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Project Advisor, Financing Systems

Lilongwe (Malawi)

  • Organization: CHAI - Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Location: Lilongwe (Malawi)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Banking and Finance
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-08

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Overview

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org

Program Overview:

CHAI's health financing program is working in 10 countries to support Ministries of Health to substantially and sustainably improve access to essential health services for their populations. Health financing is often insufficient and overly reliant on donors and individuals paying out of pocket at facilities. Low income countries in Africa and South East Asia see over half of the global disease burden, are home to 40% of the global population and account for only 3% of health spending. Donor contributions for health have plateaued, and in many countries are likely to decline in the coming years. Domestic resources for health are increasing, but the rate of growth in government spending dedicated to health fluctuates and is often insufficient to meet population needs. In addition, resources that are made available may not be spent efficiently. Healthcare providers face stock-outs, ration services among patients and charge informal or formal user fees, which can act as a deterrent for patients, and particularly the poor, to seek care.

Malawi is a high burden and low-income country that is highly reliant on external funding and has limited fiscal space to mobilize additional funds for the health sector. Donors account for 73% of total donor and government spending on health. The potential for increasing total revenue available and funding to health is limited due to a weak macro-economic environment, a high fiscal deficit, and large total public debt. Despite the significant investment by donors and government in the health sector, comprehensive health systems strengthening interventions are underfunded, leaving the overall health system weak. This creates an immense challenge in making further progress against goals of moving towards universal health coverage (UHC).

CHAI's health financing team, works with government and key stakeholders to remove financing as a barrier to increased coverage of life saving interventions. Staff members work closely with Ministry of Health (MoH) partners, to support evidence-based decision-making and design systems to manage and mobilize sustainable resources and ensure those resources are allocated efficiently to provide affordable and accessible health care services.

Position Overview:

The goal of the CHAI Sustainable Health Financing program in Malawi is to support the government to progressively move towards universal health coverage (UHC) through sustainably bringing more resources into the health sector and to ensure they are distributed and utilized equitably, efficiently and effectively for the delivery of high quality health services. To accelerate real progress against ambitious commitments to UHC, CHAI in Malawi is expanding its health financing program with a new project that aims to demonstrate practical learnings on strengthening domestic financing systems.

CHAI seeks a Project Advisor, Financing Systems to support the government of Malawi and coordinate donor and domestic funds to align with government plans, with a focus on efficient allocation of resources, re-programing and resource mobilization, strengthening capacity and ensuing the sustainability and institutionalization of the same.

This is a challenging but rewarding position which presents an opportunity to work closely with a government that is committed to identifying opportunities for sustainable financing of the health sector, providing strategic advice and developing tools to improve financial management within health sector.

Given the nature of the program, and the entrepreneurial environment of CHAI, the Project Advisor, Financing Systems is expected to be self-motivated, flexible and able to deliver results quickly with limited structural or operational support. The Project Advisor, Financing Systems will be reporting to Technical Adviser Sustainable Health Financing.

Responsibilities

  • Serve as a trusted advisor to the MoH on a broad range of health financing and health systems strengthening issues, enabling MoH to mobilize resources into the health sector and distribute them equitably, effectively and efficiently.
  • Maintain and leverage the CHAI's continuous presence and relationships with MoH in context of health financing and health systems and increasingly engaging with other ministries and core stakeholders for multi-sectoral collaboration.
  • Support the national government to enhance improved and harmonized multi-sectoral planning for health through inter-ministerial engagements to strengthen coordination; resource allocation; efficient utilization of funds; prioritization of health needs; transparency; implementation of multisectoral interventions and increased domestic funding over time.
  • Support the government of Malawi to establish a formal structure/Committee for multi-sectoral collaboration for health, including conducting high-level engagements with different line ministries to secure buy in and developing TORs for the Committee.
  • Conduct analysis, develop tools and tailored briefs to support evidence generation for key areas including: funding allocation, utilization, absorption reprogramming, reallocation and mobilization of funds according to priority needs as well as develop templates for the committee to be used for evidence based decision making.
  • Provide recommendations based on the evidence generated on re-programming of funding towards critical underfunded areas in accordance to government priorities to ensure greater absorption and efficient utilization of funds, value for money and harmonization of upcoming donor funding.
  • Build organizational capacity and strengthen management systems; engagement of government officials in data use and evidence generation.
  • Other responsibilities as needed.**Qualifications**

  • Master's degree in relevant field (e.g. Economics, Health Economics, Public Health, Finance etc.) strongly preferred; Bachelor's degree with excellent relevant experience will also be considered

  • Minimum of 6 years of relevant work experience (e.g. in a research institution, government, bilateral or multilateral development agency, consulting firm, NGO or think tank), with increasing levels of responsibility

  • Good understanding and knowledge of and experience in health systems and health care financing and/or public sector financing, particularly in low- and middle-income countries

  • Structured and strategic thinker with experience analyzing complex datasets to identify key trends and to translate them into actionable options for decision makers

  • Strong writer, facilitator and oral communicator able to distill and explain complex concepts to varied audiences

  • Exceptional diplomatic and interpersonal skills and ability to build strategic relationships

  • Ability to think strategically about long-term program objectives and the detailed steps necessary to achieve them

  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills without need for extensive structural or operational support

  • Ability to multi-task and work effectively in fast-paced, high-pressure situations

  • Advanced technical proficiency with MS Excel and PowerPoint

Advantages:

  • Experience working with government ministries (Ministries of Health, Finance, and/or Local Government)
  • Experience working in resource-limited settings and in a multicultural office environment
  • Experience conducting large-scale primary research and data collection, cleaning, analysis, and reporting
  • Experience shaping national health financing policies and policy decisions
  • Good understanding of development partner landscape and dynamics.

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