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African Regional Nutrition Program Advisor Job in Senegal

Location: Dakar, Senegal (with extensive travel in the region) Closing date: This position will remain open until filled Starting date: As soon as possible Remuneration: A competitive Package will be offered Reference: HKI-RNA-Africa

About Helen Keller 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 offers programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the United States. The organization combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research. Each year, their programs directly benefit millions of people, and children are a primary concern. HKI programs address malnutrition, cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy. HKI has nearly 600 staff and a worldwide annual budget of over $45 million. The Agency is recruiting an Africa Regional Nutrition Program Advisor.

In sub-Saharan Africa, under-nutrition is one of the major drivers of under-five mortality with the estimated attribution from 35% to 55%. Helen Keller International has established itself as a leader in control of all forms of malnutrition in the region, with particular expertise in control of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Globally, HKI is moving towards consolidating its nutrition and nutrition-related interventions within an Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) framework, an integrated package of nutrition support that encompasses infant and young child feeding, the control of micronutrient deficiencies, nutrition care of the sick child (including treatment of acute malnutrition), as well as support to women’s nutrition, and is meant to be implemented at scale with partners at all levels. Additional issues incorporated include nutrition interventions for school aged children as well as people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). In accordance with HKI’s strategic plan and this vision, rapid expansion of proven HKI programs is underway, as is further development of promising program areas. With the growth of HKI’s programs in Africa (currently 13 country programs with an annual budget of approximately $55 million; approximately 370 staff; and a number of strategic regional relationships), we have grown the regional team to better support country programs and regional initiatives.

Mission Talent has been exclusively retained by HKI with providing a search for their African Regional Nutrition Program Advisor.

Purpose of Position The position of Africa Regional Nutrition Program Advisor reports to the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa and to the Senior Scientific Advisor for Nutrition and Child Survival for special projects. The Regional Nutrition Program Advisor works in close collaboration with the two Deputy Regional Directors, program and technical staff in the region and headquarters, and Country Directors.

The Regional Nutrition Program Advisor provides overall program vision, technical input, grant management, planning and guidance on formative supervision for HKI nutrition programs throughout Africa and is responsible for ensuring positive donor relations and engaging in strategic partnerships with regional and international agencies and academic institutions. The incumbent will serve as a catalyst and technical resource in securing additional resources for HKI’s nutrition programs in Africa, including writing proposals, and in leading documentation and dissemination of HKI’s nutrition-related experiences by publishing relevant reports and peer-reviewed papers in the international scientific literature. The Regional Nutrition Program Advisor will provide overall technical leadership to a team of nutrition coordinators/specialists within country programs and direct line management to a part-time Coordinator of the CIDA-supported regional vitamin A supplementation program.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Strategic planning and vision – Provide technical support and leadership to country offices implementing nutrition-related activities and regional nutrition initiatives, in collaboration with the Regional and Deputy Regional Directors and Headquarters program staff. Provide guidance to the planning processes in specified countries for overall nutrition programs, in accordance with the Agency strategic plan and nutrition and other program strategies. Develop synergies between program areas in co-ordination with the other program divisions, Africa Regional Office and country offices, as agreed by the agency.
Program Quality Assurance and Grant Management – Provide overall technical leadership to a team of nutrition coordinators/specialists in the region and enhance technical quality of HKI’s programs related to Nutrition and Child Survival. This requires extensive field travel for supervision, monitoring/evaluation and training, alongside sharing technical updates, developing manuals and tools that can be implemented throughout Africa. Overall responsibility for the grant management of Regional Nutrition and Child Survival grants, including timely preparation of donor reports and financial management of projects, in line with donor contracts. Work in co-ordination with the Deputy Regional Directors, Country Directors and Headquarters program staff to ensure accurate and timely reporting of program results, the development and implementation of appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools and that new technical updates are well understood and adopted in country offices.
Staff Development – Collaborate with the Regional and Deputy Regional Directors, Country Directors and Headquarters program staff in interviewing, hiring, orienting and training Nutrition and Child Survival staff in the region. Plan regional Nutrition and Child Survival events to promote area and Agency learning.
Program Development/Marketing/Fundraising – Identify and pursue new program initiatives that are consistent with HKI’s mission and strategic plan through developing innovative, evidence-based strategies, assisting Country Offices and Deputy Regional Directors to collect data, evaluate and analyze programs, as well as identifying and prioritizing the use of local regional, and/or centrally based technical resources. Play a key role in developing and implementing strategies to raise both long term restricted and unrestricted funds to sustain, expand and improve Nutrition and Child Survival Programs throughout Africa, including proposal writing, identifying partnership possibilities and maintaining strong relationships with existing donors and cultivating new donors in close collaboration with Regional and Deputy Regional Directors, Program Directors, Country Directors and the Vice President of Development and Communications.
Representation – Serve as HKI’s representative at meetings concerning Nutrition and Child Survival and related coalitions in the region. Establish and maintain a network of regional institutions, country government officials, international and local donors, international and local NGOs, universities and other resource institutions and other colleagues that support HKI’s Nutrition and Child Survival Programs.
Dissemination of information – Maintain and further the Agency’s international role in Nutrition and Child Survival by assisting Country Offices to document and publish/present relevant programmatic findings and lessons learned. Takes Regional Leadership of organizational/regional “communities of practice” by preparing an inventory of country experiences and practices regarding program implementation activities and related documents and other materials, ensuring integration of best practices and lessons learned across countries and into the new generation of programs. Under supervision of Senior Scientific Advisor for Nutrition and Child Survival will participate in preparation of articles for Nutrition News for Africa. Lead and assist country staff and research collaborators in developing articles for peer-reviewed publication.

