Technical Advisor, HIV (SMILE) in Nassarawa, Nigeria

at Catholic Relief Services

Healthcare / Pharmaceutical
Minimum Qualification
Required Experience
5 - 7 years
Employment Type
Full Time
Male or Female
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Job Description

Project Background

  • CRS Nigeria leads the USAID-supported SMILE (Sustainable Mechanisms for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment) consortium consisting of ActionAid Nigeria and Westat designed to scale-up care and support services for orphans and vulnerable children in FCT, Benue, Kogi, Edo, and Nasarawa by strengthening the capacity of government, civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities.
  • SMILE seeks to improve the wellbeing of 600,000 OVC and 150,000 caregivers and will be implemented through an umbrella grants mechanism (UGM) whereby CSOs receive sub-grants to support capacity strengthening and program implementation at the community level.
  • The project will also strengthen the Nigerian Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) response by strengthening the organizational systems and technical capacity of the five SMWASDs and targeted Local Government Areas (LGA).
  • The purpose of this position is to coordinate the development and implementation of technical program activities for community-based HIV Prevention, Care and Support through the provision of technical guidance to SMILE technical teams, partner CSOs, CTBC case managers and community volunteers.
  • Under the direction of the Technical Director, SMILE, s/he will collaborate closely with the SMILE team to roll out and implement an integrated and holistic community based response to HIV/AIDS and TB towards scaling up access to HIV prevention, care and treatment support.

General function

  • The Technical Advisor, HIV will be responsible for working closely with the SMILE technical team to achieve the strategic objectives of the program - focusing primarily on HIV Prevention, Care and Support, but also supporting cross-cutting themes and integration efforts across the project with other areas of OVC programming including Household Economic Strengthening and Nutrition.
  • S/he will lead the planning and capacity strengthening efforts while putting in place operational strategies for achieving project aims, results and performance expectations through adherence to high standards of programmatic and management quality.

Major Responsibilities

  • S/he will provide technical and programmatic leadership primarily in the areas of HIV prevention, care and support for project community members including SMILE beneficiaries.
  • S/he will be responsible for implementing strategies designed to strengthen the linkages between the community-based activities and health facilities providing HIV diagnosis, care and treatment towards ensuring a continuum of care.
  • S/he will also support the strengthening of the capacity of implementing CSOs, CTBC case managers and community volunteers in the area of community HIV prevention awareness creation; community mobilization for HIV counseling and testing, PMTCT, Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and improving referral and counter-referral systems between communities and facilities.
  • In addition, s/he will support the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed at addressing HIV risk behaviors, HIV transmission, and gender-based violence with a focus on adolescent girls and young female caregivers.
  • The TA HIV will utilize approaches that support integration and maximize country and community-ownership.

Specific Responsibilities
Technical Leadership:

  • Provide technical input for the development of strategies, design and implementation of community HIV prevention, care and support activities by SMILE; ensure activities improve access to HIV prevention, care and support services by community members including project beneficiaries and their caregivers.
  • Direct CSOs towards overall technical quality - including adherence to technical standards, best practices and donor guidelines for all community HIV Prevention, Care and Support activities of the project.
  • Ensure project activities are built on strong behavior change principles, and builds the capacity of CSOs in effective implementation and monitoring.
  • Provide guidance for the liaison with USG and non-USG funded projects and implementing partners providing and or supporting HIV diagnostic and treatment services and fostering effective working relations with these organizations
  • Lead GON actors and CSOs in identifying and capitalizing on leverage points for improved linkages and referral coordination at the community level and for integration of HIV Prevention Care & Support elements into other OVC areas project activities and vice versa
  • Keep abreast of research and trends in effective behavior change approaches in HIV Prevention Care & Support and engagement of Community Health Workers/Volunteers and ensure project approaches remain in line with Quality Improvement standards, evidence, best-practices and lessons learned.
  • Ensure that project activities and approaches used by CSOs are in line with relevant government policies; contribute to the review, development and elaboration of new policies, as appropriate.
  • Identify opportunities for learning, formative research, special studies and operational research and work with M&E team, SMILE technical team, CRS Nigeria MEAL team and external support (if needed) to conduct research.
  • Develop training modules and tools, and conduct relevant trainings and workshops for CSO staff and GON in line with identified capacity strengthening needs.
  • Coordinate with other USAID Implementing Partners with relevant experience and training resources
  • Identify technical support needs, develop scopes of work, identify internal or external candidates, and monitor TDYs/Consultants.
  • Document and disseminate project efforts, achievements, lessons learned and innovations within SMILE and to the larger Nigerian and global technical community, as appropriate.
  • Project Design and Management
  • Contribute to the evaluation criteria for CSO expressions of interest, concept notes and requests for applications.
  • Develop the HIV Prevention, Care and Support component of sub-recipient request for CSO applications; ensure opportunities exist for integration with other aspects of the SMILE program.
  • Support the development of technically sound CSO proposals that leverage existing materials and ensure an appropriate behavior change communication strategy for priority HIV Prevention, Care and Support behaviors using existing change agents.
  • Oversee and ensure the successful implementation of HIV Prevention, Care and Support and activities by CSO sub-grantees.
  • Develop standard operating procedures for CSOs implementing HIV Prevention, Care and Support consistent with the program proposal, Nigerian OVC Service Delivery Standards, other GON and evidence-based/promising approaches.
  • Assure appropriate engagement with the formal and community health systems and structures.
  • Support the development of functional referral networks for vulnerable groups
  • Use appropriate project management tools to plan, review and track progress on implementation of HIV Prevention, Care and Support activities and use of project resources to achieve expected results.
  • Contribute to the development/update and monitoring of HIV Prevention, Care and Support indicators and tools particularly those required by PEPFAR.
  • Ensure the exchange of lessons learned and experiences and promote coordination between SMILE sub-grantees, other donor grantees and projects in the target States.
  • Work with M&E team and other partners to develop appropriate tools for monitoring and evaluation HIV Prevention, Care and Support including providing input into the design of the baseline study, periodic annual reviews, and regular monitoring tools.
  • Monitor progress toward targets; identify and implement approaches to overcome challenges.
  • For HIV Prevention, Care and Support, complete on time required work planning, donor narrative reports, quarterly reports and performance indicator tracking tables, baseline and final evaluation reports and other reports needed/required by the local government, donors, the region or headquarters.
  • Travel to project targeted communities periodically to monitor program activities and provide support to the SMILE team, CSO staff, and relevant GON entities.
  • Secure and supports the development of human resources to implement quality MEAL processes
  • Facilitates connections between colleagues and peers to generate and share evidence-based learning.


