Title: Country Director
Location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Start Date: October 1, 2016 or sooner (early to mid-September 2016)
I am accepting applications on behalf of MCDI for the new position below. MCDI requires a Country Director to manage and represent its portfolio of health projects in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa. Ongoing projects include the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP III), the Equatorial Guinea Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI) and the Equatorial Guinea Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Project.
The BIMCP III is a five-year project, funded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea and Marathon Oil Company and its partners, AMPCO, Noble Energy, GEPetrol and Sonagas, which seeks to substantially reduce morbidity and mortality caused by malaria on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. The project’s interventions build on those established during Phase I (2004-2008) and Phase II (2009-2013) and are centered on indoor residual spraying; distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets; larval source management; focused screening and treatment and other intensified activities in areas of higher or persistent transmission; vector surveillance; malaria diagnosis and case management; behavior change communication; and monitoring and evaluation. The project includes a continued investment in human resources development and a strong commitment to capacity-building and integration, to prepare the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to assume responsibility for sustaining the malaria control activities introduced by the BIMCP. MCDI implements the BIMCP together with partner organizations including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), and Texas A&M University.
MCDI has also been funded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea, Marathon Oil Company, Noble Energy, and AMPCO to lead the implementation of three clinical trials in Equatorial Guinea. The goal of the EGMVI is to test and bring to license a Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ) vaccine, with the vision of implementing a mass vaccination of Bioko Island’s population to eliminate malaria from a highly endemic malaria zone. Implementing partners are Sanaria, Inc., the company developing the malaria vaccine, the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) of Tanzania, the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) of Equatorial Guinea (EG).
Together, the BIMCP III and EGMVI Stage 3 will be executed under a common management, administrative and finance structure under the direction of the Chief of Party. The BIMCP III and EGMVI Stage 3 together will hereafter be referred to as the Project.
In addition, Noble Energy has funded MCDI to implement the Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Project on the mainland of Equatorial Guinea.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience required:
- PhD, MD (preferred), MSN, MPH, or equivalent graduate degree related to health sciences and/or international health.
- Progressive experience over 10 years or more leading to on-site management levels of $ 20-40 million for health-focused development assistance programs in a challenging developing country setting, preferably in Africa, preferably with major US PVOs and/or funded by major US donors. Such experience must include:
- leadership, motivation and organization of a team of international technical experts and managers;
- supervision of a field office and ensuring compliance with established administrative and financial procedures;
- demonstrated success in negotiation of agreements with national authorities;
- performance-based program monitoring and evaluation;
- preparation of detailed program implementation plans and success in attaining the goals and objectives established in these;
- development of productive, cordial working relations with Ministry of Health and other local counterparts; and
- Development of productive, cordial working relations with donor agency representatives, and demonstrated knowledge of/experience with US donor regulations.
- Significant experience in managing and/or providing technical assistance to malaria control programs is highly desirable.
- Experience with implementation of projects funded by corporate donors is desirable.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish at the 3/3 level is required. Fluency at the 4/4 (VG, Excellent) level is a preference.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, team player, able to work under stress.
- Sensitivity to the concerns of the developing world and able to work with local and national authorities and community-based providers from different cultural backgrounds.
- Highly computer literate, familiar with Windows® and MS Office programs for word-processing, spreadsheets, database management, presentations, and electronic communication.
- Multiple country work experience is preferred.
Overview of Position:
The Country Director – Equatorial Guinea is responsible for overseeing the field level in-country management of the Project, and ensuring that project goals and objectives are met. The Country Director will oversee, guide, facilitate and coordinate the work of the international technical assistance team and national employees, as well as that of consultants deployed by the home office. S/he will coordinate closely with the technical assistance team from the Ifakara Health Institute and Sanaria Inc., the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute and any other organization responsible for field level technical oversight, guidance, and management of the EGMVI Stage 3 activities, ensuring that MCDI effectively fulfills its operational management responsibilities in support of this initiative. The Country Director’s work includes assistance with developing, implementing, monitoring and regularly reporting on project component work plans and ensuring that these are duly implemented, and helping to formulate strategies for improving performance compliance where necessary in collaboration with the home office and the project’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG); organizing regular team meetings to review progress (for example Quarterly Review and Planning Meetings); and mentoring and evaluating team members as required. The Country Director will also participate actively in strategic planning with the MCDI home office. This will involve extensive interaction with the Senior Project Manager as well as other members of the HO team, TAG and the NMCP/MOHSW.
