POSITION: National Partnership Advisor, Alive & Thrive Nigeria
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Supervisor: Project Director, Alive & Thrive Project/Nigeria
Alive & Thrive is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. In its first five years (2009 to 2014), A&T demonstrated that innovative approaches to improving feeding practices could be delivered with impact and at scale in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. Alive & Thrive continues its work there and is supporting others to scale up nutrition by applying and adapting tested, proven approaches and tools in Burkina Faso, India, Southeast Asia, and Nigeria. In Nigeria, Alive & Thrive supports the roll-out of the National SBCC Strategy for IYCF (2017) for specific evidence-based approaches. Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland.
The A&T Nigeria National Partnership Advisor will work as part of the A&T Nigeria senior technical leadership team led by the Project Director. The National Partnership Advisor is responsible for providing linkages with new networks in the Essential newborn care and RMNCH sectors, partnerships with new consultative groups and technical working groups that exclusively deal with saving newborn lives and collaboration with neonatal health groups and stakeholders. The goal is to reach all states through existing or newly establish newborn care initiatives in addition to what our country team is doing with nutrition-focused entities in Nigeria. The geographic focus of this position will be 36 states of Nigeria, rather than the 2 states where other members of the country team will focus. A&T’s support will be viewed as rolling out one of the key components of the Nigerian Every Newborn Action Plan (FMOH, 2016).
This position helps A&T Nigeria provide rapid and deep engagement with a new range of well-established maternal, newborn and child health initiatives, networks and institutions to reach national scale with sustainable and effective breastfeeding interventions. The position will also ensure that strong bonds and partnerships are established to support A&T’s inputs for the National policy as well as with other newborn health, RMNCH and breastfeeding -related programs in the public, private/commercial, and NGO sectors.
The Nigeria A&T breastfeeding and IYCF social and behavior change program focuses on improving rates of early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, timely introduction of complementary feeding, and minimum dietary diversity for infants over 6 months old. A&T will work across the public, commercial/private, and NGO sectors to improve breastfeeding and IYCF through A&T’s four components: advocacy, interpersonal communication and community mobilization, mass communication, and strategic use of data. At the national level, A&T will predominantly work with a selected group of public, private/commercial, and NGO sector partners (Every Newborn Action Plan, RMNCH, UNICEF, USAID/MCSP, Scaling Up Nutrition, SOGON, PAN, NANMs and other multi-state or national entities) to improve the implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of key IYCF policies (Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; maternity leave; work place support; breastfeeding-friendly public and private health care and delivery facilities). A&T will also work in two states—Lagos (metropolitan) and Kaduna (urban and rural)—to roll out the National SBCC Strategy for IYCF at state level, applying A&T’s proven four components to reach households, communities, and facilities with targeted, age-appropriate social and behavior change communication (SBCC) support and messaging on IYCF practices.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Ensure effective engagement and collaboration with partners and stakeholders at the national level in the delivery of breastfeeding as part of the Nigeria Every Newborn Action Plan and RMNCH services, using proven A&T approaches, with a particular focus on breastfeeding support to reach mothers in all states of Nigeria.
- Serve as a technical advisor for identifying, engaging and coordinating with well-established national institutions and programs who share a commitment to essential newborn care, saving newborn lives and protecting the health and nutrition of infants and young children through breastfeeding interventions; providing them with tools and materials developed by the A&T team and others in Nigeria and building their capacity and motivation to act.
- Support and guide the work of the A&T Nigeria Senior Leadership Team as it works with its partners to strengthen breastfeeding interventions at the national level.
- Manage A&T funded Partnerships with The Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) and Midwife and Nurses Association, and others having the capacity to reach multiple states.
- Facilitate collaboration with other implementing partners and donors like the Dangote Foundation, DFID, World Bank, UNICEF, MNCH2, etc.
- Document progress made, lessons learned, and what works in sustainably expanding the reach of breastfeeding/IYCF interventions in Nigeria.
Specific roles/responsibilities include:
- Draft A&T Nigeria’s partnership agreements, work plans, scopes of work, implementation and monitoring methods and tools in collaboration with other team members and A&T/HQ staff; ensure that partners clearly address feasible and sustainable interventions for improving breastfeeding support and service delivery across multi states and in Kaduna and Lagos, and ensure oversight and stewardship of Alive & Thrive resources at different levels for the benefit of breastfeeding and IYCF practices.
- Support A&T’s negotiations and constructive dialogue with the Government of Nigeria (GoN), implementing partners (IPs), CSOs and other breastfeeding/IYCF/RMNCH stakeholders and provide contextualized advice to management.
- Provide technical and strategic advice to the GoN, partners and stakeholders on all technical and strategic aspects in support of the GoN’s implementation of the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP).
Contribute to the development of A&T annual work plans and project reports, and ensure timely reporting and responses for information to HQ. In collaboration with A&T Nigeria senior leadership team:
- Actively participate in, contribute to, and facilitate major A&T program development and implementation activities (strategic planning, program presentations, advocacy and policy meetings, workshops), as appropriate
- Present program results, based on program experience, M&E and evaluation data to the GoN, projects and partners, and other professional colleagues and organizations, both in country and internationally
- Other duties as assigned
REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
- MBBS/MD, Dr of Public Health, or PhD in one of the following or related fields: Human Nutrition, International Public Health, Behavior Change Communications, Behavioral Science. MSc with additional work experience equivalent to a PhD may be acceptable.
- At least 12 years of relevant experience in Nigeria required with at least 5 years in a senior technical leadership role providing technical input to a large-scale nutrition or public health project across multiple levels (and sectors). Work experience with international projects and donors also preferred.
- Established relationships and memberships in/with national health, social sector, educational, professional institutions such as NANMs, NIFAA, Every Newborn Action Plan collaborators, SOGON, PAN, well-known universities working in newborn health/MNCH/nutrition/IYCF.
- Extensive knowledge of infant and young child feeding approaches; and program experience.
- Recent senior technical and program work experience (3-5 years in the last 10 years) in Nigeria.
- Extensive public health/nutrition field experience in designing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on one or more component: policy and advocacy, interpersonal communication and community mobilization, mass communication, strategic collection and use of data, capacity building.
- Ability to work independently, assess priorities, and manage a variety of activities while communicating, connecting, and collaborating with HQ and field office staff, subcontractors, and a broad coalition of government, NGO, and international project partners
- Strong interpersonal, supervisory, and organizational skills
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Excellent writing, editorial, training, and communication skills, including strong presentation skills
- Fluency in English required; fluency in Hausa, Yoruba also very strongly preferred.
- Equipment to be used: Computers, fax machine, telephones, calculators, and/or similar devices
- Typical physical demands: Works in a typical office setting
- Working conditions including Travel: Travel from Abuja to and from different states including Lagos and Kaduna 35% time.
This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.
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- Job City Abuja, Nigeria