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Country Director, Fluent in English and French

Niamey (Niger)

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. HKI is recruiting a country director for Niger.

Country Program Overview:

HKI started its programs in Niger in 1987, and Niger has been HKI’s flagship program in vitamin A supplementation, significantly reducing vitamin A deficiency – and child mortality. Currently, HKI implements a program focusing on nutrition and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). HKI assists the government’s efforts in prevention and treatment of malnutrition, strengthening health services and community networks for promoting essential nutrition actions, and to promote fortification of industrially processed wheat flour and vegetable oil – as well as our on-going vitamin A supplementation program. Efforts need to be made to develop new strategies and approaches to achieve universal coverage for vitamin A supplementation using both routine health services and child health days. The country office is also implementing a collaborative research program on prenatal care interventions with University of California Davis. Finally, HKI provides technical assistance and financial support to the national NTD control program in its work to map diseases and provide treatment through mass drug administration for onchocerciasis, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthes, as well as morbidity treatment for trichaisis.

HKI-Niger works with several partners (Ministry of Health, research institutions, UN agencies, international NGOs and private sector) in the areas of nutrition, food security, and the control of NTDs. HKI is working nationwide and in specific regions (Dosso, Zinder) with over 90 staff and an annual operating budget of around $5 million. HKI-Niger has undergone significant growth over the past few years and is one of the largest HKI country offices in Africa. HKI’s program in Niger is funded by various donors, including, the U.S. Agency for International Development (for NTD and Nutrition), Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the Micronutrient Initiative, the Hilton Foundation and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Scope of the Position:

The Country Director (CD) has overall responsibility for supervising the implementation of HKI-Niger programs and management of the office, including performance management of staff, to achieve the HKI mission and the objectives established in grants. The CD is responsible for representing HKI and securing funding for project activities in Niger; developing and implementing strategic and annual plans to further the HKI’s mission in Niger; program design, proposal development, implementation and reporting; financial and grants management; operations, security, and human resource management. This position is based in Niamey, Niger, with travel to field sites. The CD reports to the Regional Director for West Africa (based in Dakar) and works closely with other staff members at HKI’s Africa regional office and headquarters. The CD leads and directly supervises the country management team, including the finance manager and the manager for administration and human resources.

Specific Responsibilities:

****Overall Management and Leadership****

  • Implement and periodically update HKI-Niger strategic plan.
  • Make rapid adjustments to HKI program, in line with our mission, but responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving political situation.
  • Generate funding from international and bilateral agencies, donor agencies, corporations, and individuals in collaboration with national, regional and headquarters staff in alignment with the country office’s strategic plan.
  • Manage financial resources and provide oversight for grants.
  • Manage key project personnel including supporting their ongoing professional development.
  • Provide vision and direction for overall program design and proposal development; program implementation and reporting; grant management; financial planning; and human resource planning and management.
  • Represent HKI in formal and informal meetings with government officials, international donor agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to HKI project activities.
  • Monitor, assess and report on security issues in Niger and make necessary adjustments in field programs in close collaboration with the Regional Director and HQ


  • Provide technical input to the government, international donor agencies and technical advisory groups pertinent to HKI project activities.
  • Oversee research design, dissemination of information gathered and advocacy to advance programmatic and policy changes.
  • Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity.
  • Ensure implementation of strong program monitoring, evaluation and learning functions.
  • Disseminate findings from HKI projects that are of importance to decision-makers in a position to fund or implement projects in Niger and internationally.
  • Keep national partners and others informed about progress of the projects, plans for the development of new programs/projects/activities and donor involvement in the overall program.

****Financial and Administrative****

  • Work with HKI Regional Office and Headquarters to manage the development and implementation of annual country budgets.
  • Prepare financial reports that comply with grant or contract agreements.
  • Ensure timely submission of financial reports within the guidelines established by the HKI Finance and Accounting Department and the Grants and Contracts Management Department.
  • Authorize expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements.
  • Hire and manage personnel for Niger projects in compliance with HKI policies and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity.


· Minimum seven years of field experience in international public health or nutrition programs including demonstrated experience in program development, implementation and evaluation, plus a minimum master’s degree in public health, nutrition or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in, or willingness to learn about, nutrition and NTD control is necessary.

· Demonstrated ability to undertake high-level representation and advocacy.

· Demonstrated capacity to mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and grants writing.

· Demonstrated ability to manage staff and other administrative and financial activities in developing country programs – five years’ experience in a management position.

· Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.

· Demonstrated ability to develop and create budgets and monitor financial status.

· Experience in managing USAID projects and familiarity with USAID policies and regulations.

· Ability to design and implement workshops, seminars, surveys, monitoring systems and evaluations Experience in research design, data analysis and interpretation.

· Computer literacy, including use of Internet, word processing and spreadsheets. Experience with data analysis and cell phone data collection will be an advantage.

· ****Fluency in both English and French required****: Excellent oral and written English language skills, good oral and written French language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.

· An ability to maintain balance when under stress.

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

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

No calls, please.

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.
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  • Organization: HKI - Helen Keller International
  • Location: Niamey (Niger)
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2015-12-31

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