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Senior Program Officer, Health Systems Strengthening - Health Financing and Supply Chain

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia · Ethiopia
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The Team

In Ethiopia, the foundation’s health and nutrition program aims to address systems inefficiencies, develop data-driven insights, and pilot new delivery approaches and innovations with the potential for scale. The overarching goal of the program is to contribute to Ethiopia’s achievement of critical primary health care outcomes, including immunization, nutrition, and reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health goals. These goals are articulated in the Government of Ethiopia’s (GOE) Health Sector Transformation Plan II and now in the new Health Sector Medium Term Development and Investment Plan (HSDIP), a strategic three-year roadmap spanning from 2023/24 to 2026/27.

To foster a country-led approach, the Ethiopia Country Office (ECO) shapes investments that are in alignment with government priorities while also considering foundation’s proficiencies, values - including a “One Foundation approach” that emphasizes strong internal coordination across teams, and mandates, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as gender-sensitive programming.

The foundation’s Ethiopia Integrated Health Team (EIHT) support includes the following areas - service delivery; data systems; supply chain; health financing; innovation, research, and scale; and nutrition. Our approach in these areas focuses on 1) generating data and evidence to inform programing decisions health leaders; 2) testing new, scalable approaches/interventions; and 3) deepening collaboration with partners/mechanisms that support the institutionalization/scale of evidenced-based approaches. This support is specifically shaped to help achieve the GOE’s health and nutrition goals.

Within health systems strengthening (HSS), the foundation aims to promote a learning, adaptive and resilient health system at the national and subnational (region, zone, woreda) levels - a system that is responsive to the dynamic and diverse needs of Ethiopians, including the most vulnerable in (e.g. children who have never been vaccinated, women who deliver at home, those who do not readily access health services – such as pastoralists). This entails fostering an enabling environment for Ethiopia’s health sector to deliver quality services, particularly primary health care, to meet demand and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of existing resources. Our HSS work is done in close collaboration with the GOE and other development partners such as the World Bank, Global Fund, Gavi, USAID, and FCDO.

Within HSS, our health financing and supply chain programs address the following areas:

- Our health financing support is helping to build GOE capacity (national and subnational) to analyze and use relevant data for decision making, such as the mobilization of additional resources, better (effective and efficient) allocation of existing resources on healthcare, and the strengthened connection of subnational financial flows and spending structures on service delivery performance. This focuses on developing practical data-informed approaches to nurture sustainable financing approaches that are linked, cohesive, and factor in the needs for the most vulnerable populations.

- Our supply chain program targets both the national and subnational level centering on enabling the wider SC environment for greater governance (e.g. supporting the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service workforce development, Ministry of Health (MOH) end-to-end management of the supply chain system, subnational level management and visibility on commodity availability at the point of service), accountability, and alignment for improving commodity availability throughout the system.

- While there are distinct activities for the health financing and supply chain workstreams, our support drives linkages between these health systems building blocks as well as others (e.g. data systems, service delivery, human resources for health); for example, the interface between financing exempted services and ensuring that the exempted program’s design is conducive to program drug and other essential health commodity availability at the last mile, within the context of other supply-side financing approaches.

Your Role

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Health Systems Strengthening - Health Financing and Supply Chain will play a key role in shaping our HSS support with a focus on health financing and supply chain. We are looking for an energetic lead for this work to serve as 1) a technical advisor and honest broker to Ethiopian health partners; 2) a strong grant maker; and 3) an excellent collaborator who can identify, work with and crowd in a range of internal, national, subnational, global, public and private partners over common agendas.

The post holder will strategically develop and manage one or more portfolios of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, and monitoring and evaluation. The SPO is expected to identify key issues and priorities emerging from Ethiopia’s health sector context. In doing so, they will contribute to the continued development of the team’s strategic vision, while partnering closely with team leadership to set the overall strategy and goals for the team. Finally, the postholder is expected to be self-sufficient, proactive and able to deliver on required results with minimal direction.

The postholder will be based in Addis Ababa and report to the Ethiopia-based Deputy Director, Health and Nutrition. In addition, the postholder will work closely with, collaborate, and co-create with the foundation’s Primary Health Care team and other relevant teams (such as our broader Africa; Family Planning; Maternal Neonatal and Child Health; and Immunization teams).

What You'll Do

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Advise internally and externally on how to build effective approaches for HSS – including strategic integration, across different systems and disease/condition areas.

  • Design, manage, and evaluate grant investments related to strengthening health systems, with a focus on health financing and supply chain. This entails the negotiation, implementation of a complex portfolio of grants or contracts – as well as the active contribution to investments managed by other EIHT members that support promising government-led health systems reforms to improve service delivery outcomes and population access.

