|Date Posted||May 9, 2012|
|Category||Food & Nutrition|
|Job Type||Full Time|
|Closing date for applications||15th May 2012|
Responsible to: Programme Manager, with technical line management by Country Health Director
Contract Duration: 6 months (will consider 3 months)
Start Date: Immediate
Salary: £24,180-£24,930 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 Nutrition Coordinator will be responsible at project level, as the technical support for effective development and implementation of high quality effective nutrition programmes. The Nutrition coordinator will work closely with Country Health Director in Sikasso and other Mali team members. They will be responsible for capacity building of the health and nutrition team for the successful planning and implementation of nutrition activities.
Merlin is seeking an experienced professional that can lead a dynamic team to assess, develop and implement nutrition programming in Sikasso Region in Mali. The post holder will be responsible for developing the working partnership with the MOH at the local level, and WFP and UNICEF at the project level, as well as building the capacity of the Merlin and MoH health staff to meet the nutrition needs of the local population.
Overall Objectives (scope)
This position demands both the technical knowledge and the work experience, needed to coordinate a nutrition programme. The nutrition coordinator will be responsible for ensuring management of the nutrition programme is conducted in line with international humanitarian standards and donor guidelines.
Programme development and management
• Technically responsible for the implementation and development of Merlin supported nutrition programmes in Sikasso, according to best practices and quality standards.
• Provide technical support to all project medical team members working in fulfilment of their duties according to their job descriptions and the project objectives.
• Establish Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Programmes operated through Health Facilities, targeting children under five and PLW using the CMAM approach / protocol.
• Ensure that the implementation of the nutrition programmes conform to internationally accepted standards and country guidelines
• Ensure staff have copies of and are trained on relevant protocols and treatment guidelines
• Provide support and supervision on nutrition activities to those staff implementing health and nutrition programmes.
• Support the project medical team to ensure the use of appropriate health policies, protocols and data collection forms, ensure the team is familiar and trained in the use of the same.
• Provides guidance to staff implementing nutrition programmes on the integration of a nutrition component into the overall primary health care programmes and curative services.
• Assist in the setup a coordinated referral system in the project implementation areas linking the primary health care facilities to the secondary level hospitals
• Support identification and training of community health volunteers to conduct nutrition education, and other nutrition outreach activities in the target areas
• Take the lead in the preparation and implementation of nutrition surveys when required
• To take a lead role in expansion of Merlin’s nutrition programming in Hadjer Lamis.
• In collaboration with partners (MoH, WFP and UNICEF) support field sites with the organization of the logistics of food commodities.
• Ensure IEC materials and key messages in nutrition for the targeted beneficiaries, through pamphlets, posters, Radio spots etc are in place
• Ensure proper communication, coordination and harmonization of tools with the different stakeholders involved in food/nutrition activities
• Providing technical leadership and support for conducting nutrition surveys in all project sites, prepare report and generate discussion within the nutriton coordinators forums for any issues which needs to be addresed jointly.
Monitoring and Evaluation
• Constant assessment and monitoring of the medical and nutritional needs of the community and guiding of activities to respond accordingly.
• Monitoring and supervision of health programs in all project locations through regular visits.
• Ensure appropriate monitoring tools (data collection forms, tally sheets, supervisory checklist, etc) are in place and staff are trained in their use.
• To report properly and in a appropriate time all relevant nutritional information required for the comprehensive development of the nutrition programmes
• To assist in compiling the nutrition activities inputs to donor concept notes, proposals, and project reports, with assistance from the appropriate staff.
• Maintain proper systems of filing and ensure that the field office has all relevant technical material on site.
Human Resource Management
• Develop Job Descriptions and Terms of Reference for technical – nutrition staff positions.
• Undertake nutrition staff appraisals with individual staff member’s line managers.
• Maintain good inter-team communications and dynamics
Training and capacity building
• To assess the training needs of nutrition staff and develop a training programme to meet these needs.
• Conduct training of community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) for project staff and MOH counterparts implementing health and nutrition programmes
• Ensure the establishment and strengthening or nutrition monitoring activities and train health staff (Merlin and partners) in case detection and referral mechanisms.
• Conduct and train health staff on surveys, causal analysis and other assessments of nutritional status of target groups.
• Provide training to all health staff through on the job as well as formal training.
• Coordinate with MOH, UNICEF, WFP & other key stakeholders for addressing training needs of project staff.
Coordination / Representation
• To liaise with the Ministry of Health and other agencies (UNICEF, WHO, and WFP) to ensure appropriate provision of service and use of resources at project site.
• Ensure that activities are in line with MoH strategy and encourage collaboration with local authorities and communities, to ensure sustainability of activities.
• Regularly inform and update the MoH as well as other nutrition sector partners about the on-going and planned activities that Merlin is implementing within Hadjer Lamis Region.
• Represent Merlin and advocate on nutrition issues to local authorities, and other stakeholders at the regional and district level.
• Representing Merlin in Nutrition Cluster and other relevant Nutrition related meetings
• Fulfil other roles as per specific terms of reference developed by the CHD.
• To respect all Merlin organisational and country specific policies, procedures and regulations.
Qualifications, experience and competences
• B.Sc/M.Sc or equivalent in Nutrition or related degree or Nurse nutritionist .
• Substantial post qualification experience in managing nutrition / CMAM projects within an emergency / transitional / development context
• Strong experience in various aspects of nutritional programming including assessment, survey, supplementary and therapeutic feeding
• Proven experience of using appropriate management tools to ensure effective running of Nutrtion programmes, staff management and training and development
• Strong experience in training, capacity building and community participation
• Demonstrated analytical and conceptual skills to plan projects, timetable agreed activities and oversee staff activities.
• Strong experience of representation at local levels, with a range of stakeholders.
• Good ability and flexibility to understand the cultural and political environment and to work well with local health representatives
• Ability to write clear and concise reports/proposals
• Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English and French
• Strong coordination and problem solving skills in day to day and challenging situations
• Experience of living or working in different / challenging cultures and countries
• Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office, especially Word and Excel
• Experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures
• Experiencemanaging and prioritising a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
• Experience of proactively identifying and addressing nutrition issues
• An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values
Qualifications, experience and competencies
• Familiarity with Mali and / or West Africa working context
• Knowledge of Bambara
• Knowledge of Merlin systems and procedures
• Proven experience working in a transitional environment
• Familairity with one of the data analysis packages such as SPSS, EPI Info
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”.
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