Country Director, Cameroon at Evidence Action


Country Director at Evidence Action

Country Director

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. We bridge the gap between research about what works and solutions for people in need, to effectively serve hundreds of millions of people in the world’s poorest places. We currently implement programs across 7 geographies: Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Liberia, Pakistan, and India.

Program and Position Background

One of the Evidence Action’s newest initiatives is the  Maternal Syphilis Screening and Treatment Program in which we partner with Ministries of Health to increase syphilis screening and treatment among pregnant women in an effort to prevent mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. Without effective and timely treatment, syphilis infections in pregnancy carry a significant risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, and cognitive and physical disability. Across the globe, syphilis infection in pregnancy leads to over 200,000 stillbirths and neonatal deaths – more than is attributed to mother-to-child transmission of HIV – and over 100,000 instances of disability in newborns. Our aim is to close syphilis screening gaps via introduction of HIV/syphilis dual testing and to close treatment gaps by implementing strategies to address context-specific treatment barriers for women who test positive for syphilis. We launched our maternal syphilis program in Liberia in 2020 and are now expanding the program to Cameroon.

In Cameroon, a country with one of the highest prevalence rates of maternal syphilis in Sub-Saharan Africa, twice as many pregnant women get tested for HIV as get tested for syphilis during antenatal care. Our ambitious program aims to support the government to adopt the HIV/syphilis dual test into policy, scale it nationwide across all ANC facilities, and close any gaps in syphilis treatment, thereby enabling pregnant women to finally get the care they need.

Beyond maternal syphilis, Cameroon faces a broad array of health challenges, and the Country Manager will work with the government and partners to identify additional mission-aligned opportunities.

The Cameroon Country Manager will be key in the design, strategy, and implementation of the Maternal Syphilis Screening and Treatment program in Cameroon. In addition to being responsible for opening Evidence Action’s country office in Cameroon and launching the maternal syphilis program, the Country Manager will also support the development of new programs in Cameroon in the years to come. This is a unique opportunity for someone who is dynamic, self-motivated, and able to effectively drive large-scale change in a fast-paced, data-driven, and challenging environment.

Candidates must have prior experience working in developing countries and preference will be given to citizens or permanent residents of Cameroon.

Duties and Responsibilities

Establish a national presence in Cameroon

  • Launch the Cameroon country office including everything from developing and implementing operational systems (e.g. ensuring proper financial systems, legal structures, HR practices) to recruiting a team and developing relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Build a team of 2-5, 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 collaboration 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.
  • Help facilitate the procurement, storage, and distribution of commodities as they arrive in the country including the reception and transfer of commodities to local stakeholders.

Develop and manage partner relationships

  • Build relationships with key partners, including critical government stakeholders (NACC, DFH, DLMEP, Regional Funds, CENAME, etc.), development partners, non-profit organizations, and research firms. Ongoing management of these relationships will be a central component of the role.
  • Coordinate among departments, divisions, and programs within the Ministry of Health to improve interdepartmental communication and create more efficient working processes among the relevant government entities. This is especially important as maternal syphilis is a cross-cutting program.
  • Support the Ministry of Health to engage HIV implementing partners where possible to incorporate maternal syphilis into their activities and leverage their programmin in the area of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
  • 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 including support on local research studies, global advocacy efforts, and any other ad hoc opportunities
  • Identify domestic or other partner resources which can be leveraged for commodity procurement & capacity building of healthcare providers.
  • Support applications to include funding for procurement of HIV/syphilis dual tests and benzathine penicillin in PEPFAR COP and Global Fund agreements.
  • Support the MoH with national forecasting, procurement, product registration, and consumption monitoring for the HIV/syphilis dual test and benzathine Ppnicillin.
  • Work with MoH and other stakeholders to identify and address stockout challenges in-country.

Engage with other teams within Evidence Action

  • Work closely with the Global team and the Africa Regional and Sub-Regional teams in the development of policies, work plands, and budgets.
  • Collaborate and share learnings with the growing maternal syphilis program teams across Liberia, Zambia, Indonesia, and in Washington DC.
  • Collaborate with the Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Strategy and Delivery teams to develop and implement an M&E plan and manage the research firm contracted to perform the surveying work.
  • Provide support to other Evidence Action programs ( i.e. the Deworm the World Initiative, Dispensers for Safe Water) in the event they are considering expansion of those programs to Cameroon.

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.

Qualifications

Required qualifications:

  • 7+ 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 the 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 Cameroon and availability for travel to other areas as needed, up to 15%.
  • Oral and written English and French fluency.

Preferred qualifications:

  • 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.

Preference will be given to citizens or permanent residents of Cameroon.

Position Location

The position will be based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Equal Opportunity Statement

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.

 

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