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Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Manager - Uganda

karamoja | Kigali

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

The Maternal, Child, Health and Nutrition (MCHN) Manager will play a key leadership role in the implementation of a five-year $41 million USAID Food for Peace Activity to support pregnant and lactating women and children under five years of age living across the districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong and Moroto in Karamoja. The Activity is multi-sectoral with programming in livelihoods, nutrition, WASH, and governance with cross-cutting attention to gender and youth.

General Position Summary

The MCHN Manager will work closely with the Deputy Chief of Party to ensure the quality, efficiency, integrity and learning associated with behavior change for development and health system governance in the four districts. The MCHN Manager will be responsible for oversight of the quality maternal and child health and nutrition activities within Apolou as well as coordination between sectors and among partners related to the nutrition objective, including local Community Based Organizations, Save the Children and Whave. The MCHN Manager will work with staff to capture learning from the field and to support strategy and make tactical adjustments as needed. S/He will frequently write and edit reports, assessments, analyses, stories and other learning to articulate the work of the Apolou Activity in the health and nutrition sector.

Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision

  • Support the Apolou Leadership in developing a vision and strategy for the Activity.
  • Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster or improve food security and nutrition strategic objectives of the Activity and the country office.**Program Management**

  • Support scale up of MCHN and nutrition Behavior Change strategy in four districts through Mother Care Groups, male engagement programming, and other activities as relate to the overall nutrition objective

  • Support implementation of health system governance activities across the four districts

  • Ensure nutrition activities are implemented according to best practice with technical oversight of implementation strategy and related materials

  • Develop and roll out associated MCHN curricula to community platforms as needed

  • Manage team of nutrition implementers, including national staff and international consultants

  • Provide budget oversight and administration for the health and nutrition component and ensuring staff compliance with donor and agency regulations

  • Work with partners and team leaders, advocate for nutrition and health priorities in line with Apolou strategy at key district, regional and national events

  • Ensure an integrated approach to health and nutrition related program activities in order to maximize resource utilization and synergy between the staff, consortium members, district local governments, the Ministry of Health and other implementing partners

  • Support coordinated data collection systems and reporting formats within the MCHN team and between partners, with integrated communications to ensure sharing of lessons learned and foster a supportive environment driven by achievement.

  • Identify and communicate learning agenda for the nutrition and health sector within Apolou.

  • Recommend program priorities and explore, evaluate and present new opportunities with high potential for impact in the areas of health, nutrition and gender.

  • Support the MEL Advisor to ensure that the correct tools and processes for collecting data in the field is being done.

  • Support Collaborative Learning and Adaption component in the Apolou program.**Team Management**

  • Lead quarterly review meetings, and monthly sector meetings to guide implementation, coordination and learning.

  • Participate in the recruitment of new staff, establish effective supervision structures, identify and meet training needs and ensure adherence to Mercy Corps' performance management system within the team;

  • Establish an adaptive management learning culture in which evidence is continuously generated and lessons learned are actively shared across the consortium for maximum impact

  • Work with HQ and national office staff to strengthen operations, identify and pursue complementary programming

  • Build capacity of team leaders to take primary responsibility for respective data gathering, quality control and communication to MELC focal person**Influence & Representation**

  • Ensure establishment and provide oversight on the team's maintenance of relationships with communities, village councils and local government in Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and Amudat/Karamoja target areas.

  • Support and coordinate visits from regional and HQ based staff and external visitors, such as donors and media, in collaboration with DCOP and CoP.

  • Establish and maintain contact with all key actors as relevant for program implementation –government ministries, UN agencies, NGOs, private sector partners – and establish mechanisms for contacting local community organizations and partners and other local NGOs/CBOs in line with key Apolou areas of work

  • Advocate and make appropriate presentations when requested at local, regional, and where possible national and international platforms for Apolou supported strategies for health and nutrition

  • Represent Apolou at Nutrition-related meetings, implementing partner coordination meetings, events and conferences

Finance, Compliance AND Operations Management

  • Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) in the field office and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • With the support of the Operations Director and Senior Operation Manager ensure adequate operational systems are in place to provide for sector operations
  • Manage program budget(s) as secondary budget holder.
  • Strictly follow Mercy Corps Fraud and Corruption Prevention guidelines.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

MCHN Team: The MCHN manager will be responsible for directly managing the MCHN Team, Care Group Manager, Community Behavior Change Manager, Senior Health Systems Strengthening Officer and indirectly managing MCHN officers and community behavior change assistants. The MCHN manager should mentor an existing staff member to take over the role after their contract expires.


Reports Directly To: Apolou Deputy Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Gender and Youth Manager, Resource Transfer Manager, Gender Advisor, Purpose1, Purpose 3 and Purpose 4 Managers, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning Advisor, Deputy Chief of Party, Program Quality and Partnership Manager, Leads of Consortium Partner Teams in Apolou, Operations Manager and Operations staff**,** Finance staff and HQ Technical Support Unit

Ethics and Integrity

All Mercy Corps staff are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to a disciplinary action or may lead to termination.

Knowledge and Experience

  • A Master's Degree or equivalent in nutrition or Public Health;
  • At least 5 years' experience in nutrition specific programming with at least 3 of the years in nutrition programming implementation in developing country contexts, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa. Experience working with USAID Food for Peace programming will be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated understanding of key concepts in public health nutrition, community behavior change, preferably with an understanding of the facilitative approach to development;
  • Demonstrated experience with budget oversight and management.
  • Superb English verbal and written communication and presentation skills required;
  • Strong understanding of data analysis and statistics;
  • Ability to communicate with donors, private sector and civil society partners and host government representatives;
  • Demonstrated flexibility, creativity and enthusiasm as well as a willingness to learn and to be continually adaptive within a dynamic and often self-directed working environment is mandatory;
  • Self-starter, with strong capacity for critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Ability to focus on day-to-day tasks at hand while also working towards longer-term objectives with an understanding that these will change continuously;
  • Demonstrated capacity to generate and to translate innovative ideas into practical development approaches as well as marketable investment proposals and concepts;
  • Willingness to travel frequently and extensively in remote areas with basic services.

Success Factors

The success of the MCHN Manager will combine strong program management skills with one's ability to execute program activities with high quality. S/he will have an ability to develop, implement and manage innovative activities focused on health and nutrition. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The MCHN manager is based in the Karamoja region. The town is small but there is an INGO presence with limited expatriate staff. Running water is frequently available and is still off the national electric grid so power is supplied by solar and generators. The position requires frequent travel to field sites around Karamoja. Mercy Corps has a large, well equipped field office and the expatriate communal residence is located in a well-built house on the office compound. The MCHN Manger will share the residence with other staff. The field location is ineligible for family members.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/short term assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


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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: Mercy Corps
  • Location: karamoja | Kigali
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-02

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