  • Inclusively lead, shape, and manage foundation/Ethiopia’s health financing and supply chain portfolios (at national and subnational levels) – in alignment with the GOE’s strategic direction. This includes driving linkages between these two workstreams as well as advancing other cross-building block work, for example, by exploring how health care financing strategies incorporate health workforce needs.

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner and honest broker to the Ethiopian MOH and other government partners (national and subnational (including regional, zonal, woreda levels)) on HSS and reform, with a focus on local partners’ long-term capacity. This entails deft navigation and understanding of national level efforts that enable and support the specific needs of Ethiopia’s regions as well supporting subnational level governments to use data to improve their health systems’ performance.

  • Intentionally shape our systems strengthening investments so that they have a line-of-sight to achieving health impact goals (e.g., U5 mortality, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality) and improving health care accessibility for vulnerable populations.

  • Drive linkages between emerging models of delivering PHC services (i.e. networks of care, multidisciplinary teams, integrated digital health models) and the reforms (financing, data, management) that will be required to scale and sustain them.

  • Cultivate strong working relationships with external partners (e.g. GOE, development partners, universities), as well as the multiple teams within the foundation to develop impactful HSS programs (with attention to supply chain and health financing); this requires proactively identifying and pursuing synergies, areas of leverage, and opportunities for co-managed and/or co-financed collaborations to achieve foundation and country goals.

  • Work in partnership with foundation’s country office, broader Africa team, the global Primary Health Care (PHC) team, as well as other teams to generate evidence through a comprehensive implementation research agenda – working with local research organizations – for use within and outside Ethiopia.

  • Support the execution of foundation’s country health and nutrition integrated plan (EHIP) of support in close partnership with fellow EIHT members - to ensure responsiveness to the Ethiopian context and health sector needs.

  • Actively monitor, learn from, and evaluate the implementation foundation’s HSS programming; update our reporting tools and lead analysis to relay the implications of the data to internal partners.

  • Collaborate with and support grantees to achieve desired impact of grants; conduct site visits when appropriate, provide technical guidance, convene meetings and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives. Ensure appropriate documentation, grant budgeting and reporting, as well as operational efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Work on complex problems; analysis of situations and/or data requiring in-depth evaluation of various factors. Using this information, exercise sound judgment to obtain results.

  • Contribute to the design of new strategies, collaborations and implementation plans to ensure long-term sustainability and impact.

  • Represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, as appropriate. This may include serving as foundation’s representative on Government-led health care financing, supply chain working groups, and at global conferences to share Ethiopia’s experience and learn about other country experiences that could be applicable in the Ethiopian context.

  • Embed diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into the implementation of day-to-day work, interactions with colleagues and investments.

  • Implement other duties as assigned.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree in medicine, public health, public policy, health financing/economics, supply chain or similar (e.g. MSPH, MHA, MPH, MD, PhD). Doctorate in Public Health, Health Financing/Economics, Supply Chain, or other relevant field is desirable.

  • A minimum of 8+ years of proven senior-level experience in health systems strengthening with dedicated expertise in health financing (including public financial management) and/or supply chain - in diverse contexts (e.g. national, subnational, one or more Low and Low Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)).

  • Extensive operational experience in designing and implementing innovative and impactful approaches to health care systems strengthening and reform. Subnational level health systems technical assistance experience as well as subnational operational/govt/service delivery experience is a plus.

  • Experienced as technical resource to teams and leadership on development of health systems and delivery innovations.

  • Experience in program monitoring and evaluation; strong understanding of data, and ability to use diverse kinds of data to design and manage strategy and investments.

  • Proven experience of working with / coaching / mentoring Government staff to develop and implement effective programs. Also, proven ability to partner with donors, local NGOs, and academia, in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative and impactful relationships.

  • Work experience in LMIC contexts. Experience working in Ethiopia and/or an understanding of the Ethiopian context – both national and subnational levels - is preferred.

  • Subnational level health systems technical assistance experience (in design through to execution) of LMIC government-led PHC reforms that led to impactful health systems change.

  • Ability to operate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing, including clearly conveying technical ideas and information, as well as analysis and recommendations to support strategic decision-making.

  • Verbal and reading Amharic skills are desired.

  • An excellent teammate with strong interpersonal skills.

  • Effective as a collaborator in complex internal and external organizations.

  • Demonstrated initiative to solve unstructured problems with little oversight, creativity, high energy, and a positive attitude.

  • Handles complexity and ambiguity effectively: proven ability to be flexible, efficient, and tactful in a fast-paced environment.

Other Attributes

  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people and a deep commitment to development issues and high standards of personal integrity.

  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically and internationally (with majority of travel being domestic so as to gather deep insights on the health system’s realities in Ethiopia).

Application deadline: 26 September 2023


Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Candidate Accommodations

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Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.