Program Director, BIRCH

Multiple Countries
Full Time
Africa Frontline First (AFF) Initiative

This position was posted on December 12, 2022. While we review all applications on a rolling basis, please note that we will prioritize applications received within the first two weeks of the posting. Thank you.

This role is posted by Last Mile Health (LMH) on behalf of Financing Alliance for Health (FAH). FAH is the hiring organization for this role and all future roles posted on behalf of FAH. FAH is a collaborative partner with LMH, and Community Health Impact Coalition for the Africa Frontline First Initiative (AFF) under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. 

Financing Alliance for Health Overview

Financing Alliance for Health (FAH), partners with the government on all steps of financing to strengthen, and sustain community health systems, leveraging primary health care to attain universal health coverage. (FAH partners long-term with Ministries of Health and Ministries of Finance teams to develop different and changing financing sources). FAH draws on private sector knowledge of financial structuring and access to private sector and development finance opportunities to increase and diversify funding options for governments to scale and sustain community health systems. 

The aim of our work is to increase access, coverage and utilization of quality primary health services at household level, in a culturally appropriate manner so as to reduce morbidity and mortality. Community health systems have a proven track record of economic, social and health impact through the thousands of jobs created for predominantly female, marginalized and young community health workers (CHWs).

Africa Frontline First Initiative Overview 

The Africa Frontline First (AFF) Initiative is a collaborative initiative that supports the scaling and strengthening of integrated and sustainable community health delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Africa Frontline First (AFF) Initiative aims to support ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to build high-functioning, resilient, country-led community health service delivery with an expanded and institutionalized health workforce of 200,000 CHWs by 2030. Anchored within the local context and health reform journey of each country, these shifts in community health service delivery will contribute to reduce excess morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, Malaria, TB, and HIV, prevent maternal and child mortality, advance health security, and accelerate economic recovery at the community level following the pandemic. In turn, these investments in community health are critical to progress on the health SDGs, including ending AIDS, TB, and Malaria, expanding universal health coverage (UHC), and as well as ensuring effective pandemic preparedness and response to COVID-19 and future pandemics. 

The AFF initiative is led as a collaborative effort by the Financing Alliance for Health, Last Mile Health, and Community Health Impact Coalition under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. 

Our Core Values

  • Respect and trust as the basis of our relationships
  • Challenging and disrupting the status quo for impact
  • Curios, passionate and effective in our approach
  • Driven to support the well-being of communities

Anchored within their local context and health reform journey of each participating country, this support from AFF will help them:  

  • Reduce excess morbidity and mortality. Advance prevention, vaccination, testing, and treatment to reduce the impact of COVID-19, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, and support maternal and child health
  • Advance health security. Bolster integrated digital disease surveillance in the community health workforce to monitor, quickly detect, and respond to emergent infectious disease threats
  • Accelerate economic recovery. Build a compensated workforce of trained, supplied, digitally equipped, and supervised community health workers--especially women--who contribute to the formal economy.

The AFF is currently in the design phase for two financing opportunities:

  1. Africa Frontline First Catalytic Fund (AFF-CF) (Phase 1) which aims to improve the systems supporting community health in up to 10 African countries to improve performance unlock bottlenecks to scale frontline community health workers, and provide health for all. The AFF-CF will be available to countries from January 2024 until December 2026
  2. Project BIRCH (Building Integrated Readiness for Community Health), which is a Global Fund mechanism whose main goal is to provide technical assistance and community health systems strengthening grants in approximately eleven countries between January to December 2023. Ultimately, country support will empower countries to enhance the design and effectiveness of existing and upcoming Global Fund investments in CHWs for pandemic preparedness, including investments through the AFF-CF

AFF core partner, Last Mile Health is seeking to lead a consortium of organizations to implement BIRCH across the 11 countries, and in collaboration with regional institutions such as the Africa CDC. 

The Role

Reporting to the Co-Executive Director of  Africa Frontline First (AFF), the Program Director, BIRCH will be responsible for technical and managerial leadership of the BIRCH project to strengthen community health systems across at least 11 countries and regionally. 

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to lead a transformative initiative, dedicated to scaling and sustaining integrated, resilient community health systems across African countries. 

This position is only open to candidates who are currently located and authorized to work in an African Country and will be hired on a 1 year, 6 months fixed term contract with potential for renewal. 

