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Program Officer – IYCF Implementation Learning (Community-based Strategy), Alive & Thrive (Expiration 18/01/2019)

Position:   Program Officer – IYCF Implementation Learning (Community-based Strategy), Alive & Thrive   

Location:  Kaduna

Supervisor:  Kaduna State Team Lead  

Band:         

Project Summary:   Alive & Thrive is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. In its first five years (2009 to 2014), A&T demonstrated that innovative approaches to improving feeding practices could be delivered with impact and at scale in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. Alive & Thrive continues its work there and is supporting others to scale up nutrition by applying and adapting tested, proven approaches and tools in Burkina Faso, India, Southeast Asia, and Nigeria. Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland.

PROGRAM SUMMARY: The A&T approach is based on the socio-ecological model that recognizes the importance of influential family and community persons and policy makers in changing social norms and behaviors. This approach, which has now been adapted for 2 states in Nigeria (Lagos and Kaduna states), resulted in large scale behavior change and rapid impact on IYCF indicators. The approach requires careful coordination across the various program components and continuous adjustments in the interventions based on feedback from field implementation. The four components are:

1) Advocacy among influential leaders and institutions, including policy makers, opinion leaders, and health systems managers to ensure that resources, policies and laws encourage and support IYCF

2) Interpersonal communication (IPC) directly with mothers starting during pregnancy and antenatal health visits and continued up to the child’s two years of age; and community mobilization (CM) to build support for mothers through family and community influential persons, e.g. fathers, grandmothers, local health service and medicine providers, and religious, traditional and community leaders and elders

3) Mass communication to reinforce the above by repeatedly reaching the various key audiences through radio, traditional methods, TV advertising, and mobile phones

4) Generation and strategic use of existing or new data throughout the program cycle for supporting advocacy, and to make program decisions on program design and mid-course corrections.

A&T is scaling up proven interventions in Nigeria while generating new evidence by testing innovations. A&T data as well as data from other sources indicate that in Kaduna state, few children 6-23 month age group receive less than optimal dietary diversity. For example, the A&T Formative research indicated that only 21.6% of children received diets from the 4 our more food groups out of the seven food groups. Findings also revealed that fathers provide the financial resources for mothers to purchase the needed variety of food groups for the family while grandmothers teach the mother how to cook (R &PI 2017). 

One of the innovations is motivating fathers of children 6-23 months of age in rural areas to procure diverse foods to support adequate complementary feeding.  Fathers will be reached through religious leaders, community gatherings/town hall meetings, mobile phone contacts, visits from health workers, and materials developed specifically for them.  Formative research conducted by A&T and experiences of SPRING and WINNN projects shows that fathers have an important influence on the improving foods available for complementary feeding. The summary of the scope of work of this implementation learning is to develop and implement a package of community-based interventions to engage fathers in improving dietary diversity in their children’s diet. The project will be conducted in 3-4 LGAs of Kaduna state.

 

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:  

  • With supervision from the State Team Lead, provide technical oversight to Implementation Partner staff conducting the implementation research study and other project activities
  • Coordinate and provide technical assistance to Research Assistants and assigned support staff as needed
  • Provide TA to IYCF A&T sub-grantee in Kaduna state to improve the quality of Implementation Research to track the inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes of the supervisor - health care worker, community volunteer connection to the community and households. This may include TA to develop work plans, including suggesting indicators and proposing data collection strategies, activities, analysis and reporting formats.
  • Provide input on the design and implementation of qualitative studies and quantitative surveys for IYCF, including sampling strategies, survey instruments, survey implementation, data analysis, report writing, and dissemination of results.
  • Actively participate in designing and conducting short, focused evaluation exercises, operational research at designated sites, with topics determined in cooperation with public, private/commercial, and NGO sectors at national and/or state level; and A&T country office to shed light on operational issues concerning implementation research and overall project activities in Kaduna state.
  • Share data and lessons learned from these exercises with local, national, and regional partners to continue to build the knowledge base of IYCF. 
  • Keep abreast of international developments concerning Implementation Research strategies for IYCF programs and share state-of-the-art information, and approaches with A&T Nigeria and partners.
  • Participate in various state working groups and task forces related to Implementation Research for IYCF and overall project activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Education:

• Bachelor’s degree in public health, nutrition, demography, statistics, or related field, with emphasis on quantitative analysis. Master’s preferred. 

Experience:

• At least 5 years of IYCF Program and M&E experience in Nigeria (similar global experience may be acceptable) required with at least 1 year in a role providing technical input to a large-scale nutrition or public health/development project. 

• Public health/nutrition field experience in designing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on various types of service delivery platforms (i.e. interpersonal communication, community mobilization and mass communication).

• Experience in analysis and interpretation of quantitative data, including experience drafting reports based on quantitative data

• Experience working with routine health facility and community reporting tools and the District Health Information system

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

• Knowledge of health and development programming in a developing country.

• Working knowledge of major donor policies (USAID, Global Fund) as well as international not-for-profit organizations.

• Proven ability to coordinate a multi-sectoral development project.

• Ability to organize systems to monitor administrative and implementation results.

• Basic budget tracking or financial management skills.

• Previous experience with website content development, success story writing, or social media a plus.

• Training and presentation skills would be an added advantage.

• Ability to work independently with initiative to manage high volume work flow. 

• Cultural sensitivity and diplomacy.

• Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills with ability to work as a team member.

• Ability to plan and prioritize own work under tight deadlines, as well as to work on own initiative and as a member of a team. 

• Computer proficiency in Word, Excel, Internet and other relevant software.

• Ability to travel up to 50% of the time. 

• Competency in survey design and implementation and experience in data analysis using Stata, SAS, EpiInfo, or SPSS strongly preferred.

• Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; fluency in Yoruba strongly preferred.

 

This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

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Kaduna - NIGERIA
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