Senior Governance Specialist at Malaria Consortium

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Malaria Consortium is one of the world’s leading non-profit organisations specialising in the comprehensive prevention, control and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases among vulnerable and under privileged populations. We increasingly find our work on malaria can be effectively integrated with other similar public health interventions for greater impact and therefore expanded our remit to include child health and neglected tropical disease interventions.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Governance Specialist

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Grade: 11
Level: Technical
Hours: 40
Job Type: Fixed Term
Role type: National
Department: Technical
Length of contract: Five years
Travel involved: 30%
Child safeguarding level: TBC

Country and Project Background
Malaria is highly endemic in Nigeria and it remains one of the leading causes of childhood and maternal morbidity and mortality in the country. Nigeria is deeply committed to making progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and it recognizes the fact that, without firm efforts to control malaria, achievement of the targets related to child mortality, maternal mortality, and reducing the burden of communicable disease will not be possible. Malaria therefore constitutes a significant development challenge for Nigeria. Interventions for reducing malaria burden in the country are documented in the national malaria strategic plan with Government taking the lead in its implementation with the support of all the RBM partners.

The DFID funded and Malaria Consortium led malaria programme, SUNMAP, provided technical assistance and other support to the Nigeria National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) covering the period 2008 to 2016. SUNMAP2 has been designed to strengthen the management and technical capacity of NMEP, State Malaria Elimination Programme (SMEP) and their stakeholders to drive the implementation of the National Malaria Strategic Plan, 2014 to 2020 and achieve its ambitious targets. This will include short term technical assistance and technical assistance embedded in NMEP in key areas of programme management, evidence generation and use, and capacity building across all project outputs and ultimately reducing Nigeria’s malaria burden and strengthening the Government of Nigeria’s health systems capacity to ensure long term programme and impact sustainability.

Job Purpose

  • The Senior Governance specialist provides high quality guidance, technical support, training, coaching and mentoring to the programme team.
  • The job holder will take the lead on programme interventions focused on improving governance at national level and project states, local government and communities and private sector towards improved performance of the health system using malaria as the entry point.

Scope of Work:

  • The job holder provides high technical oversight and guidance for the project. S / he will mobilise and coordinate with a broad range of stakeholders and technical experts to deliver the project.
  • The job holder will take the lead in providing in-depth understanding to the project team on the interests, accountabilities and incentives of different groups in the political economy landscape of the country (particularly political elites), and how these affect decisions and policy outcomes, the role that formal institutions (e.g. rule of law, elections) and informal social, political and cultural norms play in social interaction, human and economic development and the impact of values, ideas, political ideologies, religion and cultural beliefs, on political behavior and public policy.
  • S / he will represent the programme on relevant technical working groups.

Key Working Relationships:

  • The Senior Governance specialist will work closely with the technical experts within the project and a broad range of stakeholders to deliver the project.
  • S / he will work closely with the FMOH, National Malaria Elimination Programme, SMOH, State Malaria Elimination Programmes in the six SUNMAP2 supported states, public and private sector actors in the malaria control landscape and Malaria Consortium’s team of global technical specialists.
  • Along with the Team Leader he/she will liaise periodically with DFID Nigeria.
  • S / he will be a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) of the project and act as the project focal person for DFID funded and other governance projects.

Key Accountabilities (Percentage level of effort)
Strategic & Technical Leadership (70%):

  • Provide leadership to the political economy assessments as part of the baseline assessment and longitudinal studies
  • Take the lead in using the political economy aspects of the findings of assessments and working with relevant programme partners, DFID and DFID funded programmes to inform and revise programme strategy on governance issues such as effective decision making for sustainability, raising domestic financing, planning and the use of evidence.
  • Provide technical support and results monitoring of programme strategies to strengthen leadership and accountability in the health system using malaria as the entry point.
  • Coordinate effectively with other DFID governance programmes
  • Identify opportunities for linkages and coordination among public sector, private sector and civil society to increase collective effectiveness
  • Help design and oversee a programme approach for increased representation and access to services for vulnerable populations including women, youth, ethnic and religious minorities and pastoralists and other marginalized groups
  • Work closely with the Social Accountability Specialist and programme partners to design and implement feedback mechanisms whereby vulnerable populations are able to hold service providers accountable and contribute to their development

Capacity building and institutional strengthening (25%):

  • Remain abreast of technical developments in political economy of the country and share them with the project team and with NMEP with the purpose of building their capabilities to interpret and act upon political economy information.
  • Lead in building capacity within the NMEP and SMEP in line with the project capacity building tools and work guidance documents especially those focussed on improving governance and improved funding of malaria activities. Ensure these are in sync with capacity building materials produced by other governance programmes and donors in the country
  • Participate actively in studies focusing on the political economy e.g. Public Expenditure reviews, political economy analysis etc. and ensure malaria issues are reflected and the findings of these studies are periodically fed back to malaria stakeholders
  • Work closely with long term technical assistance (LTTA) to NMEP to strengthen its institutional capacity to use evidence for decision-making and to capture learning.