What You'll Do

  • Provide strategic oversight, leadership, and planning for BIRCH 
    • Develop and revise the technical design for implementing the BIRCH goals 
    • Support alignment of this strategy with the wider goals of community health systems strengthening by Global Fund and Africa Frontline First, inclusive of how BIRCH program interacts with other initiatives such as the Africa Frontline First Catalytic Fund  
    • Set BIRCH’s objectives and key results
    • Identify the functional needs of BIRCH and organize the BIRCH team structure, management systems, and ways of working for successful execution  
    • Develop, implement, and monitor BIRCH’s activities, work plans, and budgets 
    • Provide reporting into Global Fund and AFF leadership teams.
  • Oversee execution of the BIRCH portfolio of work 
    • Oversee the identification, orientation, and contracting of all implementers across all BIRCH countries
    • Oversee the development of country work plans, detailed budgets, results frameworks, monitoring framework, and other project initiation documents with Implementing Partners, Ministry of Health, and other relevant actors including Global Fund teams 
    • Support BIRCH program staff to plan, supervise, monitor, and follow-up, together with in-country implementing partners, all aspects of BIRCH in-country activities and represent BIRCH for country relationship building
    • Work with AFF team to complete regional BIRCH priorities, including supporting regional institutions like Africa CDC contribute to learning, technical guidance, and convening of BIRCH countries
    • Work with the BIRCH team to ensure that all BIRCH priorities are translated into projects, activities, and sub-activities that are adequately designed, have clear scopes of work, roles and responsibilities, and are properly resourced 
    • Manage and coach BIRCH program staff to support project management of all engagements, establish clear accountabilities, and support prioritization of key activities
    • Review all final outputs, providing the technical assurance and backstopping deliverables to meet expected quality and contribute towards achieving the desired results
    • Where necessary, provide individual and technical support as part of project teams. Bring own experience and technical skills to the work, as "helper" role to others 
    • Be accountable for and report on BIRCH portfolio progress. Identify challenges to progress, and help the team identify solutions. Identify key risks, and elevate them to appropriate stakeholders
    • Track and highlight BIRCH/AFF’s impact: Have institutionalized methods of tracking and highlighting impact internally (dashboards/ checklists, etc.) and externally (website/ articles/ knowledge pieces/ newsletter/ annual reports) 
    • Define process indicators for country engagement and support workstream to demonstrate the impact of AFF’s BIRCH support
    • Codify lessons learned from BIRCH country engagement work and execution for AFF to incorporate in future phases
  • Build and manage teams and key stakeholder relationships 
    • Establish and build strong relationships with both Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) in country
    • Maintain a strong relationship with the Global Fund’s RSSH team and work closely with Global Fund country teams
    • Maintain a strong relationship with the various implementing partners of BIRCH
    • With the support of the implementing partners and AFF program team, ensure an updated stakeholder map for strategic alliances and partnership
    • Work through the BIRCH program team in talent management; provide direct management, coaching, mentorship and recruitment (as needed) to the BIRCH team
    • Assist in-country team in relevant advocacy engagements that would further advance AFF’s work (e.g. Communities at the heart of UHC, steering committees, coordination via technical working groups, regional and global events)
    • Document and share AFF’s country work, including developing publicly-shareable versions of in-country work by codifying country experiences (with MOH permission) and sharing this work in appropriate forums 
    • Represent BIRCH project externally in senior in-country meetings, convenings, workshops, donor meetings, and other fora for sharing success, learnings, and opportunities.

This role includes 30% travel.  

What You'll Bring

The Financing Alliance is seeking a highly-skilled, multi-functional, and entrepreneurial leader with:

  • A Master's degree in at least one of the following areas: health economics, health policy, health program management, finance, investment, or other similar fields
  • Several years working in non-profit/government and management experience
  • Sound understanding of primary health, community health and universal health coverage (with strong content knowledge in these areas) as well as familiarity with Global Fund priorities and processes at headquarters and country level.
  • Practical leadership experience in leading multi-functional, multi-cultural teams that are geographically spread
  • Excellent strategic analysis skills
  • You must have excellent oral and written presentation skills, strong computer skills, including MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Public sector experience is critical with an excellent understanding of government processes, structures and systems. Direct experience supporting governments within an embedment capacity is an added advantage
  • Strong leadership and stakeholder management experience with demonstrated ability to build trust-based relationships when engaging at different levels within government, public, and private sectors 
  • Working proficiency in French (Bilingual is strongly preferred) with additional language skills are an added advantage
  • You should also be an ‘out of the box’ thinker, comfortable with ambiguity, ready to build the venture, and keen to work towards the broader mission of improving health outcomes and expanding access. 

You'll Impress Us If

  • Previous experience with health financing a strong asset, particularly working with Global Fund applications or implementation is preferable but not essential

Compensation for this position:

This position offers a competitive salary range of $113,000 to $130,000 USD annual gross depending upon background and experience doing an equivalent role.  

FAH values the diversity of the people it hires and serves within the community. Our diversity is committed to fostering a work environment where individuals' strengths and uniqueness are recognized, appreciated, respected and responded to in ways that fully develop their potential.

FAH has a zero-tolerance approach to any harm to, or exploitation of, a vulnerable child or adult by any of our staff, partners or representatives. We are committed to preventing all undesirable behaviour at work. This includes, child abuse and exploitation, sexual harassment and abuse



Apply for this position

Apply with
We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.
Human Check*