activation of the Tuareg rebellion. Mali is one of the least developed countries in the world, and as a result has a highly vulnerable population that has limited capacity to cope with one, let alone two simultaneous crises.
There has been considerable investment in the country over the last several years, and there are a number of development NGOs working in the country. Although there are frequent droughts and food insecure periods, as well as cholera outbreaks, these are generally small in scale and scope. However the current circumstances, compounded with the chronic levels of malnutrition and malaria, present unprecedented needs amongst the most vulnerable groups.
Following a desk review of the current information across the region, Merlin despatched an assessment team to Mali in February 2012. The team met with various key stakeholders working in the country (including government, UN agencies and NGOs), and identified priority needs and gaps in the existing humanitarian response.
A project has since been designed and funding is in the process of being secured to allow Merlin to immediately implement a nutrition response using a CMAM approach with a basic health care package. The project will involve a range of activities which target the most vulnerable groups (children, PLW, elderly, disabled etc) to give them access to essential live-saving health services.
Merlin’s current strategy for Mali is based on a six months emergency response, followed by a longer term development programme, centred on a close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, aiming to progressively provide them with sustainable support.
Main Purpose of the role
The Country Health Director, as a member of the Country Management Team, plays a key role in developing and implementing the country strategy, especially regarding the strategic and technical leadership to ensure the effective development and implementation of quality health and nutrition programming in Mali.
Merlin is seeking an experienced professional that can lead a dynamic team of health staff to establish health and nutrition programming in Mali, whilst ensuring quality and effectiveness. Initially the priorities will revolve around conducting a field assessment, development of funding proposal and launching an emergency response, followed by transitioning the programme from emergency response to recovery / developmental support to the MoH.
Reporting to the Country Director, and working closely with the Health team in Merlin’s London Head Office, the Country Health Director will:
• Lead and assist in the comprehensive field assessment and analysis of health and nutrition / humanitarian contexts in Sikasso Region
• Plan and implement Merlin’s response to the present unmet health and nutrition needs, in line with approved proposals and budgets and in close collaboration with the other members of the Country Management Team, MOH and other relevant actors
• Together with the Country Director, actively define and develop the medium-long term strategy of Merlin in Mali in line with national and organisational priorities.
• Provide leadership, planning, technical support and management to Merlin’s Mali programmes and ensure the programme adheres to and is in line with best practices and quality standards.
• Responsible for developing an effective monitoring and evaluation framework for the programme based on the organisational Results Framework
• Ensure an effective surveillance system is in place
• Represent Merlin and advocate on health and nutrition issues to national authorities, international donors, international organisations and other NGOs at the national level
• Coordinate and technically manage Merlin’s health and nutrition activities.
• Develop, maintain and adapt a coherent programme (health and nutrition ) strategy
• Ensure the effective and qualitative implementation of Merlin’s programming
• Create a shared vision, among all staff, of Merlin's health programme aims.
• Act as the Country Director, during their absence from the programme.
• Do scoping of potential new areas for engagement through desktop secondary data, stakeholder analysis and field assessments.
• Assess scope for partnership opportunities with UNICEF, WFP, WHO, MoH and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
• Provide in-depth bottleneck analysis of the health system at all levels, with focus on the district and community levels that will inform the medium to long term strategy.
• Develop Merlin’s emergency preparedness and response capacity in relation to the humanitarian context and advise the Country Director accordingly
• Prepare and write timely and accurate donor proposals and reports. These documents should reflect progress against set objectives and/or newly defined needs supported by appropriate data presentation and contextual analysis
• Prepare and write a timely and accurate monthly technical (health) sitrep submitted to the Country Management Team and corresponding Health Advisor in head office.
• Ensure implementation of programmes in line with the approved project proposal and budget, anticipating and communicating issues/problems in advance to CD and preparing written amendments as required
• Provide technical assistance and oversight to Merlin’s (health and nutrition ) programmes in close collaboration with relevant country and head office team members.
• Ensure quality of the programme through compliance and adherence to Merlin, Donor and National policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as internationally recognised standards (eg. the Sphere standards)
• Support the project team in the fulfilment of their duties according to programme requirement in particular providing supervision, direction, coaching, mentoring and training based on training needs assessment of staff.
• Implement emergency preparedness and response plan for the area / districts of operations in collaboration with field teams and relevant CMT members
• Ensure that appropriate systems and plans are in place for dealing with emergencies, and provide technical leadership for staff and volunteers in emergencies
• Establish and ensure that surveillance and early warning systems are in place and functional
• Develop a monitoring and evaluation framework in line with Merlin’s global results framework for the programme.
• Ensure appropriate monitoring tools (data collection forms, tally sheets, supervisory checklist, HIS, etc) are in place and staff are trained in their use.
• Promote and encourage community participation in and ownership of health and nutrition activities at the community level.
• Ensure that medical stocks, supplies and other logistic supports are properly planned, procured, stored, distributed & managed, to avoid stock outs
• Ensure staff have copies of and are trained on relevant protocols and treatment guidelines e.g. CMAM, IMCNI (Integrated Management of Childhood and Newborn Illnesses).
• Support provision of EPI services in all supported facilities with coordinated targeted outreach to hard to reach communities
• Implement a Health Management Information System with integrated disease surveillance and reporting system according to the MoH Guidelines and Merlin systems
• Setup a coordinated referral system linking the primary health care facilities to the secondary level facilities
• Support identification and training of community health volunteers to conduct basic health care preventive interventions including health and nutrition education, support to EPI, sanitation, hygiene and other outreach activities in the target areas
• Establish Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Programmes operated through Health Facilities, targeting children under five and PLW using the CMAM approach / protocol.