Supervisory Responsibilities The Regional Nutrition Program Advisor directly supervises the part-time Coordinator of the CIDA-supported regional vitamin A supplementation program (based in Tanzania) and will, as appropriate, assist the Regional Director, Deputy Regional Directors and Country Directors with planning, assigning, and directing work of the Nutrition and Child Survival country program staff; appraising performance; and resolving problems. The supervisory role may expand depending on future needs of the Region and according to available funding, and this may include fellows and/or interns.

The incumbent closely coordinates with the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Directors for Africa and Nutrition and Child Survival program staff at Headquarters and in the region and country offices to ensure that HKI is represented at key international and regional conferences with donors, governments and other agencies, and collaborates closely with country offices throughout Africa. The Advisor works closely with a large coalition of international non-governmental development organizations, multilateral institutions, and African Ministries of Health, and serves as the primary technical point person for HKI’s partnership with the West African Health Organization concerning issues of Nutrition and Child Survival.

Qualifications, Capabilities/Skills and Experience

Doctoral degree in Nutrition or related field with strong hands-on experience in nutrition programming, including at the community level, is highly preferred. Masters degree or medical degree with strong track record in program implementation and publications will be considered;
At least 8 years of related field experience in nutrition programming (e.g., micronutrients, infant and young child feeding and women’s nutrition), including strong quantitative analytic skills, ideally including development and management of Nutrition and Child Survival Programs;
Familiarity with behavior change communication strategies in support of nutrition programs necessary;
Demonstrated track record in undertaking and supporting data collection, analysis and report and article writing, including publication in peer-reviewed journals. At least 5 peer-reviewed articles published in last 5 years;
Demonstrated understanding of complex international operations. Ability to manage technical team and to interact with community of practice in Nutrition and Child Survival across the agency;
A proven successful track record in fundraising;
Strong technical knowledge of Nutrition and Child Survival Programs in the developing world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, including demonstrated ability to track and disseminate new developments in the field;
Ability to undertake extensive field travel (approximately 35-50%);
Strong interpersonal skills in dealing with external contacts, as well as internal colleagues;
Excellent oral and written English. Ability to read, analyze and interpret the most complex documents, and to prepare presentations and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management and public groups;
Strong oral and written ability in French is highly desired. If a candidate without French skills is selected he/she would have to commit to learn French. Ability to work in Portuguese is an advantage;
Demonstrated knowledge of the application of information technologies to HKI program areas. Knowledge of various software to be able to undertake data analysis, prepare presentations and other work-related documents.

How to apply Since HKI Senegal has tasked Mission Talent to undertake this search, all applications must be addressed to Katja: stating HKI-RNA-Africa in the subject line. Kindly attach your relevant CV (in English) and a suitability statement (not more than 350 words).

Thank you in advance for your interest in this position. Please note that only candidates under serious consideration can be contacted.

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