  • Represent the SMILE consortium in external technical meetings, conferences and workshops related to HIV Prevention, Care and Support
  • Participate on behalf of SMILE in strategic meetings with USAID and GoN
  • Liaise and coordinate with other HIV Prevention, Care and Support actors, including the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), other implementing partners, learning institutions and civil society actors to promote synergy, share lessons learned and avoid duplication.
  • Link LGA and CSO staff to relevant HIV Prevention, Care and Support technical and coordination forums.
  • Prepare technical briefs and presentations to communicate program results and influencing key stakeholders in the HIV sector

Supervision and Mentoring:

  • Lead all capacity development efforts in the area of HIV Prevention, Care and Support and mentor SMILE program and technical staff
  • Support CSOs to develop appropriate job descriptions to ensure staffing is appropriate for expected results.
  • Provide regular supportive supervision to the SMILE Technical Specialists - HIV Prevention, Care and Support, CSO staff to ensure achievement of expected results.
  • Support SMILE Technical Specialists - HIV Prevention, Care and Support and CSO staff professional development, including identifying capacity building needs providing mentoring and training and linking staff to appropriate external opportunities to in line with project needs.
  • Support CSOs and related GON entities to use quality improvement science and methodology to enhance the quality of HIV Prevention, Care and Support interventions.
  • Support the GON planning processes, particularly at the local government levels HIV Prevention, Care and Support interventions as it relates to vulnerable households
  • Facilitate the use of monitoring data during quarterly participatory reflection events and other fora with partners and other stakeholders to inform project decisions.
  • Facilitate the use of evaluation and review results with partners and other stakeholders to inform decision-making and to identify lessons learned and promising practices.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal: Chief of Party; Technical Director; M&E Director, Program Director, Technical Specialist-HIV Prevention, Care and Support, Senior Program Managers.
  • External: SMILE Consortium team members; SMILE CSO partners; USAID, Federal Ministry of Health, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), National HIV Care and Support TWG; UGM and LOPIN counterparts; UN and international community representatives, and other stakeholders, other NGO and other stakeholders.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff) 
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Serves With Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning
  • Travel: Travel up to 50% of the time.

Qualifications and Skills

  • MBBS/MD and/or MPH with a minimum of 5 years relevant experience in implementing community HIV Prevention, Care and Support programs
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with government and civil society partners and communities as well as transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through workshops, training and meetings using participatory methods and adult learning principles.
  • Experience in supporting community HIV Prevention, Care and Support  prevention, case detection and treatment support programs in health facilities and community outreaches
  • Experience in contributing to project design and proposal development in the HIV/TB/Health sector for USAID/PEPFAR programs.
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation and reporting HIV Prevention, Care and Support activities
  • Good knowledge of Government of Nigeria HIV Prevention, Care and Support guidelines and experience working with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA)
  • Familiarity with OVC and community HIV Prevention, Care and Support programming and principles.
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills required.
  • Excellent analytic, organizational and computer skills; skilled in MS Office including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Experience with SharePoint a plus.
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