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Project Director, AGRANDIS

Conakry (Guinea)

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. With headquarters in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States. Renowned for 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 and Project Overview

HKI is recruiting a Project Manager for its Saving Lives through the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Malnutrition program in Kankan, Guinea, known by its French acronym, AGRANDIS, funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. This is a regional program focusing on community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) and it intervenes in Guinea, Mali and Niger, with a regional program manager based in Dakar. HKI is working to strengthen the capacity of government health systems and vulnerable communities to prevent and treat malnutrition in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malnutrition among young children. Alongside this support to government health systems, community members are also being mobilized to identify malnourished children and support mothers to provide the care and feeding practices that improve child nutrition and development.

HKI started its programs in Guinea in 2000 with an initial focus on nutrition. Currently, HKI’s work in Guinea includes nationwide programs for nutrition (vitamin A supplementation - VAS) and control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). In addition to AGRANDIS, HKI implements a program to prevent and control Ebola in the Kankan region.

Scope of the Position

The Project Manager will be responsible for managing all aspects of program implementation, including program quality assurance for this nutrition specific initiative in Guinea which has a strong community component. In this capacity, s/he will lead, provide expertise to and motivate a multidisciplinary project team to achieve the program objectives in accordance with HKI’s vision, as well as our commitments to donors and partners for quality programming and compliance with the contract terms. The position is based in Kankan, with regular travel to project sites within the region, as well as periodic travel to the capital, Conakry.

Functional Relationships

The Project Manager reports directly to the Deputy Country Director (Deputy CD) with a dotted line to the Regional Project Manager in Dakar, Senegal. The Project Manager may also be advised by other colleagues with technical expertise at HKI’s Africa regional office and/or headquarters.

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 office who oversee multi-country grants and ensure accountability to the donor. This matrixed reporting thrives through regular communication and a spirit of team work among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally.

Specific Responsibilities

Program Planning, Management, and Leadership

  • Provide overall management of the field team and the project in Kankan as head of the sub-office.

  • Ensure harmonized implementation of project activities in accordance with project implementation plan.

  • Serve as the technical focal point for the project and provide regular updates with the regional program manager.

  • Provide technical support for the preparation of action plans and implementation of interventions as well as training of staff and partners on the treatment and prevention of malnutrition and other nutritional topics. Coordinate additional technical support from internal and external resources, as needed.

  • Collaborate with Ministry of Health to ensure regular support and supervision of HKI and local NGO staff through regular visits and training.

  • Develop, coordinate, compile and submit all required reports on the implementation of the project activities including quality reports based on project monitoring indicators, and annual program plan.

  • Contribute to the development of training, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance and behavior change communication strategies and tools.

  • In consultation with the regional program manager, oversee:

  • the organization and execution of baseline, mid-term and end-line studies; and

  • the development of the documentation of lessons learned with respect to project implementation.

  • Ensure the active dissemination of results of the implementation of the project, at local and national level.

  • Manage all project resources by ensuring their rational use in accordance with HKI’s and donor’s policies.

  • Identify main threats that could affect the quality of the program, their potential impacts and inform the main office.

  • Identify project opportunities, and contribute to the development of project proposals.

    Administration and Finance

  • Ensure that program supervisors and NGO partners work in accordance with HKI’s administrative and financial procedures.

  • Work with program supervisors, the administrative assistant and finance project managers to ensure that fund requests are in line with the planned activities.

  • Ensure, in collaboration with program supervisors that budgets are spent as planned.

    Human Resource Management

  • Create and maintain a cooperative and supportive work environment in which all employees have terms of reference linked to work plans with clear objectives.

  • Manage, guide and motivate agents to achieve the program objectives and personal development goals.

  • Cultivate an atmosphere conducive to sharing of lessons-learned and to mutual learning among HKI staff and among partners.

  • Ensure that agents receive regular feedback and are evaluated in a timely manner.

    Security management

  • Inform the main office promptly of any security incident that may have an influence on the program and the safety of staff.

  • Ensure that security incidents are properly reported, verified and shared with other staff members and other organizations.

  • Ensure that security procedures are in place and all the staff is informed as well as occasional visitors.

    Advocacy and representation

  • In collaboration with the Deputy Country Director of HKI, represent HKI at local level.

  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with related stakeholders in the program.


  • Masters’ degree in public health, nutrition, or equivalent university degree in social sciences, program management, rural development or other relevant field; plus

  • At least 5 years of experience in the coordination and implementation of health and nutrition programs for an international organization; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Demonstrated ability in project design, and strong use of planning tools to track and evaluate health and/or nutrition program implementation.

  • Demonstrated ability to monitor financial status and manage administrative and financial activities of programs.

  • Excellent oral and written English and French language skills, including the ability to synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues.

  • Strong 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.

  • Strong capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to ability to delegate responsibilities effectively coach and mentor junior staff.

  • Specific experience in developing and delivering effective one-on-one and group trainings for field office staff and in-country partners training in health and nutrition that will be well-received.

  • Computer literate and proficient; including knowledge of data management and analysis.

  • 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.

  • An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions

  • Ability and willingness to travel within the country to project sites, often under difficult conditions.

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

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.
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  • Organization: HKI - Helen Keller International
  • Location: Conakry (Guinea)
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Nutrition
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2016-03-31

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