The Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) is a global Cooperative Agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aimed at introducing and supporting high-impact health interventions. This global program focuses on 24 high-priority countries, including Nigeria, with the ultimate goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths within a generation. MCSP country programs strive to ensure that all women, newborns and children have equitable access to the quality health care services that save lives.
Awarded in spring 2014, MCSP supports programming in maternal, newborn and child health, immunization, family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, health systems strengthening, water/sanitation/hygiene, malaria, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and pediatric HIV care and treatment. The program engages governments, policymakers, private sector leaders, health care providers, civil society, faith-based organizations and communities in addressing the major causes of maternal, newborn and child mortality and improving the quality of health services from household to hospital. Health systems strengthening, household and community mobilization, gender integration and eHealth are cross-cutting themes and areas of the program’s work.
In Nigeria, and in close partnership with the Bauchi and Sokoto state governments and public and private partners, MCSP has launched a technical assistance initiative aimed at strengthening the routine immunization (RI) system to increase and sustain RI coverage and reduce childhood illness and death. USAID’s MCSP will bring new thinking and a prioritized approach to support state commitment to significantly and sustainably increase coverage.
John Snow, Inc. (JSI) is leading this technical assistance, drawing from more than 25 years of experience in over 40 developing and transitional countries of building the technical capacity of ministries of health and other partners to raise RI coverage sustainably, improve quality, and reduce illness and death due to vaccine-preventable diseases. JSI has managed each of USAID’s global flagship immunization projects (including in Nigeria), such as REACH I/II, The Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS) IMMUNIZATIONbasics project, the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), and now MCSP.
Under the supervision of MCSP’s Bauchi State Immunization Technical Advisor (SITA), the Bauchi State Immunization Technical Officer (SITO) will represent MCSP’s technical support for the implementation of a three and a half-year, State-led, multi-partner initiative to strengthen the RI system and significantly and sustainably increase immunization coverage in Bauchi State. MCSP is currently recruiting for three SITO positions in Bauchi.
The Bauchi SITOs will serve as core members of MCSP’s technical team in Bauchi, which will also include a Community Partnerships Officer and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Officer. Each SITO will work both with MCSP’s broader team, and as an extension of the State’s technical team, to support the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) to implement a high-level, quadripartite, RI strengthening memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Bauchi State Government, Dangote Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID. This will require intensive collaboration and coordination with numerous public and private partners. MCSP will also support the State in implementing the recently rolled out “Primary Health Care under One Roof” policy in the context of RI system strengthening. MCSP’s Bauchi SITOs will be assigned to collectively provide full geographic coverage of program assistance across all wards and Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Seen as an extension of the State’s RI strengthening team, each Bauchi SITO will be expected to help champion collaboration, creative thinking, and resource-efficient approaches. This will include supporting collective efforts to identify early successes for RI to achieve rapid increases in coverage by the end of the program’s assistance, while ensuring a maintained focus on sustained and targeted investment; support the delivery of dependable, regular, high-quality immunization services; promote continued state ownership, financing and accountability for primary health care, including immunization; encourage a move away from unsuccessful polio-driven approaches to strengthening the RI system; ensure the RI system’s readiness to support the introduction of new vaccines; and, where appropriate, pilot and/or scale up new incentives and disincentives that stimulate improved RI performance.
In close collaboration with other RI MOU implementing partners, including those at the LGA, ward, health facility, and community levels, the Bauchi SITOs will help drive MCSP’s technical support efforts in four priority technical areas:
1. Governance, ownership and accountability
2. Community partnership
3. Supportive supervision, monitoring and effective use of data for decision making at all levels
4. Capacity building and training
These will complement other operational components of Nigeria’s Reaching Every Ward (REW) approach, and were determined in consultation with the BSPHCDA, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and RI Working Group.
Roles and responsibilities
In close collaboration with the State and other RI partners in Bauchi, and under the supervision of the Bauchi SITA, the key responsibilities of the Bauchi SITOs will include:
Coordinating and working closely with the BSPHCDA and other RI partners on a daily basis to ensure effective implementation of the quadripartite RI MOU in Bauchi State, with a focus on ensuring the timely, effective implementation of MCSP’s technical assistance particularly at the LGA, health facility, ward, and community levels;
Providing targeted technical assistance and capacity building support at the LGA, health facility, ward, and/or community level for and through the implementation of REW; micro-planning; supportive supervision; encouraging the use of data for decision making at the operational levels; fostering community linkages; monitoring the timely release and use of RI funds at the LGA and health facility levels; and other ongoing activities
Actively participating in meetings and activities convened by/through the State Task Force on Immunization (STFI), Bauchi State RI Working Group and sub-working groups, and Emergency Operations Center (EOC), including during review and planning exercises
Representing MCSP to the BSPHCDA, EOC, STFI, and/or other RI partners through active participation in State-level meetings, technical advisory groups, working groups, and other coordinating forums
Championing and actively contributing to ongoing cross-learning efforts, in close collaboration with MCSP’s technical team, the State, USAID, and other partners at all operational levels, and across states as appropriate
Contributing to the development, adaptation, and dissemination of national guidelines and policies at the state level, as appropriate
Supporting RI- and PHC-related advocacy activities at the state level, using evidence-based data on community knowledge, attitudes, and practices around RI
Supporting the implementation, analysis, and documentation of operations research to determine the costs of implementing RI programs at the LGA level
Contributing to the development, monitoring, and reporting of program and Bauchi State RI Harmonized MOU indicators, and improved use of data for decision making
Documenting meetings and share proceedings/minutes with other MCSP colleagues in country, and with other Bauchi RI partners as appropriate; promoting the transparent, timely, and consistent flow of information and communications both internally and externally
Contributing to USAID technical progress reports, workplans, and other technical documents as required; actively participating in and contributing to Bauchi State RI Harmonized MOU and MCSP annual workplan development and reviews
Participating in routine MCSP team, technical, and other meetings as appropriate
Health professional with a Bachelors (minimum) or higher degree in public health or related field
At least five years field work experience in public (including government) or private organizations supporting the implementation of public health (including routine immunization) programs
Proven technical capacity in supporting the implementation and supervision of RI services in Nigeria, including support to LGAs and health facilities. Related experience at the state level is highly desirable. Bauchi-specific experience and knowledge strongly preferred
Knowledge of national- and state-level policies, strategies, programming landscape, and evidence relevant to RI and related health areas
Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and demonstrated ability and poise in partnering and communicating with diverse groups of stakeholders
Dynamic and energetic team player, able to both represent one’s team in high-level settings and “roll up one’s sleeves” to provide broad-ranging support to tasks great and small as needed (from technical to operational/administrative)
Creative thinker, motivated to advocate for innovative approaches to strengthen RI, and motivated to encourage collaboration and healthy competition at operational levels
Demonstrated experience supporting the development and tracking of activity budgets
Strong computer literacy, including in Microsoft Office applications including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Fluent in spoken and written English, and verbal proficiency in at least one local dialect
Knowledge of statistics and data management applications an asset
Previous work experience with USAID-funded programs a strong asset
Available for potential, occasional travel to Abuja and/or Sokoto if needed
Interested candidates should submit their CV and motivation letter to MCSPNigeriaHR@jsi.com by Friday, June 5, 2015.
JSI is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer committed to workplace diversity. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, genetic information, political affiliation, or protected veteran status in any employment decisions. M/F/V/D