The Country Director supervises a Financial Officer and an Administrative Officer, to assure that project finances and administration are effectively managed in a manner consistent with the project budget (particularly the field budget), work plan, and that requisite financial and administrative reports/correspondence are produced in a timely and accurate manner. The Country Director will provide directives on resource allocation, consulting with the Senior Project Manager and Associate Project Manager as necessary (particularly when changes to approved work plans, or when variances greater than 10% from agreed-to budgets, are required), and helping to problem-solve as required on administrative issues, to ensure that project activities are implemented effectively and efficiently. The Country Director will ensure that the Financial Officer and Administrative Officer report to the Associate Project Manager and through him/her to the Senior Project Manager on issues relating to project finances, obtaining approval for any decisions that deviate from the current budget and/or obligate the project to substantially reallocate resources or increase costs, either overall or within a particular project component.
The Country Director oversees capacity-building activities with the Ministry of Health based on an approved capacity-building plan articulated in collaboration with the home office and the donor. The Country Director will ensure close collaboration between project staff and MOHSW officials and staff, and will ensure that BIMCP and EGMVI expatriate technical and management teams continue to provide training to national counterparts and national direct-hire staff, to enable them to assume increasing responsibility for the activities within the program areas in which they have been trained. The Country Directorwill monitor the performance of the national counterpart team against the benchmarks or performance indicators established in consultation with their international counterparts.
The Country Director will have special responsibility for working with the Director of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to enhance her management capacity. This will include providing on-the-job training, support and mentoring as well as helping to establish management systems for the program, including those associated with managing the Program’s new human resources.
The Country Director additionally plays a key role in representing MCDI in Equatorial Guinea, facilitating external relations, ensuring effective coordination with relevant in-country stakeholders, including most notably the MOHSW and the donor, as well as with implementing partners, and fostering additional partnership opportunities where appropriate and feasible. It is expected that the Country Director will liaise closely with the Project Manager and home office on issues relating to project and organizational representation, seeking advice and guidance as necessary.
Finally, the Country Director will endeavor to provide practical program support to the international technical assistance team helping them in organizing, implementing, analyzing and reporting on their work.
The Country Director reports directly to and works closely with and under the technical and organizational guidance of the Senior Project Manager, and through him/her to the MCDI International Division Director. The Country Director will also work closely with the Associate Program Manager on operational matters, and as needed with the Home Office Finance Officer, Senior Program Officer and Procurement Officer. The Country Director will also work closely with the directors and/or key representatives of the BIMCP and EGMVI sub-grantee organizations (LSHTM, Texas A&M, LSTM, Sanaria, IHI, Swiss TPH) and other members of the Technical Advisory Group for the BIMCP and EGMVI, as well as the MOHSW and other health sector partners (particularly those engaged in supporting vector control and the prevention of malaria).
All international and national employees of MCDI working for the Project in Equatorial Guinea will report directly or indirectly to the Country Director.
The specific responsibilities of the Country Director include, inter alia:
- Team Leadership: Providing overall leadership of the BIMCP/EGMVI technical and management team in EG, and ensuring that their activities are duly coordinated. Developing a preliminary diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses of current regular team meetings and proposing alternatives. Organizing regular team meetings, to review progress, address challenges and plan upcoming activities. Mentoring, motivating and guiding team members as required. Fostering a spirit of collaboration and interdependence amongst component managers responsible for case management, vector control, entomology, GIS mapping, intermittent preventive treatment, and communication. Identifying and proposing solutions to team issues (performance, cohesion, etc.) as such issues arise.
- Planning: Contributing to annual strategic planning efforts. Overseeing and taking responsibility for ensuring the development and regular monitoring and updating of a cohesive in-country quarterly project work plan, produced in close consultation with the NMCP by each of the project staff in their respective component areas, and ensuring the timely and effective implementation of these action plans. Work plans will be reviewed and agreed on with the Project Manager with input from the Associate Project Manager and the Senior Program Officer in the home office. Ensure that action plans serve as the basis for the SharePoint Work Plan, and that weekly progress updates are posted to the SharePoint Work Planning tasks within the relevant components and activities. Ensure that these weekly progress updates serve as the basis for monthly review teleconferences with TAG members and the donors, and for the Quarterly Reports to be submitted to the donors.
