Jobs at USAID Mercy Corps

Job Title: Maternal/Child Health and Nutrition Advisor , GHG Program, Kotido Uganda
Mercy Corps drives high quality, analytical work in tough places. We have been operating in Uganda since 2006 and currently manage a breadth of programs in Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions with funding from a basket of donors. We partner with a range of private, public and civil society actors to systemically broaden opportunity for people across northern Uganda. In 2012 we were awarded a 5-year USAID/Food for Peace-funded program working in the northern half of Karamoja. The project, called the Northern Karamoja Growth, Health and Governance (GHG) program, aims to support the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors of northern Karamoja. GHG has three strategic objectives (SOs):
  • Pro-poor market development;
  • Improved health for children under five years of age;
  • Improved security and governance
Job Summary:
The overall GHG program goal is accountable for improvements in child underweight and stunting prevalence, underweight prevalence of women of reproductive age and dietary diversity practices amongst women and children < 5years (with emphasis on pregnant and lactating women and children < 2 years). Under SO2, GHG is accountable for improvements in key Maternal/Child Health Nutrition (MCHN) practices, such as antenatal care, exclusive breastfeeding, use of ORT (and zinc) for diarrheal diseases, water sanitation and hygiene practices (hand-washing and latrine use), Working closely with all members of the SO2 team, the MCHN Advisor is responsible for ensuring that all MCHN programming on GHG is of consistently high quality. The MCHN Advisor will also work with staff to capture learning from the field and to support strategy and tactic adjustment as needed. He/she will frequently write and edit reports, assessments, analyses, stories and other learning to articulate our work in the health and nutrition sector.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Program and Technical Management
  • Support continued quality improvement in all ongoing programming;
  • Review key SO2 deliverables and provides feedback to the Technical Lead of SO2;
  • Ensure SO2 activities are designed and implemented according to best practices;
  • Design and implements periodic monitoring and research activities to inform program quality reviews and design;
  • Work with SO1 and SO3 teams to ensure that GHG achieves complementarity across all three SOs to the greatest degree possible;
  • Offer support to ongoing M&E activities to ensure that program staff have adequate information for accurate, timely decision-making;
  • Conduct periodic assessments of key behavioral MCHN indicators in target communities, using this information to inform programming;
  • Offer support integration of MCHN programming into GHG’s economic development activities (especially in areas concerning the utilization of aspect of food security) and conflict/governance programming;
  • Analyze the impact of supplementary feeding on child nutrition outcomes (including oversight of post-distribution monitoring), evaluating the influence of other aspects of child health, such as enteropathy and low birth weight, on SFP effectiveness;
  • Potentially support the design and implementation of a cash vs food trial examining the effect of the two modalities on child nutrition.
2. Team Enhancement:
  • Work closely with GHG health staff and headquarters support staff from all consortium members to develop new MCHN programming;
  • Draw on international best practices and professional experience to provide technical advice that continually improves the quality of all of GHG’s MCHN programming, specifically:
  • Work closely with the MCHN team on community-based nutrition programming, including village health teams and peer groups, to develop effective, innovative activities that are appropriate in the Karamojong village context;
  • Support the Health Facility Support Team to target activities addressing key gaps and challenges in health clinic (and district system) performance;
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mission;
  • Perform any other duties as assigned.
3. Security (field only:
  • Guarantee compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The applicant must hold an advanced degree or equivalent in public health, with advanced training and/or experience in nutrition, maternal and child health and Behavior Change Communication;
  • A minimum of  three years’ experience, preferably with experience in developing countries and living in a difficult environment;
  • Demonstrated understanding of health systems strengthening, preferably with a good understanding of the facilitative approach to development;
  • Strong research qualifications, with the demonstrated capability to design and carry out rigorous research related to child health and nutrition, for internal use and for dissemination to government, donor and other implementer audiences;
  • Superb English verbal and written communication and presentation skills required;
  • Good knowledge and understanding of data analysis and statistics preferred;
  • Strong familiarity with program evaluation techniques ranging from randomized control trials to quasi-experimental participatory assessment methods;
  • Ability to communicate with donors, private sector and civil society partners and host government representatives;
  • Demonstrated flexibility, creativity and enthusiasm as well as a willingness to learn and to be continually adaptive within a dynamic and often self-directed working environment is mandatory;
  • Be a self-starter, with strong capacity for critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Ability to focus on day-to-day tasks at hand while also working towards longer-term objectives with an understanding that these will change continuously;
  • Demonstrated capacity to generate and to translate innovative ideas into practical development approaches as well as marketable investment proposals and concepts;
  • Willingness to travel frequently and extensively in remote areas with basic services;
  • Possess a high  sense of humor on par with one’s level of curiosity.
  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve – we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
  • All Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
How to Apply for the job:
If you feel you can serve Mercy Corps in its USAID/Food for Peace-funded program as the Maternal/Child Health and Nutrition Advisor, please feel free to visit the web link below to express your further review full job requirements on recruitment website and Apply:

Deadline: 22nd  March 2014

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