World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF): Regional MCH Advisor

Posted on :

13 Jun, 2011

Category :

NGO Jobs in Ghana, Non Profit Organisation Jobs

The MDG Centre was established in July 2004 by The Earth Institute (EI) at ColumbiaUniversity (New York) and the UN Millennium Project with a broad purpose of assisting countries to develop operational strategies for achieving the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), and to support their implementation at both local and national levels. In early 2006, the MDG Centre reorganized the programme to establish two sub-regional centres covering East and Southern Africa (based in Nairobi) and West and Central Africa (based in Bamako). The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) serves as the administrative host of the MDG Centre – WCA, based on a services agreement with the Earth Institute.


Job Description

The MDG Centre – West and Central Africa focuses on two complementary scales:
(i) the national level, through support provided to processes related to MDGs based on national strategies planning and implementation; and
(ii) the local level, to assist and empower pilot African villages and cities so that inhabitants lift themselves out of their poverty trap and achieve all MDGs through the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) and the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI).

The initial countries of concentration of the MDG Centre – West and Central Africa are Mali, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria with a possibility of expansion to other West African countries.

Overall purpose of the job
The Regional MCH Advisor for MVP is to help put in place, in the Millennium Villages, activities and policies that will help communities and countries accelerate progress towards achieving MDGs.

The Regional MCH advisor position is a member of the MDG Center Team and reports functionally to the Health Team Leader of the MDG Centre on interventions, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation and to the Director of the MDG centre on management and administrative issues.

Main tasks of the job:

A. Provide Technical Assistance and Support to the Millennium Villages

Under the leadership of the NYC-based MVP Health Director and the Health Team Leader based at the MDG Centre, the Regional MCH Advisor provides strategic, technical and implementation advice and support to the health coordinators on all Maternal and Child Health. In particular, the MCH specialist will:

  1. Strengthen the MCH implementation and monitoring systems, including protocols, tools and guidelines.  The MCH advisor will review existing best practices, UN recommendations and national guidelines in key MCH areas, including Family Planning, Pre-, Ante and Postnatal Care, STI prevention and treatment, Newborn Care, Immunization Coverage, and Infection Control and adapt to the MVP model, as well as into an MVP MCH strategy, annual work-plans and guidelines and procedures;
  2. Collaborate with:
    • Counterpart MCH Advisor to ensure that work-plans, guidelines, protocols and procedures are consistent across all MVP sites;
    • MVP Education, Health, Gender and Community Coordinators/Team Leaders in NYC and at the Nairobi MDG center to foster a multidisciplinary approach to MCH interventions especially related to education, gender, community involvement, business and infrastructure (roads, transportation, telecommunication, as needed for EMOC) and involving other key partners from the area and the region, including academic partners;
  3. Build local capacity (through training of all cadres of health care workers) within each of the sites in design, implementation and identification of impact indicators for MCH interventions; and provide technical advice to health coordinators in adapting interventions to local context, in health facilities and in the communities, that will address the key MVP MCH goals of;
    • Promoting institutional child births
    • Safe motherhood
    • Ensuring availability to emergency obstetric care
    • Increasing demand for and supply of family planning services to promote voluntary fertility reduction, major focus on Long Acting Methods
    • Supporting EPI program to increase coverage to all children
    • Newborn care including newborn resuscitation capability at all births
    • Instituting and maintaining youth-friendly services
  4. Monitor progress in the implementation of interventions as well as compliance with the MVP MCH agenda as articulated in manual and consistent with model, and quickly address any issues that are identified
  5. Consistently report to MVP Health Coordinator on progress of MCH activities in sites; and prepare semi-annual reports on MCH in MV sites
    • regular oversight of MVIS indicators for maternal and child health, verifying accuracy of data and ensuring re-evaluation of strategy and implementation when data indicate inadequate progress
    • oversight of childcount+ information regarding maternal child health, verifying data and ensuring adaptation of program when data indicate inadequate progress
  6. Be accountable for deliverables mandated by donor grants, presenting updates and written reports from grantors.
    • Responsibility for Misoprostol work under MacArthur grant
  7. Facilitate collaboration with government, UN agencies, NGOs and local academic institutions

B. Contribute to policy development, scale-up and knowledge building
The MCH specialist provides technical advice and support on MCH issues to the Director of Health and MDG Centre Health Team Leader and the Health Systems Specialist in MDG center as well as to the MVP Health Coordinator in NYC including:

  1. Sharing information (technical reports, IEC materials, clinical protocols, training tools, consensus documents by international organizations, etc) across sectors;
  2. Preparing strategy papers, technical reports, and cost analysis of MCH-related interventions in the MVP both for internal planning purposes as well as for presentation in scientific, policy and public forums;
  3. Collaborating with epidemiologist, site teams and other MVP colleagues to analyze data and publish articles pertinent to contemporary MCH implementation and policy issues;
  4. Collaborating with counterpart MCH Policy Advisor to:
    • Identify and document MCH-related analytical and operational lessons as well as “quick wins” from the MVP work that could be applied more broadly for regional and national scale of MDG based plans.
    • Develop strategies for scaling up MCH interventions at district, regional and national levels
  5. Collaborating with other members of the health team at the MDG Centers and in NY, and SRH policy specialist in MDG technical support group at UNDP headquarters

C. Other responsibilities
As a staff member of The MDG Centre, the Regional MCH Advisor is also expected to:

  1. Represent the Centre at key international conferences and meetings
  2. Support outreach to the UN system, development partners, civil society, and governments.
  3. Participate in weekly calls with NYC core health team
  4. Participate in regular meetings as requested by MDG Centre’s director
  5. Participate in annual retreat of MVP team
  6. Additional tasks as agreed upon with MDG Health Team Leader and with NYC MVP health coordinator


Required Skills or Experience


  • Minimum of advanced degree in Public Health, Health Policy, Gender Studies, Health Education or related field (MD/MPH preferred).
  • Minimum of Five (5) years working experience, including substantial experience in implementation of MCH- SRH projects.  Experience in Africa is a requirement.
  • Demonstrated ability to excel in a multi-cultural team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle working relationships with senior government officials, academics and technical experts in multidisciplinary settings
  • Strong quantitative skills and demonstrated capacity to perform outstanding original research, including statistical analysis.
  • Team builder and team player.
  • Fluency in both French and English (spoken and written).
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure and in a multicultural environment.
  • Possesses an active passport and is able and willing to travel internationally. Travel is anticipated in the West-Central Africa region, with possible travel to Kenya and the United States.
  • Testimonials from previous employers attesting the incumbent’s qualifications, performance and integrity.

Terms of offer
MDG/ICRAF offers a regionally competitive salary with an excellent benefits package. The employment contract is for a period of oneyear with the possibility of renewal. MDG/ICRAF prides itself on its collegial, supportive and gender sensitive working environment and believes that staff diversity promotes excellence.  Women are strongly encouraged to apply.


How To Apply

Applicants should apply by email, sending a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to:

Assa Ben Wahab: [email protected]
copy to Ben Aboubacar: [email protected]

“Application for MDG-WCA Regional Maternal and Child Health Advisor MVP” should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email message. Applications will be considered until 16th June 2011 or until the position is filled.

Only short-listed applicants meeting the above requirements will be contacted.


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