About Evidence Action:
Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty in some of the poorest places. Our large-scale, evidence-based programs are rigorously evaluated to ensure they reach the greatest amount of people in the most cost-effective ways. No matter what the position, each member of our team is motivated by the fact that the hard work we do makes its intended impact. Collectively, our at-scale initiatives measurably reach over 280 million people annually, and we continuously seek dedicated and mission-driven people to help advance this rare, and large-scale, global impact.
The Liberia Country Manager will be responsible for opening Evidence Action’s country office in Liberia, launching the maternal syphilis program, and potentially supporting the development of new programs in Liberia and the expansion of the maternal syphilis program into additional countries. This is a unique opportunity for someone who is dynamic, self-motivated, and able to effectively drive large-scale change in a fast-paced and challenging environment.
Evidence Action’s Accelerator is aiming to launch a new program to support the Liberian government to increase screening and treatment for maternal syphilis via introduction and scale-up of a dual HIV/syphilis rapid test within antenatal care settings. We are seeking a high-performing, experienced Manager to lead this program, which will be our first in Liberia. This role offers the exciting opportunity to spearhead the development of a new program, to build and manage a high-performing office, and to develop and manage key partnerships with government, development partners, and other non-profit organizations to achieve national-scale coverage of syphilis screening and treatment.
We are seeking candidates with the right personal qualities: a self-directed, entrepreneurial approach toward building a new program; open-mindedness and flexibility in the face of challenges or changes in direction; exceptional strategic and problem-solving skills; excellent cross-cultural communication skills; a deep commitment to rigorous evidence and data-driven decision-making; and high emotional intelligence to build your team and foster strong relationships with external partners. Candidates must have prior experience working in developing countries.
Background on the Program
Syphilis among pregnant women is a deeply neglected global health issue despite causing over 200,000 neonatal deaths and stillbirths each year. On top of this, more than 100,000 infants are born with congenital syphilis which leads to debilitating issues such as deformed bones, blindness, deafness, and meningitis. Nearly all of these adverse outcomes can be prevented - women can be easily tested for $1.50 or less and given a simple shot of penicillin costing less than $1. In Liberia, a country with one of the highest prevalence rates of maternal syphilis in Sub-Saharan Africa, less than 1 in 10 women currently get tested for syphilis. The development of a new technology - a point-of-care combined HIV/syphilis fingerstick test - gives governments the opportunity to piggyback on historical investment in HIV testing among pregnant women and finally address the challenge of maternal syphilis. Our ambitious program aims to support the government to scale this combined HIV/syphilis test nationwide in Liberia, thereby enabling pregnant women to finally get the care they need.
Liberia faces a broad array of health challenges, and the Country Manager will work with the government and partners to identify additional mission-aligned opportunities.
Duties and Responsibilities
Establish a national presence in Liberia
- Launch the Liberia country office. This includes everything from developing and implementing operational systems (e.g. ensuring proper financial systems and legal structures) to recruiting a team and developing relationships with key stakeholders.
- Build a team of 1-4, including identifying staffing needs, recruiting and hiring staff, and scoping and supporting their work.
- Invest significantly in mentorship of the team, through both formal and informal channels, including the creation of a “feedback culture” and constructive iteration on work products.
Manage program design and implementation
- Systematically identify critical gaps in the government’s maternal syphilis programs where Evidence Action can support, which may include, but are not limited to: driving policy change, improving data collection, mobilizing funding, supporting supply chain management, designing health provider training and job aids, and monitoring and evaluation.
- Develop country-wide, large-scale strategies to address identified gaps in partnership with key partners (both governmental and non-governmental) and based on best-practices developed by Evidence Action across programs.
- Iterate on the program monitoring framework in partnership with the Accelerator and Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation teams, to ensure alignment to the program’s theory of change.
- Monitor and analyze program data and KPIs to track program performance and generate insights on programmatic improvements.
- Prepare work plans and budgets for the program, to facilitate quality project management and decision making in an ambiguous environment. Iterate flexibly as circumstances change.
Develop and manage partner relationships
- Build relationships with key partners, including critical government stakeholders, development partners, non-profit organizations, and research firms. Ongoing management of these relationships will be a central component of the role.
- Coordinate among units, divisions, and programs within the Ministry of Health to improve interdepartmental communication and create more efficient working processes among the relevant government entities.
- Identify opportunities where Evidence Action can add value to key partners outside of the focus on maternal syphilis, specifically where add-ons are aligned with Evidence Action’s values and mission.
Engage with other teams within Evidence Action
- Share learnings from the Liberia maternal syphilis program across other country teams that will be implementing a similar effort around increasing maternal syphilis screening and treatment.
- Collaborate with the Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation team to develop and implement an M&E plan and manage the research firm contracted to perform the surveying work.
- Identify program areas where insight from the Deworm the World Initiative and the Dispensers for Safe Water would aid in the development of program strategies.
As this is a new role within a start-up organization, candidates should expect a highly dynamic environment: goals and plans may shift; we may not yet have defined tools or policies for some new issues we encounter; and the scope of work may evolve. The right candidate for this role will be excited by this dynamism and will be highly motivated to take ownership over making all aspects of the new office a success.
- 5+ years of relevant professional experience in demanding and results-driven environments, such as management consulting or a fast-paced international NGO.
- Experience managing high-performing staff.
- Ability to work independently in a fast-paced, changing environment.
- Experience working in a developing country context, preferably experience engaging closely with government.
- Excellent work planning and project management skills.
- Excellent problem-solving and strategic thinking skills.
- Experience applying data and quantitative analysis to drive decision making.
- Ability to work collaboratively, flexibly, and productively in a dispersed team, including with a direct supervisor based in another geography.
- Able to be located in Liberia and availability for travel to other areas as needed, up to 15%.
- Oral and written English fluency.
- Master's degree in public policy, international development, public health, economics, business, or related field, preferably with some familiarity with development economics.
- Prior experience in the international development field.
Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Evidence Action does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.