Health Technical Advisor
New York City (United States of America)
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC’s vision is that the impact of our programs and the influence of our ideas empowers those caught in crisis to make lasting change in their lives. To support achievement of this vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) unit provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice. The TE unit supports technical excellence through the following ways:
1)Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence
2)Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs
3)Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives
The TE Unit is comprised of five technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, while cross-cutting work happens with the Gender Equality Unit and the Research & Innovation Unit
The Health Technical Unit (HTU) is organized in three sectors; Health (integrating general primary healthcare including sexual and reproductive health, child health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, mental health & Psycho-Social Support), Environmental Health and Nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support functions to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. In 2020 the HTU supported programming in 6 regions and 34 countries.
Health Technical Advisor (TA) will spend at least 80% of their time delivering technical assistance in-person and remotely to country program colleagues, coordinating within the health unit and with other technical units and departments. This is a primarily country facing position with the central responsibility focused on program quality. The remaining 20% of their time is spent on influence, advocacy, research, internal initiatives, at the discretion of their supervisors, this includes active participation in different HU workstreams.
Technical areas of focus will include: Comprehensive Primary Healthcare both at community and health facility levels, including communicable and non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health, iCCM, nutrition (maternal, adolescent, IYCF practices, prevention of malnutrition), mental health and psychosocial support, outbreak response and Infection Prevention and Control in Health Facilities.
The Health Technical Advisors’ specific responsibilities are as follows:
Core and important technical assistance responsibilities:
Engaging in program design and business development:
•Support country program staff to design programs and projects, ensuring that they are:
oAligned with the IRC’s Strategy 100, which includes supporting country program staff with contextualizing outcomes and the theories of change, and selecting interventions based on the best available evidence and the local context;
oResponsive to client needs and preferences
oBased on sound context and gender analysis
•Support selection of indicators for country programs and promote use of data for decision-making
•Review technical quality of proposals, including review of technical strategies, interventions and activities and ensuring alignment to IRC’s outcomes
•Input into go / no go decisions on proposals
•When necessary, write technical narratives of proposals
•Provide input on budgets required for project delivery
•Engage with donors and do outreach with partners in support of country programs
Building technical capacity of country program staff to ensure ongoing program quality and innovation:
•Conduct technical training and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff, including on IRC outcomes and evidence framework, theories of change, evidence and indicators as well as technical topics as the need may arise
•Share cross-context learning with country program staff across regions
•Support senior country program staff recruitment, onboarding and capacity development
Project delivery support:
•Work with country program colleagues to help analyze data that inform periodic review and course correction as needed.
•Ensure participation in quarterly data review calls with each country
•Review and share program-specific tools / resources / curricula and work with Technical Unit specialists to contextualize and adapt global and country-specific materials
•Help define approach to teaming / partnering with other organizations
Management and Coordination:
•Coordinate and plan with country coordinators and health technical unit sector advisors the technical assistance country programs receive.
•Participate in coordination efforts within the health unit and with other technical units and departments in IRC as required.
•Provide necessary management support to any direct report.
•Participate in and advise strategic initiatives in the health unit, and participate in joint initiatives with other IRC technical units as agreed upon by the supervisor, for example, outcomes and evidence, measurement, context adaptability, best use of resources, emergency preparedness, client voice and choice and research and development.
•Represent the health unit and the IRC in academic fora, donor meetings, inter-agency working groups, and various global/regional fora as assigned by the supervisor.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: STA -Health (Country Support)
Position directly supervises:This position could potentially supervise interns or fellows on occasion.
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal:Close working relationship with the Nutrition, EH, MHPSS and pharma TAs, and other regionally aligned health TAs; Regular communication with education, violence prevention and response, economic recovery & development, governance, research, evaluation and learning, and gender equality technical unit teams. Close relationships with regional and country program teams.Interacts with IRC internal departments, including Awards Management Unit, External Relations and communications and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of program activities.
External:Serve as IRC program representative in outside regional meetings and global meetings and academic forums with donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations.
Education: MD/RN, RN with public health or equivalent with a Master’s/post-graduate degree in Public Health, Public Health Nutrition or equivalent.
Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years of international field experience of which at least 3 in managerial/coordination positions with Non-Governmental Organizations in humanitarian or post-conflict settings. Experience in specified technical areas including comprehensive primary healthcare, technical tools and materials development and monitoring and evaluation is highly desired. Experience in strategy development and working across sectors or disciplines is highly desired.
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in working with donors, project design, proposal development, and monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action. Able to work with remote, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams. Strong interpersonal verbal and written communication skills and ability to facilitate collaboration. Outstanding capacity to understand the country context, portfolio, and overall programmatic needs, and pull and coordinate the relevant technical assistance from within and outside the health unit. Ability to transfer technical knowledge and skills. Demonstrated commitment to staying informed and up to date with best practices.
Language Skills: Fluency in English is a requirement; Proficiency another language is an advantage.
Working Environment: Up to 30% travel may be required.