The Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) is a global Cooperative Agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aimed at introducing and supporting high-impact health interventions. This global program focuses on the 25 USAID high-priority countries, including Nigeria, with the ultimate goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths within a generation. MCSP country programs strive to ensure that all women, newborns and children have equitable access to the quality health care services that save lives.
MCSP supports programming in maternal, newborn, and child health, immunization, family planning (FP) and reproductive health, nutrition, health systems strengthening, water/sanitation/hygiene, malaria, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and pediatric HIV care and treatment. The program engages governments, policymakers, private sector leaders, health care providers, civil society, faith-based organizations and communities in addressing the major causes of maternal, newborn and child mortality and improving the quality of health services from household to hospital. Health systems strengthening, household and community mobilization, gender integration and eHealth are cross-cutting themes and areas of the program’s work.
MCSP’s MNCH program in Nigeria has been tasked with facilitating central-level policy change necessary to accelerate the decline in preventable maternal, newborn, and child (MNCH) deaths. This includes ensuring increased treatment options for childhood pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, especially at community level. The program is also supporting Ebonyi and Ebonyi states to improve access to high-quality preventive and curative MNCH services, as well as the availability of essential commodities at both the facility and community levels.
- The Ebonyi State Child Health Coordinator will be based in Ebonyi, Nigeria and support the Ministry of Health (MOH) and all partners engaged in reducing child deaths in the state.
- S/he will work under the leadership and formal supervision of MCSP’s Child Health Team Leader based in Abuja, and under the daily supervision of the Ebonyi State MNCH Team Leader.
- The Ebonyi State Child Health Coordinator will work closely with the Ebonyi State MNCH Team Leader, and in partnership with state-level stakeholders and other state and national-level technical program staff, to support government-led activities in Ebonyi state to harmonize functions of the MOH and State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to plan, coordinate, finance, and manage primary health care services for children under five.
- She/he will work in coordination with all MCSP/Nigeria MNCH program technical staff supporting efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, and childhood deaths in Nigeria.
- These staff all work closely together through a partner consortium that includes Jhpiego, John Snow, Inc. (JSI), and Save the Children.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Technical leadership and coordination:
- Monitor the implementation of state-level child health activities under the MCSP/Nigeria MNCH program’s workplan, ensuring that activities are executed according to plan, are technically sound, and are integrated across the MNCH platform, and/or that program data are used to make timely course corrections as needed.
- Support and build the capacity of the relevant state and LGA institutions to plan, coordinate, finance, and manage primary health care services for children under five, working closely with the Ebonyi State MNCH Team Leader, state government, local organizations, and other partners. This will include on-site coaching, mentoring, and supportive supervision.
- Support the state in adapting the latest best practices and evidence-based approaches on child health to the local context, and to operationalize federal MOH policies relevant to child health as appropriate. This may include supporting the state government to develop/adapt and roll out technical materials such as training guides, supportive supervision checklists/systems, and monitoring tools.
- Contribute to strategic planning, implementation, and monitoring of child health activities to improve the state’s coverage and quality of child health services—including planning for all necessary inputs like essential child health commodities and supplies, training, and the monitoring and use of child health data.
- Play a key role in developing child health-specific content for annual program workplans and budgets, and for quarterly technical reports prepared for USAID.
- Ensure that national guidelines on facility-based and integrated community case management of childhood illness (IMCI and iCCM) are available and applied in MCSP-supported LGAs.
- Participate in relevant stakeholder working groups and meetings (or advocate for establishing appropriate technical working groups as appropriate, if they do not exist) focused on child health.
- Work with MCSP staff and partners to identify short-term technical assistance needs and opportunities to strengthen technical approaches and implementation.
- Maintain effective communication and strong relationships among relevant partners and stakeholders.
Learning and documentation:
- Work closely with the program’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) staff, Child Health Team Leader, and State MNCH Team Leader to advance ongoing program monitoring, evaluation, and learning by strengthening the collection, analysis, and use of child health data for decision making. This includes playing a key role in documenting program learning, successes, and challenges related to child health.
- Play a key role to contribute to the design, implementation, analysis, and documentation of formative and operations research for child health; this may include facility- and community-based assessments for child health.
- Contribute to the identification, compilation, and dissemination of emerging evidence, literature, and tools related to child health, and to the development and dissemination of technical documents related to child health. This includes integrating lessons learned from previous and current MCSP projects and other ongoing child health programs and pilots, including those implemented by other partners working at the state, regional, and national levels.
- Contribute to the translation of child health program data and findings into programmatic guidance and policy recommendations/advocacy.
- Masters Degree in Public Health or related field. Medical or nursing degree.
- Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in child health technical and program experience.
- Five to seven years of relevant experience in integrated community and facility case management and approaches (IMCI and iCCM) is highly desirable.
- Experience working with international organizations and agencies; previous work experience with USAID projects preferred.
- Demonstrated experience contributing to the design, implementation, and documentation of community-based assessments and/or research activities relevant to MNCH.
- Experience in research methods, and in the design, conduct, and analysis of research studies (quantitative and qualitative) strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated planning, management, and supervisory skills, with the consistent ability to be proactive and to energize and positively motivate teams to produce results.
- Strong technical writing and oral presentation skills, including the ability to communicate complex issues in a concise, compelling, and easily to understand manner for different audiences (e.g., other public health practitioners, government officials, community members/the general public).
- Strong knowledge of the political, social, economic, and cultural context of the state preferred.
- Ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
- Fluent in spoken and written English, and at least one other relevant local dialect.