For years, Afghanistan has struggled with a declining economy and dwindling security. Violent conflict continues to disrupt the lives of millions who increasingly must fend for themselves, while the COVID-19 pandemic, and drought and other climate-related disasters, also exacerbate needs for Afghans. Even before the latest escalation in violence, half the population required humanitarian assistance. Forty years of war, chronic poverty, climate change-driven natural disasters, and now COVID-19 are a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan. Fifty percent of those in need in Afghanistan are women and girls.Currently, the RC implements education, economic recovery and development, child protection programs, Environmental Health, community health, Cash programming, Protection Rule of Law and works to respond to and prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in Pakitya, Logar, Helmand, Nangarhar, Laghman, Khost, Badghis, Herat and Kabul.
The IRC is scaling up its health response to support health facilities continue with essential services. The IRC is currently conducting a feasibility assessment to better understand the emerging needs within the health sector, which have been compounded by the conflict, COVID-19 and economic crisis. The health feasibility assessment will enable the IRC to explore potential entry points to supporting potential partners achieve health outcomes for individuals living in Afghanistan. The assessment will inform the IRC program strategy with regards to expanding programing into an additional new sector
Scope of Work:
The Health Coordinator will provide leadership, strategic vision and technical support to all aspects of the future health programs in Afghanistan. S/he will contribute to the identification of programmatic priorities, design and direction of the program. In addition, s/he will ensure that the health program will be implemented in accordance with international protocols, guidelines and best practices. S/he will promote the quality of care provided through the IRC health services.
1. Program Quality & Implementation;
• Summarize the findings of health needs assessment and recommendations, and develop lists of potential interventions that contribute to cover the health gaps aligned with the Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).
• Conduct basic costing exercise to inform the potential cost of designed interventions, as such includes the costs of PHC consultations, average wages of health care providers at the PHC levels, and other operational costs required to operate the PHC health facilities.
• Together with the liaison team, Meet with the MOPH stakeholders and other governmental entities to register the IRC Afghanistan as a health actor, and support the SMT to get the required licensures and registrations.
• Work with the supply chain department to support the planning for pharmaceutical and medical supplies procurement, and this support will include the pre qualifications of vendors, develop the essential drugs and supplies lists that need to be aligned to the country list, recommend and adapt the required SOPs of medical commodities’ procumbent, warehousing, distribution and monitoring.
• Work with the protection and WPE teams to map and strengthening the referral pathways to health care services.
• Meet with the MOPH stakeholders and other local actors to verify the findings and recommendations of the IRC health assessment, agree on the health gaps that IRC can support in the future, and propose the potential implementation modalities and level of the support that IRC can plan to offer in the future.
• Map the current and active local health actors, define their profiles and package of services they provide and able to provide in the future.
• Support the Senior Program Coordinator and grants coordinator to design and develop the required health partnership approaches, tools and benefit from the findings of the health assessment to list the potential local health actors who can work in the future to implement health programs.
• Meet with the MOPH stakeholders and PHC leaders to understand the priority geographical areas and health gaps that can be supported by IRC and its partners in the future, as well as defining the expected levels and modalities that IRC and its partners can support in the future.
• Develop a health factsheet and other communication materials around the health status in Afghanisan, while ensuring the engagement and support of the MOPH and local partners through the development process.
• With support from the Senior Program Coordinator and grants coordinator, start the process of concept not development and ensure the inclusion of the health assessment’s findings and recommendations, as well as the gaps and needs that identified through the meetings with local health partners and MOPH.
• Start meeting with the potential donors for health in Afghanistan, and presenting the findings of the IRC health assessment report, as well as, explore and support any business development and health proposals development.
• Development and advice for the IRC future health team structure in light of the future funding opportunities, partnerships, and level of the future health projects.
• Review the current available budget lines that can be used to initiate health programs, as well as, start looking for additional emergency funds that can be used to sustain the initiation stages of health programs.
• Provide technical and management leadership to the future health programs in Afghanistan accordance with best practice and IRC policy and the ministry of public health in Afghanistan.
• Support the development and maintenance of a coherent health strategy across the future health interventions in Afghanistan through close cooperation with local partners and MOPH.
