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  • Posted: Dec 2, 2020
    Deadline: Dec 8, 2020
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    Malaria Consortium Nigeria is committed to tackling the large number of malaria cases and deaths in the country. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other partners, we lead and support three major malaria control initiatives in the country: Support to the National Malaria Control Programme (SuNMaP); NetWorks and MAPS. Our areas of focus in...
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    Research Specialist

    Location: IPTi team in Abuja
    Department: Technical
    Length of Contract: 4 years
    Role Type: National
    Grade: 9
    Travel involved: Up to 40%
    Child safeguarding level: 2, moderate risk
    Reporting to: Senior Project Manager
    Direct Reports: None

    Project Background

    • Malaria affects most Nigerians and remains a public health problem despite progress in the last two decades. Between 2008 and 2018, even though the overall under-five mortality rate (U5MR) reduced by 15.9 percent, from 157 to 132 per 1000 live births, the reduction in infant mortality rate (IMR) during the same period was less marked: 10.7 percent (from 75 to 67 per 1000 live births), with no noticeable change in the neonatal mortality rate over the same period (NDHS 2019).
    • Intermittent Preventive Treatment in infants (IPTi) is the administration of preventive antimalarial drugs to infants to provide personal protection against malaria transmission. Under current WHO guidelines, the drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is delivered to infants at approximately 10 weeks, 14 weeks, and 9 months of age during routine immunization services. IPTi is safe, cost effective, well accepted by health workers and communities, and has been found to reduce clinical malaria by 30%, and episodes of anaemia by 21%.
    • Despite the WHO recommendation to administer IPTi in areas of moderate-to-high transmission since 2010, there has been limited uptake to date. The intervention is not yet recommended as one of the interventions in the Nigerian Malaria Control Policy. A rapid assessment of stakeholders’ perspective on barriers to IPTi policy uptake in Nigeria revealed that providing evidence on feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention at field level will be key for policy uptake.
    • Malaria Consortium is anticipating funding to carry out an effectiveness-implementation hybrid project on feasibility and effectiveness of on IPTi in Nigeria. It is aimed at generating the required evidence to inform policy and possible scale up of IPTi in Nigeria, and ultimately contribute towards a reduction in under 5 mortalities in the country.

    Job Purpose

    • The Research Specialist will provide technical inputs (research design, statistical and analytical support) to an effectiveness-implementation hybrid project on the operational feasibility and effectiveness of SP-IPTi in Nigeria.
    • The position holder will lead performance monitoring against the project logframe, provide technical support to research planning, implementation and dissemination, and support the development and implementation of a research uptake plan linked to evidence and learning from the hybrid IPTi project.

    Scope of Work:

    • The post holder will work with the project team to deliver scientifically robust research outputs, design of study protocols, data collection methods and data analysis plans and ensure that high quality surveillance and research approaches are implemented in the hybrid IPTi project.
    • The role will involve technical assistance/consultancy management, knowledge management, and working with the Senior Project Manager to ensure collaboration and coordination between the project and key stakeholders.
    • The position holder will provide technical support to the National IPTi Research and Policy uptake subcommittee (NIRPUS) and Data safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator (CoPI) and ensure tracking and proper documentation of performance against logframe. The post holder will be a member of Malaria Consortium’s Research Group.

    Key Working Relationships
    This position will report to the State Project Manager and have working relationships with the following:

    • Country Director, country programme manager and other members of the country office Senior Management Team (SMT)
    • Technical Director, also the PI
    • Senior Country Technical Coordinator, also the Co-PI, and other co-investigators
    • Statistician
    • State project team
    • National and state stakeholders, NMEP, NAFDAC, NPHCDA, SPHCDA and SMEP
    • Project sub-grantee/contractors - National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Cost-effectiveness analysis consultants.
    • National IPTi Research and Policy uptake subcommittee (NIRPUS)
    • Data safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB)
    • Key donors
    • Other key partners as identified in the project stakeholders’ matrix.

