Full-time Senior Program Officer, RI Strengthening in Africa at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people- especially those with the fewest resources – have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
The Job : Senior Program Officer, RI Strengthening in Africa
Job Status: Full Time Job,Graduate/Exp
Reports to: Deputy Director, Nigeria Country Office
- The goal of the Global Development Program (GD) is to increase opportunities for people in the developing world to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty and to help deliver targeted healthcare solutions in these regions. Our strategies focus on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Nutrition, Family Planning, and Polio
- These strategies are supported by functional teams that focus on Vaccine Delivery and Integrated Delivery as well as country teams focused on India and Africa
- The Vaccine Delivery team is responsible for the key foundation goals on immunization and manages one of the foundation’s largest single grants – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
- The Vaccine Delivery team is structured to focus on vaccine coverage while accelerating innovation that can significantly change how we approach reaching every child.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invites applications for a Senior Program Officer position aimed at strengthening routine immunization programs in select countries in Africa
- Our aim is to sustainably improve routine immunization coverage in subnational geographies at risk of poliovirus transmission, with a particular focus on francophone countries. We work in close collaboration with country governments and their Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) staff, as well as immunization stakeholders such as Gavi, WHO, UNICEF, NGOs and donors
- We seek field-oriented, bilingual candidates familiar with routine immunization programs on the continent to help design, implement and monitor strategies that safeguard children from vaccine-preventable diseases across some of the highest risk areas of Africa
- The Senior Program Officer will also work closely with the foundation’s Vaccine Delivery and Polio teams, as well as the Africa and Global Policy, Advocacy & Communications teams. The position will be based in Africa and will be expected to undertake up to 40% international travel.
The Senior Program Officer will:
- Engage national and sub-national immunization technical staff on an agreed strategy to strengthen government routine immunization program leading to sustainable improvements in immunization coverage
- Support the development of annual workplans at the sub-national level that strengthen the cold chain, improve immunization planning and operations, increase oversight of immunization activities through supervision and monitoring, engage families and communities on the importance of immunization, and make use of quality data to inform overall program performance
- Monitor field activities on a regular basis, together with government counterparts and development partners, to validate planned activities, support amendments to strategy and provide feedback to local health teams
- Engage sub-national political leadership on the importance of routine immunization as a development priority, improve visibility for immunization activities and encourage their accountability for health outcomes
- Coordinate with Gavi and other immunization partners, including WHO, UNICEF, CDC, and civil society organizations on activities in select sub-national geographies
- Manage consultants and grantees in priority countries, in alignment with national government health and immunization strategy plans
- Liaise with high level government and donor leadership as required
- Expectation of up to 40% international travel
- Reports to: Deputy Director, Nigeria Country Office
Leadership & Culture:
- We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.
Education & Experience
- Bachelor’s or Advanced Degree in Public Health or Community Health, Medicine, Public Policy or related field
- At least 10 years of direct experience in routine immunization programming in Africa, preferably in a francophone country and in low-resource and/or conflict settings
- Understanding of, and ideally direct experience with, vaccination or other health programs, including basic planning, delivery, and community engagement strategies
- As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
Core Knowledge & Skills:
- Leadership abilities to work with multiple stakeholders, including government, other donors, grantees to create a common vision and visualize simple and effective but implementable solutions to complex problems
- Strong strategic thinker with experience developing evidence-based strategic or operational plans as well as shaping and managing sustainable and scalable ventures
- Experienced coalition builder and background of creating effective partnerships and establishing cross-sectoral linkages
- Demonstrates strong personal initiative and ability to be self-directed, but also a strong collaborator and team member
- Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, political, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people
- Works with efficiency and diplomacy
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of partners and audiences, including with the foundation senior management
- Fluent in English and French
How To Apply