Senior Technical Advisor, Health - Specialized Areas

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: United States of America
Organization: International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 17 Feb 2021

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC’s vision is that the impact of our programs and the influence of our ideas empowers those caught in crisis to make lasting change in their lives. To support achievement of this vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) unit provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice. The TE unit supports technical excellence through the following ways:

1) Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence

2) Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs

3) Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives

The TE Unit is comprised of five technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, while cross-cutting work happens with the Gender Equality Unit and the Research & Innovation Unit

The health technical unit (HTU) is organized in three sectors; Health (integrating general primary healthcare including sexual and reproductive health, child health, mental health & Psycho-Social Support), environmental health and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support functions in order to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. In 2020 the health technical unit supported programming in 6 regions and 34 countries.

Job Overview / Summary:

The Senior Technical Adviser (STA) –Health is responsible for ensuring high quality health technical support for thematic areas to country programs. She/he will manage a team of country support technical specialists including pharmacy, infectious diseases, child health, mental health, NCDs and community health/systems strengthening. The STA-Health will work in close collaboration with the Deputy Director for Country Support, STA- Health responsible for country support, STA-Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), STA-Nutrition, STA-Environmental Health, STA-Emergency Health and the M&E Advisor to develop technical norms and standards for country support as well as implement a plan for team capacity development. Working relations with STAs in other technical units will support cross-sector collaboration while maintaining a close working relationship with regional and country program leaders will be important. The STA –Health will ensure close collaboration in cross-sector/cross-department work streams such as the pharma transformation plan, the MHPSS working group, and business development. The STA –Health will also play an important role in donor engagement, advocacy, and IRC representation related to Health programming.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Provide overall leadership for the delivery of specialist technical support to IRC country program staff so that they can design, implement and improve health programs in different areas of work. The STA should ensure that technical assistance aligns to the TA model’s core and important functions and that technical assistance is continuously improving and well-received by regional and country program colleagues, as evidenced in field feedback in biannual surveys. The STA is expected to proactively reach out to country program colleagues to establish strong working relationships and trouble-shoot challenges as needed. With the support of the Deputy Director, the STA will also lead the development of standards, tools and procedures for specialized program support to country health programs.

  2. Provide necessary management and technical support to the team of specialist TAs, supporting their continuing professional growth and improving their performance. This involves: clarifying job expectations, setting performance objectives and measurable targets, providing appropriate and timely feedback on performance, including full implementation of the staff performance management process; supporting training/continuing technical education; and leading by example.

  3. Work towards ensuring IRC’s areas of expertise and thought-leadership such as MHPSS, NCDs and child health are supported to improve program quality through continuous improvement of implementation practice and use of data for decision-making at country program level.

  4. Work with the STA-Health responsible for country support to develop mechanisms and processes for Health TAs from Country Support and Specialist teams to come together for mutually thematic areas. This may involve designating lead TAs for each thematic area and implementing processes that enhance cross-team collaboration, sharing and learning.

  5. If needed, support specialist TAs during provision of technical support to specific countries including guidance on project/program design, fund-raising, and monitoring and evaluation. Working with each TA, support development of in-country health teams in various specialized areas through training, coaching, mentoring, and other guidance; Work closely with the STA Health responsible for country support to liaise with Deputy Director of Programs on country specific issues.

  6. Collaborate with STAs from Environmental Health, Emergency Health, SRH, Health (Country Support) and Nutrition Teams as well as the M&E Advisor to ensure technical assistance is seamless and coordinated to each country and region needs.

  7. Work with the DD –Country Support and other STAs to define and prioritize high-impact interventions and the approach to achieve them, including the tools, partnerships, donor engagement and capacity-building required

  8. Work with the M&E Advisor to support the Measurement Unit’s strategy as it applies to health programming and country support. Support development and maintenance of systems for capture of IRC’s work in specialist areas as relevant. This may include iCCM databases, MHPSS & NCDs dashboards, etc

  9. Contribute to the development of health unit led project proposals as needed.

  10. Stand in for Deputy Director or other colleagues during absences.

  11. Represent IRC in global partnerships and relevant conferences.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Director, Health Unit

Directly supervises: eight specialists Technical Advisors including 2 Pharma Advisors, 2 MHPSS Advisors, one advisor each for child health, NCDs, infectious diseases and community health

Other Internal contacts: This position requires a collaborative working relationship with other health unit teams, other technical units, Awards Management Unit, Private Fundraising, country programs and regional offices and departments – particularly with other STAs in the health unit and other technical units, Deputy Directors for Programs in country offices and Deputy Regional Directors.


  1. Health or other related degree plus MPH or equivalent;

  2. At least 8 years public health experience in senior technical and management positions, including provision of remote technical support, with evidence of progressively increasing responsibilities. Experience should include: at least three years of residence in developing countries; some work in a humanitarian setting (with refugees and/or internally displaced population);

  3. Demonstrated expertise in multiple specialized technical areas (e.g., child health, community health, MHPSS, NCDs, epidemics management, etc), strategic areas (e.g., governance, health systems strengthening and research), and program management and fund-raising (e.g., program development, proposal writing, monitoring & evaluation, and management of donor relations).

  4. Excellent leadership and team management skills - the ability to lead a team, motivate staff and promote productivity, resolve conflict, and contributes to a pleasant work environment.

  5. Excellent communication skills - the ability to write professional documents, and create and deliver presentations to different audiences: project/program staff, management staff, mature professionals, policy makers, donors etc.

  6. Solid organizational skills - the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment.

  7. Professional-level fluency in English; French or Arabic proficiency will be a huge plus.

  8. Ability to travel approximately 30% of the time.

Working Environment: “Standard office work environment” as per IRC policy. Regular travel will be expected to provide technical assistance to some country programs and monitor and improve quality of PHC teams’ technical assistance.

How to apply:

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