Program Health Officer at Action Against Hunger International – May 2024

Program Health Officer

Summary of position:

  • Action Against Hunger Kenya Country Office is looking to fill the position of Program Health Officer position who will plays a critical role in delivering high-quality primary healthcare across Kenya. The officer focuses on child health (assessments, interventions, immunizations), newborn health (care units, safe delivery practices), and community health (needs assessments, health education, surveillance). S/he works to strengthen health systems by assessing functionalities, supporting essential services, and promoting mental health integration. Besides, the officer utilizes digital health tools for data collection, reporting, and improved access to information. This comprehensive approach ensures effective nutrition integration into the health system and healthcare delivery for vulnerable populations in Kenya, adhering to national and international standards.

Purpose:

  • This health officer position supports the design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health interventions within Action Against Hunger’s Kenya projects. The role involves collaborating with program staff and participating in county-level coordination meetings. The officer develops project documents (implementation plans, budgets, procurement plans) and ensures adherence to project timelines and national/international health standards. S/he contributes to project monitoring (supervision, joint monitoring) and reporting (drafting internal and donor reports). Overall, this position plays a crucial role in ensuring the effective delivery of health programs in Action Against Hunger’s Kenya operations.

I. Essential Duties and Responsibilities.

Objective 1: Project Design and Development (10%)

Engagement: Collaborate with government health officials, community leaders, adolescent representatives, and other stakeholders to ensure program relevance, cultural sensitivity, and community ownership.

Deliverables: Comprehensive project documents that address priority health needs, incorporate MHPSS, and utilize innovative digital health solutions.

Strategic Priorities:

  • Conduct needs assessments to identify health vulnerabilities in target communities, focusing on children, adolescents, and vulnerable populations on the move.
  • Collaborate with the team to design and develop project documents (implementation plans, budgets, procurement plans) that address priority health needs in emergencies and development contexts.
  • Integrate evidence-based interventions for Child, adolescent health including sexual and reproductive health services, mental health support).
  • Advocate for the inclusion of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services across all health interventions.
  • Explore and propose the use of appropriate digital health tools for data collection, service delivery, and improved access to health information.
  • Ensure project designs align with national health guidelines and WHO recommendations.
  • Participate in county and capital level brainstorming sessions preceding development of concept notes and project proposals.
  • Act as a thought leader on matters relating to development of evidence-based health interventions throughout the development process.
  • Spearhead health related literature review and background checks and draft content for the proposal development.
  • Liaise with other implementing partners to gather up-to-date information on evidence-based interventions that are context sensitive.

Objective 2: Project Implementation and Quality Control (70%)

Engagement: Work closely with healthcare workers, community health volunteers and community members to promote program adherence and service uptake.

Deliverables: Increased coverage of key interventions and improved health outcomes for children and newborns, and strengthened infection prevention and control practices.

Strategic Priorities:

  • Implement evidence-based interventions to address childhood illnesses (diarrhea, respiratory infections including pneumonia etc.) and common health problems among adolescents.
  • In collaboration with county/subcounty health teams, train healthcare workers in essential newborn care, kangaroo mother care (KMC), and safe delivery practices.
  • Advocate for and support access to MHPSS services for children, adolescents, and communities.
  • Ensure project activities adhere to national and international health standards and WHO protocols.
  • Ensure that the project activities are implemented according to the approved donor and government agreements.
  • In consultation with the Deputy field coordinator, develop and regularly update a detailed work plan guiding the project implementation in targeted areas.
  • Plan and implement capacity enhancement including facilitating Awareness creation sessions based on need.
  • Participates in the planning, implementation and supervision of the Maternal & Child Health interventions
  • In liaison with the Community Development officer, develop partnerships at community level to strengthen the achievement of health results for base projects.
  • Build effective partnership relationships with stakeholders including community leaders, health facility staff and beneficiaries, including actively seeking feedback.
  • Work with the DFC and other project staffs to identify the technical support needs of the project and ensure this support is provided
  • Through day-to-day work relationship, provide technical advice and support to stakeholders, partners and volunteers.
  • Work with logistics department to ensure timely ordering of any necessary supplies, pharmaceuticals, and equipment.

Objective 3: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (10%)

Engagement: Work collaboratively with service delivery and/or data collection teams to ensure data quality and timely reporting.

Deliverables: Regularly updated reports, evidence-based recommendations for program improvement, and contribution to research initiatives.

