Deputy Country Director – NTD Programs, Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou | Ouagadougou

Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States. Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, HKI promotes the development of sustainable, large-scale programs that deliver effective preventative and curative services for nutrition, eye health and neglected tropical diseases. The hallmark of the organization’s work is its proven success in developing, testing and scaling-up health interventions, and integrating them within government and community structures to support and build local capacity and sustainable solutions.

****Country Program Overview****

HKI started its programs in Burkina Faso in 1986 and opened an operating office in 1999. Currently, HKI implements a large and complex program focusing on nutrition and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). HKI supports the government’s efforts in the fight against malnutrition by implementing a wide range of activities including Vitamin A supplementation, food fortification, school health and nutrition, prevention and management of acute malnutrition, enhanced homestead food production, promotion of orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes and development of strategies to promote essential nutrition actions.

HKI also provides technical assistance and financial support to the national NTD control program, including an integrated community-based program to control onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths through mass drug administration as well as implementation of a project aiming at managing morbidity and preventing disability linked to NTDs (in particular LF and trachoma morbidity).

With about 80 staff and an annual operating budget of more than $5m, HKI-Burkina Faso has undergone significant growth over the past few years and is one of the largest HKI country offices in Africa. HKI’s program in Burkina Faso is funded by a number of donors, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the Taiwan embassy, and several others. The funding situation is solid, with several exciting initiatives in the pipeline.

HKI is seeking a Deputy Country Director (Deputy CD) to back-up the responsibilities of the Country Director and to oversee the NTD, school health and eye health portfolios in Burkina Faso which represents almost 70% of the current budget.

Functional Relationships

The Deputy CD reports to the CD and serves as Acting CD in his/her absence. The position serves on the Country Management Team (CMT) and supervises two or more program managers, with a total program staff of around 12 employees, and manages a portfolio of projects amounting about $4 million USD/year. The Deputy also works closely with other colleagues at HKI’s Africa regional office and headquarters. The position also requires close cooperation with the government of Burkina Faso, partner NGOs, donors and UN agencies.

HKI’s has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within country office hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of colleagues at the regional and headquarters level (especially for multi-country grants). This requires regular communication among colleagues and an ongoing effort to clarify who is responsible and/or accountable for outcomes and who must be consulted and/or informed along the way.

****Scope of the Position****

The primary responsibilities of the Deputy CD are project planning/design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting to ensure timely, effective and compliant NTDs, school health and eye health programming in accordance with HKI programming principles and donor requirements. As an evidence-based organization, HKI places great importance on operational research and impact evaluation and the DCD plays a key role in overseeing research and evaluation of their assigned portfolio, usually in partnership with qualified institutions.

Field travel includes visits to project sites working from sub-offices.

****Specific Responsibilities****

Project Development

  • Participate in operational and strategic planning of the country senior management team; support the development of the Annual Program Plan, including ensuring this is in alignment with the agency’s strategic plan, and budget.
  • Coordinate and develop terms of reference, and supervise consultants and other technical support resources needed for assigned portfolio.
  • Strengthen staff and partner capacity in project development.
  • Contribute to project design and proposal development processes for assigned portfolio in close collaboration with the CD.
  • Play an active role in identifying and obtaining support for new initiatives, especially those in the field of NTDs, school health and eye health, that foster and improve the strategic objectives of the country office.

Program Oversight

  • Oversee the design and implementation of effective work plans that allow for timely and ongoing progress review of all key outputs of assigned programs.
  • Facilitate the integration with other projects and activities within HKI as well as with other partners and government entities.
  • Ensure that project implementation is in accordance with HKI established plans, policies and procedures and HKI core values.
  • Work with relevant staff and partners to ensure strong M&E systems are in place for the development of regular project monitoring systems, the agency’s shared indicator system, as well as for special studies and project evaluations, including baseline, mid-term and end-of-project.
  • Oversee research and special studies design and implementation for assigned portfolio with project staff and ensure dissemination of information with a particular focus on publications of major findings.
  • Conduct field-level monitoring for quality insurance; providing timely and constructive feedback and support to HKI and partner project staff.
  • Work with project and/or finance staff to:
  • review expenses related to programs implementation on a monthly basis to identify either over or under spending trends, and if significant trends are noted to alert the CD for appropriate action.
  • ensure all narrative reports are submitted to donors and Regional and HQ office (as required) in a timely and compliant manner;
  • prepare and submit annual reports to headquarters on program metrics and standards; and
  • ensure the proper maintenance of all files, records and documents relating to HKI activities of the project
  • Work closely with the CD to address all issues raised by HKI staff, donors or respective line ministries regarding program implementation.

****Team and Performance Management****

  • Mentor, supervise and evaluate direct reports and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Cultivate an atmosphere conducive to sharing of lessons-learned and to mutual learning among HKI staff and among partners.
  • Consult with and guide staff to achieve goals and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
  • Provide guidance to direct reports in supervising their project teams to ensure:
  • Sound planning, implementation and evaluation of programs and operations;
  • High-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of programs, including thorough budget oversight;
  • Compliance with HKI standards, policies and procedures, and processes across the portfolio, including performance management; and
  • Compliance with donor requirements, including timely and accurate reporting of results and expenditures, and required interim and final reports.

Coordination with partners

  • Work with assigned project staff to ensure partners are knowledgeable of HKI’s technical and financial policies and procedures, and donor compliance requirements.
  • Ensure that project staff have the skills and tools necessary to build partner capacity.
  • Collaborate with respective line ministries and other organizations’ technical staff working in the sectors of interest to HKI to build partnerships.
  • Ensure that HKI’s NTD, school health and eye health programs programs are recognized/promoted and implemented in accordance with national agendas.
  • Participate in meetings and seminars within HKI, nationally, and internationally as requested by CD.

Financial and Administrative

  • The Deputy CD will support and back up the Finance & Administrative duties of the CD including but not limited to:
  • Working with HKI Regional Office and Headquarters to manage the development and implementation of annual country budgets;
  • Ensuring timely submission of financial reports within the guidelines established by the Accounting and Grants & Contracts units of the HKI Finance Department;
  • Authorizing expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements;
  • Hiring and managing personnel for projects in compliance with HKI policies and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity; and
  • Managing the safety and security of staff and responding promptly to emergent issues.


  • Masters’ degree or equivalent in development, public health, program management, international development or other relevant field, plus minimum seven years working in project management for an international organization in the area of public health, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience working overseas in NTD program implementation, or other directly relevant program implementation is required; knowledge of the region strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop budgets, monitor financial status and manage administrative and financial activities of complex programs.
  • Demonstrated ability in project design and proposal writing.
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation tools and systems.
  • Knowledge of USAID rules and regulations strongly preferred. Substantial experience with a variety of other donors including, Canada, EU and UNICEF, an advantage.
  • Excellent oral and written English and French language skills, including the ability to synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to exercise diplomacy and tact as demonstrated in previous roles that required communication with a broad and diverse set of partners.
  • Proven track record with institutional strengthening and partnership building.
  • Excellent capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor junior staff.
  • An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Excellent analytical and self-motivation skills; excellent advocacy and persuasion skills; able to think critically.
  • An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Computer literate and proficient; including knowledge of data management and analysis. Experience with EPI-INFO and/or SPSS an advantage
  • Ability and willingness to travel within the country to project sites.

The initial contract is for two years with possibility of renewal.

****To Apply****

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the position title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: HKI - Helen Keller International
  • Location: Ouagadougou | Ouagadougou
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2016-03-31

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