    Key Accountabilities
    Research contributions (70%):

    • Coordinate day-to-day technical preparations, implementation and evaluation of research activities for the hybrid IPTi project
    • Initiate the implementation of research activities as articulated in the project work plan
    • Lead preparation and planning of formative research at project initiation;
    • Provide technical inputs in development of all research protocol for the hybrid IPTi project and lead submission of protocol for ethical approval;
    • Coordinate the identification, set-up and maintenance of surveillance sentinel sites for the project
    • Support the recruitment, training, deployment and monitoring of sentinel site data collectors throughout the project life;
    • Facilitate the initiation and regular coordination meeting of the NIRPUS and DSMB;
    • Support statistical analysis of research data including surveys, and contribute to technical report writing;
    • Support Senior Project Manager to write quarterly and annual progress reports for the project for donors and other audiences as required;
    • Support the state implementation officer to ensure project is rolled out in strict adherence to agreed standards and protocols;

    Research Uptake:

    • Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate an overarching research uptake (RU) strategy for the hybrid IPTi project, which will support uptake of evidence and learning from the IPTi research. This should be done in consultation with the PI and CoPI for the project.
    • Systematically identify opportunities to co-design or co-implement research activities with policymakers and key stakeholders (NMEP, NPHCDA, WHO), where appropriate;
    • Keep potential users those interested in the research outputs engaged with progress updates throughout the project lifespan at the sub-national, national and international level;
    • Coordinate the implementation of in-country dissemination of research findings and research uptake activities such as stakeholder consultations, media engagements etc

    Research Quality:

    • Lead the development and implementation of a quality assurance and quality improvement framework for the research project.
    • Identify technical assistance needs for specific pieces of work in the project work plan, develop terms of reference for engaging consultants and monitor such contractors/ consultants to ensure resultant high-quality deliverables.
    • Ensure MC’s internal quality assurance processes for activities and technical assistance management are followed within the context of the hybrid IPTi project;
    • Provide technical support to research activity implementation and outputs as well as quality assure research data collection and management processes;

    Monitoring, Evaluation Accountability and Learning (25%)

    • Contribute to the development and implementation of organizational approaches and tools
    • for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL)
    • Lead the development of a monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning plan for the project which will include:
      • A project performance monitoring and evaluation framework with clear indicators and targets.
      • A framework showing project accountability to donor, stakeholders as well as beneficiaries;
      • A learning agenda articulating specific learning questions, learning activities and a master plan for developing learning dissemination products e.g. learning briefs, learning papers, research briefs and other peer-reviewed publications.
    • Support, and as appropriate lead, the documentation of research findings and lessons learnt from the project, including production of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, learning briefs, learning papers and general documentation (e.g. narrative reports, infographics);
    • Support the dissemination of lessons learned to national and global audiences through conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and technical reports;
    • Carry out quarterly project performance assessments and prepare progress reports as required;
    • Participate in MC technical team’s cross learning forums.

    External Representation (5%):

    • Participate in national technical working groups and NMEP’s sub-committee meetings as relevant;
    • Participate in technical discussions and strategic planning meetings of the project technical team;
    • Represent the project in external meetings as agreed with Senior Project Manager or SCTC.

    Qualifications and Experience
    Essential:

    • PhD or equivalent experience in Public / Global Health, Epidemiology, Statistics or a related research discipline.
    • Extensive experience in a research role with an excellent understanding of quantitative research approaches
    • Experience in research management
    • Experience in design of operational and/or implementation research
    • Demonstrable first-hand experience publishing scientific work in peer-reviewed journals
    • Demonstrated experience in survey design, survey implementation, analysis, and report-writing;

    Desirable:

    • Experience in working effectively with government and non-government partners.
    • Experience of working on immunization programmes, familiarity with NPHCDA, Ministries of Health; NMEP
    • Experience in addressing inequities in research such as gender or disability.

    Work-based Skills
    Essential:

    • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaboratively on a team, particularly with Ministries of Health, NMEP, NPHCDA and/or other government sectors and partners;
    • Knowledge of malaria prevention and control in endemic settings
    • Demonstrable understanding of research uptake in relation to overcoming the barriers to uptake experienced by decision-makers as well as approaches of effectively communicating research to broad stakeholders such as decision-makers, beneficiaries and media.
    • Excellent statistical analysis skills including familiarity with software such as STATA, R or Statgraphics;
    • Excellent understanding of good research practice
    • Excellent command of English with exceptional writing and communication skills and the ability to present information in clear, concise, and compelling ways;
    • Results-oriented attitude to work;
    • Able to travel to project location for up to one week at a time to oversee surveys or other data collection activities;
    • Excellent skills in in MS Office software package.

    Desirable:

    • Demonstrable skills in qualitative research methods and data analysis software such as Nvivo;
    • Excellent skills in developing a range of outputs for communicating research – in print, electronic and face-to-face formats;
    • Data-driven decision-making mentality
    • Excellent understanding of practices in relation to research integrity
    • Good knowledge of gender intentional research.