- Administration: Overseeing field office administration, engaging on a regular (daily) basis with the Administration and Finance Officer to coordinate and facilitate prioritization of tasks, consideration of options (including risk assessment), and decision-making, and to ensure that adequate support is being provided to be able to accomplish requisite tasks.
- Finance: Overseeing the Financial Officer to ensure that funds are available and accounts submitted in a timely and accurate manner, and that resources are allocated in a manner consistent with the Project work plan and budgets. The Country Director will review monthly, quarterly and annual budget formulations prepared by international and national program staff and submitted by the Financial Officer following her/his review and approval, vetting budgets to be sure that they are consistent with program guidelines (work plans and strategies), are cost-efficient, and are within the resource base of the Project. The Country Director will consult with the Financial Officer, Senior Project Manager and the Associate Project Manager whenever there are concerns that local expenditure decisions will lead to substantial reallocation of resources relative to budget, or a substantial increase in field costs. The Country Director will review with the Financial Officer monthly expenditures against budget by project component and object class to ensure that budget control is being exerted, and will consult with the Financial Officer and relevant program staff in the event that expenditures are out of line with budget forecasts. The Country Director will ensure that the Financial Officer reports to and consults with the Senior Project Manager and the Associate Project Manager on at least a monthly basis about project finances and will ensure that agreement has been reached regarding field office expenditures for the next month and/or quarter.
- Performance Monitoring: Ensuring that the project monitors its performance and achieves the benchmarks established in the NMCP-approved BIMCP Indicator Dashboard, placing special emphasis on those included in the contract between Marathon and MCDI. The Country Director will evaluate performance relative to indicators and ensure that work plans are oriented and adjusted as required and as feasible within budget and operational constraints to achieve performance objectives. The Country Director will also be responsible for vetting, and ultimately reviewing with the Senior Project Manager, TAG members and the donor, the annual and quarterly indicator targets. Decisions on targets will be made in collaboration with the Senior Project Manager.
- Timely Submission of Deliverables: Closely monitoring the schedule of contract deliverables for the project in collaboration with the Home Office, ensuring timely and accurate reporting on a quarterly basis or as appropriate, and assist in formulating strategies for improving performance compliance where necessary.
- Risk Management: Organizing in consultation with the home office an annual risk assessment exercise using the Marathon Risk Assessment methodology that has been employed by the Project in the past. Undertake to manage risks in a manner that are consistent with MCDI policies and in conformity with donor expectations. This will be done in close consultation with the Project Manager and Associate Project Manager as well, if required, with the International Division Director.
Among the risks that require special attention, is ensuring full compliance with Health, Environment and Safety (HES) standards for the project, as set out in the BIMCP HES Manual. These include standards for vehicle use, insecticide use and disposal of wastes, working/driving while under the influence of alcohol, and for notifying the Home Office and the donor in case of violations, accidents and emergencies.
Capacity Building of National Staff
- Training and Integration: Overseeing and supporting the ongoing process of training and integration of a team of national technical, administrative and managerial staffs who will ultimately assume responsibility for sustaining appropriate malaria control activities following the Project. This is expected to include oversight of the implementation of a continuing education plan national team members.
- Mentoring: Ensuring that on-the-job mentoring, job coaching and supervision are provided to the national counterparts while they are in-country, ensuring that progress is achieved in transferring skills, competencies and job responsibilities as per the performance benchmarks that have been established for these positions.
- Monitoring: In close coordination with the Malaria Human Resources Development Committee (MHRDC) and with the NMCP Director, monitoring the performance of the national team. The national team will include (1) national staff hired directly by MCDI or its sub-contractors; (2) personnel seconded by the MOHSW to work for MCDI or its sub-contractors; and (3) personnel from the MOHSW who collaborate with the Project. To the extent that deficiencies are encountered that would significantly threaten any team member’s chances of success in the position he or she has been hired to fill, identify and oversee the implementation strategies and approaches to remedy any deficiencies encountered, in close collaboration with MCDI home office.