• Identify unmet needs in the health sector in the selected area and identify potential means for the IRC to address those needs.
• Coordinate and develop plans, proposals, concept notes and budgets for new projects and extensions of projects in conjunction with the Senior Country Management Team.
• Overall responsible for the effective and efficient management of project implementation consistent with the project management cycle, program objectives, activities and indicators.
• Ensure and advise that the future health programs utilize standardized protocols, policies and guidelines, as prescribed by the local Ministry of Health, leading agencies , Health cluster and WHO. Ensure that all proposed future health activities are consistent with established best practices.
• Ensure that the future health interventions will adhere to donor agreements and IRC’s core policy documents and guidelines, including the Program Framework, IRC’s Design, Management & Evaluation guide and log-frame, IRC’s Health Unit policies and guidelines (Minimum and Core indicators, HIV strategy etc).
• Support the development and review of robust monitoring systems, and that reviews are undertaken periodically in conjunction with the team, project partners and relevant local stakeholders.
• Adapt and develop where necessary functional health systems including health information, drug management, and infection control, staffing plans and referral systems.
• Maintain regular communication, coordination and collaboration with other IRC sectors such as protection and WPE, and explore the opportunities for programs integration and consistency.
• Advise on how to integrate the community health component with other program sectors where appropriate, particularly with the, protection, and WPE programs.
• Ensure regular communication with Health Unit technical staff through the country health TA for feedback, technical support, updates and guidance as required.
• Review the current COVID19 reponse in the country and adivise what program areas IRC can support.
2. Grants Management and Reporting;
• In coordination with the Senior Program Coordinator and Grants team, participate in Grants Opening, Mid-Term and Closing meetings.
• Review technical aspects of internal and external reports prepared by the teams within agreed deadlines using IRC and donor formats, as required.
• Prepare and implement detailed program spending, procurement and work plans for the health projects.
• Support the development of health concept notes and health proposal and regular explore other potential donors who might support the IRC future health programs.
3. Partner Management
• Identify implementing partners when necessary and oversee the IRC – partner relation.
• Ensure the development of regular performance monitoring plan of partners to achieve the set project’s objectives; provide technical support and guidance.
• Conduct partner’s assessment to understand and plan for the technical capacity building support.
• Development of capacity building plan for partner organizations along with close monitoring of performance improvement and training uptake.
• Arrange regular meetings with implementing partners to discuss the future program implementation cycle and understand the challenges and barriers that might delay the progress.
4. Coordination & Representation
• Develops and maintains effective coordination and long-term relationships with external stakeholders in the health sector, representing IRC positions, promoting the program strategy and resolving problems/conflicts.
• Coordinate regularly with the Senior Program Coordinator and Field focal staff regarding program risk and issue, develop contingency planning, and identify new program opportunities and coordination mechanisms.
• Maintain coordination and collaboration with finance, operations to ensure coordination of procurement and supplies and that purchases are made within budget targets.
• Contributes to the development of country program strategy and plans
• Leads sector specific strategy development and technical proposal design.
• Other duties as assigned by the supervisor to enable and develop IRC programs
• Public health professional preferably with a clinical background such as doctor, nurse or allied health professional but not necessary.
• Minimum of 5 years professional experience in management of health emergencies and program delivery, INGO experience required. Prior experience working in complex emergency settings or insecure environments preferred.
• Adapt and develop where necessary functional Primary healthcare systems and services that can include: Reproductive health, Child health, Communicable diseases, Non-communicable Diseases, health information, drug management, infection control, referral systems, etc.
• Strong program/technical and budget management skills, planning, reporting, monitoring and evaluation skills.
• Strong written and oral communication skills, effective in representation and liaison with external parties.
• Must be capable of applying their skills and knowledge in a range of capacities, including direct implementation, advisory functions, training and the transfer of technical knowledge and management skills to others.
• Personal qualities: Works well in and promotes teamwork, comfortable in a multi-cultural environment, flexible and able to handle pressure well.
• Fluency in English required. Farsi is an asset but not required.
The position will be based in Kabul, Afghanistan with frequent field travels to IRCs field offices. Shared housing will be provided.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.