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Senior Program Officer - Data and Measurement, Learning and Evaluation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia · Ethiopia
Posted on Friday, September 15, 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 the new Health Sector Medium Term Development and Investment Plan (HSDIP), a strategic three-year roadmap spanning from 2023/24 to 2026/27.
The foundation’s Ethiopia Integrated Health Team (EIHT) support includes service delivery; data systems; supply chain; health financing; innovation, research, and scale; and nutrition. 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.

We view data systems and data use as core foundations for improving health service delivery, increasing efficiencies under resource constrained environments, enhancing transparency and accountability while being a great tool for tracking performance and identifying areas that need greater attention.
We are grounded in core principles that recognize and emphasize the centrality of improving government led data systems and use for decision making and believe in investing in institutions for the long run that can support this function.
Within data and monitoring, learning and evaluation (MLE), the foundation’s focus in Ethiopia has external and internal focus areas:

External Facing
• Strengthen GOE-led data systems and use for decision-making including growing local data ecosystems.
• Support the GOE in its development and identification of viable and practical approaches to better measuring and tracking country progress on health impact goals.
• Play an advisory and support role to help sequence and prioritize reform agendas aimed at strengthening overall data systems including reforms in data use and analytics, health information, surveillance, and operational systems.
• Enhance coordination, reduce fragmentation, and achieve efficiency gains in pooling resources to tackle common measurement challenges ranging from stronger administrative data systems, better used and regular population coverage surveys and greater in country modelling and analytic capabilities.
• Where appropriate and based on pragmatic sequencing, we help identify and improve opportunities where investments in digital health could lead to improved health service delivery and data use.
• Support research agendas to address bottlenecks that that could enhance effective service delivery and reduce child and maternal mortality.
• Within the data ecosystem in Ethiopia, we foster strong partnerships and coordination with national players and development partners to strengthen governance, data analysis and use (at both national and subnational level).
• Contribute to building domestic capacity of both national and subnational institutions in health information systems, data science, and data analysis and use.

Internal Facing
• Lead and effectively communicate internal monitoring, learning and evaluation strategies to inform BMGF programming and foundation leadership decision-making.
• Track, assess, and evaluate BMGF’s contribution to the HSDIP, health system performance, and service coverage outcomes.
• Lead and create opportunities for adaptive management and learning during the EIHP’s implementation.
• Foster greater linkages, alignment, and sharing of lessons learned on data and MLE within BMGF’s wider Africa team.
• Find opportunities and connect teams where global public goods can be tapped into to help enhance domestic service delivery.

Application deadline: 28th September, 2023.

Your Role

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Data and Measurement, Learning and Evaluation will be a key part of the EIHT and will lead the foundation’s programming in data and MLE. We are looking for an energetic lead for this workstream to serve as a technical advisor and honest broker to Ethiopian data partners, a strong grant maker, and an excellent connector and collaborator who can identify, work with and crowd in a range of internal, national, global, public and private partners over common agendas.

Given the focus areas above, the post holder will strategically develop and manage one or more portfolio of grants and contracts requiring high-level grant management skills, and monitoring and evaluation. As a key advisor on strategy initiatives, the SPO is expected to identify key issues and priorities emerging from Ethiopia’s health sector context - through coordination, collaboration, and nurturing partnerships with GOE, development partners, NGOs, research institutions, and other partners (including multilateral agencies). 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.

The post holder will be based in Addis Ababa and report directly to the Ethiopia-based Deputy Director, Health and Nutrition. With a dotted line reporting to Africa teams Portfolio Lead for Data and Digital.

What You’ll Do

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Inclusively lead, shape, and manage support for BMGF’s data systems strengthening portfolio (including administrative data systems, surveys, and implementation research).

  • Deepen BMGF’s support to strengthen domestic institutional capacity (national and subnational) for data analysis and use for program implementation.

  • Play a key role in strengthening and aligning with government measurement systems instead of creating parallel or vertical measurement approaches.

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner and honest broker to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and other health ecosystem partners (national and subnational) in the data, digital and surveillance space.

  • Play a critical advisor role in helping to sequence reforms and investments linked to tangible deliverables and problem solving including helping to distinguish between what’s “hype” and what is truly tested and capable of scale.

  • Support small scale testing of innovations and hypothesis in the field of measurement and digital health and generate credible evidence of cost viability and effectiveness before pushing for scale.

  • Work closely with key government agencies to keep abreast of and advise on strengthening in-country institutional capacity for measurement, learning and evaluation.

  • Cultivate strong working relationships with multiple teams within the foundation, government development partners, and other national collaborators to strengthen Ethiopia’s data ecosystem; Proactively identify and pursue alignments, areas of leverage, and opportunities for co-managed and/or co-financed collaborations to achieve foundation and country goals.

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

  • Actively and regularly analyze, triangulate and use data to interrogate team hypotheses and support better decision-making including regular performance tracking.

  • Monitor, learn from, and evaluate the implementation of the EIHP, including both new and established bodies of work; updating our reporting tools and leading analysis to relay the implications of the data to internal partners.

  • Provide accountability and ensure efficiency in tracking progress and success.

  • Review, refine and monitor the key performance indicators agreed upon for EIHP 2.0.

  • Oversee progress towards EIHP’s goals to ensure that expected deliverables are met and that any delays are understood, documented, and, as relevant, adjustments are made accordingly to get back on track.

  • Design, negotiate, and manage complex grant portfolio(s) that includes collaborating with 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.

  • Exercise sound judgment within broadly defined practices and policies to select methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.

  • Independently identify issues, formulate and design plans, and operationalize ideas for major initiatives.

  • 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, on committees related to area of expertise (such as GOE-led data working groups). This may also include engaging in global conferences and forums to share Ethiopian experience and learn about other countries’ experience 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.

  • Spend time understanding the realities and experiences of key health delivery staff and functions, including health extension workers and critically interrogate how measurement systems enhance or detract from effective delivery of services.

Your Experience

  • Advanced degree in statistics, measurement, evaluation or a related field is preferred.

  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in strengthening national data systems and analytic capacity, program design, and MLE plan development.

  • Demonstrated data experience within the RMNCH spectrum, health systems building blocks, health informatics and digital health space are preferred.

  • Strong quantitative analytic skills and knowledge of relevant data science methods including impact evaluation, clinical and/or implementation research, and modeling. In-depth knowledge of statistical methods, formative, summative, developmental and additive evaluation designs, qualitative and quantitative research methods, data collection and management

  • Proven experience of working with / coaching / mentoring Government staff to improve data analysis and measurement systems.

  • Understanding of the Ethiopia context - both national and subnational levels is a plus.

  • Senior level experience in program monitoring and evaluation.

  • Ability to critically design and evaluate MLE tools, surveys, surveillance systems, and evaluations.

  • Work experience in Low and Low Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) contexts. Experience working in Ethiopia is preferred.

  • An excellent teammate with strong interpersonal skills.

  • Proven ability to lead and influence others (e.g. government officials, donors, local NGOs, and academia), in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.

  • 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 a plus.

  • 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.

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

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.