Strategic Priorities:

  • Conduct regular health assessments to gather data on child health needs, morbidity and mortality rates, adolescent health indicators..
  • Monitor and report on newborn health indicators (survival rates, neonatal mortality).
  • Establish community-based surveillance systems to track outbreaks and health trends, including potential threats specific to children on the move.
  • Participate in project monitoring activities (supervision, joint monitoring) and implement research activities to improve program effectiveness.
  • Contribute to the development of first drafts of qualitative and quantitative reports (monthly, quarterly, annual) aligned with MEAL frameworks.
  • Analyze health data for informed decision-making and identification of areas for improvement.
  • With support of the MEAL focal prepare activity reports timely and ensuring these are of high quality. This will involve compilation of information from facilities benefiting from ACF projects.
  • Assists in the compliance with government health reporting mechanisms; both in terms of external and internal reporting.
  • Plan and participate in joint monitoring (MOH, relevant partners, health facility staff) of project indicators and identify actions to be taken to improve them.
  • Ensure timely submission of high quality project reports (MNRs, APRs, quarterly, semi-annual, annual, donor)
  • Ensure the effective and efficient use of all financial resources
  • Coordinate identification, execution, monitoring and evaluation of assessments and learning objectives, studies and surveys within projects at community level.
  • Closely monitor the progress of internal procurement and finance requests to ensure project implementation remains on track
  • Ensures monitoring and accountability of beneficiary registrars
  • Ensures data collection meets program requirements, and that all activities are suitably documented.
  • Participating in the computation, analysis and presentation of program statistics on a regular basis

Objective 4: Coordination and teamwork (5%)

Engagement: Develop strong working relationships with stakeholders at all levels to ensure effective communication, collaboration, and resource mobilization.

Deliverables: Strengthened county-level inter-agency partnerships, enhanced community engagement, improved health system resilience and preparedness for emergencies.

Strategic Priorities:

  • Collaborate with program staff, government health officials, and other humanitarian actors to ensure a coordinated and efficient response.
  • Build strong relationships with community leaders, religious groups, local NGOs, and adolescent representatives to foster program sustainability and community buy-in.
  • Work collaboratively with IT specialists and the Ministry of Health on digital health integration.
  • Facilitate community participation in program design, implementation, and monitoring.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of health sector emergency preparedness and response plans.
  • Report problems encountered in the process of implementation to the line manager and propose solutions to solve the problem.
  • Pro-actively participation in MOH led local coordination mechanisms with a focus on SRH, child Health, MHPSS as appropriate.
  • Participate in other coordination mechanisms including Gender and protection working group, multi-sectoral meetings(CSG, MSP etc),
  • Collaborate and coordinate with MOH at County and sub-county level, other NGOs, UNICEF, WFP and other partners as appropriate.
  • Other tasks and responsibilities are subject to modifications according to the needs.

Objective 5: Communication and teamwork (2%)

Engagement: Build trust and rapport with diverse audiences through clear, respectful communication that is adapted to their needs and preferred communication methods.

Deliverables: Increased awareness and understanding of health issues among target populations, improved program accessibility for all, and a more gender-equitable approach to healthcare delivery.

Strategic Priorities:

  • Represent Action Against Hunger in health forums and multi-sector platforms at the county level, advocating for the specific needs of children, adolescents, and vulnerable populations including those on the move.
  • Communicate effectively with healthcare workers and community members ensuring program information is culturally sensitive and accessible.
  • Work closely with midwives, traditional birth attendants, and mothers to promote skilled birth attendance and optimal newborn care practices.
  • Collaborate with community members &to ensure program accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and address gender barriers in healthcare access.
  • Disseminate health education materials and utilize appropriate communication channels to raise awareness on critical health topics among adolescents and communities.
  • Maintain clear communication with the DFC and other technical and support staff at the base
  • Clearly communicate areas of support to the capital technical supervisor

Representation the organization in relation with the project to the local authorities and other partners (3%)

  • Represent ACF locally in health forums whenever needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities (0)

None

Gender Equality Commitments

  • Foster an environment that supports the values of women and men, and equal access to information.
  • Provide a work environment where women and men must be evaluated and promoted based on their skills and performance.
  • Respect beneficiaries’ women, men, and children (boys and girls) regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. race, color, ancestry, national origin, age, or marital status.
  • Value and respect all cultures.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Prepare and submit cash forecast in line to the project work plans and maintain a copy for reference
  • Ensure the expenditure is as stipulated in the budget lines observing strict adherence to budget limits
  • Propose anticipated budget realignment in discussion with Field Coordinator
  • Closely monitor expenditure and re-program activities in line with the proposal adhering to donor guideline
  • Prepare budget breakdown for planning and through budget follow-ups

Required Qualifications and Professional Experience

  • Masters/ Bachelor’s degree (BSN) / Diploma in Registered Community Health Nurse (RCHN)
  • At least 5 years of working experience in a health facility with comprehensive maternal, child and adolescent services
  • Experience in management level roles including leading a team is an added advantage
  • Conversant with Government (national and County) systems especially post devolution
  • Experience working with an NGO in programming, particularly coordinating MNCHN interventions is preferred

Required Skills & Competencies

  • Good teamwork, flexibility, punctuality, good communication skills, commitment to service, ability to cope in stressful situations, precision, proven analytical and writing skills, capacity to share knowledge and train colleagues, basic computer skill (MS excel and word),good command of english (essential) and local language (desirable).

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