Senior Program Officer - Malaria Research and Service Delivery
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Abuja, Nigeria
12d ago


The primary purpose of the Senior Program Officer (SPO) Malaria Research & Service Delivery, is to conceive, develop and manage a complex portfolio of grants and technical assistance at federal level and in selected states to improve child health and broader health outcomes in Nigeria.

This will be done specifically through supporting interventions to accelerate the reduction of malaria burden through improved data-

driven decisions to kickstart endgame systems building progress; and support the Resiliency through Azithromycin for Children (REACH) program.

The SPO will work closely with government, private sector, and civil society partners to catalyze these efforts. The focus of the foundation’s work will involve development, testing and scale-

up of high impact and cost-effective solutions in selected areas to drive results and influence scale across Nigeria and potentially other similar contexts within the region and Africa.

This role reports to the Deputy Director, Health, Nutrition, and Eradication.

Duties and responsibilities

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks :

  • Identify, negotiate, execute and monitor complex, performance-based contracts / grants to accelerate increase in child health outcomes.
  • Specifically, this position will identify activities to support adoption of new innovations / interventions into clinical practice.

    This includes identifying appropriate partners, undertaking operational research, training in workflow, malaria surveillance and monitor overall execution of investments.

  • Manage partnerships and grantee relationships to ensure learning and impact, for example, by conducting site visits, convening meetings of key stakeholders, monitoring and evaluating components of grants.
  • For the Resiliency through Azithromycin for Children (REACH) :

  • Work closely with the Nigerian federal and state governments and implementing agencies to develop operational research and implementation frameworks for new and emerging interventions for child survival, such as periodic azithromycin distribution to reduce child mortality in high mortality settings.
  • Manage grants and stakeholder relationships at the country level to support early rollout of such strategies including the development of a local evidence base for appropriate policy development and scale-up.
  • Serve as a senior technical resource on new and emerging interventions for child survival, connecting international research and scientific expertise with national child survival and mortality reduction policy and priorities.
  • Liaise with Seattle-based research and product development teams to ensure research and product development strategies within Nigeria are tailored to the local context.
  • Engage a broad range of stakeholders and decision-makers working on delivery of clinical services for child survival, either in primary health clinical care settings or through mass delivery platforms such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), Child Health Weeks, etc.
  • Within this coalition, work collectively to identify opportunities to optimize clinical services at the last mile , with an emphasis on making such services more accessible, effective, cost-

    effective, of higher quality, and client-centered. Support testing and evaluation of such opportunities through grants, contracts and technical collaboration.

    For the support efforts to accelerate Malaria burden decline by improving systems to optimize intervention location, timing, and mix :

  • Work with National / State Malaria Programs and the RBM partners under the High Burden to High Impact initiative to translate the National and / or State Level Strategic Plans for Malaria into costed operational plans based on a rigorous assessment of the local epidemiology and an evidence-
  • driven financial prioritization to maximize the available resources through data- driven, sub-nationally tailored implementation.

  • Work with the Nigeria country office health team to bring an integrated view and approach across primary health areas to : Provide innovative solutions to malaria control in designing a strategy to support optimization of private sector engagement to expand access to affordable ACTs, or other areas where the private sector may play a catalytic / or accelerator role.
  • Investigate potential opportunities in supply chain strengthening, performance management toward improved malaria interventions in Nigeria.

  • Any other duties aligned with the foundation malaria strategy in Nigeria
  • In addition :

  • Represent the foundation to key selected government health leaders, platforms, and working groups on malaria at state and federal levels this would include delving into issues from the policy level to the facility and community (i.
  • e. demand generation) levels. Potentially taking responsibility for coordinating all foundation health and development activities in one or more states.

  • Play a liaison and advisory role with different Seattle-based Global Health and Global Development teams (NTD, Malaria) and the Nigeria County Office on investments aimed to optimize equitable coverage, efficiency, and cost-
  • effectiveness for specific clinical services and tools.

  • Act as the Nigeria focal point for key global mechanisms supporting global health strategies (Global Fund, END Fund, WHO, PMI, ect).
  • Collaborate with foundation colleagues in related program areas to take advantage of cross-sector grant making opportunities.
  • Implement other duties as assigned
  • Leadership and Culture

    We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

    Core Knowledge and Skills

  • 10+ years of proven experience in public health service delivery management in African settings.
  • 5+ years of experience in a low-income country context, or equivalent experience, in managing clinical service delivery programs at scale including introduction of new treatment, use of diagnostics and other decision tools to improve quality, effectiveness and cost-
  • effectiveness of care. Experience providing advice to government, donor, implementing agency, and other national-level stakeholders in developing countries.

  • In particular, in the implementation of child health interventions through mass-delivery platforms such as supplementary immunization activities, mass drug administration for malaria and / or neglected tropical diseases, Child Health Weeks, etc.
  • Experience with both public and private sectors is a plus.

  • The candidate should have an in depth understanding of the Nigerian health system, as well as economic, social, and political factors that influence health outcomes.
  • In-depth experience in broader public health with a strong development orientation backed with excellent management capabilities.
  • Experience of integration across disease areas and / or integrating health and non-health interventions is a plus.
  • Experience in managing complex delivery of health programs, with evidence of achievement of significant results whether directly or indirectly influenced.
  • Collaborates : Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared / joint objectives, both internally and externally.
  • Ability to orchestrate effective decisions across a broad range of issues and stakeholders, assess progress, analyze gaps, and make necessary changes.

  • Strategic Mindset : Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into strategies, concrete theories of change and actions.
  • Ability to think / act like an investor and a creative and generative thinker. Innovative and open-minded approach; ability to question and challenge colleagues including managers and partners in a constructive manner.

  • Manages complexity and ambiguity effectively : Making sense of complex, high quantity and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems especially in managing relations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a complex, fast-paced environment both in Nigeria and in headquarter (Seattle).

  • Communicates effectively : Developing and delivering communications that convey complex situations in a clear and concise manner with a broad and diverse audience.
  • Demonstrable experience with effective interactions between country level and headquarter offices is critical.
  • Being resilient : Rebounding from setbacks and adversity when facing difficult situations both internally and externally.
  • Self-motivated and self-managing.

  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Ability to travel up to 40% domestically and internationally.
  • Education and Experience

    The ideal candidate will hold an advanced degree in medicine, public health, epidemiology or related field (e.g. MSPH, MHA, MPH, MD, PhD).

    As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally.

    We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

    All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to :

  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Gender Expression
  • National Origin
  • Genetic Information
  • Marital Status
  • Prior Protected Activity
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