• Ensure proper communication, coordination and harmonization of activities with the different stakeholders involved in food/nutrition activities
• Ensure IEC materials and key messages in health and nutrition for the targeted beneficiaries, through pamphlets, posters, radio spots etc are in place
• Take the lead in the preparation and implementation of nutrition surveys when required
• Ensure program activities are implemented in accordance with the proposed activities including ensuring that procurement is carried according to project plans
• Conduct baseline and periodic capacity assessment for all the community and health facilities’ staff with on the job mentorship and formal training for national staff
• Design a supportive supervision plan to/for clinical staff and other community based health workers to monitor the implementation of the emergency project activities as well as operational functions and provide feedback to the field staff
• Conduct Regular on site and remote supervision of staff and their activities on quarterly basis
Monitoring and Evaluation
• Develop a Monitoring & Evaluation framework and corresponding tools and systems for the programme
• Constant assessment and monitoring of the medical and nutritional needs of the community and guiding of activities to respond accordingly.
• Monitor and continuously assess health risks and disease outbreaks in the project area
• Prepare the technical reports including monthly and quarterly donor reports and data analysis and management
• Monitor the progress of project activities and core Key Performance Indicator targets outlined in proposals
• Ensure that the MOH and other partners receive regular activity reports and statistics
• Conduct and train health staff on surveys, causal analysis, coverage monitoring and other assessments of nutritional status of target groups
• Support HMIS Officers to collect HMIS data forms, and correct, and discuss trends/data with MHTs and Heads of Clinics to monitor health and nutrition surveillance and responses
• Enhance programme and technical (health) management skills of national team through formal and non-formal training
• Co-ordination and representation with the MOH to ensure all project activities are carried out with their agreement and, as far as possible, their participation
• Co-ordination and representation with UN, donors and other NGOS
• Build professional networks with stakeholders in-country
• Contribute towards the dissemination of Merlin’s health work through publications (general, health sector, academic literature, etc.) in consultation with Merlin HO
• Manage external/international communications with the media in consultation with the Country Director and the Communications section in Merlin HO
• Represent Merlin in coordination meetings at provincial and national levels
Staff Management / Human Resource
• Manage staff effectively, including appropriate and systematic delegation
• Co-ordinate and support, national and international staff teams, ensuring that the individuals work effectively together and achieve the programme objectives
• Establish and/or maintain HR management tools for the medical teams e.g. staff appraisals
• Maintain good inter-team communications, engender good team dynamics, and take suitable action when problems occur
• Undertake staff appraisals for staff under direct line-management and ensure for others to undertake appraisals of staff under their management
• Take an active role in the development of a training plan for the Merlin project and in the capacity building of staff
• Identify staffing requirement and recruit national and international staff as required to fulfil program goals and requirements
• Responsible for training of all medical staff to ensure the maximum use of their skills and their full and effective participation in medical activities whilst conforming to Merlin and MOH protocols
• Responsible for international staff health within country including first aid provisions, medical evacuation and general monitoring of staff welfare
• Adhere to security guidelines and encourage team members to adhere to them
• Pro-actively monitor the health, political, military and security situation in the project area and respond accordingly
• Attend relevant meetings and ensure teams are informed of the current humanitarian environment
• Actively participate in the updating of security guidelines
• Ensure that programmes are implemented within the agreed budget
• Responsible for staff health and well-being through implementation of Merlin Staff Health Policy including medical evacuation procedures
• Ensure national staff health policy is developed and implemented.
• Ensure that appropriate PEP stocks and procedures are in place
• Carry out any other responsibilities as requested by the Country Director
• Produce written handover notes at the end of contract
Qualifications, experience and competences
• Medical doctor, or Nurse / Clinical officer with a Masters in Public Health, and strong post qualification in experience, preferably in health development or humanitarian aid field work.
• Extensive experience of managing health projects in emergency and transitional / development contexts
• Proven experience of using appropriate management tools to ensure effective running of the programmes, staff management and development
• Strong experience in training, capacity building and community participation
• Experience with HMIS and epidemiological data analysis
• Strong experience in nutritional programming including assessment, survey, supplementary and therapeutic feeding
• Strong experience of communicating and representation, at a senior level, with a range of people, organisations and cultures
• Experience of managing health teams with the ability to motivate and encourage staff
• Consistent experience of identifying and analysing opportunities that contribute to strategic aims and translate them into practical plans and action
• Good ability and flexibility to understand the cultural and political environment and to work well with local health representatives
• Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English and French
• Ability to work independently and as a collaborative team member in complex and often difficult operating environments
• Experience of living or working in different / challenging cultures and countries
• Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office, especially Word and Excel
• Proven ability to reflect on and learn from personal and programme performance and act upon lessons learnt
• Experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different departments and cultures
• Experience of a flexible approach to managing and prioritising a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
• Experience of proactively identifying and addressing issues
• An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values
Qualifications, experience and competences
• Familiarity with Mali and / or West Africa working context
• Knowledge of Merlin systems and procedures
• Relevant experience of the programmatic aspects of malnutrition management, reproductive health and epidemic response
• Relevant experience working in a transitional environment
To apply for this position
Please email your CV stating your availability and level of French and English to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state in the email subject line “Mali”.
← Go back
- Manager, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships posted 1 day ago.
- Global Advocacy & Communications Officer, PP Global (NYC) posted 6 days ago.
- Project Manager HIV posted 14 days ago.
- Health Program Coordinator posted 14 days ago.
- Clinician with Hospital Development Expertise posted 27 days ago.