    Core Competencies
    Delivering Results:

    LEVEL C - Supports others to achieve results:

    • Displays a positive and enthusiastic approach and is not deterred by setbacks, finding alternative ways to reach goals or targets
    • Supports others to plan and deliver results
    • Supports others to manage and cope with setbacks.

    Analysis and use of information:
    LEVEL C - Works confidently with complex data to support work:

    • Interprets complex written information
    • Works confidently with data before making decisions: for example, interpreting trends, issues and risks
    • Acquainted with the validity, relevance and limitations of different sources of evidence.

    Interpersonal and communications:
    LEVEL C - Adapts communications effectively:

    • Tailors communication (content, style and medium) to diverse audiences
    • Communicates equally effectively at all organisational levels
    • Understands others’ underlying needs, concerns and motivations and communicates effectively in sensitive situations
    • Resolves intra-team and inter-team conflicts effectively.

    Collaboration and partnering:
    LEVEL C - Builds strong networks internally and participates actively in external networks and think tanks:

    • Builds strong networks internally
    • Participates actively in external networks and/or think tanks
    • Engages with relevant experts to gather and evaluate evidence
    • Shares and implements good practice with internal and external peers.

    Leading and motivating people:
    LEVEL B - Manages own development and seeks opportunities:

    • Actively manages own development and performance positively
    • Learns lessons from successes and failures
    • Seeks and explores opportunities within Malaria Consortium which develop skills and expertise.

    Flexibility/ adaptability:
    LEVEL C - Supports others to cope with pressure:

    • Responds positively to change, embracing and using new practices or values to accomplish goals and solve problems and supports others to do the same
    • Adapts team approach, goals, and methods to achieve solutions and results in dynamic situations
    • Sets realistic deadlines and goals for self or team.

    Living the values:
    LEVEL C - Supports others to live Malaria Consortium’s values:

    • Demonstrates personal integrity by using position responsibly and fairly
    • Cultivates an open culture within the wider team, promoting accountability, responsibility and respect for individual differences.

    Strategic planning and thinking and sector awareness:
    LEVEL C - Keeps up to date with the internal and external environment:

    • Takes into account economic, political and other business factors when drawing up medium and long-term plans, covering both public and private sectors
    • Looks beyond the immediate operations to prospects for new business
    • Engages with appropriate internal and external sources to establish major influences on future plans.

     

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    Senior Project Manager, SP-IPTi

    Department: Technical
    Length of contract: 4 years
    Role type: National
    Grade: 10
    Travel involved: Up to 50%
    Child safeguarding level: 1, high risk
    Direct reports: Research Specialist, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Statistician and State Project Manager

    Project Background

    • Malaria affects most Nigerians and remains a public health problem despite progress in the last two decades. Between 2008 and 2018, even though the overall under-five mortality rate (U5MR) reduced by 15.9 percent, from 157 to 132 per 1000 live births, the reduction in infant mortality rate (IMR) during the same period was less marked: 10.7 percent (from 75 to 67 per 1000 live births), with no noticeable change in the neonatal mortality rate over the same period (NDHS 2019).
    • Intermittent Preventive Treatment in infants (IPTi) is the administration of preventive antimalarial drugs to infants to provide personal protection against malaria transmission. Under current WHO guidelines, the drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is delivered to infants at approximately 10 weeks, 14 weeks, and 9 months of age during routine immunization services. IPTi is safe, cost-effective, well accepted by health workers and communities, and has been found to reduce clinical malaria by 30%, and episodes of anaemia by 21%.
    • Despite the WHO recommendation to administer IPTi in areas of moderate-to-high transmission since 2010, there has been limited uptake to date. The intervention is not yet recommended as one of the interventions in the Nigerian Malaria Control Policy. A rapid assessment of stakeholders’ perspective on barriers to IPTi policy uptake in Nigeria revealed that providing evidence on operational feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention at field level will be key for policy uptake.
    • Malaria Consortium is anticipating funding to carry out an effectiveness-implementation hybrid project on operational feasibility and effectiveness of on IPTi in Nigeria. It is aimed at generating the required evidence to inform policy and possible scale up of IPTi in Nigeria, and ultimately contribute towards a reduction in under 5 mortalities in the country.

    Reporting to:

    • Senior Country Technical Coordinator
    • Dotted line manager: Country Programme Manager.

