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Senior Program Officer - Polio Eradication

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Abuja, Nigeria
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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

The Team
This is an exciting time to join the foundation’s Polio Team with the 2022-2026 global strategy announcement at the World Health Assembly. The Polio Team works with partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) as well as with country governments, donors and other collaborators to build and implement the Polio eradication strategy. We do this by developing relationships and uplifting each other through our journey together. We believe that energized people, working well together, motivated by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things!

The foundation’s Leadership Team is invested in our success, as we continue to provide updates, identify key risks, and build engagement opportunities.

The Role

Application deadline: 26/6/2024

As a key member of the Polio Outbreak team, the Senior Program Officer – Polio Eradication will be responsible for intensifying the engagement of the foundation with key partners (WHO, UNICEF, CDC, Rotary International, and Gavi) and national polio eradication programs in Nigeria to interrupt variant poliovirus transmission. The emphasis will be on improving the impact of the broad range of foundation assets in these country settings to enhance the quality of supplementary immunization activities, to strengthen acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance and routine immunization, and to build a supportive environment for the application of new tools and strategies to improve the chances of polio eradication.

Ideal candidates will be energized by using their exceptional operational and project management skills to help others organize around and complete a set of goals, have demonstrated interpersonal skills to manage stakeholders at all levels, and have impeccable attention to detail. They will directly engage with key stakeholders of the national and provincial polio eradication program in Nigeria to help drive outcomes that accelerate the elimination of all polioviruses to achieve certification of global polio eradication by 2026. Candidates need to demonstrate an enthusiasm for public health programming in an emergency context, excel in managing complex partnerships, and have a track record in driving towards measurable, time-bound results.

The Senior Program Officer - Polio Eradication will be based at the foundation’s Abuja office in Nigeria.

This position reports to the Deputy Director, Polio Outbreaks, based in London.

What you’ll do

  • Collaborate with foundation teams in Seattle, international development partners and grantees, and national and state governments in Nigeria to ensure the successful implementation of national and state strategies to eradicate polio.

  • Identify, develop, and support the implementation of activities in Nigeria to rapidly improve the quality of supplementary immunization activities and AFP surveillance, with a focus on the Kano and Kaduna states, including:

    • Consistent and high levels of quality technical assistance.

    • Rapid and regular reviews of surveillance data.

    • Improved independent monitoring and reporting.

    • Sustained country engagement and dedication to polio eradication.

    • Improved community demand and participation in immunization.

  • Support foundation efforts to identify and address immunity gaps that sustain circulation of wild polioviruses in sub-populations (e.g., migrant groups, nomadic populations, and hard-to-reach children), particularly in LGAs with variant poliovirus transmission.

  • Collaborate with state and LGA administration, security forces, and partners on strategies to improve immunization services to children affected by security and conflict situations.

  • Participate in state and LGA-level technical reviews of program operations, surveillance reviews, and reviews of communication and community engagement efforts to improve family and community participation in immunization activities.

  • Provide input to state and LGA-level programs and partners on appropriate levels of financial resource requirements for polio eradication.

Your Experience

  • MPH or other post-secondary degree with relevance to public health and administration, international development, business administration, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • A track record in public health program management implementation.

  • Experience with immunization and/or polio eradication in Nigeria or other developing countries in the African region setting is useful, but not required.

  • Experience working with global partners such as GPEI, Gavi, WHO, UNICEF, and/or experience in Nigeria/developing country settings, with knowledge of government health systems and political structures.

  • Proven track record of forging strong partnerships and relationships with Nigeria/developing country policymakers and development partners.

  • Experience developing and managing projects in a matrix team environment.

  • Experience working in Nigeria preferred.

Other Attributes

  • Demonstrated proficiency in influencing the effective implementation of public health/immunization programs leading to demonstrable health outcomes, preferably in a developing country.

  • Proven skills in engaging and interacting with national health/immunization programs in developing countries, including the understanding of program planning and operations, program reviews, and program financial resource requirements.

  • A knack for building momentum and driving action in matrixed environments, helping others to move beyond ‘business as usual’ and generate/implement innovative solutions.

  • Ability to identify new and opportunistic partnerships to achieve program goals.

  • Demonstrated understanding of key cultural and social issues impacting the effective administration of public health programs in a developing country context.

  • A high level of personal initiative and ability to be proactive, combined with great partnership skills.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of partners and audiences, including with the foundation senior management.

  • Ability to travel up to 50%, within Nigeria and internationally.

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.