Deputy Country Director, Programs, Niger
Helen Keller International
Deputy Country Director, Programs
Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the United States. HKI is known for sustainability, reliability, efficiency and the highest level of technical expertise in fighting and treating blindness and malnutrition. To accomplish its work, HKI builds the capacity of local governmental, civil society and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promotes the development of sustained, large-scale programs that deliver effective preventative and curative services for nutrition, eye health and neglected tropical diseases. The hallmark of the organization’s work is its proven effectiveness in developing, testing and scaling-up health interventions, and integrating them within government and community structures. HKI is recruiting a Deputy Country Director for Niger.
Country Program Overview
HKI started its programs in Niger in 1987, and Niger has been HKI’s flagship program in vitamin A supplementation, significantly reducing vitamin A deficiency – and child mortality. Currently, HKI implements programs focusing on nutrition and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTD). HKI assists the government’s efforts in the fight against malnutrition through supporting community management of acute malnutrition, strengthening health services and community networks for promoting essential nutrition actions, and to promote fortification of industrially processed oil – as well as our on-going vitamin A supplementation program. Efforts need to be made to develop new strategies and approaches to achieve universal coverage for vitamin A supplementation using both routine health services and child health days. Additional work in nutrition is envisioned for the future – most likely with an emphasis on essential nutrition actions for pregnant women and children under age five. The country office is also implementing a collaborative research program on prenatal care interventions with University of California Davis. Finally, HKI provides technical assistance and financial support to the national NTD control program in its work to map diseases and provide treatment through mass drug administration for onchocerciasis, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthes.
Scope of the Position
HKI is working nationwide and in specific regions (Zinder, Diffa and Dosso) with over 80 staff and an annual operating budget of around $4m. HKI-Niger has undergone significant growth over the past few years and is one of the largest HKI country offices in Africa. HKI’s program in Niger is funded by various donors, including, the U.S. Agency for International Development (for NTD and Nutrition), Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (formerly CIDA), the Micronutrient Initiative, and the Hilton Foundation. The portfolio is quite good, with several new initiatives in the pipeline.
HKI is seeking a Deputy Country Director (DCD) to oversee programs, under the supervision of the Country Director. The primary responsibilities are project design and proposal writing, program planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting to ensure timely, effective and compliant programming in accordance with HKI programming principles and donor requirements. The position requires close cooperation with the government of Niger, partner NGOs, donors and UN agencies. As an evidence-based organization, HKI places great importance on operational research and impact evaluation. The DCD plays a key role in identifying research opportunities and overseeing research and evaluation.
The DCD leads and directly supervises the program team, and is a member of the country management team, along with the Finance Manager and the Administration and Human Resources Manager. Field travel includes visits to project sites working from sub-offices. The DCD serves as acting country director when the CD is absent.
- Identify and seek funding opportunities that support the country program objectives.
- Participate in operational and strategic planning of the country senior management team; supporting the development of the Annual Program Plan, including ensuring this is in alignment with the agency’s strategic plan, and budget.
- Coordinate and develop terms of reference and supervise consultants and other technical support resources needed for program-related activities.
- Strengthen staff and partner capacity in project development.
- Coordinate project design and proposal development processes by working with field, regional office and headquarters technical, development, and operational staff.
- Play an active role in identifying and obtaining support for new initiatives that foster and improve the strategic objectives of the country office.
- Oversee the design and implementation of effective work plans that allow for timely and ongoing progress review of all key outputs.
- Ensure that project implementation is in accordance with HKI established plans, policies and procedures and HKI core values.
- Work with staff and partners to ensure strong M&E systems are in place for the development of regular project monitoring systems, the agency’s shared indicator system, as well as for special studies and project evaluations, including baseline, mid-term and end-of-project.
- Conduct field-level monitoring; providing timely and constructive feedback and support to HKI and partner project staff.
- Continuously monitor and identify necessary technical assistance or other project inputs that may be needed including recommending actions to obtain technical assistance or inputs from local consultants, Africa Regional Office or headquarters.
- Work with project and finance staff to review all budgets on a monthly basis to identify either over or under spending trends, and if significant trends are noted to alert the Country Director for appropriate action.
- Review all budgets, in collaboration with finance managers, on a regular basis to ensure adherence to HKI and donor requirements.
- Mentor staff and contributing to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
- Work closely with the Country Directors to address all issues raised by HKI staff, donors or respective line ministries regarding program implementation.
- Work with project staff to ensure all financial and narrative reports are submitted to donor and Regional and HQ office (as required) in a timely and compliant manner.
- Work with project staff to ensure the proper maintenance of all files, records and documents relating to HKI activities of the project.
- Ensure all projects are properly closed in accordance with HKI and donor requirements
Coordination with partners:
- Work with project staff to ensure partners are knowledgeable of HKI’s technical and financial policies and procedures, and donor compliance requirements.
- Ensure that project staff have the skills and tools necessary to build partner capacity.
- Coordinate with respective line ministries/officials and other organizations working in the sector to build strategic partnerships.
- Ensure that HKI programs are recognized/promoted and implemented in accordance with national agendas.
- Participate in meetings and seminars within HKI, nationally, and internationally as requested by Country Directors.
- Masters degree or equivalent in public health, nutrition or another related field, plus a minimum 7 years working for an international organization in public health (including nutrition) or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Minimum 5 years experience in project management.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including spoken and written fluency in both English and French (candidates not meeting this criterion will not be considered).
- Strong budget management skills.
- Substantial experience with a variety of donors including USAID, European Commission and UNICEF an advantage.
- Demonstrated ability in project design and proposal writing.
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation tools and systems.
- Proven track record with institutional strengthening and partnership building.
- Ability to work independently, but also coordinate effectively as part of a team.
- Strong analytical and organizational skills.
- Excellent inter-personal skills; demonstrating diplomacy and tact.
- Proven ability to effectively manage people and to build teams.
- Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender.
- Willingness to travel within Niger, as well as the West Africa region.
Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter and current curriculum vitae in English to email@example.com. Please note the job title in the subject line.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.