Technical Advisor: Health System Strengthening

New York City


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the world’s leading humanitarian relief and development organizations. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people survive, recover and regain control over their lives. Working in more than 40 countries, the IRC is helping to restore hope and opportunity to millions of people.

IRC governance programmes focus on fostering the voice and empowerment of people and communities along with the organizational development of civil society organizations, local governments and public service providers. Implemented in post-crisis and recovery contexts, these programmes focus on empowering people affected by crises, ensuring that the needs of all groups, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, are taken into account by local decision-makers, and by working to ensure service providers and key actors in positions of power at community and government levels are willing and able to effectively and inclusively respond to people’s needs.

IRC health programs worldwide are implemented in partnership with Ministries of Health and/or civil society organizations and focus on reproductive, maternal, and child health; mental health; nutrition; and health systems. IRC is also engaged in direct provision of health care, safe drinking water and sanitation support to beneficiaries where needed.  Health programs represent the largest single sector within which IRC currently operates, constituting approximately 45% of the international budget and with activities in 25 countries.

The Governance Technical Unit (GTU) and the Health Technical Unit (HTU) provide intellectual leadership and vision around health system strengthening interventions and provide quality technical support to IRC’s country offices, field staff and partner agencies.  They are further responsible for providing targeted support on program design and fundraising, developing innovative research and learning opportunities and public representation on governance and health related policy and programming issues.

It is in this context that the GTU and HTU are looking for a skilled and dynamic professional to join the governance team and occupy the position of Technical Advisor – Health System Strengthening in its New York headquarters.


This position, as part of a team of six Technical Advisors (TAs) supervised by the Senior Technical Advisor – Governance, with dotted-line supervision by the Deputy Director of Strategic Programs for Health, provides technical support in the design and development of IRC programs at the confluence of governance, health systems and service delivery. The TA will also be a member of the health unit. The selected candidate will have a solid field experience in public health systems, governance and organizational development, and notably have a track record around some of the following areas: planning and budgeting, human resource management, procurement, information management and other systems that support health service delivery.  The Technical Advisor will be responsible for developing tools and resources to support innovative programming that is informed by evidence, contributes to advancing learning and research in this field and advocates for and promotes IRC’s health system strengthening interventions internally and externally. The position will also be tasked with the development and technical support for a portfolio of governance and health system strengthening projects in the field, in collaboration with TAs from the Governance and Health technical units, country program management teams and field staff.


Major Responsibilities:

1. Country-specific technical support:

  • In coordination with primary country support TAs, provide remote and on-site technical support and assistance in the design, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of high quality health system strengthening programs and projects to 4-6 country program teams.
  • Maintain relationships with regional and country program coordinators and managers, ensure staff development and offer them support, as needed, on program implementation and monitoring.

2. Policies, strategies and tools:

  • Contribute to the development of appropriate field-oriented briefing notes, strategy documents, guidelines, toolkits etc. on key health system themes and priorities. Provide particular expertise around the organizational development of local, provincial and national health system structures;
  • The work on organizational development will be especially focused on the systems that support service delivery and particularly sound leadership and oversight, planning and budgeting, effective financial, human resource, procurement and information management, etc.;
  • Support the roll-out of the above-referenced documents, in conjunction with the HTU, through the design and delivery of workshops, online and offline trainings, internal communications tools, field visits, etc.

3. Program design and new business development:

  • Identify, in close collaboration with the STA –Governance, health technical advisors as well as regional, country and other technical unit-based colleagues, opportunities for innovative programming and the funding of such programs;
  • Lead on the design of programs and the writing and/or review of relevant technical components of proposals within the country portfolio, and, as needed, in other countries.

4. Research and learning:

  • Share best practices and promote evidence-based programming in the development of IRC’s interventions with a focus on governance, notably in the context of the IRC’s Outcomes and Evidence Framework;
  • Collaborate with the IRC’s Research, Evaluation and Learning unit to identify appropriate opportunities to generate new evidence around governance-related programming;
  • Participate in ongoing training courses and share knowledge and skill sets within the unit.

5. Advocacy, representation and public information:

  • Promote relevant health system strengthening the policies, strategies and tools and influence policy debates by preparing advocacy documents and presentations targeting both internal IRC stakeholders as well as external actors;
  • Support in the production of donor or public-facing information about the results and learning from IRC’s governance and health programming;
  • Represent the IRC in outside meetings and academic forums with donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency working groups, foundations and other practitioners in the field.

Job Qualifications:

Education: Master’s/post-graduate degree in development studies, social sciences, economics, public health, public administration or other relevant field or equivalent combination of education and experience is required.

Work Experience: A minimum of 7 years of field-based experience implementing or providing technical assistance on health system strengthening programs, preferably in fragile and conflict-affected states and with a focus on organizational development of government and civil society organizations.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating governance, health and organizational development interventions .  Applied field experience of governance work in health service delivery a key requirement, and especially around planning, budgeting and finance, human resource, and information management as well as procurement.  Demonstrated proposal development experience and strong writing skills.  Good advocacy skills and experience. Prior experience coordinating and undertaking independent field travel to conduct assessments, provide technical support and review programs. Experience designing, delivering and facilitating workshops, trainings, etc. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining knowledge of latest evidenced-based and contextually adapted practices.  Must be a team player with a track record of collaborating across disciplines.


Language Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English required.  Professional proficiency in either French or Arabic desirable.


Working Environment: Up to 40% travel may be required.

IRC leading the way from harm to home. 

IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
 IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date: 2016-07-05

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