The Country Director will have special responsibility for working with the Director of the NCMP to enhance her/his management capacity. This will include providing on-the-job training, support and mentoring as well as helping to establish management systems for the program, including those associated with managing her new human resources.
The MHDRC will serve as a forum for coordination between the MCDI Field Office, the MOHSW, and collaborating organizations/ institutions involved in supporting human resources development / capacity-building within the MOHSW and NMCP.
- Representing MCDI the BIMCP and the EGMVI in relevant meetings with Marathon, the MOHSW, and the NMCP and partner organizations. Representative functions will be carried out with guidance and consultation from the MCDI home office.
- Liaising as required with representatives of the Government of Equatorial Guinea, the MOHSW, the donor and other key agencies present in Equatorial Guinea, to address management issues, improve coordination, and, where agreed with the home office, to seek partnering opportunities.
- In particular, the Country Director, supported as necessary by members of his/her staff and those of the NMCP, will:
- Present quarterly updates on the Project’s quarterly work plans and performance to the Malaria Projects Coordination Unit, and answering questions as necessary. The Country Director and Director of the NMCP will ensure that feedback from the Malaria Projects Coordination Unit is taken into account in revisions to the work plans of the Projects.
- Convene and oversee weekly meetings of the BIMCP Coordination Sub-Unit and theVaccine Coordination Sub-Unit.
The main role of the BIMCP Coordination Sub-Unit is to ensure that work plans are implemented in an accurate, complete and timely manner. The BIMCP Coordination Sub-Unitwill also serve as a forum for coordination between the MCDI Field Office, the NMCP, and other departments in the MOHSW (e.g. HIS, primary health care, mother and child health) that are supported by or coordinate with the BIMCP and collaborating organizations/institutions.
The main role of the Vaccine Coordination Sub-Unit is to ensure that work plans are implemented in an accurate, complete and timely manner. The Vaccine Coordination Sub-Unitwill also serve as a forum for coordination among the MCDI field office, the Sanaria and IHI field teams, the MOHSW, and collaborating organizations/institutions involved in supporting the malaria vaccine initiative in Equatorial Guinea. The role of this Coordination Sub-Unit is to provide advice to the EGMVI PI (from IHI), the Physician Investigator (from Sanaria) and the MCDI Country Director, and to facilitate coordination between EGMVI and NMCP/MOHSW.
- As appropriate and as approved by the home office, participating in malaria-related conferences and workshops, interacting with academic or technical colleagues from Texas A&M, LSHTM, LSTM, Sanaria, IHI, Swiss TPH and technical bodies such as WHO/AFRO.
- Review of peer-reviewed journal articles and abstracts to be submitted for publication or presentation by colleagues from Texas A&M, LSHTM, LSTM, Sanaria, IHI, Swiss TPH.
- Participating in project development efforts with the potential to further increase MCDI activities in continental Africa and elsewhere. Assisting in the preparation of proposals for other funding sources: Global Fund, Social Development Fund, Gates Foundation, etc.
- Communicating with the Project teams, other international BIMCP and EGMVI staff, and the MCDI home office as needed via the shared task system (SharePoint), e-mail, phone calls and/or fax.
- Overseeing and contributing to the preparation of a Weekly Project Report for BIMCP and EGMVI via SharePoint, which provides a brief update on progress within the various components of the Project to include malaria control. The weekly reports, which should serve as the basis for discussions in a monthly teleconference with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and donors, should briefly identify any difficulties or notable successes attained in the case of the former and propose mitigation strategies.
- Overseeing and contributing to the preparation of a BIMCP Quarterly Progress Report to be submitted in English to the BIMCP donors. Reviewing and approving the content submitted by in-country technical and management teams, and preparing and signing-off on a draft for review and finalization by the MCDI home office. The final report will be prepared and submitted by the home office.
- Assisting as required in the preparation of presentations for national, regional and international technical meetings.
- Assisting in the preparation of bulletins, news releases, and analyses of Project performance as required.
- Updating information on progress vis-à-vis tasks in employee’s SharePoint task folder.
Other Duties and Responsibilities
- Performing other activities / duties, as determined and agreed to by or with the MCDI home office.
Deadline for Application: Open until filled