External Representation (5%):

  • Participate in relevant national or regional technical working groups
  • Participate and represent MC in relevant government-related meetings on pertinent issues in malaria control the governance space.
  • Make data-informed presentations at national, regional or global conferences showcasing the key political economy issues which affect malaria control based on experiential learning from the programme

Person Specification

Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, International Development, or related field
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience working on DFID-funded projects, particularly those on governance
  • Experience implementing programming focused on governance
  • Experience in undertaking political economy analysis especially in the health sector Desirable.
  • A clear understanding and experience of governance issues in public and private sector in Nigeria
  • Proven ability to work with high-level members of civil service
  • Experience in senior management role

Work-based Skills

  • Ability to lead and implement Political economy assessments
  • Capable of mentoring and coaching senior managers
  • Excellent coordination skills, with ability to handle multiple activities concurrently, work under pressure, and meet tight deadlines
  • Good understanding of risk management and strategy
  • Ability to participate effectively in a virtual team while ensuring achievement of team objectives
  • Strong interpersonal, diplomatic and negotiating skills and ability to exercise discretion


  • Excellent project management and planning skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Excellent facilitation skills
  • Capable of developing training materials and case studies

Core Competencies
Delivering results:

LEVEL C – Supports others to achieve results

  • Displays a positive and enthusiastic approach and is not deterred by setbacks, finding alternative ways to reach goals or targets.
  • Supports others to plan and deliver results
  • Supports others to manage and cope with setbacks

Analysis and use of information:
LEVEL D – Analyses the external environment confidently

  • Generates a range of policy options and appraises them based on the internal and external evidence
  • Develops ways of applying new knowledge and ensures lesson‐learning with self and wider team
  • Analyses the significance of external events and situations for Malaria Consortium

Interpersonal and communications:
LEVEL C – Adapts communications effectively:

  • Tailors communication (content, style and medium) to diverse audiences
  • Communicates equally effectively at all organisational levels
  • Understands others’ underlying needs, concerns and motivations and communicates effectively in sensitive situations
  • Resolves intra-team and inter-team conflicts effectively

Collaboration and partnering:
LEVEL D – Develops external networks to increase internal thinking / learning:

  • Actively develops partnerships with relevant organisations, think tanks and individuals
  • Takes initiative to establish a network or partnership where one does not exist
  • Ensures any external learning is effectively brought in-house

Leading and motivating people:
LEVEL C – Effectively leads and motivates others or direct reports:

  • Gives regular, timely and appropriate feedback
  • Acknowledges good performance and deals with issues concerning poor performance
  • Carries out staff assessment and development activities conscientiously and effectively
  • Develop the skills and competence of others through the development and application of skills
  • Coaches and supports team members when they have difficulties

Flexibility / adaptability:
LEVEL C – Supports others to cope with pressure:

  • Responds positively to change, embracing and using new practices or values to accomplish goals and solve
  • problems and supports others to do the same
  • Adapts team approach, goals and methods to achieve solutions and results in dynamic situations
  • Sets realistic deadlines and goals for self or team

Living the values:
LEVEL D – Acts as a role model in promoting Malaria Consortium’s values:

  • Champions and takes ownership of corporate decisions, values and standards and ensures team members implement them in a positive manner
  • Acts as role model internally and externally in promoting Malaria Consortium’s values
  • Is accountable for ensuring that cultural awareness is demonstrated across the area (s) they manage

Strategic planning and thinking and sector awareness:
LEVEL C – Keeps up to date with the internal and external environment:

  • Takes into account economic, political and other business factors when drawing up medium and long-term plans,
  • covering both public and private sectors
  • Looks beyond the immediate operations to prospects for new business
  • Engages with appropriate internal and external sources to establish major influences on future plans


  • Competitive


  • National

Application Closing Date
6th August, 2020; 23:59

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here for more information (PDF)

Note: Due to the nature of this role we will be reviewing applications on an ongoing basis and the role might be filled and closed before the closing date. Early applications are encouraged

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