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Regional HSS Lead at Abt Associates

Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ASCEND), is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The objective of ASCEND is to achieve progress towards the 2020 neglected tropical disease (NTD) roadmap targets for the targeted NTDs across priority countries and to strengthen elements of the national health systems which are required for sustainable NTD control and elimination. The Programme will focus on five NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, and trachoma.

The Regional HSS Lead will shape and oversee HSS activities in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) and Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Nepal). The position will be based in the ASCEND Regional Hub in Nairobi and report into the Global HSS Lead based in London. Working closely with the regional managers, country leads and counterparts in country stakeholder organisations (e.g. Ministries of Health), the Regional HSS Lead is responsible for ensuring the effective delivery of ASCEND’s health system strengthening activities.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The Regional HSS Lead will be responsible, among other things, for:

  • Working with country leads, Abt HSS/governance experts, ministries of health and other relevant stakeholder organisations to design HSS activities that have been informed by, and build on, assessments conducted during the Inception Phase
  • Overseeing implementation of HSS activities by ASCEND staff, government counterparts and/or implementing partners within country work plans
  • Ensuring planned HSS activities are costed and resourced effectively
  • Working with relevant ASCEND experts to ensure supply chain, WASH, and BCC programme activities are integrated with HSS initiatives
  • Working with regional MEL managers to ensure HSS activities are captured and fed into the whole of programme and country-level MEL frameworks
  • Coordinating with other DFID-funded programmes to leverage resources and provide increased value for money across DFID’s wider health portfolio
  • Liaising with WHO country offices and other regional and national HSS initiatives, including the USAID-funded ACT-East programme in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania
  • Building strategic partnerships to leverage other sources of funding to enable DFID’s investment to go further

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s degree in health, social sciences or a relevant field
  • Proven, practical experience in analysing, designing and implementing health policies and HSS programmes in low and/or lower middle income countries
  • High level of political ‘nous’ and sound judgment as demonstrated by success in understanding, collaborating with and influencing senior decision-makers in government and/or other large-scale organisations
  • Strong networks of relevant key informants in one or more of the ASCEND countries and a demonstrated ability to quickly build networks of key informants and decision-makers in areas relating to health system strengthening
  • Demonstrated ability to build respectful relationships and mentor individuals of diverse backgrounds (including demonstrated commitment to gender and inclusion)
  • Substantial field experience of health systems and policy within one or more of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, or Zambia
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver high quality results and achieve impact on time and with limited direction
  • Excellent written and spoken English communications skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting the rights of women, girls, people living with a disability and other marginalised groups in all aspects of work
  • Experienced and willing to work (and travel) in diverse cultural settings

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