    Job Purpose

    • The Senior Project Manager will lead and manage an effective-implementation hybrid project on the operational feasibility and effectiveness of SP-IPTi in Nigeria, ensuring the implementation aligns with project design.
    • The position holder will provide management oversight for the project and its partners to achieve the project objectives.

    Scope of Work:

    • The Senior Project Manager will lead a project team that includes experienced technical and research specialists.
    • S/he will be responsible for ensuring coordination and communications across the project leadership and governance structures; including an International Steering Committee (ISC), a National IPTi Research and Policy uptake subcommittee (NIRPUS), Data safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator (CoPI).
    • S/he will ensure collaboration and coordination with key project stakeholders such as National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), National and State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA and SPHCDA), Child Health Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health, National Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) , State Malaria Elimination Programme (SMEP) and other relevant stakeholders, including the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, academia, private sector, local authorities, international organisations and civil society organisations.
    • The Senior Project Manager will ensure timely and efficient implementation of project work plan and carry out external representation and advocacy.

    Key Working Relationships:

    • Country Director, Country Programme Manager and other members of the country office Senior Management Team (SMT)
    • Technical Director, also PI
    • Senior Country Technical Coordinator, also CoPI, and other co-investigators
    • State project team
    • National and state stakeholders, NMEP, NAFDAC, NPHCDA, SPHCDA and SMEP
    • Project sub-grantee/contractors - National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
    • International Steering Committee (ISC)
    • National IPTi Research and Policy uptake subcommittee (NIRPUS)
    • Data safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB)
    • Key donors
    • Other key partners as identified in the project stakeholders’ matrix.

    Key Accountabilities
    Project Management (50%):

    • Support project set up and roll out, including office set and recruitment of project teams
    • Provide effective management leadership to the project and the project sub-grantees, ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clear and that the project governance model is efficient
    • Provide coherent strategic direction for the project and the project sub-grantees/contractors
    • Oversee effective planning and quality implementation of SP-IPTi project in Nigeria
    • Support development and planning of formative research at project initiation
    • Lead the gender analysis during the formative research and ensure that findings are incorporated into project design and implementation.
    • Lead effective stakeholder engagement and coordination for timely achievement of project targets
    • Provide line management to project team to ensure optimal project implementation, partnership and operational systems
    • Work with the project team to develop and implement annual work plans.
    • Liaise regularly with the Country Director, Country Programme Manager, Senior Country Technical Coordinator to provide timely and comprehensive updates and reports as required
    • Support project Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist and Country Public Health Specialist to prepare the project monitoring and evaluation framework. Work with the project team to implement it.
    • Work closely with the country office SMT to oversee procurement and distribution of commodities and materials to implementation sites. This includes:
      • Development of a procurement, supply chain management plan for the project
      • Working with procurement agents on acquisition of commodities including importation, storage, internal transportation, last mile delivery and drug administration
    • Be responsible for project budget management including the preparation of annual budget and forecasts, implementation as planned, tracking and reforecasting
    • Work with the relevant members of the country office SMT and the Country Programme Manager, to prepare and implement a transition strategy for the project through the timely uptake of the research results and experiential learning.
    • Ensure quality and timeliness of programmatic, financial and technical project deliverables and reports, including managing the budget in line with donor requirements and formats
    • Ensure the project adheres to both Malaria Consortium and the donor’s best practices, policies and procedures, including Safeguarding, among others.

    Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement (30%):

    • Work with the PI and Co-PI to provide technical direction for the project.
    • Contribute to the development and implementation of quality assurance and quality improvement framework for the research project.
    • Facilitate the development of a knowledge management system for the project that includes:
      • The systematic documentation of learning within the project to ensure and that experiential learning informs project quality improvement
      • Production of learning documents and research dissemination products working closely with MC’s external relations team, project sub-grantees/contractors,
      • Planning of local and international dissemination meetings or fora.
    • Work with project members and project sub-grantees/contractors to ensure there are several publications from the project
    • Work closely with the Research Specialist, the PI and the Co-PI, to ensure a research uptake plan is developed and implemented.
    • Contribute to the development and implementation of organizational approaches and tools for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL).

    External Relations and Advocacy (20%):

    • Work with the SMT and liaise with project sub-grantees/contractors and key stakeholders to ensure the project has a communication and advocacy plan, and that it is fully implemented
    • Act as a focal point for the project with the donor’s Nigeria office, ensuring a collaborative and transparent engagement is maintained at all times
    • Act as a focal point for the project with NMEP, NAFDAC, NPHCDA, WHO and UNICEF to see that opportunities for collaboration are effectively used towards achievement of the project’s objectives
    • Represent the project at internal and external meetings at national level and coordinate closely with other relevant stakeholders
    • Champion the establishment and inauguration of the National IPTi Research and Policy uptake subcommittee (NIRPUS), for its role in the coordination and engagement framework for the project.

