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Senior Program Officer, Family Planning

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia · Ethiopia
Posted on Thursday, September 14, 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 (PHC) 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 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; 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 reproductive health, the foundation’s support focuses on increasing family planning (FP) uptake (with a specific focus on women who have expressed an intent to use FP as well as adolescents) and the integration of high-impact practices (such as post-partum family planning (PPFP)) within primary health care. This entails a variety of strategies, including 1) addressing contraceptive commodity security challenges; 2) scaling-up FP high impact and cost-effective solutions to drive impact and influence scale across Ethiopia in both public and private sectors (particularly to close the gap on geographic inequities), and 3) the strengthening Ethiopia’s data systems to better monitor progress on a timely basis to inform and improve FP programming decisions.

Your Role

The Senior Program Officer, Family Planning will be a key part of the EIHT and lead the foundation’s programming on FP and also support our gender-related programming. We are looking for a strategic, action-oriented lead to contribute to meaningful FP impact by serving as 1) a strategist; 2) a technical advisor and honest broker to Ethiopian health partners; 3) a strong grant maker; and 4) 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 be responsible for leading, designing and managing our FP program - informed by research, analysis, and a deep programmatic understanding of the FP context, challenges, and opportunities in Ethiopia.

The postholder will be based in Addis Ababa and report to the Ethiopia-based Deputy Director, Health and Nutrition. In addition, you will work closely with, collaborate, and co-create with the FP team and other relevant foundation teams.

What You'll Do

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Inclusively lead, shape, and manage foundation’s FP portfolio in Ethiopia – in alignment with the GOE’s strategic direction – with particular focus on scaling FP high impact practices (HIPs) [such as PPFP, post-abortion family planning (PAFP)] within primary health care, data monitoring and use in national programs, addressing FP geographic inequities, and strengthening contraceptive commodity security. The portfolio includes both FP-specific grants, as well as intentionally using and strategically integrating all touchpoints between FP and broader PHC and systems strengthening initiatives.

  • Lead foundation’s engagement with FP partners in Ethiopia, particularly the GOE, development partners, civil society, and other private sector players. This entails developing strong partnerships and proactively identifying and pursuing alignments, areas of leverage, and opportunities for co-managed and/or co-financed collaborations to achieve foundation and country goals.

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner and honest broker to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and other FP partners (national and subnational).

  • Represent the foundation to key external constituencies, as appropriate. This may include engaging as foundation’s representative to Government-led reproductive health working groups and on donor FP taskforces, and at global conferences to share Ethiopia’s experience and learn about other country experiences that could apply to the Ethiopian context.

  • Contribute to the foundation’s strategy review/annual planning materials and other analytical and reporting materials for foundation leadership review and decision-making.

  • Deepen foundation understanding of gender related issues in Ethiopia. This entails an understanding of the data and insights that affect vulnerable populations as well as the strategies taken by the GOE and other partners to address disparities.

  • Work in partnership with foundation’s ECO and the global FP team to support investments that generate evidence through a comprehensive implementation research agenda in alignment with other in-country partners (e.g. GOE, development partners) – working with local research organizations – to inform both country decision-making and where relevant the global public good.

  • Cultivate strong working relationships with multiple foundation teams to develop impactful FP programs.

  • Support the execution of foundation’s Ethiopia Integrated Health Plan (EIHP) 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 programming to foster uptake of FP in the health space; update our reporting tools and lead analysis to relay the implications of the data to internal partners.

  • Consult with grantees and other partners to increase impact of projects and ensure grants are meeting FP strategy goals. This may include site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key partners.

  • Work on complex problems; analysis of situations and/or data requiring in-depth evaluation of various factors.

  • 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 public health, public policy, medicine, business or similar (e.g., MPH, MPP, etc.)

  • A minimum of 8 years of proven experience in strategizing, planning, designing, and implementing innovative and impactful approaches to health care delivery at scale, including FP/reproductive health, through public and private channels, inclusive of management consulting and/or startup environments.

  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: FP, reproductive health, public health, and gender equality programming, is preferred.

  • Senior level 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.

  • Experience in program design to support equitable gender equality outcomes is preferred.

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

  • Work experience in Low and Low Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) contexts. Experience working in Ethiopia and/or an understanding of the Ethiopian context – both national and subnational levels - is strongly preferred.

  • 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 preferred.

  • 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 FP realities in Ethiopia).

Application deadline: 27 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

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

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.