    Qualifications and Experience
    Essential:

    • Master's degree in Public Health, Health Policy, Epidemiology, Social Science, Gender-related studies, Development Studies or another relevant Social or Human Development Specialty.
    • Extensive experience of working at national level in LMICs at senior level
    • Experience in project and financial management with a demonstrable track record of timely high-quality project deliverables
    • First-hand experience of working on gender integration in implementation or research projects
    • First-hand experience liaising with donors and government officials, in particular at the interface between research, policy and practice.
    • Excellent written and spoken English.

    Desirable:

    • Experience in complex implementation or research projects
    • Experience with the adoption of global normative guidance into national policies
    • Experience working on catalytic projects, such as those funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Work-based skills
    Essential:

    • Familiarity with key global health issues affecting the wellbeing of children and women in LMICs
    • Ability to apply gender analysis to address gender gaps/barriers in public health
    • Excellent project management skills, with proven ability to implement high-quality projects on time and within budget
    • Ability to lead teams that are compliant with organisational and donor policies
    • Ability to manage and prioritise high workload and multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines
    • Excellent influencing and persuasion skills
    • Strong negotiation skills, particularly in engaging government health officials at all levels
    • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English
    • A high performer, who is motivated by a results-oriented work ethic
    • A team player, with a friendly attitude and able to mentor high-performance in teams
    • Excellent problem-solving skills
    • Proactive and takes initiative
    • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel.

    Desirable:

    • Working knowledge of malaria control
    • Familiar with implementation research design
    • Excellent advocacy skills, and comfortable being a strong advocate for the project

    Core Competencies
    Delivering Results:

    LEVEL C - Supports others to achieve results:

    • Displays a positive and enthusiastic approach and is not deterred by setbacks, finding alternative ways to reach goals or targets.
    • Supports others to plan and deliver results
    • Supports others to manage and cope with setbacks

    Analysis and use of information:
    LEVEL C- Works confidently with complex data to support work:

    • Interprets complex written information
    • Works confidently with data before making decisions: for example; interpreting trends, issues and risks
    • Acquainted with the validity, relevance and limitations of different sources of evidence.

    Interpersonal and communications:
    LEVEL D - Communicates complex technical and/or sensitive/high risk information effectively:

    • Communicates complex operational, technical and strategic issues clearly and credibly with widely varied audiences
    • Uses varied communication to promote dialogue and shared understanding and consensus across a variety of audiences
    • Influences internal and external audiences on specific issues
    • Scans the internal and external environment for key information and messages to support communications strategies.

    Collaboration and Partnering:
    LEVEL C - Builds strong networks internally and participates actively in external networks and think tanks:

    • Builds strong networks internally
    • Participates actively in external networks and/or think tanks.
    • Engages with relevant experts to gather and evaluate evidence
    • Shares and implements good practice with internal and external peers

    Leading and motivating people:
    LEVEL C - Effectively leads and motivates others or direct reports:

    • Gives regular, timely and appropriate feedback,
    • Acknowledges good performance and deals with issues concerning poor performance
    • Carries out staff assessment and development activities conscientiously and effectively
    • Develops the skills and competences of others through the development and application of skills
    • Coaches and supports team members when they have difficulties

    Flexibility/ adaptability:
    LEVEL C - Supports others to cope with pressure:

    • Responds positively to change, embracing and using new practices or values to accomplish goals and solve problems and supports others to do the same
    • Adapts team approach, goals, and methods to achieve solutions and results in dynamic situations
    • Sets realistic deadlines and goals for self or team

    Living the values:
    LEVEL C - Supports others to live Malaria Consortium’s values:

    • Demonstrates personal integrity by using role position responsibly and fairly
    • Cultivates an open culture within the wider team, promoting accountability, responsibility and respect for individual differences

    Strategic planning and thinking and sector awareness:
    LEVEL C - Keeps up to date with the internal and external environment:

    • Takes into account economic, political and other business factors when drawing up medium and long-term plans, covering both public and private sectors,
    • Looks beyond the immediate operations to prospects for new business,
    • Engages with appropriate internal and external sources to establish major influences on future plans.

     

    Click Here for More Information (PDF)

    Method of Application

    Use the link(s) below to apply on company website.

     

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